Is Your Wig—you? How to Pick a Wig Color
A friend of mine was looking at the wig site and all she could say was, “Oh, that looks like so and so, mostly actors she had seen on television. Of course, she meant the HAIR looked like the style and color that person had worn or was currently wearing. I had to remind her that most of us choose to wear wigs that look good on us, not an actress or a model. And she asked the question that we have all asked, and still, do when we look at the wigs on the computer screen. How do I know it will look good on me?
I have written about this before but thought it was time for a refresher, and a reminder to myself and any others who might need it, especially those new to wig-wearing and that scary choosing process. And as a side note, please take advantage of the knowledgeable staff and reviewers at WigStudio1. Exceptional. I posted a picture of a wig to get color confirmation on the WigStudio1 FaceBook page, and I was answered in ten minutes, allowing me to make my final decision. That group is invaluable for many reasons, but I love it because I can see real people in different styles and colors, as well as links to great reviews.
With all that said, let’s review how the experts tell us we SHOULD be picking colors and styles:
My disclaimer - Though there is “collective wisdom” in the hair, wig, and beauty industry, it is an opinion, BUT because it really is collective wisdom, I am paying attention. In the end, it is you who has the final say:
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.) There are some cuts that 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 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 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 totally rock the white hair with no gold tones. But I do agree that tone can be important, and shading, highlights, and all those things can make or break a look. What I learned in my quest was that there are a lot of variety in gold tones, and it’s not good to rule out everything in that range. 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, everyone has an opinion. 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 family, you will likely be more comfortable with that to start. Are you a brunette who has always wanted to be a blonde? Great, but what shade of blonde? Knowing your skin tones will help you decide.
The hair color that looked good on us at twenty-five may not look so great now. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Yes, buying the wrong wig is annoying, but you can cut down on the chances of buying a color that doesn’t suit you by knowing how colors and tones work with your skin. Look at the colors in your wardrobe. What do you gravitate to or 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 will have shades/tones to compliment your skin tone.
I may have made a color jump myself and will share that picture next time.
Until next time,
Happy short Wig Season (for me anyway)
Why do You Have So Many Wigs? And What’s a Rooted Color?
Recently a friend asked me, “what’s the deal with all the rooted wig colors?” She was looking through my collection as I called it. “And why do you have so many wigs?” Since she is not a wig wearer, she had many questions about my wig collection. “But you can only wear one at a time,” she said as she opened my wig boxes.
I took a deep breath and I tried to explain to her about the realities of wig wearing.
· We fall in and out of love sometimes
· We like to try new colors
· We like different styles for different occasions
· Our tastes change
· Rooted is a personal preference I explained & there are many other options
Still mildly confused, she shrugged and tried on one of my wigs and stood looking at herself in the mirror for some minutes. “Oh, I look so different, a bit younger,” she said as she looked at me for confirmation.
Yes, I think you do, but you’re not getting my wig, but if you want to wear it for a day or two to decide if you want to order it, you may. Of course, then I had to give her a brief tutorial about wig care and how to secure it. By the time I was finished with my mini-lecture I know she wondered if it was worth it. But hey, she was going to walk off with one of my favorite and not inexpensive wigs.
Explaining wigs and wig-wearing to someone who has never even touched a wig before can be a challenge. But I knew if I took the time to explain things, my friend would walk away with a new understanding and appreciation for those of us who wear wigs, and she might decide to try it herself. She kept looking at herself in every available mirror as we finished the task we had before us. She might, just might, have been bitten by the wig bug herself.
As our opening of boxes, inspecting wigs, re-labeling boxes, and putting aside the ones I wanted to donate continued, she asked more questions. “Tell me about the caps, the fibers, and the colors,” she said as she continued to hold up each wig to her face. I began to worry she may walk out with half my wigs. “But first, tell me about the rooted colors. When did showing roots become a good thing? I grew up coloring mine at the first opportunity.”
I don’t know exactly when the root thing started or why, but experts seem to agree that the best way to get the most natural look from a wig or topper is with rooted colors. Ideally, the process is all about the art of starting with a darker (and complimentary) darker root which gradually blends out into a lighter tone or color through to the ends. Well, some brands do this better than others. Also, there is a personal preference involved. For example, I don’t like and won’t wear the high contrast styles/colors that have super dark roots and light blonde fibers/hair. But, some like it and some wear it well.
In theory, the root color gives the appearance of re-growth from the scalp thereby making it look “natural” as it would if one had their hair colored or lightened.
Rooting is, no matter your personal preference, a bit tricky, especially with the blonde shades. Again, some brands seem to do it better than others. There are so many blonde shades, that it can be overwhelming to decide on one, and then add rooting or not-rooting to the equation, and it might take a long time to decide on a wig and wig color.
Most women do seem to consider a rooted blonde to be more natural-looking. This said, others don’t like the idea of a dark root, and some find the root to be too dark in contrast to some wigs (I am one of those). Another thing to consider is the “lace front dots” are easier to see against the skin color. Again, some brands are better at addressing this issue than others.
The blending factor—what I love and so many others seem to as well, is that if your bio hair is darker than the lighter shades you love, having a dark root will allow you to pull out your bio hair on the side for a very realistic look. Any hair at the nape or if you put the wig into an up-do will also be much better camouflaged.
As always, your opinion is the one that counts, and you are the one who must like the wig you choose. Everyone that I know has made a mistake is two, and we learn.
As lovely as some of those all-blonde wigs look on some (I have one in the closet that has never been worn), I can’t see myself ever giving up a rooted wig.
I am grateful we have so many choices in wigs, colors, and styles, and that we have access to the wonderful instruction videos, and wig reviews that those at Wig Studio1 do for us.
It’s a great time to be a wig wearer!
Until next time,