Is That Your Real Hair?
(Wig shown above: Divine Wavez by Rene of Paris | Muse Series)
The holidays are right around the corner. Are you ready? It’s a gathering time, and sometimes you will be seeing old friends or family members you may not have seen in months or years. We all want to look our best, and our hair is a big part of our look, our style, and 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?”
Have you already had to deal with this? Maybe you have and you have your own responses ready based upon who asks, and how you feel about sharing your wig journey.
When asked how to respond to “Are you wearing a wig?” and the ever popular, “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?
You get the idea. You will respond depending on your mood, who is asking, and your personality. I’m sure you have made your own responses or have some in mind. But if you are a new wig wearer, think about this and have your responses in mind so you won’t be caught off guard.
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 it a little, and sometimes a lot, depending on the wig. That might include doing some heavy styling, using products, or 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 is a giveaway! Yes, there are some “big hair” girls that are loathe 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. Yes, you say, but I like big hair. So, if that is you, go for it, but know that it will attract more attention. If you are okay with that, that’s just fine.
- Watch the hairline. Keep your wig at a natural hairline. If it is 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 are 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 Wig Studio 1 Facebook group for great tips on these topics and many more.
(Wig shown above: SIMMER WIG BY RAQUEL WELCH)
We all know that looking at wigs, the new colors, and styles is a lot of fun. Taking care of our wigs, well…maybe not so much sometimes. But you only have to damage one good wig before you learn a hard lesson. The secret to a great-looking wig and one that will last is proper care. There is a ton of information about wig care in the former blogs here at Wig Studio 1, and some great videos from our talented reviewers.
Wig styling is important too, and it’s easy to forget that wigs require as much care as your natural hair. Like our natural hair, don’t try to make your wig look perfect. Don’t obsess over every little flyaway hair, or overdo it with too many added products. That perfect, no-hair-out-of-place look and give way to the dreaded helmet look, and that is what gives us away as a wig wearer. Along with the basics: wash, dry, comb, and drying steps that we all learn, using the right products is number one in what can make a real difference in how our wigs look and last.
For wig care, like with some other things in life, simple things are often the best things: spritz a bit of water on the wig to freshen it up; use your fingers to add a bit of volume or to smooth out the fibers where needed. Oftentimes, it’s the “too combed” look that looks so false. It’s okay, especially with some styles, to use the fingers to style and stay away from the comb, or at least to use it sparingly. Brushes made for wigs are great but they too can affect the style or cause frizz if overused or used with a heavy hand.
Another great way of adding realism to our wigs is with hair accessories. Adding a clip, scarf, or headband can transform our look, and make the wig look even more natural. Think about the things you might have worn in your bio hair and know that most of those things you can wear with your wig as well.
No matter how great your current wig is, there will be a time when you are tempted to branch out. If you decide to change your style or color, only you can determine the way to do it. Do you want to “just go for it” and show up at work or on an occasion looking different? Or would you prefer to make a slower transformation over time? Regardless, don’t be worried about the wisdom of your decision until you have lived with the change for a few days.
Words… can soothe, sting, or mean nothing. A lot of wig wearers who are told, “Oh, I like your hair” start that internal evaluation dialogue. “Do they know it’s a wig? Should I say it’s a wig?” “Do they like it or are they just saying that to see what I will say?” Of course, it’s up to each of us to travel these tricky waters our way. I have always fallen back on a simple, “thanks.” Most people are not that interested in our hair—I promise you.
Confidence comes with time and experience. It took me years to learn that most people are caught up in their thoughts, fears, and insecurities, and are trying to get through their day just as I am. Most have little to no time to dwell on other people’s hair or makeup. Maybe a fleeting thought if something looks terrible, great, or unusual, but for the most part, we are just not that important to casual acquaintances. Your attitude will go a long way in taking the pressure off yourself when it comes to how you look. Go for what pleases you and you will be happier and have more confidence.
As for me, I am going with short styles for the spring and summer, and going lighter. As much as I would like the light blonde, I am so pale it’s possible I would disappear, so I must stick with the “kind-of-blonde” shades, which is fine. I’m loving the new Raquel Welch,“Go to Style” is so much in Shaded Iced Cappuccino or shaded Sand. Now the hard part, deciding which color.
So, until next time, when I hope to be wearing this in my photo,
You Are Not Your Hair – and Who is the Real Expert?
As we all know by now, attitude is important. If you look at your wig and all you can think of is loss—hair loss, then touching that wig, wearing that wig can have a negative effect on your self-image, mood, and how you act and interact with others.
Hair loss, like any other condition one might have, is often something that we can’t reverse, but there are a lot of things that we can do to live with it. Wearing a wig does not change who you are, but it can change how you look and feel—for the better if you let it.
Now that I have reminded you (and myself) of this, let’s move on to some other practical things, like advice from the so-called “experts” and how much faith should we have in what they say.
My disclaimer - (Though there is “collective wisdom” in the hair, wig, and beauty industry, I’m not convinced that all of this advice below is much more than opinion, so read it with your skeptical glasses.):
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.) Some cuts 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 very 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 myself 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 rock white hair with no gold tones. But I do agree that tone can be important, and shading, highlights, all those things can make or break a look. 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, I wanted to point out that everyone has an opinion and that often these “experts” know less than we do. I say that we know best—you know best. 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 that you loved, you will likely be more comfortable. But remember, our complexion does change as we age, and we get lighter in the winter, darker in the summer, at least to some degree usually. And more than that, we have undertones in our skin that run from yellow to pink. The hair color that looked good on you at twenty-five may not look so great now. Don’t be afraid to change your color if it looks good on you. Look at the colors in your wardrobe. What do you gravitate to, 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 also will have shades/tones to compliment your skin tone. There are tons of videos and articles about picking your skin tone and under-tone.
We are the real experts, you, me, and other wig wearers. Follow the talented ladies here on this site for some great demos and information for all types of wig-wearing assistance. Also, follow us on Facebook, another great place for information from the real experts, those who know wigs, wear wigs, and know colors, and styles!
Until next time,
Happy short Wig Season (for me anyway)