Who is in Your Head?
(Wig shown above: Ready For Takeoff by Raquel Welch)
Of course, we all want to have approval from those we care most about, and that includes friends as well as family. From the time we were old enough to look around and observe others and our surroundings, we have been making judgments about what we see. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to our peers and to want to be as accomplished, attractive, and smart as those around us. And while we know we will be judged, sometimes we are our own harshest critic.
But what about your other critics? Did you grow up in a family with a strict parent with his or her own unbreakable code of what was good, bad, right, and wrong? Did your mother critique your looks, and did she key in on any perceived flaws and not mention the good? Does your spouse or significant other feel free to point out their opinions about everything, including your hair, clothes, and ideas, even if they are not asked? Do you have a friend or friends who you can count on to give you the once over and then point out everything they consider, not quite right? Or maybe that’s a sister, cousin, or other relatives. How do you take this in? Can you brush it off, or does it start to color how you think about yourself?
Even someone with a lot of confidence can be affected by constant negativity.
This is a common complaint with new wig wearers: “my husband/son/daughter/sister doesn’t like the wig on me.” Or hearing… “The wig makes you look….” fill in the blank. Sometimes, our friends or family member can’t even see that what they are saying is bothering us. Maybe they think their “constructive criticism” is something you want. Growing up I had an aunt whose mission in life seemed to be pointing out all of everyone’s flaws, to our faces, and with an audience. It was a great learning experience for me because I was careful to never do this to anyone. And I learned that not everyone’s opinion mattered.
As hard as it is, it is up to us to draw the boundary lines. Other than avoiding these people, is the only way to stop it. However, if we are asking for their input, we must learn to weigh what they say. How much weight does what they say carry for us? Is it out of proportion to reality? Are the person or people making critiques an expert on wigs or hair, for example? Are they just prejudiced when it comes to a color like blondes for example (do they love them or hate them)? Either way, it has no bearing at all on the blonde wig you just bought. Is it all about them or our wig purchase? It is crucial to figure that out before we take in any critique of our wigs.
The wig journey: No one warns you before you start down this path that you will have a psychological journey as well. It can be hard at times. Not only must you deal with your hair loss issues and try to wade through the vast amount of information on wigs, but you must also find one that you hope will work for you. One is rarely prepared to face an onslaught of opinions that others feel free to give.
My best advice is to always consider the source. Along with that, seek out help from professionals. Watch the wig demos on the WigStudio1 page, follow the reviewers on their pages, and soon you will feel more confident. It took me a while to learn that I just couldn’t take a wig from the box, plop it on my head and have it look like the woman in the ad. I had to get over the fear of “messing with it” and I had to learn how to style it.
Once you educate yourself about wigs, you will have the confidence to listen to your voice and learn to filter out others that have no real bearing on the issue at all.
Have a great holiday season, and remember, it is a good time of year to step out of our rut. If like me, you tend to stick with what you know works, sometimes you need a little incentive to try new styles and colors. It was like Christmas for me last weekend as I washed and put away three wigs and got out three others to start a new rotation. That reminded me that change is good and that trying new styles and colors can be very good.
For some reason, the shorter styles were calling my name. I put on Raquel Welch’s “Ready for Takeoff” and the cap was so comfortable that I hardly knew I had it on. Now, that makes me very happy.
How Do You Choose Your Wigs?
(Wig shown above: Remy Human Hair Topper 14" By Amore)
There is much more to choosing a wig than liking how it looks—in theory. I was asked to address this topic again: What are some of us doing wrong with our wigs? I will re-review some of the answers I got when I interviewed some stylists in my town, and who I knew would tell me like it is. They work with clients who wear helper hair, so they understood what I was asking.
Though wigs are different from natural hair in a lot of ways, the same rules apply when it comes to color, length, and style. There is nothing worse than getting the perfect wig and finding it is not perfect for you. (This was the first hard lesson that I learned.)
What follows is the advice of two stylists who have devoted most of their careers to hair. They nicknamed their advice their “dirty dozen” rules for hair—wigs included.
Here are their opinions based on their experience.
“The Dirty Dozen” questions and concerns from clients:
- Center parts—not for everyone. They can make you look older. It takes away from the fullness at the crown. If you are young, it’s not so much a concern. Most people do tend to look better with more fullness at the crown. It draws the eye upward.
- The ongoing debate of whether should older women have long hair or not: If your hair is too long it can make you look older. They agreed that it doesn’t have to be short to work best for mature women, but long hair draws the face down, and the eye down, especially with heavier bottom ends styles with a lot of volume. Do you want people to focus on your chin and neck? For longer styles think layers and less density. Women of all ages can wear long hair and look good, but style and color are everything. They did note that if you have a heart-shaped face you have an advantage in wearing longer styles, especially with bottom volume. This style works best to “fill out the face triangle” by having more hair at the bottom under the chin area.
- Manage your expectations. Understand what your style really is – meaning, what you like and what looks best on you may not be the same thing. Also, make sure you are using volume in the right places. Refer to their comments on face shape. How does your hairstyle work with you or against you to compliment your face?
- If you have a full or very round face, watch for too much volume on the sides near the cheeks. A lot of hair there will make your face look wider. Try for more volume on top and a longer style that comes under the chin—not at the chin and curving around to accentuate more roundness.
- If you have a long face, go for that side fullness and less volume on top. You can still wear longer styles if you like, just balance the hair with the face. Bangs are also good for long faces. More about bangs in number seven.
And for all the face shapes in-between round, long, heart-shaped, well, you get the idea. The stylists’ mantra: where do you want the focus? What features do you want to highlight, or dimmish?
Bangs – handle with care was their advice. No thick straight across-cut bangs unless you have a long face and even then, it can be tricky depending on the style. Thick straight bangs will “close your face” and make a round face look even more so. Their advice for most bang lovers is to keep it light, don’t cover your entire forehead, ever. Keep your face open by making sure your forehead can be seen, at least part of it.
Color can make all the difference. Natural hair is not just one color. For wigs, you must have some shading and dimension to look natural. Know what colors work for you. For example, gold blondes tend to age some people depending on their skin tone and undertones. For some people ashy shades make them look ill or washed out. Learn if you are a cool, warm, or neutral in the color family, and pick your hair colors appropriately. A special note for those over the fifties: Going too dark can look harsh and fake. Better to lighten up, and don’t be afraid to go salt and pepper or silver/gray. It will make you look younger than the too-dark shades.
Layers are important for styling in that they keep things more balanced, and the look is less heavy– hair that just hangs in one length brings the eye down.
Don’t use too much product. If your hair won’t move it dates your style, and makes you look older. Don’t be a helmet head.
Visit a stylist and let him or her make your wig more you—have it tweaked to bring out the best in the wig so that your wig will bring out the best in you. It is a good investment especially if you have an expensive wig and wear it every day.
Be open to trying new styles. There is nothing that dates you more than keeping the same style for too many years.
Underneath the Pretty Hair
(Wig shown above: UPSTAGE WIG BY RAQUEL WELCH)
Most of us see what we are looking for; at first—the color of the wig, style, and length, and we imagine how it will look on us. It is only later that we think of what makes the wig what it is. The cap is vital: not only to our comfort, but it makes a difference in how the wig holds up. There are several types of caps, as most have learned by now.
Since the labor and materials used to create a varies, the price can be affected. It’s hard to talk about cap construction without talking about permatease. Some love it, some hate it, and some learn to appreciate it as necessary for some styles. Some manufacturers refer to it as “machine teased,” and that’s as good a name for it as any.
It is a structural component placed in some wigs to give it volume where the style demands. In reality, permatease is short matted fibers that are usually placed at the top of the wig to give it that permanent lift. In longer wigs, the fibers are placed/crimped to hide wefting and add volume. Most basic caps come with some level of permatease, usually in the crown area. Some with a monofilament crown or part may have some permatease but not as much as an open cap wig.
Love it or hate it, there are some pros to permatease. It helps maintain the style, and the less that you must style the wig, the longer it will last. It helps hide wefting. Because it is found more often in basic caps and open wefting, you have a wig more comfortable to wear in summer weather. Wefting allows for more air circulation. Of course, we need to also think about the cons. Since permatease is short fibers, the wigs heavy on permatease tend to come with flyaways. But they can be tamed, and over time they will flatten out on their own with a bit of help from your conditioner. The one thing that I hear most wig wearers complain about is too much volume due to the permatease. It makes the wig look too “wiggy” and unnatural. That’s the tradeoff it seems. Though some manufacturers seem to have caught on that wig wearers want more realistic looks, and the permatease that I have seen most recently has been done better.
If we don’t want to wear human hair wigs, for whatever reason, we are left to find our way to what works best for us. There are many benefits to synthetic wigs. They are more affordable than human hair wigs, and if given good care can last up to a. year, depending on the style. They come in many colors, and there are plenty of options of low or no permatease to choose from. Synthetic wigs are lighter than human hair wigs, and cooler, and can be more comfortable to wear. Your synthetic wig won’t react to the weather. Hot, cold, rainy, or dry, your wig will continue to look the same. My favorite thing about them is that they are easy to wear because they are easy to style. They have style retention, and with a bit of “training”, they can look great with a minimum of fuss.
Low maintenance is a lovely thing. Synthetic wigs are less delicate than human hair wigs and require less upkeep. But that doesn’t mean NO upkeep. To keep our wigs looking great, they still need TLC. Correct washing, drying, and styling products abound to help us with that.
So, whether you are a permatease lover or not, there is a wig (or many wigs) that’s right for you and your lifestyle. That is the real beauty of wigs—they are there for us in any color or style that we want, and we can put one on and be out the door looking great in minutes.
I have autumn fever already and have decided to go to a bit longer style. I have chosen a new wig, Racquel Welch, Upstage. Now, if I can just decide on a color…
What is your look for autumn? Ready for a new you?
Until next time,
Is Your Wig—you? How to Pick a Wig Color
A friend of mine was looking at the wig site and all she could say was, “Oh, that looks like so and so, mostly actors she had seen on television. Of course, she meant the HAIR looked like the style and color that person had worn or was currently wearing. I had to remind her that most of us choose to wear wigs that look good on us, not an actress or a model. And she asked the question that we have all asked, and still, do when we look at the wigs on the computer screen. How do I know it will look good on me?
I have written about this before but thought it was time for a refresher, and a reminder to myself and any others who might need it, especially those new to wig-wearing and that scary choosing process. And as a side note, please take advantage of the knowledgeable staff and reviewers at WigStudio1. Exceptional. I posted a picture of a wig to get color confirmation on the WigStudio1 FaceBook page, and I was answered in ten minutes, allowing me to make my final decision. That group is invaluable for many reasons, but I love it because I can see real people in different styles and colors, as well as links to great reviews.
With all that said, let’s review how the experts tell us we SHOULD be picking colors and styles:
My disclaimer - Though there is “collective wisdom” in the hair, wig, and beauty industry, it is an opinion, BUT because it really is collective wisdom, I am paying attention. In the end, it is you who has the final say:
While it's a beauty myth that women over 60 must wear their hair short, the real marker for whether you should be wearing your hair short is whether it would be flattering to your face shape and hair texture. This short hair look works best on those with naturally straight, medium-textured hair.
Does short hair make you look thinner or heavier? It is believed that short hair isn't suitable for women with round faces. (However, that's not totally true.) There are some cuts that do nothing for you, but some that can flatter your round face. The perfect ones will be cuts with choppy strands framing the face, asymmetric side-parted hairstyles, angled bobs/lobs, and styles with the volume on top of the head.
What is a good hairstyle for a 60-year-old woman? A wavy medium-length shag style is the best haircut for older women, especially women in their 60s plus. It looks flattering with bangs especially, and some say it can take about a decade off your age/look. Layers can mean more movement and a more youthful look. Shorter hair, which tends to expand at the ends, can leave you with an unflattering triangle effect. Whereas loose waves and that movement makes for a younger look. Beware that straight hair can age you, so play around with face-framing layers to give your hair some softness and movement.
The Ever popular and Debated “what hair for what face shape”:
(Here is what I found from the same so-called beauty “expert”):
· If Your Face Is Heart-Shaped: Wispy, Layered Cut.
· If Your Face Is Oval-Shaped: Angular Bob.
· If Your Face Is Square-Shaped: Shoulder-Length Cut.
· If Your Face Is Round-Shaped: Pixie Cut – What? Isn’t this the reverse of what this same expert said before?
· If Your Face Is Long-Shaped: Side-Parted curly bob
Everyone has an opinion. For example, I would not wear a pixie cut with a round face unless I had small delicate features. So, take this “collective wisdom” with a grain of salt. I think it’s about a bit more than face shape. It’s about hair color, hairstyle, density, texture, and one’s attitude too.
Can changing our hair color make us look younger? (an always popular question)
I think we can all agree this can be true. Here again, are some “experts” weighing in. What do you think? Again, I think it depends on skin tone and condition, and the hairstyle and volume. I am not a fan of gold tones because it doesn’t go with my complexion, but it works for many others. So we see again that these blanket declarations may not be right for everyone. Also, I have seen many women who can totally rock the white hair with no gold tones. But I do agree that tone can be important, and shading, highlights, and all those things can make or break a look. What I learned in my quest was that there are a lot of variety in gold tones, and it’s not good to rule out everything in that range. Again, take the following “expert’s declarations” with a grain of salt:
· Blonde. As we age many people experience premature gray. For blondes, this can look ashy and age the complexion. Rather than keep your tresses platinum or white, add some gold tones to your highlights and you’ll soften your skin tone.
· Red. Adding warmth to red and strawberry blonde hair has the same effect as adding warmth to blonde. It makes you look healthier. Ditch the blue reds and select something warm to add a youthful glow to your tone.
· Brunette. Lighten up dark roots with caramel highlights and you’ll ditch the drab. A few highlights will soften your look and recapture the youth of summer days long past.
· Black. This is tricky. Black hair can be undeniably mysterious, but when in doubt – leave the blue out. A warm shade of black looks more natural and believable than Elvira’s blue-black, and there’s nothing worse than an off-tone box job look, no matter your age.
In summary, everyone has an opinion. Most women have had enough hairstyles and colors that they have learned what looks best on them. If you are a new wig wearer and get close to your bio hair color family, you will likely be more comfortable with that to start. Are you a brunette who has always wanted to be a blonde? Great, but what shade of blonde? Knowing your skin tones will help you decide.
The hair color that looked good on us at twenty-five may not look so great now. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little. Yes, buying the wrong wig is annoying, but you can cut down on the chances of buying a color that doesn’t suit you by knowing how colors and tones work with your skin. Look at the colors in your wardrobe. What do you gravitate to or have more of in your closet? That will give you a clue if you are warm, cool, or neutral in the tone family. Once you know that it is easier to pick a wig color that will have shades/tones to compliment your skin tone.
I may have made a color jump myself and will share that picture next time.
Until next time,
Happy short Wig Season (for me anyway)
Why do You Have So Many Wigs? And What’s a Rooted Color?
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,
Why the Big Deal about Blonde? And what about Red?
(Pictured above: 100% HUMAN HAIR BANG BY RAQUEL WELCH )
Blondes heads up! Not only do women find blonde hair attractive, but men do too. And some men have a preference for red-heads. What makes blonde or red hair such a big deal? It seems there is a “scientific” reason, or would that should be a “biological” reason?
I’ll explain, but first let’s consider this: There are almost as many shades of blonde as there are personalities. From warm caramel blonde to the most silvery-white platinum. Most of us who wish to jump in the blonde pool can find a shade that’s right for us. We all know that shades of color are important, but I am continually amazed when I see women with colored/bleached hair or women with blonde wigs that have done themselves a disservice. All blondes (or red shades) are not created equal and all shades won’t work on every woman. Be picky, investigate, learn about skin tones, and undertones, and try a wig boutique if you can, to see the shades for yourself, and in indoor and outdoor lights. (And if you go blonde or red from a brunette shade, especially a darker one, remember to change your makeup!) Yes, it matters.
WHY are blondes considered “above average attractive” to so many people? There is a bit of science behind the answer. Don’t believe that it’s all Hollywood’s fault (think Marilyn Monroe and Jane Mansfield in the fifties). Here is what the “experts” tell us: blonde gives a woman a kind of eternal youth look. But the real reason, even more, “experts” agree on is this: the scarce is always more attractive. And this is where science comes in.
If we go back in time, we would see a lot of people with the same coloring, shades of brown for hair, and eyes. It was the way we evolved from darker to lighter as humans migrated to different parts of the earth, some having access to more or less sun. When more southern groups stumbled onto the groups in the far north, those who had been in those Nordic areas, for example, they found people with lighter hair and eyes because they had adapted to the climate by their DNA changing to let more sunlight into their bodies. The blue eye color was a mutation, and those mutations have continued to this day. It is common to find light eyes in the majority of natural blondes and many others of northern European ancestry (myself included).
Now, the really interesting part: Blonde hair originated through a kind of genetic necessity. There was a time when there was a shortage of food and males, leading to a high ratio of women competing for a smaller number of partners (Evolution and Human Behavior – 2/27/2006). Academic researchers have discovered that women in northern Europe evolved with light hair and blue eyes at the end of the Ice Age to stand out from the larger group so that they could attract the mate they desired. It was later when the Neanderthals came on the scene that the red hair gene started to spread among the populations. Scientists argued for decades about whether they intermixed with the more modern human. They did. More current ways to verify that have closed the argument. So, in reality, that red gene is just as rare or more so. We see it today in Scotland, Ireland, and Scandinavia in higher numbers, but the red-head gene originated in central Asia. It’s due to a mutation in the MC1R gene that fails to produce sun-protective, skin-darkening eumelanin and instead causes pale skin, freckles, and red hair. Unfortunately, some cultures equated red hair with witchcraft for a few generations, and this
gene didn’t spread as fast as it might have. Blonde women have their myths too and they are found all over the Nordic areas. Two of the Norse goddesses, Sif and Freyja were blondes.
Blue-eyed people (who are becoming even more scarce now) for example, can trace their ancestors back to ONE person who lived about 10,000 (give or take) years ago, near the Black Sea. The research was published in the Journal of Human Genetics. They identified a single mutation in a gene called OCA2, which arose by chance about 8,000 years ago (best guess currently). This gene turns off the mechanism that produces brown melanin pigment. Originally, as I noted earlier, all humans had brown eyes.
In the end, the most likely theory that most can agree on is that blonde hair and blue (or green) eyes arose because of sex selection. This is where males and females choose their mates and those with “special” characteristics. So, we are back to the value of what is scarce.
Why skin tones are important in picking hair color: Those humans from Europe and the Near East have many characteristics that set them apart from the rest of the human race. Not only are Europeans far more likely to have blue eyes (some green) (95 percent in some Scandinavian countries have shades of blue or blue-green) they also have a far greater range of skin tones and hair colors than any other ethnic grouping. So good news! Those of us from European ancestry (a lot of us) are in the position of having at least a few blonde shades that work for us because we all have that varying skin tone advantage. I am British-Welch-Irish-Swedish/Dane-Scottish-Norwegian-German – in that order of percentage, the DNA tells me. My ancestors were hanging around in northern Europe for a long time. Most of my family has blue or green eyes—still. Only when they marry someone with brown eyes (dominant gene) does the brown win out for their children. I am not a natural blonde, but a very light brunette. But now, since I know that skin tone is the big thing, I know that I can find a blonde shade that is right for me.
So, if you find yourself drawn to the blonde shades, you’re in good company. Listen, you brunettes, if everyone goes blonde or red, pretty soon YOU will be the scarce ones!
Until next time,
How to Pick the Right Wig (and Makeup)—Do You Make These Mistakes?
(Wig shown above: KRISTA WIG BY ENVY)
The word “right” doesn’t ring true for me—maybe there should be a better word, maybe “best” is more accurate for this topic. When I ran across an article about picking the right wig, I had to smile a little. We wig wearers know that there is the best one for our mood, the weather, and the occasion, and this might not be the same wig at all. But I know what the article was trying to do. It was trying to advise wig wearers to beware of the pitfalls of picking a wig.Pitfalls are real. Unless we know about wigs in general and what we are looking for in particular, we are at the mercy of pictures and descriptions on a website, YouTube videos, and pictures of models. The article in question was one about women over 50 (but applies to all women) and talked about what is “right” for them. Again, that word doesn’t fit. So, let’s use “best” instead. Yes, some styles look better on older women than others. What do you want your wig to do for you? Do you want it to hide a large forehead, not call attention to a wide face, not emphasize a long face? Or do you not want to call attention to lines around the eyes?
This calls for an honest assessment. I have a good friend who is a stylist and married to a professional makeup artist who does the makeup for one of our local TV stations. Between the two of them, they gave me some asked for assessments that made me cringe a bit, but I was grateful. Now I know what styles work best, what colors, and what lengths work for me at my age. Any wig can look beautiful, but does it make YOU look beautiful? Don’t get caught up just looking at the wig itself. Learn what the wig can do FOR you. My stylist friend said that one of the biggest mistakes that he could see even from a distance is that women tend to pick wigs with too much hair. He says that so many wig wearers put on wigs with three times the density of what a normal head of bio hair would have. If the wig wearer knows that, likes that, then fine. But if you are trying to fool the rest of the world and you are not trying to call attention to your hair/head in this way, then think about the density. “We seldom see ourselves as others see us,” he reminded me. His wife, the makeup artist, said the one biggest mistake that she sees is that women forget that as they age their skin tone changes.
We lose that natural “bloom” of youth and then overcompensate with blush, and it’s usually too much and in the wrong place on the face. She said that our mantra should be, “less is best” and step away from the mirror. She went on to say that women often pick a color that looks good in the case but does not suit their coloring. Again, she advises you to put just a little on your face and then literally step away. Go back in fifteen minutes, take another look, and see what you think. If all you can see is a blotch of artificial color, you know you made a mistake. In summary, the wig colors and the makeup colors should work with us and not against us. When we change wig colors, we might want to think about changing makeup/blush colors if the changes in the wig colors/hues are very different. It’s easy to fall back on the “old-faithful” products and get into a rut. The stylist and makeup expert advises that we take a fresh look in the mirror every couple of months and think about our wig style, color, length, and the same goes for what we put on our face—does it work with our new style and color? Remember we have undertones to our skin. Those undertone colors and the outward skin tone work together to reflect your face to the world.
Until next time, go look in the mirror and see what you think. My session with the
experts was very helpful for me. I learned my face has become more oval and less round-ish as I have aged, and I can now wear some styles that didn’t work as well before. I learned that peach blush is not my friend, but a rosy pink is. I learned that “too blonde” wash me out, but a light brown with blonde highlights works best for my skin colors and gives me a more natural look that I prefer.
Happy mirror session - good luck!
What’s Your Biggest Wig Worry?
(Wig shown above: ZANE WIG BY NORIKO)
Are you, like so many others, thinking about many things when it comes to wig-wearing? There is, after all, an endless number of things to worry about. Which wig is best for me? What about the style, the color, the capsize…and the cap itself? Must I get heat-friendly for it to look realistic? Can I deal with a wig with no mono top or mono part? Do I need a lace front? And what about permatese? Can I cut bangs into the wig? How do I wash it, dry it, thin it out, store it, and keep it looking good? You see what I mean when I say endless.
The good news is that there are people who have gone down this path before you and have left you a wealth of knowledge to save you some worry. If you have gotten this far, to be reading this, you are likely familiar with the great customer service at WigStudio-1. There isn’t much they don’t know about wigs and wig care. Between their amazing customer service and the fabulous wig reviewers they work with, you are in good hands.
Other than all the questions we wig wearers have as noted above, there are plenty more that are not as easy to answer. What wig style is best for me—the me that is now over 40, 50, 60, 70, and so on? Can the right wig style and color make me look ten years younger?
I’m not big on giving promises about things that I can’t control, but I can tell you that I did see the difference for myself when I lightened my color and shortened my hairstyle. No, you don’t have to have an old-style short, boring look. Look at Jennifer Aniston, Charlize Theron, for example. They have different skin tones, face shapes, and they make the most of their personal attributes by picking hair colors and styles that flatter their face shape, and their skin tones. There are many more examples that you can find in older women as well. Sharon Stone (63) and Helen Mirren (76) come to mind. Though of different generations, both are over 60 and both are currently sporting short hair that is not only stylish but sexy as well.
Like it or not, and we do NOT, our biological hair thins, fades, and gets more brittle. But we have wigs to help. Our skin color and tone also fade, and we can’t stay stuck with hair color, hairstyles, and makeup colors at 50 and beyond that, we had at 20 or even 30. Though styles and cuts will go out of fashion, what is always in fashion is a good style for YOU, and the right color for YOU. Sometimes, it takes a while to realize that time has moved on, but maybe, well—we didn’t move on so much with our look. Are you still trying to pull off the look you had 10 years ago?
Another worry I hear about constantly is the long hair issue. Yes, of course, you can still wear long hair after 40 if it is the right style/cut for you and your face shape. The best thing to remember about this subject is that long, straight hair can drag the face down, especially in order women. If you have a long neck too it’s even more of a challenge. The answer is adding some waves or curls around your face lighten up the hair around your face and consider bangs. If you were blonde for years and now think “too blonde” is not for you or looks too unrealistic or harsh for your age, go with a wig that has highlights around the face, and many do. As for bangs, the experts say that side-swept or wispy are usually the best for older women. Layers are little miracles, I hear. Not only do they give the hair/wig more body and life, but they also give you more styling options. Don’t rule out the classic bob or pixie cut. If you have the face shape for it, go for it. They don’t drag the face down, they look youthful, and are easy to work with and style.
In the end, it all goes back to one thing: wear what makes you happy. And if you learn what works best for you, you will be happier for sure. Can the right wig style and color make you look ten years younger? I can’t guarantee that, but I’d almost bet on five at least. That’s what I was told when I shortened my styles and lightened my colors. I’ll take it.
Until next week, stop worrying decide what looks best on you, and go for it.
Dealing with the Psychological Challenges of Hair Loss—Fear and Acceptance
(Wig shown above: BECKY WIG BY RENE OF PARIS)
When I started this blog months ago, I tried to tackle the feelings, questions, and frustrations that most all women deal with as they go through the process of realizing that they will lose their hair—forever. I would expect the feelings and process is very similar for men as well.
After writing my blog, getting feedback from real wig-wearing women, and learning from those experiences, I wanted to share what I have learned in the hopes that it will help someone out there who is reading this.
Not all hair loss is forever, of course. There are many reasons a person can lose their hair. The shock, loss, and the necessity to learn coping skills are just as traumatic whether you think the loss is temporary or permanent when it first happens.
At first, you may notice a little thinning, then more, and there is hair in the brush and hair in the shower—much more than you have ever seen. Now, you panic. What could be wrong with you? And then it begins, the search for answers, trips to the doctor or doctors. Some get that diagnosis that they dreaded most. They are told that their hair will continue to fall out and it will never grow back. As we know many conditions can cause this, so I won’t go into all that here. I was disappointed in my experience with the medical community. In the end, I had to be my detective, comforter, advisor, because no one had answers for me.
Once I figured out my issue and made my own diagnosis from my research (good research, not from the weird internet sites and YouTube), I felt better. While I didn’t want it to be true, at least I had an answer of sorts and knew it was time for the next step. That is where I found the world of wigs.
Since I had a background in research, I began to research wigs the same way I had researched hair loss. Once I settled on the right wig for me, it didn’t take me long to get over the fact that I was now a wig-wearer—every day. Very soon in the process, I stopped thinking about it and wondered if anyone could tell. The only looks and compliments that were coming my way were all about how much they liked my color, cut, etc. I never told anyone outside my immediate family and best friend. No one. I had more than one person every week ask me who did my hair. I knew then that I had found the right wig, and then was able to branch out as time went on and I gained confidence in my ability to pick the best styles, color, brand, cap, etc.
The challenges will be different for everyone. The acceptance process will be different for everyone also. No matter if you are an introvert or extrovert, or always confident or not so much, losing one’s hair is a huge issue. Your hair has been with you all your life, it has been a part of your identity, the way people see you, and who they think you are to some degree. You’re the girl, lady, woman with the long brown hair and silly laugh, or the person with the cute blonde pixie and full of energy. People see you and your hair is part of it. Now your hair is betraying you—your body is betraying you. How you deal with that can make a big difference in your life, but you will need to deal with that, and how you do that will depend not only on the reason for your hair loss but how much support you have. I am not a psychologist, but one of my best friends is, and I didn’t even talk to her about my experience for a long time, and after I had dealt with it all myself. If you have someone to talk to it can help, even if they know nothing about wigs. Wigs are done so well now that there is no reason for you to ever tell anyone that you are wearing a wig unless you want to do that. Ask for help if you need it, that is the most important thing.
Until next week,
Taking the Fake Out of Wigs
(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.
Are You Wearing a Wig?
(Wig pictured above : Megan Petite wig by Fair Fashion)
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.
Afraid to Go Gray?
(Wig pictured above: READY FOR TAKEOFF WIG BY RAQUEL WELCH)
Whether it’s needing more time to think about ourselves during the pandemic shutdown, or not, a lot of women seem to be embracing their gray, white, and silver hair. So many are saying that they are ready to give up the coloring processes and learn to love their hair the way it is now. For wig wearers, it is a bit different. We can change our color any time and with little fuss. But the same core question remains—are we afraid to go gray?
Gray doesn’t have to mean “old” or 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, or if you’ve not shared your wig journey, 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.
Tips from the professionals about choosing a color/shade and style:
- Go for a soft color 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 plumpness in our faces as we age. The styles that looked good on you at thirty might look too harsh now. For example, a too blunt bob, close to the jawline and with no layering is very severe.
- Go for a layered style and one a little below the jawline.
- Tone- is so important, and wig wearers must learn to care for their wigs to protect the color/tone.
Short or long as we age? A 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—you are interested in how the wig looks on you—huge difference.
Don’t be afraid to claim your color—and don’t be afraid of gray! Try different shades/tones and get help if you need it. There are in-between colors you can choose, but often the salt/pepper colors age us more than a lovely silver or white. It’s all about the 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: Yes, it is ever important as we age because it changes. Know your skin tone, 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. For shades of grey hair or any color, tone, color gradient, and dimension are key. Flat equals fake.
Just two of my favorites. Notice the dimension, the shadings. No flat, drab and lifeless look with these!
Until next time, here I am thinking that I might go gray…hum.