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WIG STUDIO 1
It’s the Little Things
Though we are all wig wearers, some for many years, some new, we are individuals with different likes, dislikes, and needs. This is as true in wigs as it is in life in general.
We all have different wig priorities. If you have no hair at all or little hair, or a sensitive scalp, the wig cap construction will be very important. If you can’t stand wig bands, clips, and pins, the kind of cap and the way it fits will play an even larger role in your choice. For me, it is the less on my head the better, so a good-fitting cap is very important to me. The better the fit, the fewer security measures I feel the need to use. Sometimes it’s just luck. Our heads are all a bit different and sometimes a “made to scale” wig manufacturer’s cap won’t fit as well if you have an in-between size head and can’t get that perfect fit. If that’s the case, you will need to make security decisions.
Getting a hand-tied cap with a mono-top and lace front will cost you more because it costs the manufacturer more to make. That’s easy to understand. And ideally, you’d think everyone would want or need this. But that is not necessarily the case. Many wigs that just come with a basic cap can work well for many people. A lot depends on the wig style. If the style one doesn’t have a part and may have bangs—then a mono top and lace front would not be a dealbreaker for a lot of people. Also, for the same price, you can often get two or three of the basic cap wigs compared to maybe just one of the wigs with all the bells and whistles. That is appealing to a lot of people, especially if you are hard on your wigs, or if you just like to change styles a lot.
All fibers are not created equal. This too, you may have already learned. Some look and feel better and seem to last longer. Every manufacturer seems to do them a bit differently. They have their own vendors, processes, and craftspeople. Human hair wigs are just that, so we all know how to take care of human hair, and the pros and cons of this. It is when you get into fibers that it is more of a challenge. Over time, the coating of the fibers, the color, and the strength of the fibers will change. Depending on how much you wear your wig and how you care for it, can shorten, or lengthen the life of your wig, but eventually, the fibers will show their age and wear.
The big tradeoff: So, we must decide, do we want the best of the best, the middle of the road, or some less costly ones but do the job just fine? Fortunately, we can have one of each if the budget allows. I seem to have landed in the middle of the pack with lace front, mono-top and hand-tied as my preference, but hand-tied is not a deal breaker if I can have the other two. I still have a couple of basic cap wigs that I bought early on and can still wear but I find them hot and scratchy now because I have lost more hair loss over time. My scalp is more sensitive now too, and I must be picky about my caps.
The little extras are important. I like to get a wig with those soft tabs on the side and at the neck, along with the ability to adjust the fit. I can live with a mono-part vs. mono-top, but I hate not having the ability to make fit adjustments or have that comfort of the felt tabs on the side and the one at the bottom of the neck. So, in the end, we all find our sweet spot, what we can live with or hope we don’t have to live with, as the case may be.
Until next time,
It’s that Time Again—Wig Wearing in Summer
Yes, it’s a challenge no matter what you do. Adding another layer or two of material on your head will make it warmer. This is the time of year that I am glad that I don’t have to put anything between my head and my wig. My security measures start and stop with two bobby pins. I know this is not the case for many. I am lucky to find such a good fit with the two wigs I wear most of the time (both by Raquel Welch): Muse and Ready for Take Off. I have a thing about caps because my scalp is so sensitive, and another reason that I am glad I can manage security without glue, tape, and other helpers. But still, a wig on my head in summer is something to think about.
I work from home now so I don’t wear a wig all day long anymore as I did a few years ago (ah, the 10-hour days), but I have found that when I do wear them I am even MORE aware of having something on my head. It’s as if my scalp is saying, “What’s this? Get it off!” So for me, the cap construction is the key, that and the fit. There is nothing worse than a scratchy cap on top of your sweaty head. Well, I’m sure there are worse things, but when it happens you can think of nothing else but pulling the offender off your head—fast.
When I considered style, color, and length, I had to think of cap construction as even more important. I didn’t learn this until my third wig. I didn’t know how uncomfortable some caps could be if the fit and construction were wrong for my head. Something else I learned along the way: Along with the great comfort of 100% hand-tied caps, and they are amazing and lighter, there is also a minus (isn’t there always?). There are no wefts to aid in air circulation. For me, the tradeoff is worth it because I am not outside running around much. But for you, it might be very different. You may have to be creative about how to live with wigs during the summer months.
There are ways to get through the summer with wigs. If you are a seasoned wig wearer you have likely experimented enough to know what you must do, but if you are approaching summer as a new wig wearer, there is a learning curve, but there is help.
· Go for shorter styles, or if you must have longer, go with the one you can put up off your neck.
· Remember synthetics are cooler than human hair wigs.
· Try basic wig caps (the coolest construction); the open wefts allow air to flow through.
· Use accessories to control the volume around your face and neck.
· Try wig bands. They can help reduce cap pressure and make you more comfortable. Some have a silicone strip and can hold the wig in place.
· For short outdoor events, leave the full wig behind and think about a scarf or a cap with attachments. These are great for sitting outdoors in sun and wind when you don’t want to put a cap or scarf on top of your wig.
· Check out the wig cap liners.
Advice from my hairdresser: (who says he has been asked about this a lot from his clients)
· Don’t put your wig up in ponytails – it pulls the hair out. Better to secure an up-do on top of your head.
· Don’t go into the swimming pool or ocean with a wig that you want to keep after that dip. If you run back to the bathroom and washed it immediately you might save it after an ocean dip, but once chlorine gets on the wig fibers, it’s about done.
· Make sure you wash your wig more in the summer. All the sweat and products build up fast and can cause more wig damage than washing it more often.
· Give your head/scalp a break as often as you can. Take the wig off when possible during the summer and replace it with a scarf around the house or one of those softies. Your scalp will thank you for it and your wig will last longer.
I was in my “wig room” yesterday aka my closet, and was looking for Ready for Take Off; (I have it in two colors) and love. I had not worn them for a while and put one on for the day. I was halfway through the day before I remembered I had it on, and that was because my neighbor commented on how cute my haircut was and that it made me look ten years younger. Then I remembered…this is why I have two Ready for Take Off wigs. This style and cap construction (100% hand-tied) is light, and comfortable, and I can forget I have it on. Now that is worth the money, that is worth the time and care required. And besides, I look cute in it, and ten years younger. I may now get it in more colors.
Until next time, stay cool.
Oh, the Sensitive Scalp
If you have a sensitive scalp, I can relate. Finding a comfortable wig cap is even more important for those who have issues with anything touching their scalp. There is more than one thing to think about when it comes to finding a wig cap we can live with, but it’s not mission impossible. It’s not just the cap materials that are always to blame—it can be friction from the cap moving around on your head that causes itching, or how you are securing the wig. Any kind of wig grip, glue, or pins can cause irritation and pressure points. It might take some experimenting to find what works best for you.
The other causes of itching could be a poor quality wig, dirt and/or oil accumulation, and wig styling products that have built up on the wig and transfer to the scalp. Another culprit that we don’t necessarily think of first is allergies. The chemical residue from the cap and fibers, or even dust from wig storage can bother some wig wearers. Another important thing to remember is that if you don’t wash and rinse your wig well, the residue will be left on the cap and fibers and could also irritate your scalp. Doing a poor washing and rinsing job can also make your wig look dull, lifeless, and shorten its life span.
Wig construction is the beginning though. The fibers are attached to the cap using several different techniques and the technique used can make a difference in comfort and the way the wig looks. On most wigs, the fibers are attached in “wefts” which are strips of hair doubled and sewn together in long strands. Others are hand-tied to give the illusion of natural movement and will look more realistic by having more styling and parting options, especially those with lace fronts. The 100% hand-tied monofilament and double monofilament wigs are known for being the most sensitive but can be warmer due to less air circulation than you get with wefted caps.
But what about if your head sweats? Yes, this too can irritate our scalp. Fear not, you can still keep your hand-tied monofilament or double monofilament wig, just insert a sweat liner. These can be a real lifesaver in the summer, especially. The double monofilament tops cover the entire crown area of the head and have an extra soft layer that protects your scalp from the knots of the hair. This wig type is recommended for anyone with a sensitive scalp, especially those with little or no bio hair.
Other parts of the wig cap are very important as well, ear tabs and a lace front can make a real difference. If you have a sensitive scalp, velvet-lined ear tabs will help prevent itchiness and irritation. The lace front not only helps with styling and parting options and looks more natural, but it is also softer than the band of a basic cap wig.
The newer wig grip caps, a band around a soft cotton cap, all in one piece, have a Velcro closure at the back so that you can adjust it. It is also useful as a sleep cap, or to wear under a hat, around the house, or to wear under your wig for comfort. However, if you wear it under your wig, you must allow for the bulk. Because of that, it might not be the best idea for those with bio hair or those who have a wig that is a perfect fit, or on the snug side. But if your wig is a bit big and moves around, irritating your scalp, this could solve both problems by filling up any space between your wig and scalp to make it fit better while providing you with a more comfortable cap.
For every problem, there is a solution, and that goes for wig-wearing too. New things are being created all the time as more people embrace wig-wearing and ask that their needs be met.
Until next time, I’m thinking of trying one of the all-in-one wig grip caps, just to wear around the house or under my cap! I’ll let you know how it goes.
Spring is almost here, and it’s time to look at some cute new shorter styles, and I’m almost in the mood to go a bit blonder. How about you? Are you ready for something new and fresh?
Are You Wearing a Wig?
(Wig pictured above : Megan Petite wig by Fair Fashion)
It’s the holidays, a gathering time, and sometimes you will be seeing old friends or family members that you may not have seen in months or longer. We all want to look our best and our hair is a big part of our look, our style, what makes us feel more confident. So…what happens when someone you barely know, or someone you may not have seen in a long time asks about your hair. How do you respond when someone asks, “are you wearing a wig?”
Of course, you may have already had to deal with this, and you have your own responses based upon who asks, and how you feel about sharing your wig journey. But here are a few answers that I received when I asked wig wearers this question:
When asked how to respond to “Are you wearing a wig?” and “Is that your real hair?” Here are some responses from real wig wearers:
- I love it. Isn’t it great?
- Why do you ask?
- Yes, and here’s why (if you feel like sharing)
- Oh, that’s a sensitive question.
- Wig? What wig?
I’m sure you have your own responses. The good news is that it is much harder to spot a wig wearer these days. Wigs are more realistic than ever. But here are a few tips to help you avoid worrying about it.
What will give you away
- Please, take that hair out of the box and own it. Don’t plop it on your head and expect perfection. You must make it your own. If you don’t know how to do that, learn before you wear it out. Don’t be afraid of your wig. Wigs are manufactured in a way that is “one fits a majority” in that you must customize them. That might include taking it to a stylist.
- If you are not secure in your wig, it will show. It will call attention to the fact that something is not exactly as it should be. You will not move your head as naturally and might always be touching your wig or adjusting it.
- Too MUCH VOLUME! Yes, some “big hair” girls are loathed to give that up, but nothing says “wig” louder than a big pile of hair on your head that nature could not have bestowed. Go for lower density, hand-tied wigs that look more natural if you want to avoid people asking you if you are wearing a wig.
- Watch the hairline. Keep your wig at a natural hairline. Set too far back or forward, it will not look natural and won’t be as comfortable either.
- Color and style are the other two things that can draw unwanted attention to your hair/wig. Yes, women color their bio hair and change their styles. But if you are trying to look as if you have real hair, and not share your wig secret, staying close to your natural color family, one that compliments your skin tone will work best. There is a range of colors that work for each person better. Find yours and have fun with styles.
In the end, it is up to you. Do you want to blend in and not have your wig a point of discussion, or you don’t care who knows you are wearing one, and have no problem discussing it? How you answer that will guide your decisions. There is no need for a bad first experience in wig-wearing, or at any time. There is so much help out there, and you are certainly not alone on this journey.
Have a great holiday season and join the WigStudio1 Facebook group for great tips on these topics and many more.
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Wig Studio 1