Do you suffer from wig-itis? No matter what you do, you still think your wig looks fake. This is most often a new wig wearer’s affliction. We are so used to seeing our fine, thin hair, that the wig just seems like too much hair. And to be honest, sometimes it is. Some styles and brands seem to pack a lot more “hair” into their wigs than any real person would ever have. This is where a bit of skill comes into play. I have no such skill, so I depend on my hairdresser to do a bit of thinning and shaping on some styles. Some think the permatease is the problem; that it makes you look as if you have a ton of hair on top. But some permatease does work for some styles and gives the wig lasting shape to support the style.
But then, we have an additional issue. Are you frustrated because no matter what you do, your wig still looks a bit fake? This seems to be a major concern, and for obvious reasons. You don’t want to spend the time and money on a wig to have it announce to the world that it is…a WIG.
In this case there are several things to consider. We can’t expect a cheap wig to look as good as one with all the bells and whistles. We do get what we pay for in more ways than one. A good quality and well-made wig can make all the difference in how real they look and how long they last. We have all come to expect that a human hair wig will look more realistic. We know that a lace front and mono top can give our wigs a more realistic look, depending on the style. We know that synthetic wigs can be helped if we tamp down that shine and choose rooted colors. We know to look for blended shades of color because flat colors scream fake.
And back to our original issue…density. For most of us, especially if losing our hair was a drawn-out process where we got used to thinning hair, any wig might look like too much hair at first, and that takes a while to get used to for most people. If a “real” look is a big issue for you, then time as well as money is a big player. We know that we can’t expect to pull a wig from a box, put it on our head, and have it look very realistic, in most cases. We must take time to customize the wig for us—our head shape, our coloring, and learn which styles suits us best. This includes seeking professional help like a hair stylist to maybe trim, thin, cut bangs if needed, and in general, shape it up to suit our face, if needed.
Some other issues in wig wearing that sometimes get overlooked or thought about too late are: wig fit (cap size), wig placement (does it sit at the natural hairline?) and wig security. Did you prep your bio hair if needed and find a method of securing the wig that is comfortable for you? Trial and error, and time will help with this.
In the end, we get back what we put into our wigs. They are an investment, so it’s worth learning all that we can to make them look great and last a long time.
Sometimes it is hard to be objective as we stand there looking in the mirror. That’s where a professional stylist comes in. Your mom, best friend, partner, etc., might not be the best person/people to ask when it comes to picking a wig color and style—for obvious reasons. A stylist has no, or at least little, emotional investment, and it’s her or his business. They do this for a living. Trust the experts.
Until next time, wishing you all a happy holiday season. Break out that new wig and show off a little.
A wig wearer’s worse fear is that everyone is looking at them and whispering, “wig,” because the evidence is plain to see. No one wants to deal with this. We wear wigs to look our best and not be the object of someone’s critique. So, what can you do to assure that you look like you—an attractive you and not “someone wearing a wig”? For a new wig wearer, this can be a paralyzing situation. They fear that everyone will look at them and be able to “tell,” and this can keep someone from buying a wig and/or learning how to best wear it. Don’t let this happen to you.
As we who have learned by research or trial and error know, the lace front wigs often offer the most natural look due to the illusion of a natural hairline. If you have a mono top, even better. That means you can part your hair as you like and what shows through at the part also looks natural. It makes styling effortless and enhances hair movement for a more natural look.
The dreaded shine! Yes, the synthetic wig comes with a factory coating. It is a fiber and a coating that is put on it for several reasons. Your job is to tamp down that coating, remove the shine and make it look like natural hair. Bear in mind that the lighter the fibers (in color) the more shine it will have. The light wig colors reflect more light. Most wearers have found that a cool wash/rinse, and then after the hair dries, the addition of dry shampoo will help take down that shine. You will find that with repeated wear and washes, the shine will continue to fade. However, use the appropriate dry shampoo. Some will produce a white powder that can taint darker wigs. Go slowly and sparingly! Too much and, you will end up having to wash it out and start again. You can use other tricks to disguise the shine as well. Styling in a “messier” style, wearing headbands and waves or curls will also cut down on the illusion of shine.
Make sure you position your wig at your natural hairline and secure the wig in the way in which you are most comfortable. Tape, glue, wig grips, bobby pins all are options. This is especially important if your head is shaped in such a way as not to help hold the wig down in the back.
Don’t be too perfect! Wispy bits are a good thing, wispy bangs can be a real asset as well. That’s not to say you must live with the dreaded wig “fliers” those bits that stand up and refuse to do otherwise. Often hairspray will tame them or just clip out the offenders, if not too many will help as well.
Don’t forget the wig part. When something looks too perfect it is a fake giveaway, and that goes for your part as well. Don’t make it perfect, and don’t forget that you can use a concealer if the contrast is too great, or you don’t like the look for the knots where the fibers are secured.
Wigs with rooted colors are a great option for a natural look. Also, remember that real hair is not just one flat color. Color gradients are very important to achieve that “real” hair appearance. Don’t buy a wig with one flat color because it screams wig.
Experiment with styling. Don’t be afraid to just sit before your mirror and try different things; an up-do, a ponytail, behind the ears, clips, and bands. All these things add to the look of naturalness. The secret: Take a selfie or several! And take several from different angles to see what others see. If you do this, you might leave the house feeling more confident. We are our own harshest critic after all.
And with all this said - there is still one more thing to think about and do. Work on your attitude—mentally prepare for wig-wearing. The more you experiment and get to know your wig, and the more you wear it, the easier it will be. You can start by wearing it around the house a few hours or out for a walk around the neighborhood. This will help you see how it feels on your head what adjustments you might need to make before you “meet the big world” so it’s worth doing. If you will be wearing a wig for many years to come, spend some time researching your options, visit the WigStudio1 FaceBook group, and watch the great video reviews.
You are going to be disappointed - if you fall in love with a wig on a model and get it home and find it’s not for you. So, do your homework before you buy, and do your prep work after you buy. Soon, you will be an expert. You will know the styles and colors that work best for you and know which vendors wig caps fit best on you. You may have a stumble or two along the way, and we all do, but eventually, you will see your wig as one of your favorite accessories, and you will leave the house knowing you look great. I promise.
Until next time,
We all know the usual things that can cause people to look twice and think someone is wearing a wig: too much shine, odd colors, cheap wigs that are more like a hat, too coarse fibers that don’t move. And the list goes on.
In my years of dealing with wigs and wig wearers I have noticed that there are three groups of wig wearers (in general):
- Those who wear wigs for fun and fashion. They usually don’t care if someone knows they wear a wig.
- Those who are terrified of wigs and don’t want anyone to know they wear one (it takes them forever to wear one out of the house. And why—because they don’t pick the right one (mostly due to lack of information) and now they are not happy with how they look in the wig they bought.
- (and this is a unique one) A wig wearer who thinks more hair is better (that’s not necessarily so), and those who are so afraid of more hair/big hair that they won’t try anything that’s not low density.
Whatever category you fall into, or somewhere in between, there are challenges to all of us in our wig journey and for different reasons. We are individuals with individual likes, needs, and there is no “one size fits all” answer on the wig journey.
It is often difficult to “see” ourselves as we are, or as others see us. We often have a picture of ourselves in our minds that may not have a lot to do with reality. Are we trying to look like we did ten or twenty years ago when we had all of our bio hair? Trying to mimic that is often the first and biggest mistake that wig wearers make. They forget that if they had kept their hair and it had aged with them, that it would look different today, and not as it did ten or twenty years ago.
When I asked NON-wig wearers if they could generally spot a wig, and if so, what was the giveaway, here are their top ten answers:
- Too much hair.
- Too much shine.
- Flat or unrealistic color.
- Too much hair on top.
- Hair that didn’t fit the person’s age (in days gone by, it was elderly women who were more likely to wear wigs, and they were mostly short). I think this contributed to the idea that older women should only wear short styles. As I have written about before, this is not always the case. There is NO rule about age. It’s about how one looks in a style and color—how one feels.
- Weird hairstyles (not sure what they had in mind).
- No visible part in the hair or the part was wig-related.
- The hairline was not real.
- The hair was too perfect, like a sprayed-on helmet.
- The weird hairs sticking up on top of the ends of the hair looking clumpy.
As a wig wearer, I fight against all these things, as I know so many of you do. Most of us have learned or will learn which brands and styles work best for us so that we can defeat all of these “it’s a wig” markers. I think I’ve found my styles, brands, and colors, and hope you have found yours. In the end, it’s about what makes us feel good about ourselves. If I can go all day and never think about my hair/wig, it’s a good day. If I am uncomfortable, worried about my wig, unsure how realistic it looks, then it takes away from my day and can alter my mood. Therefore, I do all that I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
It’s a process, and none of us will become or has become wig experts overnight. So, be kind to yourself on this journey, and know that we are more than our hair.
Until next time, I’m wishing for autumn, and loving my new wig, “Ready for Takeoff”