For the past couple of years, nearly every time I put a picture of myself on my blog or Facebook, I get compliments on my hair. That’s been so nice, but I’ve been waiting for the right time to tell you all that it’s not my hair at all. I mean, I own it, but I didn’t grow it. So today is the day I’m officially coming clean:
My name is Diane and I’m a wigaholic.
I’ve always had difficult hair. It’s curly (not in a good way), frizzy, and impossible to control. As if all that wasn’t bad enough, eight or so years ago, it started thinning. I made the usual round of doctor’s visits to find the cause and came up with a few non-specific answers and even fewer potential solutions. No one mentioned the best solution of all: wigs.
I tiptoed into the world of wigs. Literally. I was so hesitant on my first visit to the local wig salon that I sort of slinked in the door trying to be invisible. I assumed human hair would be the best solution and that it would be very, very expensive. The salon owner (so incredibly nice) suggested I start with (and maybe end with) synthetics. She educated me and I realized I knew zip about wearing wigs. Here are a few things I learned that first visit:
-They have names! (I can walk through the airport and spot a Reese or a Samantha or an Amy, but I hasten to add, only because I know what I’m looking for. The average person will rarely spot a wig wearer if the wig is a good one).
-The colors are amazing! I’m constantly complimented by total strangers on the highlights in my hair.
-They are not very expensive. You can easily find a well-made synthetic wig for under $100.
-They tend to have an unnatural shine, and that’s been the hardest part of wearing hair for me. Day to day, it’s not a big deal, but when that camera flash goes off, the hair can be blinding. There are solutions, none of them perfect.
-Human hair wigs may be beautiful, but they are expensive and need the same care any human hair needs, meaning they will frizz in humidity and need to be styled regularly.
Since that salon visit, I’ve learned so much more, particularly from an online support group I joined. I discovered how many different hair issues lead women (and men) to wear hair. Online, I’ve “met” women with illness or treatments that caused them to lose all or some of their hair, women who hate their hair and want to cover it up, and increasingly, women (and men) who just want to have fun, trying out new styles and colors.
So why am I coming out? Some of my friends (particularly younger women) think it’s great that I’m doing so, while some of my older friends think I should keep it quiet. I think that has something to do with the stigma that’s always been associated with wig wearing. Younger women, who may wear extensions or experiment more with their hair, don’t have the same negative association. I’m going public because I wish I’d stumbled across a blog like this one when I first realized I needed “hair help.” I wish someone had told me that wearing a wig wasn’t scary or freakish or shameful. I would have started on this adventure long ago. As a matter of fact, if my hair suddenly “thickened up” again, I wouldn’t stop wearing wigs. It takes me 2 minutes to get my hair ready in the morning instead of 30. No contest.
My significant other really liked the first wig I embraced (Noriko’s ‘Sky’, which I’m wearing in the picture by the ocean). And then another wig arrived for me to play with. And then another. “How many wigs do you need?” he asked. I told him about the support group and how these folks were dealing with their hair loss problems by turning something painful and depressing into something fun, and then he understood. It’s like playing dress-up for grownups.
One of the topics that comes up often in the support group is whether or not to tell people that we wear wigs. Obviously, I do. I find it really difficult to receive a compliment on my hair and not tell, but that’s just me. There are others who are very, very private about it and that’s fine. It’s one of those things where there’s no right or wrong.
If you’re in need of “hair help” and want to get a sense of what’s out there, check out www.galleryofwigs.com or www.wigs.com or simply do a search for wigs and you’ll soon be overwhelmed by a world of great hair you may never have known existed. Watch for the new Luxe line by Sherri Shephard and Daisy Fuentes to be released really soon, too. And here’s my favorite wig reviewer and her great wig videos.
If you have questions, send them my way. I’ll answer here and if you don’t want to identify yourself on the blog, email them to me ([email protected]) and I’ll still put your Q and my A here in the comments without identifying you.
Have a good hair day!