Do you suffer from wig-itis? No matter what you do, you still think your wig looks fake. This is most often a new wig wearer’s affliction. We are so used to seeing our fine, thin hair, that the wig just seems like too much hair. And to be honest, sometimes it is. Some styles and brands seem to pack a lot more “hair” into their wigs than any real person would ever have. This is where a bit of skill comes into play. I have no such skill, so I depend on my hairdresser to do a bit of thinning and shaping on some styles. Some think the permatease is the problem; that it makes you look as if you have a ton of hair on top. But some permatease does work for some styles and gives the wig lasting shape to support the style.
But then, we have an additional issue. Are you frustrated because no matter what you do, your wig still looks a bit fake? This seems to be a major concern, and for obvious reasons. You don’t want to spend the time and money on a wig to have it announce to the world that it is…a WIG.
In this case there are several things to consider. We can’t expect a cheap wig to look as good as one with all the bells and whistles. We do get what we pay for in more ways than one. A good quality and well-made wig can make all the difference in how real they look and how long they last. We have all come to expect that a human hair wig will look more realistic. We know that a lace front and mono top can give our wigs a more realistic look, depending on the style. We know that synthetic wigs can be helped if we tamp down that shine and choose rooted colors. We know to look for blended shades of color because flat colors scream fake.
And back to our original issue…density. For most of us, especially if losing our hair was a drawn-out process where we got used to thinning hair, any wig might look like too much hair at first, and that takes a while to get used to for most people. If a “real” look is a big issue for you, then time as well as money is a big player. We know that we can’t expect to pull a wig from a box, put it on our head, and have it look very realistic, in most cases. We must take time to customize the wig for us—our head shape, our coloring, and learn which styles suits us best. This includes seeking professional help like a hair stylist to maybe trim, thin, cut bangs if needed, and in general, shape it up to suit our face, if needed.
Some other issues in wig wearing that sometimes get overlooked or thought about too late are: wig fit (cap size), wig placement (does it sit at the natural hairline?) and wig security. Did you prep your bio hair if needed and find a method of securing the wig that is comfortable for you? Trial and error, and time will help with this.
In the end, we get back what we put into our wigs. They are an investment, so it’s worth learning all that we can to make them look great and last a long time.
Sometimes it is hard to be objective as we stand there looking in the mirror. That’s where a professional stylist comes in. Your mom, best friend, partner, etc., might not be the best person/people to ask when it comes to picking a wig color and style—for obvious reasons. A stylist has no, or at least little, emotional investment, and it’s her or his business. They do this for a living. Trust the experts.
Until next time, wishing you all a happy holiday season. Break out that new wig and show off a little.
I know what it’s like to try a wig and be disappointed. Whether it is my lack of homework—did I understand about fibers, cap construction, and care or was I caught up in how the model looked?
Becoming a seasoned wig wearer, one who has confidence in what to buy, and what colors and styles work best on you, takes time. Like anything new, you can’t start out as an expert. You must allow yourself to make a few mistakes, no matter how much you think you have researched things. It’s all about giving yourself a bit of grace, time, and space to find the right wig, one that feels right to you, and one that compliments you, your complexion, and your face shape.
It makes me sad to see (on various media formats), “I give up on wigs. I’ll just have to deal with this hair loss some other way.” The general theme seems to be that they try one or two wigs and decide it’s not for them. They are upset, disappointed, and often needlessly so. Things might have been different if they would have given themselves more time to do research, ask for help, and to understand it is a journey, not a sprint. Learning to buy a wig, the right wig(s) is a skill. Like any other skill, it takes time to master it.
Reading all the comments on Facebook and learning about all the disappointments was hard for me because I had been there too. I wanted to hug all those ladies and say, “it’s because it is all so new—it feels like too much hair, the color might not be the best fit or the style, and you are not used to wearing something on your head—but it will get better with time. Don’t cheat yourself out of something great without giving it a real chance.”
One bad wig experience does not mean you will never be able to wear wigs comfortably. Even several bad experiences don’t mean failure. Yes, wigs are expensive and can be intimidating to work with at first. But you have to make friends with your wig, make it your own. Once you claim it, you can begin to work with it. Also, you need to manage your expectations. Everyone’s head (and neck length) is a bit different in size and shape, and you will eventually find the wig brands and caps that work best for you, and that will make your journey much easier. Also, please remember that your wig can be modified.
There is a process and a learning curve like when you must learn anything new. A lucky few will take to wig wearing right away and have all kinds of fun trying new styles and colors. But most of us go down a different path. We struggle to learn about wig fit, the different wig caps, the difference in the fibers, wig care, colors, and sizes—it can be overwhelming.
In my field, of writing, we have “tags” for the different kinds of writers: Plotter or Pantser. I think the same idea can be applied to learning about wigs. Did you start researching all about wigs, view hundreds of videos, and pictures, research manufacturers, talk to wig wearers, or find wig blogs (a plotter)? Or did you find a local wig boutique and go in and trust the person there to just tell you what you should wear? Or did you go all out Pantser and just order a wig online that looked good to you because it looked good on the model? Maybe it was something in-between these actions, but you get my point. Did you approach wig-wearing in a more thought-out process or did you make an emotional decision?
So, yes, there is a process, but it’s one that you can learn. For me, it was research-research, and trial and error. The advice I would give is:
1. Ask for help. If you are reading this blog, then you know that you can find it at Wig Studio1. There is so much expertise there!
2. Do NOT give up, and if you are in this phase, or if you know someone who is struggling, pass this on. There is a wig and style that is for you, likely there are several, but you will never know that if you give up too soon.
Refuse to accept failure and disappointment about wig-wearing. If thousands of people can do it, so can you. So, whether you are a plotter or Pantser, keep trying because the right wig is out there waiting for you. Before you know it, you will have a collection of your own. The day will come when you look at your wigs and you will be happy that you have options.
Until next week, take a look at the wigs on sale now (and ongoing) and maybe start there. If you are not sure about style or color, ask for help. There is a world of expertise at Wig Studio1. There are wonderful blogs, videos, and all kinds of great resources. And remember, we are all in this together. Pass it on.
Until Next time,
As we all know by now, attitude is important. If you look at your wig and all you can think of is loss—hair loss, then touching that wig, wearing that wig can have a negative effect on your self-image, mood, and how you act and interact with others.
Hair loss, like any other condition one might have, is often something that we can’t reverse, but there are a lot of things that we can do to live with it. Wearing a wig does not change who you are, but it can change how you look and feel—for the better if you let it.
Now that I have reminded you (and myself) of this, let’s move on to some other practical things, like advice from the so-called “experts” and how much faith should we have in what they say.
My disclaimer - (Though there is “collective wisdom” in the hair, wig, and beauty industry, I’m not convinced that all of this advice below is much more than opinion, so read it with your skeptical glasses.):
While it's a beauty myth that women over 60 must wear their hair short, the real marker for whether you should be wearing your hair short is whether it would be flattering to your face shape and hair texture. This short hair look works best on those with naturally straight, medium-textured hair.
Does short hair make you look thinner or heavier? It is believed that short hair isn't suitable for women with round faces. (However, that's not totally true.) Some cuts do nothing for you, but some that can flatter your round face. The perfect ones will be cuts with choppy strands framing the face, asymmetric side-parted hairstyles, angled bobs/lobs, and styles with the volume on top of the head.
What is a good hairstyle for a 60-year-old woman? A wavy medium-length shag style is the best haircut for older women, especially women in their 60s plus. It looks flattering with bangs especially, and some say it can take about a decade off your age/look. Layers can mean more movement and a more youthful look. Shorter hair, which tends to expand at the ends, can leave you with an unflattering triangle effect. Whereas loose waves and that movement makes for a younger look. Beware that straight hair can age you, so play around with face-framing layers to give your hair some softness and movement.
The Ever popular and Debated “what hair for what face shape”:
(Here is what I found from the same so-called beauty “expert”):
- If Your Face Is Heart-Shaped: Wispy, Layered Cut.
- If Your Face Is Oval-Shaped: Angular Bob.
- If Your Face Is Square-Shaped: Shoulder-Length Cut.
- If Your Face Is Round-Shaped: Pixie Cut – What? Isn’t this the reverse of what this same expert said before?
- If Your Face Is Long-Shaped: Side-Parted curly bob
Everyone has an opinion. For example, I would not wear a pixie cut with a very round face unless I had small delicate features. So, take this “collective wisdom” with a grain of salt. I think it’s about a bit more than face shape. It’s about hair color, hairstyle, density, texture, and one’s attitude too.
Can changing our hair color make us look younger? (an always popular question)
I think we can all agree this can be true. Here again, are some “experts” weighing in. What do you think? Again, I think it depends on skin tone and condition, and the hairstyle and volume. I am not a fan of gold tones myself because it doesn’t go with my complexion, but it works for many others. So we see again that these blanket declarations may not be right for everyone. Also, I have seen many women who can rock white hair with no gold tones. But I do agree that tone can be important, and shading, highlights, all those things can make or break a look. Again, take the following “expert’s declarations” with a grain of salt:
- Blonde. As we age many people experience premature gray. For blondes, this can look ashy and age the complexion. Rather than keep your tresses platinum or white, add some gold tones to your highlights and you’ll soften your skin tone.
- Red. Adding warmth to red and strawberry blonde hair has the same effect as adding warmth to blonde. It makes you look healthier. Ditch the blue reds and select something warm to add a youthful glow to your tone.
- Brunette. Lighten up dark roots with caramel highlights and you’ll ditch the drab. A few highlights will soften your look and recapture the youth of summer days long past.
- Black. This is tricky. Black hair can be undeniably mysterious, but when in doubt – leave the blue out. A warm shade of black looks more natural and believable than Elvira’s blue-black, and there’s nothing worse than an off-tone box job look, no matter your age.
In summary, I wanted to point out that everyone has an opinion and that often these “experts” know less than we do. I say that we know best—you know best. Most women have had enough hairstyles and colors that they have learned what looks best on them. If you are a new wig wearer and get close to your bio hair color that you loved, you will likely be more comfortable. But remember, our complexion does change as we age, and we get lighter in the winter, darker in the summer, at least to some degree usually. And more than that, we have undertones in our skin that run from yellow to pink. The hair color that looked good on you at twenty-five may not look so great now. Don’t be afraid to change your color if it looks good on you. Look at the colors in your wardrobe. What do you gravitate to, have more of in your closet? That will give you a clue if you are warm, cool, or neutral in the tone family. Once you know that it is easier to pick a wig color that also will have shades/tones to compliment your skin tone. There are tons of videos and articles about picking your skin tone and under-tone.
We are the real experts, you, me, and other wig wearers. Follow the talented ladies here on this site for some great demos and information for all types of wig-wearing assistance. Also, follow us on Facebook, another great place for information from the real experts, those who know wigs, wear wigs, and know colors, and styles!
Until next time,
Happy short Wig Season (for me anyway)