Is it Time for a Change?
Are you at that place where you are hanging on to old styles and colors long after you should have let them go? How do you know when it’s time? Because in addition to the obvious wig aging there are other reasons to let that wig go. So, what are the indicators that you are holding on to something that is doing you no favors?
But one thing to consider before we start tossing our old wigs, we might consider if we can revive any of them. Should we spend the time and resources to rescue our old wigs—in other words--should they be rescued? The short answer is yes, if that wig can be made wearable again, then it is worth trying if only to sell it or donate it. Maybe it is time to move on for you and the wig, but that wig might be perfect for someone else and very much needed.
Another thing to consider: Have you stopped actually “seeing yourself” in the mirror? Psychologists tell us that we do one of two things most often in this regard: we look but don’t “really look” because we think that we already know what we will see. Or we look too much, too closely, criticizing every part, angle, and perceived flaw. Either way, we are not seeing ourselves as we are, or as others see us.
There is the day we notice a little line on our faces and wonder how long it had been there. We catch a close-up look at the ends of our favorite wig and wonder then they got raggedy or stiff. Change is often slow, and when the accumulation of it is finally enough, we notice, and we are shocked. But if we had been looking, we would have seen it in progress. But we are busy humans and who has time to stand in front of the mirror and look at themselves all the time? Or inspect our wig every time we take it off? And therein lies part of the dilemma as to why one day we do look in the mirror and wonder why we ever bought that wig in the first place. The style, the color, doesn’t seem to be us anymore—sound familiar?
Wigs are even more of a challenge than coloring and cutting bio hair. First, they cost more, and you hope the relationship will be a long one because it doesn’t grow out if you have made a mistake. So, we are afraid of making a mistake, and because of that we often default back to our old styles and colors, trying so hard to get something “close to what I had before” and we think that is a good thing. It is not always a good thing. Maybe your lifestyle has changed. Maybe you retired, or work from home now and can be less structured in your life, including your look. Maybe you like short wigs for summer and want to take things up a notch with new styles or lighter colors. Don’t worry about trying to copy your old styles. There are many styles that look good on many people. The wig companies know that and why there are so many bobs of different lengths and short boy/pixie cuts.
When a friend of mine got a new wig (a first wig) and asked my advice I cringed because it made her look ten years older. Suddenly, she looked like her mother, and it was the wig—color and style. Both were wrong for her, and I had to tell her. I asked her to try on two of my wigs to see the difference in how she could look just to make my point that there were wigs for her that would work. I loaned her the one of mine she liked best and she forgave me for telling her that her new wig made her look older. She was able to swap it out, and she learned a good lesson.
The moral to my story is don’t be so intent on reviving your old wigs that you can’t see it is time to move on. Some might work, like one of the two that I worked on recently. Trying to revive an old wig can be frustrating and time-consuming because success can depend on so many things: age, wear and tear level, general care, type of fibers, and style. The one that I was able to rescue was in great condition because I had just stopped wearing short wigs for some time and had put it away (and had forgotten about it) before it had suffered much abuse. It just needed some TLC. Sadly, the other one had seen better days. Is it time to revive it for ourselves, or time to sell or donate? Rescue or toss season at my house seems to happen in the spring, even for wigs!
Now, it’s holiday season time, and what better time to gift ourselves with a new wig? A new style and color would perk me right up. How about you?
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn (in my Muse, which seems to last forever).
Just One More Wig?
(Wig shown above: Elle Wig by Jon Renau)
I ask myself, who am I kidding? Wigs are like chips or chocolate; one is never enough. I have long come to terms with the fact that I will not stop looking at wigs, wanting more wigs, and buying new wigs. Of course, we must replace our old and worn ones, but if you are a seasoned wig wearer, you, like I, look for new styles and colors regularly. And that is part of the fun with wigs. We can change our style and color in minutes. No more waiting for a bad haircut to grow out or sitting in a salon for hours getting cuts, color, and all the rest.
Wigs continue to get better and more popular every year. There is a good reason for this. There are many benefits to wig wearing other than the obvious—needing an addition to or replacement for your bio hair. Wigs are everywhere—from your coworkers, the lady at the bank, your next-door neighbor, your friend at church, famous singers, Hollywood stars, and models on the catwalk.
So, what are those many benefits you may be asking if you are a new wig wearer or are contemplating buying one (or more)? Below are just some of the benefits that come to mind, and you seasoned wearers may have even more.
- Special occasion! You can change your entire look to match your outfit and the occasion without costly visits to the salon for that special night out, party, or wedding.
- Lots of Options: You can change your style and color without spending hours in the salon, and you can stay close to your natural color or step way out of the box, and experiment with color and style.
- Saving time: Think of all the time you spend or have spent in the salon, and in front of the mirror trying to style your hair the way you want it. Maybe extra time trying to camouflage thinning area or a thinning area. Wigs are lifesavers if you are running late, traveling, and just can’t devote time and energy to your hair.
- Confidence Restored: Whether you just want a change, have a special occasion, or have no time to spend on your hair, or if you know that your hair is thinning and it messes with your confidence, a wig can help you be the you that you want to show people.
- Protection for your bio hair: Overexposure to hair coloring chemicals, blow-drying, and other hair treatments can take a toll on your hair and scalp over time. You can give your hair and scalp a break by wearing a wig, even if it is just once a week.
- No bad hair days: Wigs put an end to bad hair days.
- Wearing wigs can save you money: Unless you do indeed have a real wig addition, several wigs a year might cost you less than those regular salon visits, hair coloring, hair treatments, and care products—not to mention the cost of your time.
For me, it’s all about confidence and convenience. I used to hate those hours in the salon chair, and the cost. Then, I was stuck for months with the same style and color if I liked it or not. For me, even factoring in the cost of wigs and wig care products, I rarely spend per year what I had spent before in the salons. I also love having the no-fuss wigs, the shake-and-go ones. I used to spend so much time with my fine hair, even when I had a lot of it, trying to get it into some style that was flattering and that would stay. I would leave the house in a bad mood because of my hair! You will have your reasons, but yes, I am addicted to wigs because they make my life easier.
Until next time, think about those lovely new styles for fall and winter, and don’t forget to watch for those sales! I am wearing RW Muse SS Cappuccino in this picture. It took me 60 seconds to put it on and go!
False Expectations – Why Don’t I Look Like the Model?
A lot of us are guilty of looking at a wig model—lovely, great skin, good bone structure, and all the rest, and thinking, if only briefly and subconsciously…oh, this wig will make me look like that! I admit to doing that a little at the beginning of my wig adventure. Of course, we know that as beautiful as the wig might be, it is not magic. But I mention this because I know it can so easily cloud our judgement when picking out the best wig for ourselves. We get that picture of the model set in our head, and when we get the wig home, put in on, and there we are—not the model, and we can be disappointed. We do/will learn to buy the wig that is best for us eventually, but it can be frustrating along the way.
How do we deal with these false expectations? The best way is to be honest with ourselves. Is our face too round for that style that we love on the model? Is our neck shorter than the model’s and therefore making the wig longer on us, perhaps hitting us farther below the chin then we would have liked? Does that long hair on the model, so appropriate for her face shape, make our face look dragged downward? Does that pixie style on the model with the cute petite face make our larger and/or rounder face look even more so? What about color? Do we know our best colors, or are we open to making a few trial and error purchases?
Reality—that is the thing most of us want—we want to look as if we are not wearing a wig, so that means we need to wear the style and color that suits us best. We want people to look at us and see us, not a wig. As to age bias, it is not to say that no one over a certain age should rule out all longer wigs, or certain styles, not at all. We need to be comfortable with what we will look like in those lengths and styles. If we feel confident, we will look confident; and that can make a huge difference in how people see us.
As you have likely heard or read, it is important to see real people in these wigs. That is why, I always encourage everyone to look for the wig they like on every available media outlet. See it in different lights and on different people. Get the model’s photo out of your head and try to see how it will look on you. Your experience will be a better one with a bit of pre-purchase planning. What are your expectations? It is important to come to terms with that, and eventually you will.
In the end, it is all about being honest with ourselves and combining what we like with the reality of who we are. We all know that our face changes with age. Our skin color even changes as pigments fade, and the muscle tone in our face is less defined. We have that to deal with along side the development of creases and wrinkles. But don’t despair, a wig can make all the difference in how you look. You likely know that by now or will soon if you are new to wig wearing. The trick is finding the right wig for you and just you. Who cares what the model looks like or anyone else?
I want to wrap up with a bit about fear. I don’t care who you are, how beautiful or accomplished, or how secure you are—the first time out of the house with your first wig can bring you to your knees. No matter how good you think you have secured it, how good it feels, or how good you believe you look in the style or color, you begin to doubt. Doubts lead to fear, and fear leads to paralysis. Just know this—most people are too busy worrying about what they look like or what they are having for dinner, or if they need to lose ten pounds. In other words, we are pretty busy caring about ourselves. No one is going to be thinking about wigs—but you.
So, the sooner you get out there and go about your life in your wig, the better. It will just become part of you, and you won’t think about it again. You’ll be glad you look so nice and that it didn’t take an hour to fix your hair.
In the end it is all about you and your situation and life, so what you decide about the first time out with a wig is very personal. Everyone must tackle this one for themselves and make the best decision for their circumstances. Have you just been dealing with thinning hair and feel that you can wear a wig and won’t get a lot of notice from friends and colleagues? Or will the wig be such a change that now you must prepare for comments, questions, and how you want to address them? Think this through before your first time out the door. Two of my go-to wigs below:
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.
Coming to Terms with Hair Loss – and the grieving process
It goes without saying that hair loss – regardless of gender – can be devastating. It can dent a person’s self-esteem and negatively affect their overall quality of life.
“Studies on the psychosocial impact of hair loss have found patients’ self-esteem, body image, and self-confidence to be negatively impacted.” 1. (Dr. Francis) “Known psychosocial complications include depression, low self-esteem, altered self-image, and less frequent and enjoyable social engagement.”
It seems experts are in agreement, however, that women are significantly more likely to suffer emotionally as a result of hair loss.
Dr. Francis goes on to say: “Hair loss in a woman is so emotionally devastating that it can trigger a wide range of social and emotional issues that can negatively impact healthy daily living and overall quality of life. I have heard of women that retreat from social situations have diminished work performance, and even alter their healthy living – avoiding exercise, overeating, not treating other medical illnesses – due to their hair loss.”
But why do women see a greater emotional impact from hair loss than men? I think we all know the answer to that: society puts far more pressure on women to stay young, beautiful—perfect.
For older women, hair loss is perceived as accelerated aging and women have to deal with a sense of loss of virility and sexual attraction to their mate as well.
Various studies all agree that hair loss may lead to depression, anxiety, and social phobia.
- Depression can lead to a feeling of low mood, lack of interest or pleasure in activities, loss of energy, and sleep deprivation.
- Anxiety can cause excessive worrying, difficulty in controlling those feelings, and a feeling of heightened tension.
- Social phobia or avoidance behavior follows on from the experience of anxiety symptoms, leading to social and economic suffering.
- Social anxiety disorder is characterized by the fear of humiliation or being judged negatively in social situations as well as the avoidance of such social or performance situations.
These symptoms can have a severe impact on an individual’s mental health, ability to work or study, and well-being.
One question that I see over and over: how long does it take to come to terms with this? There is no one answer for everyone, as you might expect. It depends on your support system, age, how you go through the grieving process, and how well you handle the loss.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you won’t need time to process this and actually grieve—or that there is a time limit allowed. Hair loss is a devastating loss like so many other types of losses. You need time to grieve and go through the stages of loss until you come out at acceptance.
Developing a relationship with a good wig company, one that has advisors on all aspects of wig-wearing and hair loss, is vital. You need someone on your side, and the more the better. In a time when you might still be in the throes of the grieving process, it is hard to make decisions. That is when you need to fall back on people who can help see you through to that acceptance stage.
What I have learned: Grief isn’t linear. It doesn’t involve clearly defined stages … It carves long, meandering, and varied paths that popular myths do little to prepare us for.
So, it is crucial to remember that you will bounce around in the acceptance stage and “backslide” now and then back into the grieving process. This is normal, so don’t beat yourself up about it. In the end, we get on with things, and for me, that meant finding wigs that made me feel like me, or even better—wigs that looked better than my bio hair even at its peak! We all have challenges in life, some more serious than others. I try to keep that in mind every day and try to be grateful that my challenge is one that has support from places like WigStudio1, and others going on the same journey.
As we go into the summer months, I have already pulled out my Muse, Classic Cool, Straight up with a Twist, and In Charge. I am ready for it. Hope you are too, but if not, reach out for help. Here on this site and/or the private Facebook group. You will find a lot of support along with wig-wearing expertise.
Until next time,
- Dr. Shani Francis, American Academy of Dermatology and director of the Hair Disorders Center of Excellence at Northshore University Health System in Illinois
A Special Blog for New Wig Wearers - Why Don’t I look Like the Model?
A lot of us are guilty of looking at a wig model—lovely, great skin, good bone structure, and all the rest, and thinking, if only briefly and subconsciously…oh, this wig will make me look like that! I do admit to doing that a little at the beginning of my wig adventure. Of course, we know that as beautiful as the wig might be, it is not a magic wig. But I mention this because I know it can so easily cloud our judgment when picking out the best wig for ourselves. We get that picture of the model set in our head and when we get the wig home, put it on, and there we are—not the model, and we can be disappointed. We do learn to buy the wig that is best for us eventually, but it can be frustrating along the way.
How do we deal with these false expectations? The best way is, to be honest with ourselves. Is our face too round for that style that we love so much on the model? Is our neck shorter than the model’s and therefore, making the wig longer on us, perhaps hitting us farther below the chin than we would have liked? Does that long hair on the model, so appropriate for her face shape, make our face look as if it is dragged downward? Does that pixie style on the model with the cute petite face make our larger and/or rounder face look even more so? What about color? Do we know our best colors or are we open to making a few trial and error purchases?
There also seems to be an “age-appropriate” factor (or bias) like it or not. Some people don’t care about that, and some do. Sometimes style choices might also have to consider our job, location, and other personal things. Does your employer/industry frown on certain looks? Will a certain wig length or style make us look as if we, at sixty or seventy, are trying to go back in time? When in fact, going back is not the best idea.
Reality—that is the thing most of us want. We want to look as if we are not wearing a wig, so that means we need to wear the style and color that suits us best. We want people to look at us and see us, not see a wig.
As to age bias, it is not to say that no one over a certain age should rule out all longer wigs, or certain styles, not at all. We just need to be comfortable with what we will look like in those lengths and styles. And the style and color of that longer wig can certainly make a huge difference as well. Also, if we feel confident, we will look confident, and that can make a huge difference in how people see us.
As you have likely heard or read, it is important to see real people in these wigs and that is why I always encourage everyone to look for the wig that they like on every available media outlet. See it in different lights and on different people. Get the model’s photo out of your head and try to see how it will look on you. Your experience will be a better one with a bit of pre-purchase planning. What are your expectations? It is important to come to terms with that, and eventually, you will.
In the end, it is all about being honest with ourselves and combining what we like with the reality of who we are. We all know that our face changes with age. Our skin color even changes as pigments fade, and the muscle tone in our face is less defined. We have that to deal with along with the development of creases and wrinkles. But don’t despair, a wig can make all the difference in how you look. You likely know that by now or will soon if you are brand new to wig wearing. The trick is finding the right wig for you, and just you. Who cares what the model looks like, or anyone else? For example, I am petite and “of a certain age” so a long wig with a lot of hair overwhelms me. As much as I would like to have one of those long, flowing wigs I know that I would never wear it out of the house. The good news is that there are many wigs that I can wear, and that would be true for you too. And if you can wear one of those long, flowing wigs, know that I am jealous.
My next blog will deal with some general information about wig cap structure and wig fibers. I will also try to address any questions that have come through our support desk in the interim.
For this blog, I wanted to wrap up with a bit about fear. I don’t care who you are, how beautiful or accomplished, or how secure you are—the first time out of the house with your first wig can bring you to your knees. No matter how good you think you have secured it, how good it feels, or how good you believe you look in the style or color, you begin to doubt. Doubts lead to fear, and fear leads to paralysis. Just know this—most people are too busy worrying about what they look like or what they are having for dinner, or if they need to lose ten pounds. In other words, we are pretty busy caring about ourselves. No one is going to be thinking about wigs—but you. So, the sooner you can get out there and go about your life in your wig, the better. It will just become part of you, and one day you won’t think about it at all. You’ll just be glad you look so nice and that it didn’t take an hour to fix your hair.
In the end, it is all about you and your situation and life, so what you decide about the first time out with a wig is very personal. Everyone must tackle this one for themselves and make the best decision for their circumstances. Have you just been dealing with thinning hair and feel that you can wear a wig and won’t get a lot of notice from friends and colleagues? Or will the wig be such a change that now you must be prepared for comments, questions, and how you want to address them? Think this through before your first time out the door.
As I mentioned in an earlier blog, I was lucky in that I went back to a former job where the people had not seen me in a number of years. Only one friend there knew I had started wearing a wig and I knew she would never say anything about it to anyone. I decided I would not talk about it at all, I would just try my best to wear a wig that looked good on me, and if someone did ever ask me, I would address it then. I wasn’t ashamed about it, but I didn’t want it to be a focus, the focus—not for me or anyone else. I wanted people to see me, not my wig.
As you get more secure in your wig wearing and your wig securing measures, you will shift your focus more and more to what looks best on you. That might mean trying new styles and colors, and with this comes yet another challenge. If you, (like me for some years), never said anything to work colleagues, casual friends, or even some relatives, about wearing a wig, and you see these people regularly, you can’t turn up one day with hair six inches longer than the day or week before without explanation. You can get away with color change, yes, and a shorter cut, yes, but longer hair, no. I decided to just stick with the same style, but maybe shift colors now and then. That worked for me, but you might be more adventurous or have different circumstances.
Now, working from home, I have more freedom of wig lengths. I can wear short one day and longer the next if I am just going out and about and seeing strangers—not that I am doing much out and about these days. My wigs are getting a rest now and will no doubt last years longer due to this pandemic. Okay, I am doing a bit of “reaching” here to find a silver lining in my semi-seclusion for months on end.
I hope that you will follow my blog, my journey and that my experiences can help you on your way to being a happy wig wearer for a long time to come. We all have our own journey to navigate but helping each other along the way will make it easier. Let me hear from you: firstname.lastname@example.org
Below are two wigs that I own. You can see I have a general style. I vary the color more than the style. I have found a style that suits me and use color to change things up. Me in my Classic cool, all masked up and ready to go. This is lighter and a bit redder than I normally go and I do love it. Great lace front, nice fibers, and I can use my fun hair accessories with it.
Until next time…