Author Topic: Wig advice  (Read 1290 times)

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Giraffe, Esq

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Wig advice
« on: August 18, 2014, 10:04:46 PM »
I'm planning to shave my head, and for the most part, have no problem walking around with a skull like a cue-ball.  However, there are few things for my job, etc, where I think it could be a problem (law is still the most conservative profession when it comes to fashion). 

So!  I was thinking I'd get a pixie cut wig to wear for those few instances where I need to not be bald.  But the only experience I have with buying wigs is costume ones, which obviously look pretty fake.  (Considering my last one was pure white and paired with elf ears...)

Does anyone have any experience with wigs?  Where might I get one that looks at least passably natural?  Hopefully not for a crazy ton of money?

Here's one I'm considering:

It looks like it's got enough variation in color to look real, but all of them look so real in the pictures and I don't know how to tell which ones will also look real in person.  Thoughts?


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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #1 on: August 18, 2014, 10:31:51 PM »
I've heard that wigs can be hot to wear.  The cancer survivors I've know closely enough to hear about gory details like that have said this to me.  Hot and sometimes scratchy.  Is there a forum for wig wearers would you could find out which ones are good, and which ones to avoid?
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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 01:01:04 AM »
I wear a wig on a regular basis as I'm trying to recover from severely damaged hair.

Wigs can definitely be hot, it's something to consider.
I only wear human hair, not synthetic
Wear a wig cap or a stocking cap between the wig and your scalp.
Google hair loss experts or wig styling.
If you are going to go with human hair, paying for good hair is a must.  I buy Remi or Malaysian hair and color and process it myself.  I take it to a friend of mine who cuts it for me.
All of mine are custom made and are designed to fit the shape of my head and face.  I make them myself to save money, but it definitely doesn't save time.  I'm much much slower than a hairstylist is.
Synthetic hair wigs can't be styled really.  You may be able to use steam hot rollers, but I'm not sure.  You definitely can't use regular styling tools. 
Human hair wigs can be styled just like regular hair, heat and all
You'll need to wash your wig every two weeks or so, unless you are using a lot of product on it.  If so, I'd wash it once a week. 

PM me if you have any more questions


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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2014, 03:55:25 AM »
i've worn wigs at various times (as a [former] orthodox jew and as a cancer survivor). I'm not sure why you are shaving your hair but i can tell you that wearing a wig on a daily/semi daily basis is very uncomfortable and hot, and even with the most expensive hand-made, human hair ones - you can still tell that they are wigs. and remember - you are *stuck* with that hair style/color for the most part. if it's long enough, you can maybe cut it, style it differenly but it's not the same as your own hair.

If you decide to go this route, then only a 100% natural human hair custom made one (and yes, they are very expensive). and while you can wash and set them by yourself - i wouldn't, unless you *really* know how to (because it will never look the same). so that is an additional expense to consider (although, i haven't worn one in many many years so things may have changed). If you live in an area where there are Orthodox Jewish people, then you will be able to find a wig maker there (or "shaitel"). You can PM me for more details.

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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 06:23:23 AM »

Synthetic hair wigs can't be styled really.  You may be able to use steam hot rollers, but I'm not sure.  You definitely can't use regular styling tools. 

 They can, but it's not much like styling actual hair at all since you are reshaping plastic. Hot water will curl, straighten, and generally style synthetic hair, and hairspray or gel can be used to set it.
 Heat-resistant synthetic wigs can be styled with usual hair tools, but there is usually a temperature limit.

 I know people with alopecia who wear everyday wigs. Theirs are high-quality synthetic ones and they do their own washing and styling without much difficulty.

Another Sarah

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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 08:45:57 AM »
I had a wig (cancer survivor too) and I second cicero. That thing was a pain, I hardly ever wore it.

When you say shave your head, do you mean to the skin? I would have thought you could probably get away with a number 1 or 2 shave even as a lawyer.

If that's not an option, this is my advice:
 - buy one with a fringe. The front parting of the wig is the hardest bit to get to look natural.
 - Check the parting all over, or the "crown" where the hair is supposed to grow from. A really good natural looking wig will have a natural looking part. Mine used to have a bit of fabric that blended with my scalp so it looked like the hair was growing out of my head, people really couldn't tell the difference. A dodgy looking wig will have a dodgy looking part. People do notice things like that subconsciously.
 - Get the shade that's closest to your natural hair colour. It will look much more realistic
 - I would really not buy online if I could help it. You need to try it out to see if it will look natural, the shape of your head will make a big difference to which wig looks most natural on you. google wig makers or hair extension shops in your area and go in and speak to someone. even if you only try out styles it will give you a better idea what to look for


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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 09:21:55 AM »
If you get a synthetic wig (which are generally of lower price) and find that it has an "obviously artificial" shine to it, soak it in fabric softener for several hours and then wash it gently.


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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2014, 10:20:10 AM »
Off topic, but I am so curious why you are shaving your head!  I am a lawyer also and I agree it is a conservative profession and bald women are rare, but I also don't think that it would be forbidden to be bald.  I know several women of color who have extremely closely cropped hair - not "bald" but almost.  You could consider a head scarf instead of a hot and expensive wig. 

Outdoor Girl

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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2014, 03:31:19 PM »
I've made 'chemo caps' with eyelash yarn out of more natural hair colours - blonde, brown, black.  Close up, of course they look nothing like hair but from a distance, it is deceiving.

Might be something to consider.  And if you're in Canada or the States, I willing to make you one and mail it to you.  PM me.

I don't have any experience with wigs, other than my Mom used to have one for 'bad hair' days that my brother wore one Hallowe'en when he went out dressed as her.  She just thought he was dressed as a woman, while the rest of us were laughing hysterically at his imitations of my mother.
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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #9 on: August 20, 2014, 06:35:17 AM »
As a current Orthodox Jew, I wear a wig a lot.

I don't find it as hot as some others, but it's not as comfortable for me as a headscarf.  You do get used to wearing it, though and it's not such a big deal.

Here are my recommendations:
1)  good-quality human hair- I started out with out of the box wigs (not custom) which were middling quality hair.  Even when they were freshly washed and set, they'd look kind of messy and ratty after a few hours of wearing ad after a few years were really worn out.  I've had a custom-made wig with good quality hair for about the last 12 years.  I don't wear it every day, but I wear it quite a bit and it still looks nice.   It also goes a lot longer between wash and set appointments- I only have it professionally done about twice a year.

So- it's a bigger investment in the beginning- mine was $1000 12 years ago, but I've saved a lot of money in the long run and it's more comfortable and looks better. 

2) In my case, my head is massive and I have a low hairline, so I had my wig custom-made to fit my head.  It makes a tremendous difference- when I wore out of the box wigs, I always ended up needing to take tylenol for a headache.  YMMV with this one, obviously, but your head shape is something to consider.

3) Whoever mentioned fringe or bangs before, is very right.  If you have even a thin layer of bangs at the front, the wig will look more natural.  It might also lower the cost, since those fine baby hairs they do at the front to make it look more natural can be very tricky to get right.

4)  There are all kinds of other ways to make your wig more versatile and/or natural looking- you can get a multi-directional part, which will allow different styling options, you can get a skin cap put under the part, which looks more natural, etc.

5)  If you're going to invest in a good quality wig, consider going a touch darker than you like.  (not too much, though)  Over time, the hair will oxidize in the sun and will get lighter.  A good wig can be dyed, but once you're at that point, you're into the last couple of years of the wig's lifem since it can only be dyed so many times.

If you have any questions, feel free to pm me


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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #10 on: August 20, 2014, 08:32:45 AM »
I ordered this wig: for a costume and was fairly amazed at how realistic it looked and felt, especially for such an inexpensive wig.


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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2014, 10:40:07 AM »
My husband has had to wear a wig since about junior high school (he has alopecia areata). He spends about a thousand a year for a new hairpiece and it is worth it for his self esteem. Getting a good, realistic looking one is so important. He has gone to the same wigmaker for 30 years or more, so he has an excellent rapport -- he will sometimes refurbish older ones so my husband changes them out for maintenance.

He wears it for work and church etc. At home he goes hairless because it does get sweaty and uncomfortable. He wears a hat outside when doing yardwork etc. He washes and comes the hair himself but he's a guy, so the style is pretty simple.

If you are not sure about how it looks, bring someone along with you when you are getting fitted.

Hope this helps.

Giraffe, Esq

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Re: Wig advice
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2014, 11:26:24 PM »
Thanks, everyone.  I guess I wasn't clear in my OP -- I will not be wearing the wig on a daily or even semi-daily basis. 

It's really only a few court appearances that I don't want to have it be a distraction (one, in particular, the judge is always hounding us on the most ridiculous things and I don't know his stance on stuff like that, so I'm not taking any chances in his courtroom). 

I figure I'll need it maybe 5 to 10 times in the first two months and by then it should be long enough to count as an acceptable pixie cut on its own.  Which, of course, is why I don't want to invest the money in a good quality / human hair wig.

I haven't had a chance to research shops in my area, but I'll take a look into that, too.