When I first started wearing wigs, making them last longer was not even on my radar as something to think about. I was busy thinking about how I looked, if the wig would fall off, and did I buy the right color and style. It was around wig number two that I started thinking about all the other things—the difference in fibers, cap construction, and how to style wigs to make them work better for me. In other words, I was getting over the fear and into the basics.
Here are the things I had to learn along the way. I hope that if you are a new wig wearer, having the information here all together will help you and save you time and frustration.
- Understand your wig cap’s construction: Is it hand tied, machine wefted, lace front, mono top, mono crown, mono part?
- Respect Your Fibers: Read any manufacturer’s care instructions or do a search to find out how to care for your wig fibers. Fiber composition makes a big difference in how to care for your wig. Human hair, blended (human hair with synthetic), heat-friendly or not—they all have different needs.
- Use the correct brush or comb: It’s helpful to get into the habit of combing through your wig after taking it off. Gently (and with the appropriate comb type) remove any tangles. Smoothing and separating the hair fibers before storage will not only keep your wig looking its best, but it will be ready for wear the next time without worry. Always comb in small sections, slowly, starting at the ends and moving toward the crown. Careful of pulling too hard. You don’t want to unknot any fibers from the crown.
- Store Your Wig with Care: Everyone seems to have their own method. If you rotate your wigs a lot, keeping them out and on wig heads/stands is fine. If you have too many for that, you can store them in the box they came in, be careful to make sure the fibers are not twisted or out of shape if you will be storing them for longer periods. Some people hang the from pegs or similar setups. If you are using boxes, remember to store them so that you can read the name on the box for easier access.
- Watch that heat, please: This is always a scary thing the first time you try it on your wig. Remember that synthetic hair does not respond like human hair. Start with the lowest temperature that is advised rather than the highest. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to high temperatures will shorten the life of your synthetic wig or topper.
- Don’t over Wash! Washing your wig, especially over time, will cause some shedding and a slight loss of density, no matter how gentle you are. Everyone is different, and you can adjust the when-to-wash rules to you based on several things: how many hours a day your wear the wig, does your head sweat, and how many products do you use, to name a few. If you take the wig off and can smell the wig cap, that’s a clue. If your fibers seem to be sticking together, that’s a clue. If your fibers look dull and lifeless…yes, a clue. You get the idea. Use good judgment, and with the idea in mind that the more you wash, the shorter the lifespan. Use Silicon Based Products (and other products) On Your Wig, sparingly. Over time, the use of any product will cause a buildup that can result in a lifeless, dry, and flat look. A thorough washing is the only answer.
- Don’t Sleep in Your Wig: Both static and sweat cause frizz, often resulting in tangles which will result in damaged fibers, and so on. It’s not worth it.
- Don’t Wear Your Wig to the Gym: No matter how cute that guy is at the gym that you want to impress or how much more attractive you feel with your wig on in general, think twice. If you must wear a wig, set aside one wig, maybe one that is shorter, and aging, one that you only wear for this one thing. Otherwise, opt for another type of headgear.
- Don’t Wear Your Wig in a Swimming Pool: The chemicals in the water are not your wig’s friend. Invest in a head wrap, or bathing cap, or if you do go in and don’t plan to get your wig wet at all…. but you do, rinse it out immediately and condition it lightly, letting it air dry overnight before trying to comb through.
Your Wig is an investment, both financially and emotionally. With a little thought and care, it will last you a long time and help you look your best along the way.
If you are looking for a voluminous wavy wig with the capability of multiple styles, we have two new wigs just for you! We are delighted to introduce Twix and Amber Rock from the BelleTress Collection.
Twix is chic, cool, and extremely stylish! The monofilament part and the lace front create a natural hairline and versatility of off-the-face styling options. The famous BelleTress proprietary silky fiber adds a soft and luxurious feel to the skin.
This shorter version of the Twix by BelleTress is sure to impress. This is chic, cool, and extremely stylish! The monofilament part and the lace front create a natural hairline and versatility of off-the-face styling options. The famous BelleTress proprietary silky fiber adds a soft and luxurious feel to the skin.
I was fascinated by an article in the current Southern Living Magazine about aging gracefully. Among other topics, hair was a big one, especially as it relates to aging. And all the “experts” seem to agree that we all make during our aging journey. It made me think that these things apply to wig wearers too.
According to one study they mentioned, Age 46 seems to be the magic age when women decide they need shorter hair and go looking for a more “mature” style. Yes, we all have heard and read that short hair is better for older women. But the reasons have not always been discussed. So, let’s do that. Long hair does NOT necessarily make one look older. However, several things happen as we age. Our face often loses its plumpness, our hair thins and dulls, and becomes more brittle and easier to damage. When our style is too long, it can mean fewer layers, and less movement around the face, causing a static look. Or if too long and straight, pulls your face down, and aging you.
When we get a shorter cut, it is easier to add layers and pump up the volume. The split ends are removed, and the cut, if the right one, a “bob” style, for example, can frame the jawline and flatter your face. Remember—bobs don’t have to be one length.
Let’s look at the mistakes the experts say we are making:
- Hair/wig too long
- Hair/wig color too light
- Hair/wig using too many products causing that “helmet look”
- Hair/wig that’s damaged and needs help/wigs worn too long
What is most flattering can change over the years, this applies to fashion and hairstyles. Are you still trying to look like your college picture, wedding photo, or a picture of yourself when you felt you looked the best? We age, and we can’t let that hamper the way we look today. We have choices.
If your hair is too long, the extra length can pull your facial features down, and the ends can take a beating. When in doubt about the best length for you, focus on healthy-looking cuts that you can customize with bangs or a visit to your stylist.
Don’t try to go too dark. Yes, you may have once had very beautiful, dark hair, but as
we age, the dark color can look too stark, dull our complexion, and age us. The idea is to draw light to the face. If you prefer darker, think about adding highlights around the face.
And there is too much light! So many women like blonde, but some shouldn’t go blonde. Extra light hair can wash out the complexion, having the opposite effect of adding a more youthful look. There are many shades of blonde, so consider your skin tone, age, and style before going too light.
don't want that to be us. But it’s hard to manage hair, especially wig fibers without products. The trick is not to overdo it. Use just enough to accomplish your goal and start with the least amount. Plastered down wig fibers are no more attractive than the old plastered down “helmet head hair” and are not good for our wigs either.
And finally—what is wrong with embracing natural silver strands? That gray stigma is long gone. If you have decided you’d like to embrace the look if you had natural hair, then don’t shy away from it in wigs. If you choose the right shade, there is something so striking about this color. It is as attention-getting as the blonde shades. And I’ve never heard a woman who has gone gray/silver/white say they regretted it or wanted to go back. That says a lot.
So, as nature works on “fading us out” let’s fight back a little and give nature a helping hand. Let’s learn what colors and styles work for us, and let’s not be afraid to embrace the gray, or go with that mid-length layered bob. So many wigs, so little time…
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn – who now has the silver wig bug
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,
We've stoked the fire on your not-so-secret attraction by adding a 100% hand-tied cap to really kick the romance into high gear. This style has a low-density, lighter weight look to fawn over with the same monofilament top you've come to love!
This flattering favorite you'll turn to time and again - day or night! This versatile chameleon of a style complements any outfit thanks to its features that you can "zhuzh up." Its flexibility also allows you to wear this style smooth and polished. It has a hint of length around the face, and a monofilament part that extends to the crown with a cute texture at the nape.
You will be amazed at this time-saving stunner. With built-in lift throughout this style, it is a low-density, long page look you'll love. Better yet, it styles in seconds! It is airy and comfortable for all-day wear. This style will be your new ready-to-go favorite.
This is a tale of carefree elegance. Untold Story is completely hand-tied with a monofilament top for uncontrived beauty. Turn the page on boring with an elegant eyelash bang, and the flair of textured ends that flaunt a subtle flip. With natural looking layers, this style delivers body without bulk.
This ultra-light sculpted short style is a modern classic with all of the best features. It has a hand-tied top to let you part wherever you like, and creates a natural look with an extended lace front. This style is low in density and has airy movement. There are side-sweeping bangs to flatter and frame the face and features a neck-hugging nape. It is a polished, tailored style that's ready to go... you deserve all the best!
These soft salon-inspired barrel curls are so flattering and so easy to make your own! This low-density style is surprisingly versatile. Simply mist this style to bring out the texture or brush through for a fuller, sophisticated look. The lace front hairline runs from ear to ear, and the mono part extends all the way to the crown for a very natural part line. It also gives you the ability to wear off of the face, or with a sweeping bang.
It's easy to fall for this short, textured shag. The modern movement comes from the all-over layering, and expertly tapered ends. From the volume at the crown of this style, the chin-length layers that frame the face, a charming eyelash bang, and a razor cut nape, you will love everything about this soft, casual cut.
Wig Studio 1
Wig Studio 1
Before I got into wigs, literally and figuratively, I never gave much thought to the size of my head. After all, a head is a head, I thought. How wrong I was. No two heads are exactly the same. That would be a rare find. Though specific measurements might match, back, across, around, etc., you do not measure crown to chin, across the cheekbones, or pay much attention to the forehead. You might think, what does a face have to do with wigs? I thought this was going to be about wig caps.
It is not only about wig caps, but about your entire head—and of course, that includes your face. So, when you get a wig home, and it does not resemble the look you saw online or in a magazine, and you wonder why—I can tell you. It might be because your head and face structure/shape is nothing like the model’s face. No, I don’t mean looks—is she younger, prettier, not as pretty as you, etc.? I mean the actual face.
And now the hard questions. The ones you need to think through to be happy with your wigs. And that is the name of the game. You want your wig to be part of you, to reflect you, work with your look, not alter your look poorly. As you think of the wigs you own, what didn’t work, what did, you will likely have figured some things out already. If you are consistently unhappy with your wig choices, I have come up with some questions that might help you.
- Are you wearing a wig that flatters your face shape?
- Do you have a longer or shorter than average neck? If so, the wig will fall differently on you and will be longer or shorter on you than maybe you expected if you based your choice entirely on the model.
- Are you picking a wig strictly for the color and style without reflecting on how it will enhance your looks?
- Will a lot of hair on the sides make your wider face look winder than you like?
- If you have a longer, thinner face, will that long straight style pull your face down more?
- Do you work at an office all day, and will those curls on that longer style end up a bunched-up mess from rubbing against your collar for 8-9 hours?
- Does that short style that looked so cute on the model make you look “all face” because your face is bigger and your features are not as petite as the model?
- Will too much hair on top overwhelm your petite stature and face and make you look like Barbie?
One thing that also helped me was to try on different styles, lengths, and colors in a wig boutique to get a better idea of what worked. Then armed with that knowledge, I knew I could order wigs from good companies like Wig Studio 1 and feel confident that I was getting the right ones for me and at a better price! I know that not everyone lives near a wig boutique and, there will be more trial and error and maybe a few returns before you work it out.
The other error we often make is trying to go back in time to the style and color you had when “I had good hair” and while that may work now, it may not. We age, lose collagen in our faces, our complexion changes, and what looked good on us ten years ago, may not work so well now. Also, hairstyles change. I saw a picture of myself from my college days and gasped. Geez, did I ever have big hair! I would look ridiculous in that style today. So, don’t go back in time, create the “you” for today.
With all that said, head measurements do, of course, play an important role. There are some great videos about how to measure your head, and that should be your first base—know if you are truly average, and if you are in-between, learn how to alter the cap to suit you better, and there are videos on that as well.
Don’t settle for just okay in style or comfort. You deserve better. You deserve to love your wig and love your look. It can be done!
Until next time, Happy September, and I’ll soon be looking at the fall styles, how about you?
*with thanks to In Touch Salon Spa who published the information on face shapes that helped confirm my research.
It’s one of life’s ironies (and challenges) that we must keep re-inventing ourselves as things change in our life. Whether it be the many changes we go through to reach adulthood or now, as adults, the changes we must accept and deal with, whether it be by choice or circumstance.
We all have our milestones—graduation, dating, marriage, children, empty nest, and many others that are different or in-between all these. All along the way, we must put our best face forward as the saying goes. We play our part, and we must be the star in our current role no matter what it is. We may be a daughter, son, sibling, friend, employee, partner, wife, husband, but no matter what the title, there is a “real you” underneath that face we put on for every role that we play.
It’s not that we are phony, but we do wear a mask much of our life. We put on one for each of our roles. We’re not exactly the same when we are with our mother as when we are with our best friend or co-workers—you get the idea. But what does this have to do with wigs you may be asking? When one loses their hair, especially a woman, it can bring about a real identity crisis. Hair loss can come on sudden, or take years, or it can come as a result of medical treatment, but whatever way it comes, it is disruptive to our life and our identity. For years we may have been that person with long brown hair, short blonde hair, curly hair, and so on. But now what are we—the person with no hair, or almost no hair? And what does that mean? How do we re-invent ourselves when this happens? We need to remember: We are still the same person as always—just without our old hair.
There’s no getting around the fact that when we lose our hair we lose a part of ourselves—what has always been there may now be no more. It’s a shock, and our self-image is disrupted, and that can affect our lives in many ways. As strong as we may be, as efficient, capable, loved, loving, nice, kind—it doesn’t matter. A loss is a loss and must be dealt with, and often with very little help from others. It’s often the case that others don’t know how to help, or maybe we keep our situation a secret. Regardless, we must deal with sorrow, pain, fear, anger, shame, the best way that we can. For a woman, hair loss means that we are losing one of the things that help identify us as such. Our hair looks different from men’s hair, mostly. We need to remember: We are still the same person as always—just with different hair!
I’m glad I’m living in this time in history (when it comes to wigs anyway) because I know that I can walk down the street, go to any event, meet strangers and friends, and no one will know that I am wearing a wig unless I tell them. Wigs are just that good today. All kinds of people get all kinds of help every day to replace all kinds of losses. Whether it be hair, teeth, limbs, and even organs, we are living in a time where we have options so that we can still be who we thought we were with some help and adjustments. We need to remember: We are still the same person as always—just with lots of different hair to pick from now!
My hope for you is that you never forget who you are as you face your challenges, whether it be hair loss or other types of losses. We will all have them. No one gets out of this life without scars my grandmother used to say. She also said to wear them as a badge of honor because it shows how strong we are. That’s not to say we won’t have some dark moments and look in the mirror and get so angry that we don’t have the hair we had at twenty-five, and we wonder for the millionth time, “why me”?
When I am tempted to say, “why me,” I think of my grandmother who lost her husband before she was forty and was left with six children to raise during the depression. When I was growing up it was all just something in the history books to me. I didn’t connect it to her because I never once heard her complain about it, not even about losing their ranch in Texas. Nor did I hear her complain about the food and materials rationing during the war or hear about her fear when she watched two of her three sons, still teenagers, go off to that war. I never once heard my uncle complain about losing one of his legs. My grandmother never forgot who she was, nor did my uncle. They both got on with their lives. They are my inspiration when times get hard.
I don’t know if I could have endured what my grandmother did without complaining but knowing about it helps me keep things in perspective. In the end, no matter what we have to face, we find our way. We know that though we do play many roles in life if we remember who we are, that will keep us going.
Until next week,
Vickie Lynn saying,
Be proud of who you are, just like these English swans in a lake near London, this past winter. The bad weather doesn’t stop them from being what they are and from doing what they are meant to do. (Picture from my cousin who lives in London and never fails to walk no matter the weather).
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)