This is a recurring topic that has come up nearly every week as new wig wearers are confronted with this issue for the first time. What do I say when someone compliments my hair? How do I handle critiques from friends or family who seem to want to discourage me from wig wearing? Should I go ahead tell my family and close friends? How should I handle telling (or not telling) work colleagues? There is no one answer to any of these questions. Only you know the best way to answer because only you know your level of confidence and the dynamics of your personal and professional relationships.
The other recurring topic is romantic relationships. How and when— you should bring this up. It is tricky because trust places a huge role here. I’d certainly not make it a conversation on a first or even second date. After all, if this is someone you don’t know well; and may not see again, why put yourself through that stress? Now, the tricky part. If you do progress to a more serious relationship, an intimate relationship, then how do you prepare your partner ahead of time, or do you have to do that? Unfortunately, there are no rules about this, and it comes back to you, your trust level with the person, and your confidence that you are more than your hair.
If you do get to that point and are still not ready to have the wig discussion, there is one thing my friend recommended that worked for her and allowed her time to ease her way into having the conversation. When they got to the time when she knew their relationship had progressed to the next phase, intimacy, yet she was still not ready to have the wig talk, she told her partner that she had hair extensions and to keep his hands out of her hair. Plain and simple, and that is what happened. She offered no other explanation until she was ready to, and that was weeks down the road when she was sure their relationship was one she wanted to cultivate.
You can do as she did, or you can just say upfront that you are wearing a wig, so please don’t mess with it and offer no further information. However, saying that will, in all likelihood, bring questions, so make sure you are ready to answer them. If you are in the early stages of dating, there are ways to secure your wig to keep it looking natural until you do get to a more serious point in your relationship.
What about your work colleagues? You can handle that situation any way you think is best. Depending on the change in your look, if it is noticeable, you will most certainly have someone confront you about it or make a comment. Only you know your work situation. If it’s just going to a lower-density wig you are trying that is much like your bio hair, then you might not need to say anything. And I take this opportunity to remind you of something that you already know—people are much too concerned about their looks and life to dwell too much on others. We are our own worse critics.
If you love wigs and want to wear different styles and colors regularly to work, then you’ll have to go for it and tell everyone what you’re doing, and in a week or so, it will no longer be a topic. This is the jumping into the fire with both feet approach. Some people can handle it, and some rather not take this approach. Only you can decide.
Be ready for this person: you will run into someone, be they family, friend, or co-worker, who will have something to say. Some people seem to think that their mission in life is to offer their opinion on everything, whether they know anything about the topic or not. In the case of wigs, I’ve found that those who know nothing about them that feel they must give their critique. Be ready for them. They will ask questions, comment on the color or style, ask you the cost, and in general make you uncomfortable if you let them. I have found a few well-chosen sentences can usually shut them down. Here are some retorts that I’ve heard used over the years by seasoned wig wearers when asked questions.
“Why yes, it is a wig. Do you have wig or hair styling experience?”
“If you’re interested, I can send you some information.”
“Costs vary. I can point you to a few good websites if you need more information.”
“People wear wigs for all sorts of reasons. I am grateful that I have such great options.”
“I like being a blonde, but hold on, I could show up as a redhead tomorrow.”
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn saying,
Pull out that little bit of the magical witch in you and stand tall.