Show and Tell?

Though I blogged about this a while back, it has come up again in recent Facebook posts and elsewhere. So, I wanted to re-visit this topic. How much do you tell others about your decision to wear wigs? This is a decision everyone must make on their own. No one answer fits everyone’s situation.

My friend once said to me, “it’s a mind field of judgment out there” but that can’t be your concern. There is nothing we can do to stop someone from rendering judgment about anything we wear, eat, drive, or do. Humans will be humans. With this in mind, you must decide early on how you will incorporate wig-wearing into your life. Will you just tell your family and close friends? How will you handle telling (or not telling) work colleagues? Again, only you know the best way because only you know your level of confidence, and the dynamics of your relationships, both personal and professional.

Yes, but what about romance? That is a question that I see a lot. How and when or if—you should bring this up. This is tricky because trust places a big role here. I’d certainly not make it a conversation on a first or even second date. After all, if this is someone that 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 what—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 other person, and the 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 in 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 months down the road when she was sure their relationship was one she wanted to cultivate. By then she knew what to expect from him in the way of a reaction, so she took the risk. It worked out for her, but I also know someone who took the risk and never heard from the guy again. But she realized that if she was dealing with someone that shallow, then him walking away was a good thing for her. Why waste your time on someone who judges others solely by their appearance.

If you are like friend number one and you want to take some time, then there are things that you can do to help. You can do as she did or you can just say up front 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 dating stages there are, of course, 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? That can be handled any way you think best. Depending on the change in your look, you may have someone confront you about it. Only you know your work situation. If it’s just going to a lower density wig from your thinning hair, then you might not need to say anything. I worked with a woman who decided her thinning hair was becoming a confidence breaker so she got a log density wig that matched her bio hair color and length, and just wore it into work—and got compliments on her new haircut. 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 and this is a hard truth.

If you love wigs and want to wear different styles, and colors regularly to work, then you’ll just have to go for it and tell everyone what you’re doing. 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, some rather not make this attempt. Only you can decide.

I hate to end on a negative note but you will run into those, be they family, friends, or co-workers who will have something to say. There are people who seem to see 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 it those who know nothing about them who feel they must their critique. Be ready for them. They will ask dumb questions, comment on the color and/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.

“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 need more information.”
“People wear wigs for all sorts of reasons. You must feel lucky that you don’t have to.”
“I like being a blonde, but hold on, I could show up as a redhead tomorrow.”

I could go on, but you get the idea. You really DO NOT owe anyone any explanation. How much you decide to “show and tell” is your decision. Don’t let someone force you into it before you’re ready.

Until next time,
Pull out that little bit of the magical witch in you and stand tall.

Vickie Lynn