What I Wish I’d Known Before Buying My First Wig
(Wig shown above: Kenzie Wig by Noriko)
When I first started wearing wigs, making them last longer was not even on my radar as something to think about. I was busy thinking about how I looked, if the wig would fall off, and did I buy the right color and style. It was around wig number two that I started thinking about all the other things—the difference in fibers, cap construction, and how to style wigs to make them work better for me. In other words, I was getting over the fear and into the basics.
Here are the things I had to learn along the way. I hope that if you are a new wig wearer, having the information here all together will help you and save you time and frustration.
- Understand your wig cap’s construction: Is it hand tied, machine wefted, lace front, mono top, mono crown, mono part?
- Respect Your Fibers: Read any manufacturer’s care instructions or do a search to find out how to care for your wig fibers. Fiber composition makes a big difference in how to care for your wig. Human hair, blended (human hair with synthetic), heat-friendly or not—they all have different needs.
- Use the correct brush or comb: It’s helpful to get into the habit of combing through your wig after taking it off. Gently (and with the appropriate comb type) remove any tangles. Smoothing and separating the hair fibers before storage will not only keep your wig looking its best, but it will be ready for wear the next time without worry. Always comb in small sections, slowly, starting at the ends and moving toward the crown. Careful of pulling too hard. You don’t want to unknot any fibers from the crown.
- Store Your Wig with Care: Everyone seems to have their own method. If you rotate your wigs a lot, keeping them out and on wig heads/stands is fine. If you have too many for that, you can store them in the box they came in, be careful to make sure the fibers are not twisted or out of shape if you will be storing them for longer periods. Some people hang the from pegs or similar setups. If you are using boxes, remember to store them so that you can read the name on the box for easier access.
- Watch that heat, please: This is always a scary thing the first time you try it on your wig. Remember that synthetic hair does not respond like human hair. Start with the lowest temperature that is advised rather than the highest. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to high temperatures will shorten the life of your synthetic wig or topper.
- Don’t over Wash! Washing your wig, especially over time, will cause some shedding and a slight loss of density, no matter how gentle you are. Everyone is different, and you can adjust the when-to-wash rules to you based on several things: how many hours a day your wear the wig, does your head sweat, and how many products do you use, to name a few. If you take the wig off and can smell the wig cap, that’s a clue. If your fibers seem to be sticking together, that’s a clue. If your fibers look dull and lifeless…yes, a clue. You get the idea. Use good judgment, and with the idea in mind that the more you wash, the shorter the lifespan. Use Silicon Based Products (and other products) On Your Wig, sparingly. Over time, the use of any product will cause a buildup that can result in a lifeless, dry, and flat look. A thorough washing is the only answer.
- Don’t Sleep in Your Wig: Both static and sweat cause frizz, often resulting in tangles which will result in damaged fibers, and so on. It’s not worth it.
- Don’t Wear Your Wig to the Gym: No matter how cute that guy is at the gym that you want to impress or how much more attractive you feel with your wig on in general, think twice. If you must wear a wig, set aside one wig, maybe one that is shorter, and aging, one that you only wear for this one thing. Otherwise, opt for another type of headgear.
- Don’t Wear Your Wig in a Swimming Pool: The chemicals in the water are not your wig’s friend. Invest in a head wrap, or bathing cap, or if you do go in and don’t plan to get your wig wet at all…. but you do, rinse it out immediately and condition it lightly, letting it air dry overnight before trying to comb through.
Your Wig is an investment, both financially and emotionally. With a little thought and care, it will last you a long time and help you look your best along the way.
Until next time, have you seen all the new Gabor wigs? I have my heart set on Trend Alert.
Vickie Lynn (wearing RW Crowd Pleaser in shaded cappuccino)
Is it Time for a Change?
Are you at that place where you are hanging on to old styles and colors long after you should have let them go? How do you know when it’s time? Because in addition to the obvious wig aging there are other reasons to let that wig go. So, what are the indicators that you are holding on to something that is doing you no favors?
But one thing to consider before we start tossing our old wigs, we might consider if we can revive any of them. Should we spend the time and resources to rescue our old wigs—in other words--should they be rescued? The short answer is yes, if that wig can be made wearable again, then it is worth trying if only to sell it or donate it. Maybe it is time to move on for you and the wig, but that wig might be perfect for someone else and very much needed.
Another thing to consider: Have you stopped actually “seeing yourself” in the mirror? Psychologists tell us that we do one of two things most often in this regard: we look but don’t “really look” because we think that we already know what we will see. Or we look too much, too closely, criticizing every part, angle, and perceived flaw. Either way, we are not seeing ourselves as we are, or as others see us.
There is the day we notice a little line on our faces and wonder how long it had been there. We catch a close-up look at the ends of our favorite wig and wonder then they got raggedy or stiff. Change is often slow, and when the accumulation of it is finally enough, we notice, and we are shocked. But if we had been looking, we would have seen it in progress. But we are busy humans and who has time to stand in front of the mirror and look at themselves all the time? Or inspect our wig every time we take it off? And therein lies part of the dilemma as to why one day we do look in the mirror and wonder why we ever bought that wig in the first place. The style, the color, doesn’t seem to be us anymore—sound familiar?
Wigs are even more of a challenge than coloring and cutting bio hair. First, they cost more, and you hope the relationship will be a long one because it doesn’t grow out if you have made a mistake. So, we are afraid of making a mistake, and because of that we often default back to our old styles and colors, trying so hard to get something “close to what I had before” and we think that is a good thing. It is not always a good thing. Maybe your lifestyle has changed. Maybe you retired, or work from home now and can be less structured in your life, including your look. Maybe you like short wigs for summer and want to take things up a notch with new styles or lighter colors. Don’t worry about trying to copy your old styles. There are many styles that look good on many people. The wig companies know that and why there are so many bobs of different lengths and short boy/pixie cuts.
When a friend of mine got a new wig (a first wig) and asked my advice I cringed because it made her look ten years older. Suddenly, she looked like her mother, and it was the wig—color and style. Both were wrong for her, and I had to tell her. I asked her to try on two of my wigs to see the difference in how she could look just to make my point that there were wigs for her that would work. I loaned her the one of mine she liked best and she forgave me for telling her that her new wig made her look older. She was able to swap it out, and she learned a good lesson.
The moral to my story is don’t be so intent on reviving your old wigs that you can’t see it is time to move on. Some might work, like one of the two that I worked on recently. Trying to revive an old wig can be frustrating and time-consuming because success can depend on so many things: age, wear and tear level, general care, type of fibers, and style. The one that I was able to rescue was in great condition because I had just stopped wearing short wigs for some time and had put it away (and had forgotten about it) before it had suffered much abuse. It just needed some TLC. Sadly, the other one had seen better days. Is it time to revive it for ourselves, or time to sell or donate? Rescue or toss season at my house seems to happen in the spring, even for wigs!
Now, it’s holiday season time, and what better time to gift ourselves with a new wig? A new style and color would perk me right up. How about you?
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn (in my Muse, which seems to last forever).
What is Your Biggest Wig-related Fear?
(Wig shown above: ALEXANDRA 104A PETITE BY WIGPRO)
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,
It’s the Little Things
Though we are all wig wearers, some for many years, some new, we are individuals with different likes, dislikes, and needs. This is as true in wigs as it is in life in general.
We all have different wig priorities. If you have no hair at all or little hair, or a sensitive scalp, the wig cap construction will be very important. If you can’t stand wig bands, clips, and pins, the kind of cap and the way it fits will play an even larger role in your choice. For me, it is the less on my head the better, so a good-fitting cap is very important to me. The better the fit, the fewer security measures I feel the need to use. Sometimes it’s just luck. Our heads are all a bit different and sometimes a “made to scale” wig manufacturer’s cap won’t fit as well if you have an in-between size head and can’t get that perfect fit. If that’s the case, you will need to make security decisions.
Getting a hand-tied cap with a mono-top and lace front will cost you more because it costs the manufacturer more to make. That’s easy to understand. And ideally, you’d think everyone would want or need this. But that is not necessarily the case. Many wigs that just come with a basic cap can work well for many people. A lot depends on the wig style. If the style one doesn’t have a part and may have bangs—then a mono top and lace front would not be a dealbreaker for a lot of people. Also, for the same price, you can often get two or three of the basic cap wigs compared to maybe just one of the wigs with all the bells and whistles. That is appealing to a lot of people, especially if you are hard on your wigs, or if you just like to change styles a lot.
All fibers are not created equal. This too, you may have already learned. Some look and feel better and seem to last longer. Every manufacturer seems to do them a bit differently. They have their own vendors, processes, and craftspeople. Human hair wigs are just that, so we all know how to take care of human hair, and the pros and cons of this. It is when you get into fibers that it is more of a challenge. Over time, the coating of the fibers, the color, and the strength of the fibers will change. Depending on how much you wear your wig and how you care for it, can shorten, or lengthen the life of your wig, but eventually, the fibers will show their age and wear.
The big tradeoff: So, we must decide, do we want the best of the best, the middle of the road, or some less costly ones but do the job just fine? Fortunately, we can have one of each if the budget allows. I seem to have landed in the middle of the pack with lace front, mono-top and hand-tied as my preference, but hand-tied is not a deal breaker if I can have the other two. I still have a couple of basic cap wigs that I bought early on and can still wear but I find them hot and scratchy now because I have lost more hair loss over time. My scalp is more sensitive now too, and I must be picky about my caps.
The little extras are important. I like to get a wig with those soft tabs on the side and at the neck, along with the ability to adjust the fit. I can live with a mono-part vs. mono-top, but I hate not having the ability to make fit adjustments or have that comfort of the felt tabs on the side and the one at the bottom of the neck. So, in the end, we all find our sweet spot, what we can live with or hope we don’t have to live with, as the case may be.
Until next time,
How to take your wig to the beach or pool—and not be sorry!
How to take your wig to the beach or pool—and not be sorry!
I always loved the saying, “where there’s a will there’s a way” because it is true. If we want something badly enough, we try harder to make it happen.
Hence all the wonderful inventions by our multi-cultural, independent-minded, hard-working people in this country. And that is true for our topic this week—we find a way. We who wear wigs refuse to be left out of anything and that includes the beach and pool. Thankfully, depending upon your hair loss you have several options to consider.
Challenge number one: Wearing wigs or toppers for summer activities
As you might guess, synthetic hair is best for the pool or beach – either a wig you have worn for a while or a less expensive piece you purchase for the beach or pool. If you are diving below the surface of the water, you may want to wear an actual swim cap that will stay on when diving into a pool or ocean.
After-care is the thing: If you do wear your wig or topper in the pool or ocean be sure to rinse it thoroughly and condition it after wearing. If you are wearing long hair, consider braiding it before going into the water. The wig cap will suffer along with the wig fibers and the cap might stretch out to the point of not being a good fit if you spend too much time with it in the water. This will vary depending on the cap construction, age of the cap, and your after-care of the cap.
Challenge number two: NOT wearing wigs or toppers for water activities
So, what if you are not at all interested in swimming or splashing around in a pool or ocean but want to get a bit of sun and fresh air and join your family and friends anyway. You do still have options.
· wear a sun hat with very good coverage – such as hats with big brims that flop down in the back or have a back “safari” flap.
· For hats like fedoras where the back of your head will show, use a stretchy headband to cover the parts of your head that would be exposed.
· Wear a swim scarf – a scarf made of swimsuit fabric in case you do decide to take a dip.
· Wear a head-wrap. You can wear this as a cap, do-rag, turban, or even tied into a rosette. This can be done to fit under a hat as well.
Scarves add a fun vacation vibe to your wardrobe, don’t count them out.
Fortunately, we will always see people in sun hats, scarves, and such, so you won’t feel out of place. If you’re going between inside and outside a lot, wear a cover or scarf under your hat so you can take the hat off indoors with a minimum of fuss.
Bring lots of scarves! Scarves also work well for hikes, kayaking, and other sports where the heat of a wig won’t make you happy. I have added a couple of videos for how to tie a scarf, just for your convenience, and they will lead you to others.
Remember, if we feel good about how we look, that is what we will project. Also, remember that most people are much more interested in how they look to scrutinize others too much. Once I realized that I was able to relax a lot faster when venturing out in something new for the first time, whether it be a new wig, a scarf, hat, or even a new outfit.
Go out there and have fun. A lot of us “missed” last summer staying more inside than out. So, we have a lot to make up for. Let’s get out there and join the world—and we will look good doing it.
Until next week, stop and smell the flowers.
Pressure to be Perfect – Living with Hair Loss
(Wig Shown Above: TAYLOR WIG BY NORIKO)
I have written before about the psychological challenges that hair loss can bring. Whether temporary or permanent, when we look in the mirror, we are different from who we were. Experts have written volumes on how hair loss can affect one’s mental health. If you are affected no one needs to tell you that, you live it. But there is often more at work here than the psychological adjustment one is called on to make when this happens. We saw or heard about what happened at the 2022 Oscars ceremony when Jada Pinkett Smith was made the butt of a joke centered around her hair loss. We are constantly being judged, especially those in the public eye. Why are we so quick to judge, to offer criticism? Why the need to always be perfect?
The world seems to judge women more harshly than men when it comes to looks (though men in the public eye seem to be targets the same as women). In an ageist world, any sign of baldness, or thinning hair, reminds us of our mortality and powerlessness over our bodies. This can be difficult to deal with under the best of circumstances. Someone posted on social media about Jada Pinkett Smith, “why can’t she just wear a wig like everyone else?” So, it’s easy to see that some people see hair loss as a trivial issue and that it’s up to women to just shut up and go on about their lives. This is harder for some women than others. How dare Jada show up less than perfect? It wasn’t okay for Jada to show up as “herself” and in support of others in the same situation.
Wearing wigs to look and feel better is about a lot more than vanity. Those of us who wear wigs know that, but I often wonder if other women have thought about it at all. In addition to the day-to-day concerns about wig-wearing— (can people tell? Will it blow off? How can I enjoy summer weather or sports? What about telling a potential partner?), we find it hard to talk about, even to friends. Why? The pressure to be perfect.
When does it start—this pressure to be perfect? You won’t have to look hard to find many studies about teen bullying, eating disorders, online attacks, and peer-to-peer. Saving things about people to people online has made the situation worse. Young people are not as adept at dealing with bullying either in person or online as an adult would be. They listen to all the negative and take it in, and “wear it, own it” and there it is—the pressure to be perfect. We are not allowed flaws, they are hearing. This type of situation can cause such anxiety that it will manifest in self-harm, hair pulling, eating disorders, and other disorders.
While I have come to terms with my hair loss, and educated myself on wigs and wig wearing, I know that it takes time to feel comfortable with the process. I have learned the fun part of wig wearing, and have thirteen of them and counting. I no longer think of wig-wearing as a negative in my life. I appreciate that I have access to such varied and beautiful options.
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn – as perfect as she needs to be
Wigs and Romance
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,
Getting the Most from Your Synthetic Wig
(Wig shown above: CORY WIG BY NORIKO)
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,
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!
Topper or Wig – how to decide and when
If you’re reading this you likely know what a topper is, and the difference between a topper and a wig. But maybe you are struggling to decide which is best for you now. To begin with, a topper is what it seems to be. It sits on top of your head to cover hair loss, from beginning to advanced. Most are made pretty much like the usual and come with combs/clips sewn in to attach them to your biological hair. I read that there are no other options on the market, a headband grip system to do away with the clips. So, more advancements are always good news.
Here is where it gets tricky. There are varying lengths of toppers. You will need to monitor your hair loss to know when to,
1. Buy a topper to cover a larger area, or 2. Make the leap to wig-wearing. Like wigs, toppers are made to look as realistic as possible. Toppers have another goal as well, they must blend in with your hair color and style. Some people, especially those with moderate or advanced hair loss, bypass the topper altogether. As you can see it’s a personal decision and one that can be updated as time goes on.
Prepare in advance. Know (measure) the area on your scalp so that you will know the exact size topper to fit your needs. Matching the color is yet another challenge you have with a topper and not with a wig.
Some people can use hair toppers forever. Some have a minimal loss or just mildly thinning hair and like to wear toppers to enhance their look. They may or may not ever consider a wig. But there are a few reasons why someone would want to transition to a wig.
Progressive hair loss is the primary reason. Eventually, a topper won’t do the job. And as mentioned before, getting that color match between topper and hair can be tricky. Sometimes people just want a break from the clips and the added stress they can put on biological hair, depending on the situation. The convenience of wig-wearing can also be a deciding factor. You choose any style and color, and there are. No matching, blending, and clips.
The good news is that there is something for everyone. No matter your hair loss, minor, major, temporary, or longer-lasting, there is help for you. Consider your lifestyle, budget, and expectations. Ask questions, measure your head, understand the different types of caps. Also, get educated about wig fibers, and how to take care of them. Learning to take care of your wig will be one of the most important things you learn about wigs. Doing the right things will extend the life of your wig, and it will look better much longer.
We are all individuals with different challenges and expectations. It is great to know that we now have more options than ever when it comes to helper hair. When you combine these options with the amazing customer service you get at Wigstudio1, you can be assured that you will be a happier topper or wig wearer. I hope this information helps and know that Wigstudio1 customer service is ready and willing to help you in your journey.
As for me, a devoted wig wearer, I’m about to go blonder, a “jump” from my usual shaded cappuccino. I just can’t decide which style I want to “jump” with. Wish me luck. I’ll post a picture if I ever decide. Blonde but not too blonde, shorter but not too short, one with body but not much permatese, one not too “young” but not too “old. Yes, you see my problem.
Until Next time, and if you see my perfect blonde wig out there, let me know,
It’s All About the Wig Cap
As lovely as your wig may be, and as beautiful as you may look in that style and color, it’s not a great experience if your head is uncomfortable. Is your head itchy after an hour, do you get a headache, is your head overly heated? This could be due to several things: how much helper hair is in your wig, the fit of the cap, the wig construction itself. What is touching your head? How is your wig secured?
You must be at peace with the wig you’ve chosen, and the cap plays a huge role. Maybe it plays a larger role than you thought, but if you are like me, you learned quickly that cap comfort can make or break your day.
When I first started on my wig journey, I was all about color and style. I didn’t know about permatese, the difference in fibers, what heat-friendly meant, or that all wigs with lace fronts were not created equal. Not to mention that I knew little or nothing about mono tops, partial mono tops, mono parts, or anything about the cap that I was going to be wearing on my head for many hours a day every day. Maybe you knew more than I did about wigs when you started, but I’ve since learned that so many people get discouraged about the very basics of wig-wearing—the cap, and how to keep the wig on.
As you can imagine, after wearing an uncomfortable wig for nine hours or more, I was unhappy with my first wig decision. Of course, the wig itself was fine. The color, style, and actual fit were good. My problem was that I had a sensitive scalp, and I needed a monofilament top, something easier on that area of my head that was most sensitive. I needed a lace front because I didn’t want to always wear bangs or worry about the wind blowing up and showing the edge of the wig. I needed a wig with a bit of stretch. Unfortunately, I just didn’t know what I needed until it was a problem. And worse, I had no idea what my options were. For fortunately for you and me we now have so much more information and companies like this that make a great effort to educate their buyers and help them make good decisions about what works best for them. We all have different needs when it comes to wig-wearing, just like we all have different tastes in styles and colors. It’s all about figuring out what we need to be happy with our wig. It’s a process.
After trial and error, I made peace with one of Raquel Welch’s wigs. It had everything that I had decided I needed to be a happy wig wearer. I have only strayed from the brand once and was disappointed. That’s not to say that there are not many other great options out there, and I will likely try others, but once I knew what would make me happy, I felt more secure in branching out with color and style. I came to see that a wig cap made all the difference. I’ve never made that mistake again.
If you are new to wigs, it is helpful to get some advice about wig cap structure and your options. Think about how you will be wearing your wig—many hours a day? What is your environment—hot, outdoors, moving around a lot? How sensitive is your scalp? How true to wig cap size are you—do you know how to decide between petite, average, and large and how to make adjustments to the wigs? How comfortable are you with wig security? Do you know the options available to you?
As you can see, and as many of you have already learned or are now learning, that cap that no one sees but you is just as important, if not more so at times than what everyone does see—the color, the style. Don’t shortchange yourself on the cap. You will never be entirely happy with your wig choice if you pick the wrong cap. And the one you want, or need might cost a bit more, but it will be worth it every single day if you can go through the day and not think about your wig. Trust me on this.
Happy wig days as we go into fall. I’m going to try a new style and color, how about you?
Do You Have “It’s a Wig” Markers?
We all know the usual things that can cause people to look twice and think someone is wearing a wig: too much shine, odd colors, cheap wigs that are more like a hat, too coarse fibers that don’t move. And the list goes on.
In my years of dealing with wigs and wig wearers I have noticed that there are three groups of wig wearers (in general):
- Those who wear wigs for fun and fashion. They usually don’t care if someone knows they wear a wig.
- Those who are terrified of wigs and don’t want anyone to know they wear one (it takes them forever to wear one out of the house. And why—because they don’t pick the right one (mostly due to lack of information) and now they are not happy with how they look in the wig they bought.
- (and this is a unique one) A wig wearer who thinks more hair is better (that’s not necessarily so), and those who are so afraid of more hair/big hair that they won’t try anything that’s not low density.
Whatever category you fall into, or somewhere in between, there are challenges to all of us in our wig journey and for different reasons. We are individuals with individual likes, needs, and there is no “one size fits all” answer on the wig journey.
It is often difficult to “see” ourselves as we are, or as others see us. We often have a picture of ourselves in our minds that may not have a lot to do with reality. Are we trying to look like we did ten or twenty years ago when we had all of our bio hair? Trying to mimic that is often the first and biggest mistake that wig wearers make. They forget that if they had kept their hair and it had aged with them, that it would look different today, and not as it did ten or twenty years ago.
When I asked NON-wig wearers if they could generally spot a wig, and if so, what was the giveaway, here are their top ten answers:
- Too much hair.
- Too much shine.
- Flat or unrealistic color.
- Too much hair on top.
- Hair that didn’t fit the person’s age (in days gone by, it was elderly women who were more likely to wear wigs, and they were mostly short). I think this contributed to the idea that older women should only wear short styles. As I have written about before, this is not always the case. There is NO rule about age. It’s about how one looks in a style and color—how one feels.
- Weird hairstyles (not sure what they had in mind).
- No visible part in the hair or the part was wig-related.
- The hairline was not real.
- The hair was too perfect, like a sprayed-on helmet.
- The weird hairs sticking up on top of the ends of the hair looking clumpy.
As a wig wearer, I fight against all these things, as I know so many of you do. Most of us have learned or will learn which brands and styles work best for us so that we can defeat all of these “it’s a wig” markers. I think I’ve found my styles, brands, and colors, and hope you have found yours. In the end, it’s about what makes us feel good about ourselves. If I can go all day and never think about my hair/wig, it’s a good day. If I am uncomfortable, worried about my wig, unsure how realistic it looks, then it takes away from my day and can alter my mood. Therefore, I do all that I can to make sure that doesn’t happen.
It’s a process, and none of us will become or has become wig experts overnight. So, be kind to yourself on this journey, and know that we are more than our hair.
Until next time, I’m wishing for autumn, and loving my new wig, “Ready for Takeoff”