Who are you? You are not just one thing. You are not just your looks, your personality, your wealth, or your job. You are many things. But as I talk to women who have lost their hair, for whatever reason, they all share a common idea. Their hair is part of their identity. I can understand that even though I know it’s “just hair” and it is not the sum of us. It doesn’t define us. But we have looked at ourselves in the mirror for X number of years and our hair has become part of what we see day after day, year after year. And then one day it looks different, or one day most is gone, or all is gone, and then what?
Oftentimes, when women lose their hair, whether temporarily or permanently, they feel the loss deep down as if they have lost something forever that was a part of who they are—or were. This can result in grief stages just like any loss. If you are new to hair loss and/or still in a grieving stage, be kind to yourself and know that you will find yourself again. I think that is why we just seem to know when we put that wig on if it is us or not. We can still see our real selves—we can see beyond the style, color, and the fact that it is a wig. We can see more than a flattering (or not) wig, we can see if that wig reflects who we are or not. You can bet that if you compromise on this, keeping a wig that you just can’t connect with, it will end up in a box. Or if not back in the box, you will make yourself wear it but will always be aware it is not you.
Unlike a new dress or shoes, a wig replaces your hair, something that you had for many years in most cases, and something you never thought you would be without. While men lose their hair and suffer from loss too, I am sure, they don’t seem to deal with it in the same way that women do. It was always more “acceptable” for men to lose their hair. For women, it has always been different, like a lot of things are for women.
While wigs can make a huge difference in how you see yourself in the mirror, and how others see you, it will begin to make a difference when you can look in that mirror and just see YOU. Then you will know that you have put the grief away, you have lived through it, and you are stronger for it. I think it took me a good while before I stopped seeing “wig” in the mirror and just started seeing myself. I worried every day for a long time that someone would look at me and figure it out. It was inhibiting and uncomfortable—and unnecessary.
One day out of the blue I remembered what my grandmother told me after my mother cut my bangs too short when I was in first grade. She took me aside as I was having a meltdown moment and looked me in the eye. (I have heard something similar from others in different ways since and maybe you have too) The gist was: “honey, remember that most people aren’t thinking about you or even seeing you, they are busy thinking about themselves.” This thought helped me as I went out into the world trying to still be me with my first wig. I wished my grandmother had been around so that I could have thanked her. But the day did finally come when I stopped watching other peoples’ eyes to see if they were looking at my head/hair/face. I just tried to look people in the eye and be myself—tried to project confidence. The more I did that, the more “me” I became. While for months at home, I still saw the wig first when I looked in the mirror, one-day things changed. I looked at the entire me, and that was the turning point. The real me and the me that I projected out to the world merged, and I was “back” at last.
Fast forward to now, and there is nothing but excitement when it comes to wigs and wig products, and I value being able to put my Muse on my head in five seconds, run my fingers through it and go. I am looking forward to shopping for more wigs for fall and winter. I just got a new one that I am kinda in love with. See my picture below.
Until Next time.
Recently a friend asked me, “what’s the deal with all the rooted wig colors?” She was looking through my collection as I called it. “And why do you have so many wigs?” Since she is not a wig wearer, she had many questions about my wig collection. “But you can only wear one at a time,” she said as she opened my wig boxes.
I took a deep breath and I tried to explain to her about the realities of wig wearing.
· We fall in and out of love sometimes
· We like to try new colors
· We like different styles for different occasions
· Our tastes change
· Rooted is a personal preference I explained & there are many other options
Still mildly confused, she shrugged and tried on one of my wigs and stood looking at herself in the mirror for some minutes. “Oh, I look so different, a bit younger,” she said as she looked at me for confirmation.
Yes, I think you do, but you’re not getting my wig, but if you want to wear it for a day or two to decide if you want to order it, you may. Of course, then I had to give her a brief tutorial about wig care and how to secure it. By the time I was finished with my mini-lecture I know she wondered if it was worth it. But hey, she was going to walk off with one of my favorite and not inexpensive wigs.
Explaining wigs and wig-wearing to someone who has never even touched a wig before can be a challenge. But I knew if I took the time to explain things, my friend would walk away with a new understanding and appreciation for those of us who wear wigs, and she might decide to try it herself. She kept looking at herself in every available mirror as we finished the task we had before us. She might, just might, have been bitten by the wig bug herself.
As our opening of boxes, inspecting wigs, re-labeling boxes, and putting aside the ones I wanted to donate continued, she asked more questions. “Tell me about the caps, the fibers, and the colors,” she said as she continued to hold up each wig to her face. I began to worry she may walk out with half my wigs. “But first, tell me about the rooted colors. When did showing roots become a good thing? I grew up coloring mine at the first opportunity.”
I don’t know exactly when the root thing started or why, but experts seem to agree that the best way to get the most natural look from a wig or topper is with rooted colors. Ideally, the process is all about the art of starting with a darker (and complimentary) darker root which gradually blends out into a lighter tone or color through to the ends. Well, some brands do this better than others. Also, there is a personal preference involved. For example, I don’t like and won’t wear the high contrast styles/colors that have super dark roots and light blonde fibers/hair. But, some like it and some wear it well.
In theory, the root color gives the appearance of re-growth from the scalp thereby making it look “natural” as it would if one had their hair colored or lightened.
Rooting is, no matter your personal preference, a bit tricky, especially with the blonde shades. Again, some brands seem to do it better than others. There are so many blonde shades, that it can be overwhelming to decide on one, and then add rooting or not-rooting to the equation, and it might take a long time to decide on a wig and wig color.
Most women do seem to consider a rooted blonde to be more natural-looking. This said, others don’t like the idea of a dark root, and some find the root to be too dark in contrast to some wigs (I am one of those). Another thing to consider is the “lace front dots” are easier to see against the skin color. Again, some brands are better at addressing this issue than others.
The blending factor—what I love and so many others seem to as well, is that if your bio hair is darker than the lighter shades you love, having a dark root will allow you to pull out your bio hair on the side for a very realistic look. Any hair at the nape or if you put the wig into an up-do will also be much better camouflaged.
As always, your opinion is the one that counts, and you are the one who must like the wig you choose. Everyone that I know has made a mistake is two, and we learn.
As lovely as some of those all-blonde wigs look on some (I have one in the closet that has never been worn), I can’t see myself ever giving up a rooted wig.
I am grateful we have so many choices in wigs, colors, and styles, and that we have access to the wonderful instruction videos, and wig reviews that those at Wig Studio1 do for us.
It’s a great time to be a wig wearer!
Until next time,
(Wig Shown Above: CROWD PLEASER WIG BY RAQUEL WELCH)
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.
However, it does go back to time and money. You can’t expect a cheap wig to look as good as one with all the bells and whistles. You do get what you 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 your wig a more realistic look. 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. Also, another magic word…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. You can’t expect to pull a wig from a box, put it on your head, and have it look very realistic. That’s where the time comes in to join money as the other main player. You must take time to customize the wig for you—your head shape, your coloring, and learn which styles suit you best. This includes seeking professional help like a hairstylist to maybe trim, thin, cut bangs if needed, and in general, shape it up to suit your face.
The time investment does not stop at visiting the hairdresser, and learning what styles and colors suit you best. You must learn how to care for your wig properly, whether it be human hair or synthetic. You will need to learn what products are best, how much heat, if any, the wig can tolerate.
Some other issues in wig wearing that sometimes get overlooked or thought about too late are wig fit (capsize), 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? Again, this takes time.
In the end, we get back what we put into wigs. They are an investment, so it’s worth learning all that we can to make them look great and last a long time. Also, don’t go too generic. You don’t want to look like you are wearing a wig-hat. Sometimes it is hard for us 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. Trust the experts.
Until next time, wishing you all a happy new year. Break out that new (well thought out) wig and show off a little.
It’s the holidays, a gathering time, and sometimes you will be seeing old friends or family members that you may not have seen in months or longer. We all want to look our best and our hair is a big part of our look, our style, what makes us feel more confident. So…what happens when someone you barely know, or someone you may not have seen in a long time asks about your hair. How do you respond when someone asks, “are you wearing a wig?”
Of course, you may have already had to deal with this, and you have your own responses based upon who asks, and how you feel about sharing your wig journey. But here are a few answers that I received when I asked wig wearers this question:
When asked how to respond to “Are you wearing a wig?” and “Is that your real hair?” Here are some responses from real wig wearers:
- I love it. Isn’t it great?
- Why do you ask?
- Yes, and here’s why (if you feel like sharing)
- Oh, that’s a sensitive question.
- Wig? What wig?
I’m sure you have your own responses. The good news is that it is much harder to spot a wig wearer these days. Wigs are more realistic than ever. But here are a few tips to help you avoid worrying about it.
What will give you away
- Please, take that hair out of the box and own it. Don’t plop it on your head and expect perfection. You must make it your own. If you don’t know how to do that, learn before you wear it out. Don’t be afraid of your wig. Wigs are manufactured in a way that is “one fits a majority” in that you must customize them. That might include taking it to a stylist.
- If you are not secure in your wig, it will show. It will call attention to the fact that something is not exactly as it should be. You will not move your head as naturally and might always be touching your wig or adjusting it.
- Too MUCH VOLUME! Yes, some “big hair” girls are loathed to give that up, but nothing says “wig” louder than a big pile of hair on your head that nature could not have bestowed. Go for lower density, hand-tied wigs that look more natural if you want to avoid people asking you if you are wearing a wig.
- Watch the hairline. Keep your wig at a natural hairline. Set too far back or forward, it will not look natural and won’t be as comfortable either.
- Color and style are the other two things that can draw unwanted attention to your hair/wig. Yes, women color their bio hair and change their styles. But if you are trying to look as if you have real hair, and not share your wig secret, staying close to your natural color family, one that compliments your skin tone will work best. There is a range of colors that work for each person better. Find yours and have fun with styles.
In the end, it is up to you. Do you want to blend in and not have your wig a point of discussion, or you don’t care who knows you are wearing one, and have no problem discussing it? How you answer that will guide your decisions. There is no need for a bad first experience in wig-wearing, or at any time. There is so much help out there, and you are certainly not alone on this journey.
Have a great holiday season and join the WigStudio1 Facebook group for great tips on these topics and many more.
I see this question a lot—what is the best way to store my wigs for a season or an extended time? I have seen a lot of answers on this topic. In the end, it’s up to an individual’s space, resources, and personal preference. But... there are some ways better than others.
A few storage tips:
- Always make sure the wig you are storing is clean.
- Make sure the wig is completely dry and there are no tangles.
- Keep them away from heat and direct sunlight. They will dull your color and break down hair fibers.
- Keep them safe from children and pets. (A good idea in storage or not).
- If you want your wig to maintain its style better, invest in good-quality hairnets.
For more short-term storage, consider these options:
- Use the box it came in. They are stackable and labeled, making it easier for you to grab one and go.
- If you don’t have your wig box or need a way to travel with it that doesn’t take up so much space, fold your wig in half from ear to ear, insert it into a clean, plastic bag, and put tissue inside the wig cap to help it hold shape. You can use a Sharpie and label them to make searching for the one that you want easier.
- Always travel with at least two wigs to ensure that you don’t get an ugly surprise if something happens to one.
- If you have space wig stands are great and convenient, especially if you rotate your wigs often.
- Invest in a shoe rack just for your wigs. The over-the-door racks are perfect for wig storage.
- You can also invest in airtight plastic containers for your wigs so that you can label them with the names and colors of each wig that is stored inside. It will save you time opening plastic bags when you go to search.
What about wig stands? Wig heads? Which is best?
- Collapsible wig stands are great if you are lacking space and just want one or two available all the time, and great for travel.
- Wig stands are also helpful for styling because they let the wig fall as it is meant to, making it easier to style. Securing the wig stand is important to give you more flexibility.
- Mannequin or wig “heads” can also be used for wig storage. Be careful of sizing because storing on this type of head can stretch the wig cap it’s too large. They often cost more than the others and are not travel friendly. Also, they take up space.
- The lightweight styling foam heads are similar to the mannequin heads but less costly, and they are a bit more substantial than a wig stand. They do help keep the wig in shape and are great for those who keep a few wigs out at all times in a rotation. But are not great for travel, of course.
So, the answer is, get all three if you can. They each serve a different purpose.
Remember, if you leave your wigs sitting out, they can collect dust just like anything else. Never fail to give your wigs a good shake before wearing, and if they are to be sitting in one place for longer periods, covering them with scarves will help protect them.
Helpful rules that bear repeating:
Never store a damp wig, make sure your wig is tangle-free, and never store your wigs in heat or direct sunlight. If storing on wig stands/heads, make sure they are protected from dust, pets, and children.
Until next time, think wigs for fall, the holidays, and parties,
At long last! You’ve been stationed at the mailbox, sitting on your beach chair waiting for the UPS driver’s impending arrival; the updated UPS text message informs you that the moment of unmitigated joy is just around the corner. And here she is! You cradle your next acquisition to your ever-growing collection and embark upon the process of disengaging your new hair unit from its packaging.
As you do so, there appears to be a slight issue. Something about the wig seems wonky. The lace front looks perfect, there seem to be no defects whatsoever as you thoroughly examine the piece. Ah, you now come to the realization, your wig has been asleep; more accurately, oversleeping in her box for way too long and now has suffered from the affliction we now know as the dreaded “BOX HAIR”.
Fear not, in this video we will view a Do It Yourself (DIY) Intervention to ameliorate this situation. Our subject for the video demonstration is Arrow by Ellen Wille in the color Platin Blonde Rooted 60.24, regular synthetic fiber. This method is applicable to heat-friendly fiber as well. Arrow was provided to me by Wig Studio 1. Additionally worn by me during a portion of this video is the style Scorpio, basic cap in the color Moonstone by Rene’ of Paris, also available from Wig Studio 1.
I hope you enjoy my intervention video, as I think outside the box on how to wrestle with the box hair challenge. And always remember; if I can do it, so can you.
Last week I covered some of the survival ideas about getting through the summer with wigs and toppers. This week we will look at some travel questions and delve a bit further into the ideas and ways of making it through summer easier and with less stress.
HOW TO PACK AND STORE WIGS WHEN TRAVELING:
When you’re new to wearing wigs, learning how to pack a wig and travel with your wigs can be tricky because there are so many things to consider.
- What products should you bring? Just what you need, don’t overload on products. Take travel size shampoo, conditioner, sprays.
- How many wigs should you bring? Always have a spare or two. Instead of washing and drying wigs on your vacation rotate them so that unless you get them in the pool or ocean, you won’t need to wash them until you get home. But just in case, default to the travel size products.
- Should you buy a wig-specific carrying case or are there easier options? No need for special wig carriers, boxes, or containers.
Packing for a trip is all about one thing: suitcase efficiency.
With shoes, daytime outfits, nighttime outfits, makeup, reading materials, and all the chargers that you need, packing efficiency is a challenge. I’m a fan of the zip-lock plastic bags for storage. Cheap, easy to see what you have at a glance, and keeps the wig safe from tangling in the suitcase and keeps it from any debris. Also, it takes up much less space than a carrier, box, or structured container.
KEEP IT SIMPLE:
As noted in my blog from last week – keep it easy and simple by bringing synthetic wigs that keep their style, the necessary care products, a collapsible stand, and some headgear – hats, scarves, etc., to give your wigs and your head a break.
A RECURRING QUESTION: WHAT ABOUT GOING THROUGH SECURITY IN THE AIRPORT?
Will I have to take off my wig for airport security? No!
- Know that TSA/security is not required to ask you to remove your wig. Just like with your clothing, their scanners should be able to see through the wig.
- However—you should avoid wearing too many metal wig clips or bobby pins that could set off a sensor or raise suspicion.
- If you are asked to remove your wig and don’t feel comfortable doing it in front of all the people at security, ask for a private room. TSA is required to grant that request.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Because I’m a big Plan B person, I’d never put my wigs inside my checked bags. If I am going somewhere for a week or more, I put a spare wig and travel-size products in my carry-on bag. I also include a hat and scarf. Wig care products should not take up any more room in your luggage than care products for bio hair.
SOME HELPERS THAT ONLY YOU WILL KNOW ABOUT:
Dealing with the heat as a wig wearer can be a challenge, even if you are not in some tropical climate on vacation. These are some of the things you might consider to help make things easier: Bamboo caps, Wig grips, Wig liners.
Until next week, be happy, and stop and smell the flowers, Vickie Lynn…