Styling Your Synthetic Wig
(Wig shown above: AVALON WIG BY RENE OF PARIS)
We seasoned wig wearers know that synthetic wigs have never been better. They look and feel great, and there is one (or several) to please every wig wearer. They have many great qualities, and having many to choose from is just one of the many benefits. However, like with most things, nothing is perfect, and they do require attention to styling and correct product use.
These are some helpful tips to make living with your synthetic wig easier:
1. Remember the wig “hairs” are not hairs, they are fibers, and must be treated as such.
2. Invest in a spray bottle. It will be your best friend as you “wake up” your new fibers, and tamp down those flyaway bits, and static electricity in general.
3. Use your hands for styling. After waking up the fibers with a spritz of water, most wigs can be styled with just your fingertips. Combing or brushing too “perfectly” is often the culprit behind the “wiggy look” so go easy on perfection.
4. It can’t be said enough: when using a comb or brush on your wig, make sure they are designed for wigs, not human hair. The pulling action of some brushes or combs can damage the fibers or pull them out of the cap.
5. When using comb and brush, (always on a DRY wig) use short strokes for those with curls and longer strokes with light pressure for the smooth styles. Use a pick comb to style ringlet curls to help reduce frizz and manage flyaway bits.
6. Do not use hair care products designed for human hair.
7. Do not use heat unless the synthetic wig is “heat friendly” because it will damage the wig fibers.
8. When it’s time to wash your wig, you can restore it to its original style by washing it in cool water with wig-designated products. A lot of wig wearers swear by the “hang it upside down” to dry method. I have yet to try it because most of my wigs are shorter and dry fast on the wig stand.
9. How to get more volume: Some wig wearers like to back-comb/tease the underside of individual layers, but you can often get the lift you need by lifting the layers with a wig-comb/pick and spraying underneath.
10. Making changes to your wig: This topic comes up a lot. How easy is it to cut bangs, trip, or otherwise make changes to your wig? Unless you are skilled in this area, my advice is to take it to a professional. A professional can, along with cutting in bangs, trimming, etc., also do so in a way that flatters your face, making it more “you” for a truly customized look.
11. Accessorize! This is a tip that is often overlooked. Though I have more recently seen more wig reviewers talk about this. And how true it is. By using headbands, clips, and other accessories, you can add color, and brightness around the face, and make the style truly reflect your taste.
12. There has also been a lot of talk about how to straighten a wig using water or steam. Also, how to curl a wig is a question that I see often on our FaceBook group page. I won’t address these issues here because there are really good “help videos” about this from some of our reviewers that will answer your questions. These are the kinds of questions that need more than a line or two types of answers. Watching a video, and listening to the experts on these subjects will be a better use of your time.
At the end of the day, we are all faced with the good as well as the challenging when it comes to wig wearing, no matter what type of wig it is.
We are all in this together—
Until next time,
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,
Hair Loss –The Severe Emotional Impact on Women
(Wig shown above: MAY WIG BY NORIKO)
For those of us who have dealt with hair loss, for whatever reason, or find ourselves dealing with it now, this is not news. We know that hair loss is generally more accepted in men, despite women accounting for 40% of all hair loss sufferers in the US. Hair loss, regardless of gender, can be devastating. It can dent a person’s self-esteem and negatively affect their overall quality of life, the experts tell us. Yes, this is not news to those of us dealing with it every day.
It seems experts agree, however, that women are significantly more likely to suffer emotionally as a result of hair loss and that one in three women will, at least temporarily, suffer from hair loss at some point in their lives.
“Hair loss in a woman is so emotionally devastating that it can trigger a wide range of social and emotional issues that can negatively impact healthy daily living and overall quality of life. I have heard of women that retreat from social situations has diminished work performance, and even alter their healthy living – avoiding exercise, overeating, not treating other medical illnesses – due to their hair loss,” said Dr. Francis. “Due to societal perception differences, it is much more emotional for women, as there is limited cosmetic acceptance of a bald woman. increased societal pressure on a woman to be attractive. The negative quality of life is worse in women.” (Medical News Today)
I have written about this before, but the current talk I am seeing on social media, inspired me to highlight this subject again. It seems that there is a great gap between the need for more research, more help from pharmaceutical companies, more educated doctors (on this subject), and the reality. There has been much more research and activity in the area of male baldness and its cure.
So, here we are, and we must be our advocate for change. We must be the ones leading the way in asking why more has not been done to find the causes and cures. We must step out of the “box of shame” and tackle the issue just as if we were fighting for a cure for any other condition.
The challenges will be different for everyone. There is no one rule about how to handle this, and there is no one answer. Finding answers will be different for everyone, and the acceptance process will be different for everyone. 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. Learn about wigs and what is available for you. Take advantage of our wig blogs, helpful demonstrations, YouTube videos, and other forms of education. You can learn not only about wig options but wig construction and care. Ask for help if you need it, that is the most important thing.
Until next time, fight the good fight.
Wig Wearers Ten Biggest Mistakes
(Shown above: EASIPART T HD TOPPER 18" BY JON RENAU)
1. Wearing wrong size caps – This is a common problem because wigs are made to a pattern and our heads are not. But trying to make your head fit into a wig too small or too large can mean all kinds of trouble. Not only will the wig not look right, or flattering, it can cause headaches, slip into wrong positions, and in general, make you want to forget about wigs.
2. Not securing the wig correctly – This is also a common mistake, especially for new wig wearers. There are so many different ways to do it that a lot of people get overwhelmed. There is a learning curve in this area, but it is worth learning. There is no best way or right way in that every wig wearer will have their preference. Do your research and find the best security measure for your comfort.
3. Having unrealistic expectations – Most of us look at pictures of highly styled wigs on models, or on experienced wig reviewers who know how to train and style a wig to its best advantage. We can learn from them. But it is not realistic for us to pull a wig out of a box, put it on her head, and expect it to look like those highly, professionally styled wigs you might see on television or a website.
4. Not being willing to work with your wig to make it your own. It’s easy to get frustrated when you pull a wig from the box and it’s just a bundle of fibers that won’t stay where you put it as you are working to figure out your styling techniques. At this point, some new wearers just give up. Know that there is an army of experts out there to help you with this. Some videos show us in detail, how to tame your hair, get rid of “box hair” and make a wig your own.
5. Trying to alter your wig when you don’t have the skills. I have seen more than one wig ruined by a new wig wearer who thought they could avoid the cost of a stylist by “doing it themselves” and some people can. But if you know that your skills are limited to a bang trimming, don’t attend any more than that on your wig. Yes, there are many YouTube videos out there showing you how to thin a wig, pluck, trim the lace, and make an artificial root—is this something that you feel comfortable doing? Are you saving $50 to lose a $300 wig?
6. Not learning how to style your wig – If you aren’t going to spend a little time getting to know how to work with your wig, style it, and care for it, then you will likely never be completely happy with it. We all love the shake-an-go wigs but if you are looking for something different, know that there is some work involved in learning how to style your wig.
7. Not using the right products on your wig, or not using them correctly. Again, there is a wealth of information out there about wig care products. It’s up to us to do our homework, and my advice is to do it long before you get that first wig. The more you know, the easier the process will be, and the more confident you will be in wearing and caring for your wig.
8.You are not perfect, your bio hair is or was not perfect, and your wig should not look perfect. Looking too perfect is a “this-is-fake” giveaway. Too much styling, and an over-sprayed, nothing moves style screams “wig” so don’t use a heavy hand with the spray or styling products. Less is best.
9. Positioning your wig incorrectly – I still see this even on some seasoned wig wearers. The wig is set too far back from the natural hairline or pulled down too low. This is another big mistake that is an instant giveaway. If you don’t have any bio hair to guide you to what was your hairline, use the four-finger rule. Hold your hand up over your brows to see if you have four fingers worth of space between brows and hairline. It’s a rough guide but is pretty accurate.
10. Not everyone should be a blonde – and I think we have all seen this mistake. Maybe you spent your life in your natural color, wanting to go blonde but it was too drastic. Now, it’s so easy to buy that pretty blonde wig that looks so beautiful on the model on the website. But STOP….and ask yourself if blonde makes you look BETTER or just different.
Until next time,
Oh Yes, it’s Summer – Oh No, it’s Summer!
Ah, yes, what to do about those hot summer days when it comes to making important wig-wearing decisions. Just like how deciding what wig to buy and how to secure it, how to stay cool with one on during the summer is a personal process. No one solution will work for everyone. I am lucky that RW (Raquel Welch) has a cap that likes my head and there are enough of her styles available to keep me happy. Due to my personal circumstances, I don’t worry about my head sweating any more than normal in the summer, as for as security goes, but I do pay attention to the heat and how much time I spend outside.
I am a writer, so most of my time is spent inside on the computer. I am not outside doing sports, watching my kids do sports, biking, or running. Although some biking might be beneficial—but that’s another story. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my days when I could hardly wait to get home and remove that wig! So, it has happened enough that I can feel your pain, those of you who do either sweat a lot or are in the heat much more than I am.
So, what do we do? Now is the time to take a deep dive into cap construction, and to think about our styles that have hair covering our necks. I automatically gravitate to shorter styles in the summer. But not only shorter, but more natural styles, meaning less “stuff” in the cap to block airflow. That brings us to cap construction. While a full mono top is so very nice, and most often so very comfortable, it does not lend itself to a lot of airflow. With that in mind, I tend to go with the mono top but not a full one, and usually, it’s just a mono part. If I can have the majority of the cap that lends itself to better air movement, I’m more comfortable.
If you need to have (or just want to) have added security though, you will run into more challenges. Wig bands/grips, caps, glue, tape, clips? All of these security measures bring with them their own unique pros and cons. What is the least I can do and feel secure—that is what I ask myself. How about you? I rarely do more than use two long bobbie pins for my wigs, and that is usually when I go to the doctor or dentist or if I know that I will be outside in windy weather. But I know that we each have different challenges.
Our questions then are: Are there short styles of wigs that you are comfortable with that provide a good fit? Can you get away with less between your head and the wig for summer comfort? Can you give up a complete mono top for the summer? Do you have more than one summer wig so that you can rotate more often? Do you have the right care products on hand to compensate for more washing and the stress of the heat? Have you done your homework about glue and tape—how well will they hold? Can you live without that wig grip and/or wig cap?
I have included some links to really cute RW short wigs, and a couple of YouTube videos by Taz, one about another brand of short wigs, and one about our topic-wigs in the summer. I hope that you will find what works for you.
Until next time, when it will be all about wig fibers, keep cool.