Well, you know this question is not a new one, and it finally came up again recently. I was surprised that I hadn’t seen it more. Since people wear wigs for different reasons, there are a lot of different answers to this question. If you wear them due to hair loss from an illness, and your husband or partner would know that you now have helper hair, then that is an entirely different thing. You wouldn’t have to worry about the “telling” part. For you, it might just be what makes you feel more comfortable or better about your appearance, or what gives you more confidence that you look more like yourself. If you are already in a relationship that is something that will work itself out.
If you are dating or trying to meet someone, that is a very different thing, and with different challenges. How do you tell, when do you tell, how much do you tell—or don’t you tell at all? If casual dating turns into more, the time will come when you will have to make this decision. Although I did talk to a woman who dated a guy for six months and managed to skip the telling part. She said she always told him that anyone touching her head would generate a migraine. Whatever works, I guess. Eventually, though she couldn’t continue with the story for various reasons, and she told him. He broke up with her but not because of the hair, but because she had lied to him for so long. Trust was broken, he said, and he told her that now he didn’t know who she was. This may seem a bit dramatic or an over-reaction on the man’s part, but everyone is different.
Everyone must learn where their lines are. Do you talk about it on the first date? I’d say no. Why go into that before you even know if you will like the person. But what about the second or third date? What if things get more serious? Here we go—decision time. I have heard several stories about this, and how different women handled this, but to me, it all comes down to good judgment, confidence, honesty, and trust. Can you look the person in the eye and tell them with confidence that you have hair issues and that you wear wigs? Of course, you will be nervous, but having confidence in yourself is different and will get you through it. It is knowing your value, knowing yourself, and knowing that no matter the person’s reaction to what you say, you can stand strong. But only you will know when that time comes. When you become more uncomfortable keeping it from someone than telling them, or if you know that things are progressing in such a way that the time has come, you will find your words, your way.
Okay, so let’s say you told them, and you are in a relationship now, and you think it might be a good one, maybe a long-term one. So, now what—do you ever let them see you without the wig? Again, everyone is different, and it comes down to your relationship. Do you or can you wear your wig to bed? Yes, but there are reasons that you shouldn’t. It might affect the quality of your sleep, your level of comfort, and over time would damage your wig. You might temper the abuse by just doing it now and then, but for the long haul, there will be a price to pay. Between the friction, tangles, frizz, dried-out fibers, you are likely looking at a short life span for the wig.
Options are great, and there are several if you don’t want to sleep without a wig. I have heard of women buying “sleep wigs” or just keeping a wig that was on the “can’t really wear this out anymore” list and sleeping in that. You can also braid or pin your wig down to keep it more stable and from tangles and lessen the friction. You can also use a head wrap, and by all means get a silk or satin pillowcase, which will cut down on friction as well. These are all things you can try if you do decide that you don’t want to be seen without a wig, even in bed.
In the end, each of us will make the decision that works best for us. But I heard a story that made me very sad. A lovely young woman with Alopecia just didn’t date—at all, ever. She was so paralyzed about how she would handle telling a guy that she wore wigs and always would, that she just couldn’t let herself make the first step. Finally, at twenty-two, and almost through college, she met a guy that she liked so much, and the feeling seemed mutual because he kept asking her out, that she agreed to go out with him. On their third date, she told him. They have been together for over two years now, and she is so comfortable with him that she doesn’t even wear the wig around the house anymore. She said that now and then she thinks about what she had missed by giving in to her fear, and what she would have kept missing if she had not made that big leap. This step not only made a difference in her personal life but also gave her confidence to tackle other things as well. People are often kinder and more understanding than we think. That was a tough test for a younger guy to handle. He might have failed it and she might have gone back into her shell, but in their case, they both got lucky. It won’t work that way for everyone, of course. But, when it does, you’ll know you have a keeper.
Have a good hair week, know that you are beautiful, and know that we all deserve to be happy and to be loved. Don’t let anything stop you from going for what you want.
Until next time, I’m thinking about going for a new look….blonder for summer. Check this out.