Are you at that place where you are hanging on to old styles and colors long after you should have let them go? How do you know when it’s time? Because in addition to the obvious wig aging there are other reasons to let that wig go. So, what are the indicators that you are holding on to something that is doing you no favors?
But one thing to consider before we start tossing our old wigs, we might consider if we can revive any of them. Should we spend the time and resources to rescue our old wigs—in other words--should they be rescued? The short answer is yes, if that wig can be made wearable again, then it is worth trying if only to sell it or donate it. Maybe it is time to move on for you and the wig, but that wig might be perfect for someone else and very much needed.
Another thing to consider: Have you stopped actually “seeing yourself” in the mirror? Psychologists tell us that we do one of two things most often in this regard: we look but don’t “really look” because we think that we already know what we will see. Or we look too much, too closely, criticizing every part, angle, and perceived flaw. Either way, we are not seeing ourselves as we are, or as others see us.
There is the day we notice a little line on our faces and wonder how long it had been there. We catch a close-up look at the ends of our favorite wig and wonder then they got raggedy or stiff. Change is often slow, and when the accumulation of it is finally enough, we notice, and we are shocked. But if we had been looking, we would have seen it in progress. But we are busy humans and who has time to stand in front of the mirror and look at themselves all the time? Or inspect our wig every time we take it off? And therein lies part of the dilemma as to why one day we do look in the mirror and wonder why we ever bought that wig in the first place. The style, the color, doesn’t seem to be us anymore—sound familiar?
Wigs are even more of a challenge than coloring and cutting bio hair. First, they cost more, and you hope the relationship will be a long one because it doesn’t grow out if you have made a mistake. So, we are afraid of making a mistake, and because of that we often default back to our old styles and colors, trying so hard to get something “close to what I had before” and we think that is a good thing. It is not always a good thing. Maybe your lifestyle has changed. Maybe you retired, or work from home now and can be less structured in your life, including your look. Maybe you like short wigs for summer and want to take things up a notch with new styles or lighter colors. Don’t worry about trying to copy your old styles. There are many styles that look good on many people. The wig companies know that and why there are so many bobs of different lengths and short boy/pixie cuts.
When a friend of mine got a new wig (a first wig) and asked my advice I cringed because it made her look ten years older. Suddenly, she looked like her mother, and it was the wig—color and style. Both were wrong for her, and I had to tell her. I asked her to try on two of my wigs to see the difference in how she could look just to make my point that there were wigs for her that would work. I loaned her the one of mine she liked best and she forgave me for telling her that her new wig made her look older. She was able to swap it out, and she learned a good lesson.
The moral to my story is don’t be so intent on reviving your old wigs that you can’t see it is time to move on. Some might work, like one of the two that I worked on recently. Trying to revive an old wig can be frustrating and time-consuming because success can depend on so many things: age, wear and tear level, general care, type of fibers, and style. The one that I was able to rescue was in great condition because I had just stopped wearing short wigs for some time and had put it away (and had forgotten about it) before it had suffered much abuse. It just needed some TLC. Sadly, the other one had seen better days. Is it time to revive it for ourselves, or time to sell or donate? Rescue or toss season at my house seems to happen in the spring, even for wigs!
Now, it’s holiday season time, and what better time to gift ourselves with a new wig? A new style and color would perk me right up. How about you?
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn (in my Muse, which seems to last forever).
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.