So many women that I’ve talked with or heard from lately are saying that they are ready to give up the coloring processes and learn to love their hair the way it is now. Often that means a form of gray, silver, or white hair. The situation with wig wearers is a bit different. We can change our color any time and with little fuss. But the same desire might still be there. How can we make such a drastic change with ease?
Shades of silver, gray, or white don’t have to mean “old” or mean any age. However, the challenge seems to be learning how to make that change. If you have worn a brunette wig for five years, should you just turn up one day in a lovely gray or silver wig? What if you’ve not shared your wig journey with others who see you every day, should you have a transition color/wig? There is no one answer to that question. It all depends upon your comfort level. Fortunately, there are resources to support any decision you make.
If you do decide to “just go for it” get help if you think you need it—learn what brands carry the wig styles and cap construction that you prefer if you are new to wigs. If you already know all about caps, styles, brands, and what works best for you, then you are ahead of the game. All you need to decide is if the colors you are considering are found in the styles that you like…or is it time to re-visit other styles that might have colors that you love?
Tips from the professionals about choosing a color/shade and style:
- Go for a soft color, and one with dimension. Nothing screams “fake” like a flat solid root-to-tip color with no variation.
- Color should always be multi-tonal, especially as you age. That is true for blondes as well.
- Remember, in most cases, we lose a “plumpness” in our faces as we age. The styles that looked good on us at thirty might look a bit harsh now. Example: a too-blunt bob, close to the jawline and with no layering can be a very severe look.
- Go for a layered style, and one a little below the jawline.
- Tone—is so important, and wig wearers must learn how to care for their wigs to protect the wig’s color/tone.
If we must look at new styles to find the colors we like, there is that question again: Short or long as we age? This is the question that never goes away. Ask yourself if your style makes your face look younger or older. Does the too-long hair pull the face down? Would you look better with a shorter, more face-flattering style? So many people get caught up in the look of the wig on a model—we need to be interested in how the wig looks on us with our face shape, and our coloring—huge difference.
Don’t be afraid to claim your color—and don’t be afraid of shades of gray! Try different shades/tones and get help if you need it. There are in-between colors that you can choose, but often the salt/pepper colors age us more than a lovely silver or white. It’s all about shade/tone, color, and style.
If you had rather take the plunge more slowly, there are some lovely options. Ellen Wille Smoke Mix and Pearl Rooted are lovely, and Raquel Welch Silver and Smoke, Iced Granita, and Silver Mist come to mind.
Skin Tone! We must not forget that our skin tone will play a big role in how we look in these shades of gray, silver, or white. Yes, it is ever important as we age because our skin tone changes. Know your skin tone as it is NOW and that will help you key in on colors/shades that will look best on you. For example, if you have a cool skin tone you likely already know that ashy colors, shades of honey, beige, and gray work well for you. Just remember, the tone and color gradient, and dimension are the keys for gray shades just as it is for any color. Flat equals fake.
I am reminded of two in particular that I have recommended before when writing about the fear of going gray. Just two of my favorites. Notice the dimension, and the shadings. No flat, drab and lifeless look with these!
Until next time, here I am thinking that I might go gray…maybe silver.
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,
If you are like me, you have said multiple times during your wig journey, “oh, this is the one!” The falling in love with a wig process: After deciding on a color or two, the kind of cap that makes us happy, and a style or two, then we look—and look. We fall in love. There is no cure for it. But the magical thing about wigs is that even those you look at when you get it home and say, “hum” and you may put away—by some miracle when you get that wig out months later, you fall in love over again.
What makes us fall in love, out of love, and back in love with our wigs? No one knows, or if they do I wish they would tell me! I do have a theory though. It’s when magic meets reality, and we see that wigs just like people have flaws, but we love them anyway. Yes, we love them because they give us a new version of ourselves. We can be who we want to be. We can look casual, sophisticated, sporty, sexy, and everything in-between and in multiple colors. Never mind that there are the little hairs flying around on top, or that those long, beautiful styles that clump or frizz on the ends due to friction, make us cry and say naughty things. Yes, maintenance is a big deal on some styles. But if you love it, it’s worth it.
How much maintenance is required can make us love our wigs a bit less or a bit more. Yes, there are many things to consider when buying a wig, and the cost is just one of them. I try to think one thing: will this wig make me happy when I wear it, and let me forget that I’m wearing it? That is a big deal for me. I don’t want to go through my day wondering if my wig is secure if it looks “wiggy” or deals with a cap that is irritating. Love for me is more complicated than just how I look in the wig. It’s how I feel in it, and how comfortable I am in it in every way.
Maybe we need to be a bit more realistic about wigs and the maintenance thereof. There is no perfect anything, and that includes wigs. We make our choices based on many criteria, and we all know those. Cost, cap, style-length, color—and then do we think of maintenance? I admit that I did not think about it at all when I first started wearing wigs. I learned the hard way how important it is.
I love my wigs and I am truly grateful that there are so many to pick from these days. My attitude changes when I put one of mine on and get ready to go out to see the world. I know the world will be seeing me. I look in the mirror and see who I want to be, and that is worth a lot. Because I am happy and feel secure with my choice, I go about my day feeling confident, and that can make a difference in one’s day.
But to get back to the topic, the question at the beginning—of course, there is not “the one” at all. There are many and we have enough love to go around, right?
Thinking about those fall styles yet?
Yes, it’s a challenge no matter what you do. Adding another layer or two of material on your head will make it warmer. This is the time of year that I am glad that I don’t have to put anything between my head and my wig. My security measures start and stop with two bobby pins. I know this is not the case for many. I am lucky to find such a good fit with the two wigs I wear most of the time (both by Raquel Welch): Muse and Ready for Take Off. I have a thing about caps because my scalp is so sensitive, and another reason that I am glad I can manage security without glue, tape, and other helpers. But still, a wig on my head in summer is something to think about.
I work from home now so I don’t wear a wig all day long anymore as I did a few years ago (ah, the 10-hour days), but I have found that when I do wear them I am even MORE aware of having something on my head. It’s as if my scalp is saying, “What’s this? Get it off!” So for me, the cap construction is the key, that and the fit. There is nothing worse than a scratchy cap on top of your sweaty head. Well, I’m sure there are worse things, but when it happens you can think of nothing else but pulling the offender off your head—fast.
When I considered style, color, and length, I had to think of cap construction as even more important. I didn’t learn this until my third wig. I didn’t know how uncomfortable some caps could be if the fit and construction were wrong for my head. Something else I learned along the way: Along with the great comfort of 100% hand-tied caps, and they are amazing and lighter, there is also a minus (isn’t there always?). There are no wefts to aid in air circulation. For me, the tradeoff is worth it because I am not outside running around much. But for you, it might be very different. You may have to be creative about how to live with wigs during the summer months.
There are ways to get through the summer with wigs. If you are a seasoned wig wearer you have likely experimented enough to know what you must do, but if you are approaching summer as a new wig wearer, there is a learning curve, but there is help.
· Go for shorter styles, or if you must have longer, go with the one you can put up off your neck.
· Remember synthetics are cooler than human hair wigs.
· Try basic wig caps (the coolest construction); the open wefts allow air to flow through.
· Use accessories to control the volume around your face and neck.
· Try wig bands. They can help reduce cap pressure and make you more comfortable. Some have a silicone strip and can hold the wig in place.
· For short outdoor events, leave the full wig behind and think about a scarf or a cap with attachments. These are great for sitting outdoors in sun and wind when you don’t want to put a cap or scarf on top of your wig.
· Check out the wig cap liners.
Advice from my hairdresser: (who says he has been asked about this a lot from his clients)
· Don’t put your wig up in ponytails – it pulls the hair out. Better to secure an up-do on top of your head.
· Don’t go into the swimming pool or ocean with a wig that you want to keep after that dip. If you run back to the bathroom and washed it immediately you might save it after an ocean dip, but once chlorine gets on the wig fibers, it’s about done.
· Make sure you wash your wig more in the summer. All the sweat and products build up fast and can cause more wig damage than washing it more often.
· Give your head/scalp a break as often as you can. Take the wig off when possible during the summer and replace it with a scarf around the house or one of those softies. Your scalp will thank you for it and your wig will last longer.
I was in my “wig room” yesterday aka my closet, and was looking for Ready for Take Off; (I have it in two colors) and love. I had not worn them for a while and put one on for the day. I was halfway through the day before I remembered I had it on, and that was because my neighbor commented on how cute my haircut was and that it made me look ten years younger. Then I remembered…this is why I have two Ready for Take Off wigs. This style and cap construction (100% hand-tied) is light, and comfortable, and I can forget I have it on. Now that is worth the money, that is worth the time and care required. And besides, I look cute in it, and ten years younger. I may now get it in more colors.
Whatever reason you have for wearing a wig, you should never feel shy about your decision. Whether you choose to tell others is your business, of course, and you shouldn’t feel pressure about it one way or the other. That includes telling those you have or hope to have romantic encounters now or in the future. You shouldn’t stress over it too much because there are things that you can do.
But yes, worry about it, you will, and that’s only natural. Will the wig slip, come off completely, and be a turnoff to your partner? All reasonable worries. As in most cases, every situation is different. A long-married couple where the woman is suffering a gradual hair loss, or a sudden loss due to a medical condition, might have a different conversation about wigs than someone just beginning to date someone special.
Only you will know when you have reached that level of trust and intimacy in your relationship. But it might be a conversation you will want to have early on so that you can plan accordingly. I have a good friend who when planning her first serious romantic encounter just said to her partner, “I have extensions in, so no pulling on my hair.” With so many women wearing helper hair of some sort these days, the guy thought nothing of it. She decided to leave the full conversation of actually wearing a wig (and not extensions) until she decided where the relationship was headed.
Or, think about this opposite scenario: the kiss, a darn great kiss, and things are going well, and then—the hands in the hair! Imagine the shock when you yelp, and he comes away with your wig in his hand. So, okay, another scenario: You have the conversation, but then what? How do you keep looking like you did when he/she first saw you and was attracted to you? How do you look and feel sexy while keeping the wig in place?
Now, the time has come. Do you secure the wig and hope it never becomes an issue? Do you try to sleep with the wig (there are ways to secure it without doing a lot of damage) and hope to pull it off? Even if you have told your partner that you wear a wig, and they say they’re fine with it—have they seen you without it? A lot of women just don’t want to go there, especially if they don’t yet know if the relationship will lead to a permanent situation.
Whatever you decide about sharing your wig wearing, there is no right or wrong, and no rule. Each of us will need to decide this for ourselves. But if you do decide to keep your wig on all the time, including in bed, there are some tips that might come in handy.
· Though sleeping in a wig on a nightly basis is not recommended, you can wrap your head to help keep hair in place and this will be cutting down on the friction that is the culprit.
· Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase
Some methods to secure your wig (for day and night)
· Wig Tape
· Wig Glue
· Wig Grips
· Wig Caps
· Bobby pins
· Wig Clips
All of these methods will help secure your wig. Again, it’s a personal issue. You will know or soon know after some trial and error, what works best for you. It’s also important to know that each method has pros and cons. A special tip: save your aging wig as a “sleep wig” if you have more than one wig in the same style. This is especially helpful if you prefer to keep your wig wearing more of a secret.
Most wig wearers that I know have found the fun part of wigs. We love the flexibility of choosing styles, lengths, and colors. We love the time we save in front of the mirror every morning, and being able to match the wig to our mood, or an occasion. We love not sitting in a beauty salon for hours for cuts, colors, highlights, whatever. As in everything in life, wigs come with pros, and cons, and require us to make choices, and decisions, and we learn as we go. We learn which brands, styles, and colors work for us along the way.
Take a deep breath and dive in. Nothing is perfect, nothing good comes without some effort, and wigs are no exception. But when I look at myself in the mirror “before and after” well, I must say, I’m grateful for the pros and can live with the cons.
Happy wig wearing, and take a look at all the spring/summer styles. Wow!
Until next time,
It doesn’t matter if you are a new wig wearer or have had years of experience, there is always some insecurity when you hit the “buy” button. This is especially true if you think that this one is “the one” or at least will be one of your favorites. But how can you make them last?
Most popular wigs are synthetic or heat-friendly synthetic ones. They are a great combination of a realistic appearance and a more manageable price point. We’ve all heard the projection: with proper care, synthetic wigs can last between 4-6 months if worn daily. That’s great, but what if you could do better?
Of course, the magic word is maintenance, or should that be two words—proper maintenance? Yes, it does matter, and it matters a lot. There are some common mistakes that wig wearers make, even seasoned ones. Here are a few that come to mind, and that I had to learn about along the way:
- Washing your wig too much: Think every ten days, or less if you don’t wear it all day. Pay attention to the look and feel of the wig. Look for build-up at the hairline. This is a flexible rule in that so much depends on the length of the wig, how many products you use and how often, and even the climate you live in. In the end, it will be something you can see and feel that will guide you.
- Not using the correct products and tools: Synthetic wigs require specific shampoos and styling products. Using products not made for synthetic wigs can damage the wig fibers and the cap itself.
- Using too much heat and too often: Heat-friendly wigs are made to withstand some heat, but it’s easy to overdo this. While the ability to add waves, curls, straighten and re-curl sounds great in theory, heat takes a toll on your fibers. Carefully monitor the heat level and pay attention to how the fibers are holding up. Over time the heat-friendly components do break down. Use heat sparingly.
- Not storing your wig properly: This is an often asked question—what is the best way to store a wig. Proper storage is more important than most wearers think. Invest in a good wig stand or several. If you rotate your wigs regularly, you might have several out on stands at all times. This is fine, just keep them out of direct sunlight and too much humidity. The collapsible and easily portable stands are much better than the Styrofoam heads, which can stretch the cap.
- Wearing your wig to the gym or bed—is a no-no for good reasons. The sweat and oils can cause damage to both the wig cap and wig fibers. During the night, your body sheds dead skin and produces oils, and not only will this clog pores but can cause oil build-up on your wig fibers and cap. The friction to the fibers as you move around during the night can break and tangle the fibers. If you are not comfortable going to bed with an exposed scalp, there are some lovely sleep caps available.
- Give your scalp and your wig a break. From hair for hats to hair halos and detachable bangs and wig caps, there are ways to keep your look and give your wig and scalp a break.
- Don’t forget your scalp and/or bio hair. Don’t neglect your scalp. Oils and dead skins cells will clog your pores and cause itching and odors. Our scalps must remain in good condition.
- Finding the right wig cap: If your scalp is sensitive, you might have to try a few caps to find the one that works best for you. This is especially true if you aren’t wearing a mono-top wig. Wig caps are a good investment in comfort.
Next week I’ll tackle the other big question: how can I fix a damaged synthetic wig?
Until next time,
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.
I had that thought so many times, even if I didn’t say it out loud a hundred times during my wig journey. I polled our Facebook group of wig wearers and wig lovers to ask them an important question: What do you wish you had known when you started your personal wig journey? Here is a complication of their comments:
- My wig made me look so much younger!
- That my wig wouldn’t make me look like the wig model – and I’d need to think about what looks best on me.
- That I could trust a good online company and not overpay at a wig salon.
- How much easier my traveling life would become.
- I learned that mostly it was me over-thinking it all and that most people either couldn’t tell I was wearing a wig or didn’t care if they did.
- I needed the basics—how to measure my head, pick a cap, and the differences in caps.
- The difference in synthetics and human hair wigs and the care involved in each.
- How to “train” and style synthetic wigs to get a natural look.
- Don’t buy a wig on a whim, think about how it will look on you, how to care for it, and pay attention to cap construction and size.
- It’s important to be kind to ourselves about all this. It takes time to adjust to hair loss and that pain is compounded when we are expecting perfection right away with our wig education. It takes time.
- What fibers work best for my life – do I want to deal with human hair upkeep, and synthetics that require more TLC (HD fibers)? What are the pros and cons?
- How a lace front can make all the difference in how “real” a wig can look for those who don’t want bangs.
- Watch lots of reviews and see the wig on different people, and the colors in different lights before deciding. Lighting is tricky and can give you false ideas.
- The value of going to a wig shop to get accurate measurements and trying on wigs even if you don’t buy from them when first starting.
- Don’t decide to love or hate that first wig out of the box. Know it won’t look so great until you make it your own. Give it time before you put it back in the box to return.
- Don’t be afraid to work with the wig, train it, move the part if you can and want to do that, and make it your own.
- Know that wigs can be cut and styled just like real hair (mostly) so take it to a hairstylist you know, trust, and hopefully one who might have some experience with wigs.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions!
- How to get rid of that “Barbie-hair-shine” to get rid of that fake look.
- How to secure the wig and knowing that it is different for everyone.
- What the heck is permatease? And then knowing that it varies by wig style. What you might hate in one style might work great in another. Permatease is not a bad word.
- What is a rooted wig, and why some are better than others?
- How to pluck hair from a part line to give it a more realistic look. Yes, it works!
- Do not use a hairbrush or regular comb on a synthetic wig.
- Buy products meant for wig fibers, not bio hair.
- You still must take care of your bio hair and scalp.
- Be careful of scams and buying from unknown sites or people.
- Understand the return policies of the company you buy from.
- Learning that paying a little more for a certain cap construction can make such a difference in how you feel after wearing a wig for ten to twelve hours.
- Being honest with yourself about what colors and styles work for you.
I am sure that most of you reading this will have experienced some of these things, had these thoughts, and maybe can add some of your own. I had to journey on my own for the most part. I didn’t know there were blogs like this, or Facebook groups (maybe there wasn’t when I started), but there is help out there now.
If I had to give any advice to new wig wearers, it would be this: Whether you wear wigs out of necessity or by choice, there are challenges, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be overcome. My questions when I sit before the computer to look at new styles or think about new colors now are these: Will that look good on ME? Is this the right color for ME? Will I be comfortable with the care required to keep this style looking good?
My mantra: be honest.
In other words, Yes, that long wavy one is beautiful, BUT…I’d hate to maintain it, and my lifestyle just doesn’t fit with it. I move on. Yes, that blonde one is fantastic, but would I look like a washed-out zombie in it…I move on. You see where I’m going with this. In the end, it’s about what makes us look good so that we feel good about ourselves. If we feel good about ourselves we can be who we really are. Our wig is just another part of our preparation to meet the world, just like our makeup, clothes, and maybe our glasses. We just have the advantage of having options on those bad hair days! Take advantage of the amazing knowledge from WigStudio1 reviewers and staff. They can be your best friend when it comes to your wig journey.
Until next time, go out there and have a good hair day, and don’t forget to stop and smell the flowers.