I was fascinated by an article in the current Southern Living Magazine about aging gracefully. Among other topics, hair was a big one, especially as it relates to aging. And all the “experts” seem to agree that we all make during our aging journey. It made me think that these things apply to wig wearers too.
According to one study they mentioned, Age 46 seems to be the magic age when women decide they need shorter hair and go looking for a more “mature” style. Yes, we all have heard and read that short hair is better for older women. But the reasons have not always been discussed. So, let’s do that. Long hair does NOT necessarily make one look older. However, several things happen as we age. Our face often loses its plumpness, our hair thins and dulls, and becomes more brittle and easier to damage. When our style is too long, it can mean fewer layers, and less movement around the face, causing a static look. Or if too long and straight, pulls your face down, and aging you.
When we get a shorter cut, it is easier to add layers and pump up the volume. The split ends are removed, and the cut, if the right one, a “bob” style, for example, can frame the jawline and flatter your face. Remember—bobs don’t have to be one length.
Let’s look at the mistakes the experts say we are making:
- Hair/wig too long
- Hair/wig color too light
- Hair/wig using too many products causing that “helmet look”
- Hair/wig that’s damaged and needs help/wigs worn too long
What is most flattering can change over the years, this applies to fashion and hairstyles. Are you still trying to look like your college picture, wedding photo, or a picture of yourself when you felt you looked the best? We age, and we can’t let that hamper the way we look today. We have choices.
If your hair is too long, the extra length can pull your facial features down, and the ends can take a beating. When in doubt about the best length for you, focus on healthy-looking cuts that you can customize with bangs or a visit to your stylist.
Don’t try to go too dark. Yes, you may have once had very beautiful, dark hair, but as
we age, the dark color can look too stark, dull our complexion, and age us. The idea is to draw light to the face. If you prefer darker, think about adding highlights around the face.
And there is too much light! So many women like blonde, but some shouldn’t go blonde. Extra light hair can wash out the complexion, having the opposite effect of adding a more youthful look. There are many shades of blonde, so consider your skin tone, age, and style before going too light.
don't want that to be us. But it’s hard to manage hair, especially wig fibers without products. The trick is not to overdo it. Use just enough to accomplish your goal and start with the least amount. Plastered down wig fibers are no more attractive than the old plastered down “helmet head hair” and are not good for our wigs either.
And finally—what is wrong with embracing natural silver strands? That gray stigma is long gone. If you have decided you’d like to embrace the look if you had natural hair, then don’t shy away from it in wigs. If you choose the right shade, there is something so striking about this color. It is as attention-getting as the blonde shades. And I’ve never heard a woman who has gone gray/silver/white say they regretted it or wanted to go back. That says a lot.
So, as nature works on “fading us out” let’s fight back a little and give nature a helping hand. Let’s learn what colors and styles work for us, and let’s not be afraid to embrace the gray, or go with that mid-length layered bob. So many wigs, so little time…
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn – who now has the silver wig bug
We all know that our hairstyle, color, and length can make a difference in how we look, and how we are seen by others. I’d bet that most of us have known someone who took ten years off their age by cutting and/or coloring their hair. When you are a new wig wearer it’s hard to be objective. The idea is to make us look better while giving us an acceptable level of comfort and security. A wig is an investment, so it must become a plus not a minus for us.
Yes, we want to look better, whatever our version is of that. But, as I mentioned, it’s sometimes hard to be objective about ourselves. When you put on that wig, do you look better? It’s all about what draws the eye. Where do you want your focal points to be? I know that at my age I don’t want them at my chin and neck, so I look for styles that have a bit more going on at the crown. I know that my face though not round, is a bit wide, so I try to keep styles below my cheeks rather than at my cheeks. We all have our challenges, and that prompted me to seek a professional stylist advice over the years.
Though wigs are different from natural hair in a lot of ways, the same rules apply when it comes to color, length, and style—for you individually. Most of us have learned through research and/or trial and error what does not work for us. Trial and error can work but can also be costly and frustrating. You may have researched it and talked to your stylists about what works best for you. There is nothing worse than getting what you thought was the perfect wig and finding it is not perfect for you, but rather perfect for the wig model.
The following are some of the questions the experts get asked time and time again, and I can see why because they were my questions and concerns too.
“The Most Asked” questions and concerns from stylists’ clients:
1. Center parts—not for everyone. They can make you look older. It takes away from the fullness of the crown. If you are young, it’s not so much a concern. Most people do tend to look better with more fullness at the crown. It draws the eye upward.
2. An ongoing should older women have long hair debate: If your hair is too long it can make you look older. They agreed that it doesn’t have to be short to work best for mature women, but long hair draws the face down, the eye down, especially with heavier bottom ends styles with a lot of volume. Do you want people to focus on your chin and neck? For longer styles think layers and less density. Women of all ages can wear long hair and look good, but the style and color can be crucial.
3. Manage your expectations. Understand what your style really is – meaning, what you like and what looks best on you may not be the same thing. Also, make sure you are using volume in the right places. How does your hairstyle work with you or against you to compliment your face?
4. If you have a full or very round face, watch for too much volume on the sides near the cheeks. A lot of hair there will make your face look wider. Try for more volume on top and a longer style that comes under the chin—not at the chin and curving around to accentuate more roundness.
5. If you have a long face, go for that side fullness and less volume on top. You can still wear longer styles if you like, just balance the hair with the face. Bangs are also good for long faces.
6. Where do you want the focus? What features do you want to highlight, or dimmish?
7. Bangs – handle with care was their advice. No thick straight across cut bangs unless you have a long face and even then, it can be tricky depending on the style. Thick straight bangs will “close your face” and make a round face look even more so. Their advice for most bang lovers is to keep it light, and don’t cover your entire forehead, ever. Keep your face open by making sure your forehead can be seen, at least part of it.
8. Color can make all the difference. Natural hair is not just one color. For wigs, you must have some shading and dimension to look natural. Know what colors work for you. For example, gold-blondes tend to age some people depending on their skin tone and undertones. For some people ashy shades make them look ill or washed out. Learn if you are cool, warm, or neutral in the color family, and pick your hair colors appropriately. A special note for over the fifties: Going too dark can look harsh and fake. Better to lighten up, and don’t be afraid to go salt and pepper or silver/gray.
9. Layers are important for styling, they keep things more balanced, and the look is less heavy.
10. Don’t use too much product. If your hair won’t move it dates your style, and makes you look older.
11. Visit a stylist and let him or her make your wig more you—have it tweaked to bring out the best in the wig so that your wig will bring out the best in you. It is a good investment especially if you have an expensive wig and wear it every day.
12. Be open to trying new styles. There is nothing that dates you more than keeping the same style for too many years.
Hope you picked up some useful tips.
Until next time,
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