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,
When dealing with hair loss for whatever reason, it is often the case that your friends and family won’t know what to say to you. There will be a range of thoughts and feelings on both sides. If your spouse or partner is struggling with how to help you, here are some suggestions that might help.
- Be honest about your feelings and ask them to listen to those feelings without judgment. Hair loss can elicit strong emotions as it signals a change in appearance that may impact self-esteem. Those emotions might present in different ways. Explain that you need time to deal with this and that your mood might be somewhat rocky for a bit.
- Explain that you need time and support and let them know what they can do to help in that regard.
- Ask for what you really need. Do you need financial help to afford a wig or someone to help you find places that sell wigs? Do you need help talking to your insurance company about reimbursement for wig costs due to a health condition?
- Keep the lines of communication open. The loss of your hair and/or changes in a health condition will be new to your family members and/or friends too. Most likely they will have no idea how to help you or what to say or do. Don’t withdraw from your family and friends, they can be your support system, but they will need to know how to do that. They will be looking to you to tell them.
- Don’t become a recluse. Be kind to yourself—exercise, practice meditation, listen to music or engage in other activities that can keep your emotions in balance. But don’t hide away and carry this challenge alone.
- Find a support group. Until you feel comfortable with wig-wearing, participate online with those going through the same thing. (WigStudio1 has a fabulous Facebook group). You will not only get emotional support, but you will also get a real wig education. You can benefit from the experience of others, not only in dealing with hair loss but in getting to know all about wigs. It’s a priceless resource.
- Baby Steps. Know that it gets easier! Feelings about hair loss may change over time. You will become comfortable wearing a wig, and not just comfortable but secure about how you look. It is easier for some than others to adapt, but everyone does eventually. You will come to see that you, the real you, is still there no matter what is left of your bio hair or what wig you are wearing. You are not your hair.
- Talking to Children about your hair loss: It may be helpful to keep in mind that children benefit from simple and clear explanations that are easy to understand. (You know your children or the young people in your family best).
The American Cancer Society often reminds patients to provide concrete, age-appropriate information when speaking about a health issue, including your hair loss, to your children or younger family members. Some children will want to hear more detailed scientific explanations, and others will be satisfied with general information. Answer the children’s questions as accurately as possible. Take their age and prior experiences with illness into account. If your loss is due to cancer, Oncology social workers can help you to find the best ways of engaging in these conversations given your child’s age and developmental stage.
There is help and support out there so don’t try to do it all alone.
Wishing you a happy and productive autumn and remember to check out the WigStudio1 Facebook group. And happy wig buying. So many wigs, so little time…
Until next week,
Or maybe what are your fears, plural. If you are in the early stages of hair loss and trying to make the big leap to helper hair, there are fears. Sometimes we just need a little push to get on with things. I hope this helps you do that.
You won’t be the first or the last to face what I call the big eight fears:
- People will notice the change, and what do I say?
This is a very personal question because there is no one answer for everyone. The short answer is yes, people will notice, so be prepared for questions and comments ahead of time. You will feel less stressed about any encounters. If you have had a lot of hair loss and many have seen that, and now you go with a wig, yes, people will likely notice. What you say or do not say is up to you. If you have early-stage hair loss but know there will be more and you are now at the point of getting helper hair then some may not notice if you stick to your current style and color.
- Is this it—will I always have to wear helper hair and be stuck with this style? This is a difficult one because some people will regain their hair, but some people won’t. Those of you who know that your situation is such that yes, now you must come to terms with this hair loss as a permanent thing, it’s a leap into the unknown. But know, you can change wig styles and colors just like you did with your bio hair.
- This is it day! Taken from number two above and going further, once you commit, realizing it is an ongoing one—that can be scary. Wearing helper hair will be part of your life now. If you need help in dealing with that, there is help out there for you.
- How will this affect your life going forward? Can you still do the things that you want to do? From swimming to riding a roller coaster, this question comes up a lot. In most cases, with some modifications, you can still go about your life as before. There are also many helpful articles, videos, etc., about this topic.
- The expense for the topper or wig, the accessories, and products required for maintenance. Yes, this is always a question, but in my experience looking at cost, I found that I spent just as much at the hair salon before when averaged out over a year. Unless you go crazy with buying a lot of wigs (which I don’t recommend until you learn what wigs work best for you), the cost should not be that different if you had regular salon hair care.
- The Learning Curve! Where do I start? That is the big question always. It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed. Again, I urge you to reach out for help. There are wonderful articles, helpful videos, and a great customer service team waiting to help you. You are not alone! You will be amazed at how many people wear helper hair.
- I won’t ever be the same. These words can have many meanings, and if we stop and consider that we can say these words every day about life in general. Each day brings a new reality. We are another day older, another day wiser if we’re lucky, and we adjust. Accepting your hair loss and embracing the help that is there for you will make all the difference in how you see your days going forward.
- You can’t stay half in and half out forever. Yes, at some point you must get out of the house with that wig or topper that you bought and are afraid to wear.
Most women have experience facing fears, lots of them. We deal with judgment, discrimination, relationships, job pressures, health concerns, aging, and maybe marriage and children. At different points in our life, we had fears about all these things, but we kept stepping forward. This is just one more thing to step up to, over, or around, and claim another victory for yourself.
Leave your fears behind and know that all that time you spent in front of the mirror moving your thinning hair around, trying to conceal the issue, worrying if people could tell, is now a thing of the past. Be kind to yourself as you go through the learning curve. Don’t expect to learn everything in a day or even a month. But you will learn, and you will find the vendors you like best, the fibers you prefer, and the colors that work best on you. It’s a process and can be fun, believe it or not. In the end, you will save time, money, and stress. You will wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
Wishing you a happy new hair day,
Fear, uncertainty, anxiety? Yes, I had those feelings when I got my first wig. I asked all the questions that most people ask: Will it look real; what do I tell people; do I tell people; what if someone asks; how do I keep it on my head; what if it’s a very windy day—and on and on until we work a nice case of “nerves” and doubt.
Fortunately, there is help waiting in the wings. We just have to learn how to access it. This blog is meant to be one of those things that can help. This entire site is meant to do that as well. There are some remarkably knowledgeable women here to help you. There is not much about wigs that they don’t know. From caps to fibers, styling, and color, they have you covered. You have only to ask and take advantage of their helpful videos.
With help in mind, I recently did another quick poll on our Facebook page and asked a few questions there.
The first question that I asked was: How long did it take you to feel comfortable in a wig. In summary, they had some of the same experiences, but some took longer to acclimate to wig-wearing than others. Some had more fear about the process than others. Most took months to a year or more to feel truly comfortable in a wig. And by that, I don’t just mean physical comfort, which is important, but I mean psychological comfort. When you arrive at the point that you go all day without thinking much about your wig. When you can look in the mirror and just see yourself and don’t automatically zero in on your insecurities: does it look wiggy, is it straight, is it still too shiny…and you know the ones. The big take-away = BE PATIENT.
The second question: If you had to give a new wig wearer one piece of advice, what would that be. A summary/combo answer was: All women (and men for that matter) of all colors and ages can be empowered to wear wigs. The advice I heard repeated was to start with something close to your own bio hair, style, and color. Don’t expect it to look like your bio hair because you will think there is too much wig hair. That’s because you slowly (in most cases) got used to your thinning bio hair over time. So, anything much thicker will look “too thick” but it is likely not. You’re going to wonder if people are staring at you—they’re not. People are way more interested in their own hair, lives, thoughts (my comment).
The third question: Do you change styles and colors often, and if so, why? As you might expect, this question had the most variety. Some like seasonal changes, some go with their mood or event, and some like to stick with the same general style and color family that they feel suits them best. (These are women who know the difference in what they like versus what looks best on them, and that comes with experience.) For example, I “like” the long flowing lovely blonde wigs, but they look ridiculous on me for my face shape, age, and coloring. After several years of trying different looks, I have settled on my length range and the two colors that suit me best. I am now a happy and confident wig buyer!
The fourth and last question was just a fun one: Do you have a style and/or color that you like above all else. And most do, and again, that’s from experience. I hope this gives you something to think about along your journey. There is a lot to learn. From cap construction, fiber, care, styles, colors, and how to secure your wig. The beginning can be overwhelming and Wig Studio 1 is here to help. Our Facebook group is beyond offers advice, pictures, detailed instructions, and all kinds of different information from people who have gone on this journey before—join us there!
Advice from the pros: check out the wonderful videos offered by the Wig Studio 1 team who do such an unbelievable job, not only showcasing the wigs but educating us about how to make them work better for you.
To paraphrase Eileen and Marlene: Get in there with your hands and massage those roots, loose those fibers, and give that wig a good shake every time before you put it on! They have a bounty of good information to share with you, and I hope you take advantage of it. I only wish I had the benefit of their knowledge and a site like this one to help me when I started on my adventure.
Until next time,
Think fall weather and fall wigs—and the holidays are coming!
(can you tell I am doing my part to try to push October in faster?)