Five things you have to be prepared for when wearing a wig.
Wearing a wig can be a daunting experience. Will everyone know? Will it look false? How do you carry it off with confidence? There are certain things you have to be prepared for when you wear alternative hair.
If you have recently started wearing a topper or wig, for whatever reason, you are probably still coming to terms to with it and getting used to it. Meanwhile your friends and family are saying
Your hair looks lovely! Wow!
For the first few months if anyone complimented me on my hair, my automatic response was “thanks, it’s a wig”. Looking back I guess I thought that if I said it first before they twigged then it was less embarrassing. All this did in reality was put them on the back foot as they genuinely didn’t know what to say.
Now, I still am very open about wearing one but I have learnt to accept a compliment. When someone compliments your hair, just accept it.
Your hair looks nice
What does that mean?
It means your hair looks nice. It does not mean “what the hell did you do to your hair? what’s that on your head? or “oh my god your wig is crooked”. It means your hair looks nice. If like me, you endured years of attempting to get your natural hair to do anything remotely passable as a style, chances are you rarely received compliments, therefore when they do start flooding in you panic.
Now, a good-fitting wig should not come off easily. In nine years of wearing alternative hair I have only had four occasions in which it slipped. Once when my boss pulled a santa hat off my head, taking my Revlon Romance wig with partway with it. Luckily I just fell about in fits of giggles while he picked his jaw up from the floor.
Second time it was my Amber Human Hair piece and it was heavier than I was used to and I walking back to the car park on a windy evening I almost lost it. I caught it just in time. Other occasions have mainly been due to wind – which cannot always be avoided.
Of course you can wear tape or glue to ensure that it doesn’t happen. I have tape, I don’t always use it but if it is particularly windy, or I’m going to be wearing it for a while (whilst travelling for example) then I do for piece of mind.
I recommend using wig tape, in three pieces, just around the ear tabs and on the centre, behind your lace front if your wig has one. It’s best to use tape in conjunction with a wig cap if you have any bio hair as when you take it off it can rip it out. Once taped on, your hair won’t be going anywhere. It will be hat proof, wind proof and all-kinds-of activity proof.
This can be a tough one for many women. Even if you are in a relationship when you start wearing alternative hair, the effect on your partner can be strange. Some men love the confidence it gives you, some can resent the confidence it gives you.
I was single for many years when I started wearing a wig so I can’t relate to that. I’ve always been open and honest about it but at differing times in a relationship.
I’ve been on dates where I have already told the guy I wear a wig – they have never been bothered and only ever complimented me on my hair. I’ve been on a date where I didn’t tell him until I was forced to when at the end of the date he put his hand under it while giving me a goodnight kiss! Eek! I never saw him again after that and that’s fine by me.
When I finally got into a relationship, he knew about it and in the beginning was really sweet about it, even giving me a head massage after I took it off. One of my rules is – no matter for who – I NEVER sleep in a wig. They are far too expensive to do that and it messes them up too much. Especially if they are synthetic. I thought I was so lucky that he was good about it but as time went on, questions started cropping up. “So, can’t you grow your hair?”, or “Will it ever come back?”. Well, gee, if I could grow it myself, do you think I would choose to be spending hundreds of pounds a year on them? Idiot! Towards the end of the relationship I realised he was not remotely supportive of it. When we split up, I got a new short style, call it my two fingers up at him as he likes long hair.
If you are single/dating and are worried then think of it as a barometer for checking out how a guy is going to be. If he can deal with it and is kind about it, then he’s a good guy. The decision whether or not to tell him is up to you. Sometimes I do before a date, sometimes I don’t. Ultimately if one date turns into another then he’s going to know at some point. If he freaks and runs a mile then quite frankly he is not the guy for you and you’ve just to keep looking.
If he does stick around – read my tips on windy days for helping your locks stay secure 😉 nobody wants it coming off then for sure!
Not tonight dear, I’m washing my hair
Plan your locks laundry.
This isn’t such a big deal if you have a human hair wig or topper as you can blow dry and style just as you would bio hair and you’re ready to go, with the added bonus that you can reach the awkward bit at the back with no issues. If you are in the synthetic camp then this has both benefits with just one con – drying time.
Synthetic styles are locked into place. You can’t change straight to curly, you can’t straighten a curl. For the majority what you buy is what you get. Now that wig makers are bringing more HD (heat defiant) styles to our stores then this is changing, but the majority of wigs are there are meant to be pre-styled. Now this is brilliant for me as for example with my Julianne Monofilament from Jon Renau, I wash and go. The rub is, I have to wait for it to dry. Usually this means overnight or for around 12 hours.
If you only have one wig, you need to factor this in to your routine and make sure you wash it at a point in your schedule where it is not going to impact too much on you. Particularly if this is your first wig. If you have alopecia or are going to be wearing alternative hair long term then I really do recommend having at least two wigs so you can avoid this issue. Things happen. I’ve had an incident with icing sugar which meant I had to wash mine adhoc, luckily I had another style but I really wanted to wear THAT one the next day for a date.
Likewise, if you have more than one, avoid washing them all together as you never know what will come up. I washed all of mine one evening thinking it wouldn’t matter as I was just having a quiet night in, cue an impromptu visit from friends and me having to wear a hat.
Replacing or changing the style
You may love or loathe the style you are wearing. I’ve loved my last three styles, the Aria, the Angelica and especially the Julianne. I went through a phase of wearing the same style for a few years and I recently discovered the Revlon Romance was discontinued. If you do choose a style, make sure you keep up to date with the manufacturer and ensure that they don’t suddenly do away with your style or colour.
The choice out there is huge these days and more and more companies are creating so called “sister” styles that are very similar. For example the Scarlett, Julianne or the Drew and the Zara.
I’ve just ordered myself a new one – the Drew by Jon Renau in Chocolate Cherry Syrup. It’s a little longer than what I wanted and it will be my first HD wig. My reasoning (like I need an excuse!) is that it will pair nicely with the Julianne and allow a straight look that hopefully will look like I’ve just straightened my hair. I’m lucky I wear so many styles now and I have one of those annoying faces that seems to suit most hairstyles and hats so if they discontinued mine I’m sure I would find something.
If you are considering a change, are based in North/Mid UK then I highly recommend a consultation with Simply Wigs. For £20 (deductible from any wig purchase) they will get in four styles in your choice of colour to allow you to try at their premises in Slaithwaite, West Yorkshire. I haven’t done it myself although I have considered it but I would definitely
Do you have any tips to share? If so comment below.