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Wigs: When All Else Fails

So you’ve tried every hair loss treatment on the market but your hair continues to thin Water Wave Wig and your hairline has receded so far that bangs simply won’t hide the fact anymore.

Or maybe you’re facing chemo and dread the thought of having you hair fall out in clumps – adding insult to injury.

Here are some things you should know about wigs if you choose not to go around bald-headed. There are good things and bad things about wigs.

There are also many wig options and features to choose from.

Good Things About Wigs

1. No more bad hair days. With proper care, your wig looks great every day.

2. The full-head-of-hair look you get instantly with a wig takes 20 years off your appearance.

3. Wigs save styling time. Human hair wigs can be styled any way you like. If you don’t wear yours while you sleep, there’s no need to do any hair styling in the morning.

Synthetic wigs require practically no styling. Wash with shampoo; rinse; pat dry; fluff; hang to dry. The style comes back as the wig dries. In the morning all you have to do is comb it into place and perhaps spritz with a bit of hairspray.

4. Wigs are affordable. Good quality human hair wigs come as cheaply as $300. The best synthetic wigs are about $200. Think of your wig as an item of clothing which you will wear every day. Would you pay that much for a very special dress or suit?

5. If you treat your wig well, you can expect a wig (worn only during the day) to last at least three years.

A good buying strategy is to buy a new one about once a year, with each one being just slightly different in length and/or style than the last. This way you can transition from a short to a longer look. When you go from a longer wig to a shorter one, just say you had your hair cut!

6. If you are not sensitive about what other’s say or think, you can make wigs a fashion statement. You can change your “look” daily or even more often to suit your mood or the occasion during the day.

Bad Things about Wigs

1. The things people say. If your hair has thinned significantly by the time you buy your first wig, the difference will be very obvious.

Most people will be considerate and only tell you how nice your hair looks or how much younger you appear.

However you can count on a few insensitive people to announce in a loud accusatory tone, “You’re wearing a wig, aren’t you?!” Be prepared with a sassy comeback for them. For example, “Why in the world would you ask such a question?”

2. The only way to change the color is to buy a new wig. While human hair wigs theoretically can be colored, it’s not worth the risk of damage to such an important investment.

3. There may be some activities you need to give up; for example, swimming.

Chlorine is very hard on human hair wigs.

Wet hair is heavier and your wig could slip (see next point for solutions to this). Synthetic wigs do not look much like human hair when wet and the webbing may be visible.

4. Wigs can slip, fall or be pulled off. There are steps to avoid such a disaster. A well-secured wig can stay in place through a high-impact aerobics class.

5. Wigs are hot – in the literal sense. It’s like wearing a knit cap through the dog days of summer (or a high impact aerobics class!). Ah, the high price of beauty.

Wig Options

1. There are salons that specialize in human hair wigs. Though this makes the process more costly, it assures your wig will always be beautifully styled and well-cared for.

One of the options these salons offer is “sewing” the wig onto your head (using your remaining hair as the thread). This does cause wear and tear on your remaining hair, but may be possible for several years or indefinitely.

For women especially, it is a good option since female genetic baldness does not often progress as quickly or as far as male genetic baldness. The wig needs to be removed and reattached every 4 to 6 weeks because as your natural hair (which is holding the wig in place) grows out, the wig loosens.

2. Today’s synthetic wigs look very natural. Ten years ago I wouldn’t have, but today I strongly recommend them.

3. Some wearers don’t feel the need for extra security. But if your lifestyle makes you nervous that your wig will slip, there are various options (in addition to #1 above).

The simplest is to run a bobby pin through the webbing, grabbing whatever hair you can. Then run a second bobby pin through beside the first one and cross the first making an “X”.

There are also little comb-like clips designed for wigs that you can buy in a beauty supply store. You sew them to the border of the wig (using invisible thread or monofilament “fishing” line) where needed.

[Tip: rather than sewing through the little attachment holes provided on each side, use an overlapping stitch and sew all around the clip’s frame.] Then pull on the wig; flip the comb to grab some of your natural hair; and snap it shut. The clips are sort of like those curved metal barrettes that snap open and closed.

4. Flat or fluffy? With a synthetic wig, you have the option of a full fluffy hairstyle or a flatter one. If the shape of your face will allow a flatter hairstyle, buy a wig with a monofilament section on top.

This is a transparent fabric that, when placed on your head, looks like your scalp! It’s nothing short of amazing. Someone could be 5 inches from your scalp with a magnifying glass and not be able to tell they’re looking at a wig base rather than your scalp.

If your face shape requires a fuller hairstyle, don’t pay extra for the monofilament base. To achieve fullness, your wig will be pre-ratted. When your hair is ratted, no one can see your scalp anyway.

5. Finally, there is a synthetic option which is quite new. It’s even called “Options”.

Personally, I don’t think they have the bugs out yet. The idea is a synthetic fiber that can stand up to the heat of a curling iron and be temporarily reformed. When washed, the fibers revert to the manufactured style. Watch for “New, Improved” versions of “Options”. It’s a great idea but just needs a little refining.


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