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.
None of us are born wig wearers. It’s a learning curve for everyone. 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.
The top big fears, those most reported by new wig wearers or those who want to be:
1. People will notice that I look different 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 and 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 don’t 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.
2. Oh no, 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 a lot of 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 no, you can change wig styles and colors just like you did with your bio hair.
3. Commitment! 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.
4. How will wig-wearing affect your life? 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.
5. The cost: Yes, there are expenses for the topper or wig, the accessories, and the products required for maintenance. 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 which wigs work best for you), the cost should not be that different if you had regular salon hair care.
6. Help, 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.
7. Nothing will 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.
8. One foot forward, one step at a time. It’s Lean in time! You can’t stay half in and half out forever. There will come a time when you must get out of the house with that wig or topper that you bought and are afraid to wear.
Most women have experienced 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 and wig caps that you prefer, and the colors that work best for 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, and new wigs for autumn and winter. I bought Portrait Mode in shaded Cappuccino, and it may be my favorite yet.
Until next time,