Is Your Wig—you? How to Pick a Wig Color
A friend of mine was looking at the wig site and all she could say was, “Oh, that looks like so and so, mostly actors she had seen on television. Of course, she meant the HAIR looked like the style and color that person had worn or was currently wearing. I had to remind her that most of us choose to wear wigs that look good on us, not an actress or a model. And she asked the question that we have all asked, and still, do when we look at the wigs on the computer screen. How do I know it will look good on me?
I have written about this before but thought it was time for a refresher, and a reminder to myself and any others who might need it, especially those new to wig-wearing and that scary choosing process. And as a side note, please take advantage of the knowledgeable staff and reviewers at WigStudio1. Exceptional. I posted a picture of a wig to get color confirmation on the WigStudio1 FaceBook page, and I was answered in ten minutes, allowing me to make my final decision. That group is invaluable for many reasons, but I love it because I can see real people in different styles and colors, as well as links to great reviews.
With all that said, let’s review how the experts tell us we SHOULD be picking colors and styles:
My disclaimer - Though there is “collective wisdom” in the hair, wig, and beauty industry, it is an opinion, BUT because it really is collective wisdom, I am paying attention. In the end, it is you who has the final say:
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.) There are some cuts that 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 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 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 totally rock the white hair with no gold tones. But I do agree that tone can be important, and shading, highlights, and all those things can make or break a look. What I learned in my quest was that there are a lot of variety in gold tones, and it’s not good to rule out everything in that range. 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, everyone has an opinion. 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 family, you will likely be more comfortable with that to start. Are you a brunette who has always wanted to be a blonde? Great, but what shade of blonde? Knowing your skin tones will help you decide.
The hair color that looked good on us at twenty-five may not look so great now. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Yes, buying the wrong wig is annoying, but you can cut down on the chances of buying a color that doesn’t suit you by knowing how colors and tones work with your skin. Look at the colors in your wardrobe. What do you gravitate to or 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 will have shades/tones to compliment your skin tone.
I may have made a color jump myself and will share that picture next time.
Until next time,
Happy short Wig Season (for me anyway)
Help! How do I make my wig less wiggy?
The whole point of wearing a wig for most of us is to feel just as beautiful and confident as you did when you had a full head of natural hair, and that is hard to do if you’re worried about strangers whispering, “Is that a wig?” at the office, the grocery store, party or worse still, when meeting someone new. When meeting someone new or preparing for a special occasion, you don’t want to be worrying about your wig.
A good wig is an investment so taking the time to learn before we buy is important. Here are some tips from the experts, information that I have gathered, read, and live by.
1. Replace Your Wig Regularly
The best way to broadcast to the world that you’re wearing a wig is to wear an old ratty-looking wig. Unfortunately, no one has invented a wig that grows new hair yet, so we’re stuck with wigs that lose their quality over time. No matter how hard you wish, no amount of wig styling products or cap adjustments can save a wig that’s past its prime.
Plan to replace your synthetic wigs every 3 to 6 months and your human hair wigs every 6 to 12 months. Use your judgment based on your individual wear patterns.
2. Rooted Colors
Unless you naturally have very dark hair, it’s unlikely that your hair is just one color. Most people have shades of color and gradients (dimension) throughout their hair.
Wigs with one flat color just look fake or look like a bad color job. Wigs with rooted colors, on the other hand, mimic the natural gradients in bio hair by blending several colors.
If you can’t find a wig that you like with rooted colors look for a wig that is a ‘blend’ of two colors or ask a stylist to give your wig highlights and lowlights two shades away from the wig’s base color. (Don’t try this at home if you don’t have training!)
3. Lace Fronts and Monofilament Tops
Lace front wigs create the illusion of a natural hairline, making it look like your wig hair is growing right out of your head. Monofilament tops do the same thing, but for the wig’s part. Each hair of a monofilament top wig is individually sewn into the wig, rather than being machine applied. This allows the wig hair to move freely and lets you part the wig anywhere you want.
4. Mess Up That Part
When something looks too perfect, especially with wigs, it’s usually a sign that it’s fake. Wig companies could and should do a better job with this in my view.
Most wigs come out of the box with eerily perfect parts.
As soon as your new wig arrives, take a pair of tweezers, and carefully pluck out a few strands. Then, using baby scissors, cut a few strands so that they look like they’re just growing out. Last, choose a couple of hairs to place on the ‘wrong' side of the part. (Again, don’t try this at home unless you feel comfortable with your skills.)
5. Trim Your Wig
Or not—but take it to your stylist and get it shaped up to better flatter your face. Some of us have the skill set to do this ourselves, but some of us (uh, me) do not.
6. Blend it Out
If you have some natural hair, try ‘blending’ your natural hairline with the hairline of a lace front wig—as follows:
- Place your wig an inch or two farther back on your head than you typically would, exposing your natural hairline.
- Fully attach the wig to keep it steady and from moving too much.
- pray a little dry shampoo into your hairline and along the wig part line and use your fingers to tease everything together.
- Mimicking your own edges is one major key to achieving a flawless illusion. It keeps people guessing.
NOTE: If you’re going to try this trick, it’s important that your wig color matches your natural hair color.
We’ve all seen the instructions on how to do this and seen the charts on how to determine your cap size. If you are still in doubt look for videos that show how to do this. It’s easier than trying to read the steps. There are many good instruction videos out and cap size charts are easy to find.
8. (For wig Newbies) ALWAYS—line up your wig with your natural hairline.
If you don’t line up your wig with your natural hairline, your wig will never look natural. That’s why it’s so important that each time you put on your wig, you take the time to line it up properly.
To correctly line up your wig with your natural hairline:
- First, put your wig on your forehead just above your eyebrows.
- Next, slowly slide the wig back over your head, adjusting as you go, until the bottom of the wig hits the nape of your next.
- Last, slide the wig forward just a bit until it hits your natural hairline, and secure it in the way you have chosen.
If you have been wearing wigs for a while you have your preferences in place most likely. You love or don’t love heat-friendly wigs; you can’t go without a lace front maybe; you must have a mono top or rooted color—the list goes on. Each wig type, fiber, cap, style, has its own footprint. You may well know the good and the challenges for each type. But whether you must have human hair, heat friendly or not, there always seems to be one question: How do I take the shine out of synthetic wigs without washing them so much? Also, know as:
How to Make a Synthetic Wig Look Real
- In addition to the other things mentioned before (picking one with blended colors, rooted if you like that, there are some additional things you can do while waiting on that shine to go away through washing. *Apply some dry shampoo or talcum powder to the wig but use a light hand at first. You can always add more if needed but it’s hard to take it out without having to wash your wig if you overdo it. And of course, washing your wig more than necessary is something you will want to avoid.
So, until next time --- keep your wigs looking “real” not wiggy. And stop & smell the flowers!