Is Your Wig a Plus or Minus?
(Wig shown above: KATE WIG BY ENVY)
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,
New to Wigs-Later in Life?
Recently, I wrote about the challenges of learning about wigs when one is a senior and hasn't needed a wig before. A lot of women in their sixties and beyond are now looking at wigs as an option who may have not looked at them before. There is more than one reason for this. Women live longer in general and they have products at their disposal to help them look younger longer. We live in the time of Botox, fillers, microcurrent technology to firm up the muscles under the facial skin, and a host of skincare products that can help us look our best. But when it comes to hair—well, it is what it is, and some women are not so happy about that. Their thinning hair makes them look older and is no match for their face and body. What to do?
It was these women that I talked with recently. Their concerns were much the same as a wig wearer of any age. Will the wig look “real” and how do in decided on a cap construction, color, style, and what about wig care? They did have one concern that was different from younger women—length, and the out-of-date thinking that senior women should never wear long hair. As we have all learned by now, it’s all about the wig style, color, one’s face shape, and really—one’s attitude.
When I think about attitude and how that matters, I think of women I know who are always just comfortable in any situation, can talk to anyone about anything, and who have their style. They don’t second guess their choices, or at least they don’t’ seem to dwell on them. They just wear things, including hairstyles, colors, and wigs that just feel right for them. This has been the biggest hurdle in my discussions with senior women. They are of the generation, especially in certain parts of the country, where they do pay more attention to “what their peers might think” and I don’t see that changing. That may be their comfort zone, so that’s fine. When I talked with them about what was holding them back from hitting that “buy” button there were just a few things they were trying to resolve since our last meeting where I did an actual wig presentation using my wigs, answering questions. These questions may resonate with you too—they are not just senior concerns. The top ten questions that came up over and over:
- Can I make a big color change from my bio hair—and if I do, how do I prepare my friends and family for it?
- I don’t want to deal with long wigs because of the care involved, how do the mid-lengths hold up compared with the shorter wigs?
- Should I buy two of the same wig and rotate or wait until one is wearing out before I get another?
- If I don’t want to tell people I’m wearing a wig, how do I make it look more real?
- How do I decide what securing method to use?
- Do I have to wear a wig cap?
- Do I have to shave my head?
- Can I sleep in my wig?
- If I want to go lighter should I do it gradually if I don’t want people to notice and think it’s a wig?
- Should I have a backup wig, asleep wig, a swimming wig, etc.?
I did address all of these questions with the group. I have had some of these questions and I am sure you did (or do) too. Some senior women, depending on the age range, are very media savvy, and some are less so. There is a gap in resources and knowledge in the group that I was dealing with, and that was an eye-opener for me. Some knew how to search for answers and some had no idea. In the end, I decided to make it a personal mission to work with this group on my own to try to help them overcome their fears and hesitations about jumping into the wig world. There is no reason that they can’t wear wigs successfully and feel good about it. If you are a senior woman or if you know a senior woman who is thinking about wig-wearing but is put off by the lack of information or support please encourage them to go to the WigStudio-1 Facebook page or the help desk at WigStudio-1. No one should have to do the wig journey alone.
Along with the shorter wigs that a lot of them like are many of the mid-length ones. These were the most popular in the group, and I hope some are ready to hit the buy button.
Until next week, just get out there and be your version of a beautiful you!