It's Hair Loss Support At Its Best
I'm pretty excited about this. I've had alopecia since I was 15, so I've been through hiding under wigs for at least 15 years. I found that it made it more difficult for me to be honest and open about my condition because the whole idea was to pretend that it was my hair. There is no shame in wearing a wig and we should feel free to present ourselves in whatever way makes us feel most comfortable. But for me, it kept me in hiding. And it was uncomfortable, hot and itchy. So a started wearing scarves and it became my signature style. Just recently, I created a yarn wig after learning about volunteers who create yarn wigs for kids with cancer. The wigs are in fun, bright colors, inspired by cartoon characters and mermaids, etc. It gave me the inspiration to create my own type of fantasy wig. I spent quite a lot of time on this, and it has several skeins of a variety of colored yarns. When people see me wearing it, I get a LOT of people telling me how gorgeous it is. They are always a little puzzled because they've never seen anything like it.. but they are always complimentary. The best part, for me, is that it actually becomes an intro into talking openly about alopecia because I am actually celebrating that I can wear whatever I want on my head. It doesn't get the typical "so sorry you have to deal with this" response, or hushed, "is it a wig?" stares. Instead people are like, "WOW, you are really rocking this and it looks so awesome I wish I had hair like that!"
I'm an artist who makes a living making jewelry. Honestly, I'd rather be painting, but the jewelry is paying the bills because it serves a need. I'm not absolutely sure about whether people will pay me enough to create these for them that I can make a living from it, but the responses have been so amazing that I think it's worth looking into. I'd also love to know that what I'm creating is actually helping people who, like me, suffered from hair loss.. and I think people will have FUN wearing them. It might take me a while to get my first products out, but I'm interested in starting with commissions. I am also curious if people in this community have some ideas of what would be a good name for it. I'm also curious if people are willing to spend upwards of $150 for an exquisitely hand-crafted yarn wig. I will probably also create partials that can be attached for people who already have partial coverage that they'd like to add to with some fun and beautiful yarns (for much less, since it's significantly less work than a full wig). Btw, I have no problem with other folks creating their own yarn wigs. I don't own the idea. But do realize that to create one as complex as the one I've done here, it's many hours of work.
I applaud you for creating a yarn wig and wanting to use the idea to help others. Its cute, but I need bangs (forehead covering) and I'm not sure what the thing is that goes under your chin. Reminds me of a Muslim headcovering. Can it be washed and dried? Will it last as long as a wig? Will it stay on as well as a wig? Does it have to have a headband? Are you going to do different styles?
To reach a large audience, I would suggest making a few and trying to sell on eBay and Etsy. That will give you an idea if there is a market for your target audience and what kind of price point you can set.
First, that's just a knitted scarf under my chin (not all related to my new head piece.. it was just a cold day and I was marketing my art outside all day!) Here's another picture of it without the scarf, nor the headband:
I have wore wigs for many years, so I can promise you that this is much more comfortable than a wig, and it does hold snugly to your head (without creating a headache, as wigs sometimes do). It's also cooler since I I knotted the hundreds of yarns into a stretchy net cap that allows air to flow to your scalp. I've worn it for full days for a few weeks now. It is wearing very well so far. I have not washed it yet, but these are washable yarns. So I will get back to you on if it affects it much at all.
I do like the idea of doing different styles. This is just my very early beta mode and I thought it would be a good idea to get the idea out to the alopecia community. People who have seen it in person get very excited about it! I went over to a friend's house recently and she loved it so much that she wanted to try it on, even though she has hair (I'm thinking of doing extensions for folks with hair, but the full head wigs I'd like to market to people whom it can really help, with alopecia and cancer).
Kind of reminds me of Cyndi Lauper with dreadlocks. I so love her pink hair.
I realize it's not for everyone. I'm an artist, so I can get away with wearing something a little bit wild. I'm guessing that someone who has a "normal" job would prefer something that's not going to turn heads too much. I didn't used to like a lot of extra attention.. just wanted to blend in. And while I still don't want to bring extra attention to my lack of hair, it IS important to feel that you are presenting your most attractive self. I can honestly say that I've never felt more spectacular than I do wearing this, which is why it has generated a lot of excitement from my friends, and why I think others would benefit from it too. For me, it's mostly a matter of liking something on my head that makes me feel pretty while making me feel that I'm NOT hiding. And it feels celebratory. When I tell people I invented it because I wanted to wear hair without hiding (because it's obvious that I'm not pretending this is my actual hair), it leads me into a discussion about talking openly about alopecia in a way that they do not feel sorry for me. It's just really changed the conversation for me.
Anyway, I thank you for your responses. I clicked on your photo and I really love the scarf you are wearing, btw. Good job on finding something so attractive. I love scarves too!
Hey, Way to go Dreambird! What a creative idea you have! I love the pic of your colorful yarn creation! I knitted some scarves for a while but that is as far as I got with yarn creations. :}
I say..."keep your idea moving forward"!! I would love to help out if needed. Maybe it is something a bunch of us baldies could do together to fulfill orders....just thinking ahead. ;)
Please feel free to contact me! I posted in the group smooth and single that I am finding this sight a bit "unuser friendly" at present. Maybe I just need to get the hang of it since I am relatively new here.
I liked the idea hagster had about trying to sell a few on Ebay or Etsy to get a feel for it.
Keep dreaming and creating!!!
I would love to have some help creating these once I get it off the ground. Right now I am working on an idea that I think will make it faster to create, and therefore keep the retail price down a bit. What city do you live in?
Keep us posted on your progress and again kudos to you for your creativity!!! :)))
I would love to have one! How do you attach it to your head?
Hi Coco! Sorry for my delayed reply. You actually wear it like any other wig. I don't have any problems with slippage at all, even though I have a completely smooth head. But if you are concerned about slippage, it's easy to find a no-slip band in a beauty supply store (or, I could supply one for you). If you are truly interested, I am just beginning to start making some more soon, and you can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I really do get people stopping me every single day that I wear this. I get compliments on it constantly!... which is why I got the idea that it might be a good business idea.
What's so cool about this is the variety of colors and textures you could wear!
For those of us north of 40, it's a known fact that wearing something textured near your face makes your skin look even smoother, so those great textures in the right colors could make all of us look years younger! Love the texture you've put into your pieces.
Y'know, you just need the one right celebrity wearing one of these and you'll be off and running. There was a Miss America contestant a few years back (I think? Or Miss USA?) who had alopecia... You might contact her to see if she'd have any interest or could refer you to someone who has enough media presence to get you launched?
Years ago on one of the Hair Forums (and I do mean YEARS ago - maybe 2004ish?) one of the girls associated somehow with Doctored Locks in Minnesota (or Wisc? Somewhere cold, and I don't think she worked at Doctored Locks but was maybe a patron, and yes, do patronize Doctored Locks, because they were absolutely awesome back in the early years helping to educate everyone about hair extensions and techniques) had done a beta on yarn extensions and was very, very arty with hers. Way cool, and her report of the responses she got from people were interesting to say the least ("How do you get your hair to look like yarn?" "It is yarn." "Oh. How did that happen?")
Back when I had some hair left I did some braids with silk embroidery thread braided into my hair, which was kind of fun and looked cool for a couple days, but FYI, they were a little drying to my already fragile hair, so you might have better luck using synthetic yarns for people who hope to integrate the yarn into existing hair so it doesn't leach out their existing hair oils and moisture?
Neat idea, though! Gets me to thinking about all the things we could use for hair... Fiber optics with glowing ends? How about a real copper wire updo? (And it would have to be an updo unless you liked getting scratched, but stay away from thunderstorms.) OH! And the truly gangsta version would have to be a head full of gold chains! (but no shedding - that would be expensive).
Hair is nice, but aren't there lots of prettier things we could have on our heads? "Chandeliers for our bodies."
Keep up the awesome work!!!
Haha! Thanks so much for the fantastic reply. I agree, there is no reason we shouldn't be wearing something a lot more fun than anything that looks exactly like hair. The thing is that this one does look enough like hair that many people think it is at first, until they realize how many textures and glistening strands there are.. and then they are like, "Wow, that's so COOL! How'd you do that??"(thinking that I just tied hundreds of pieces of yarn into my hair, I guess). Then I explain to them that I handtied each strand into a net cap.. the fact that I have alopecia and I got this idea because I didn't want to feel like I was hiding under a wig (after years of doing so, it was hard to bring up because you just want it to pass for real hair). Now I feel pretty liberated to share info about alopecia and not be embarrassed about it. This has actually changed my life. I have also thought about doing this as a business since people regularly get excited about it when they see me (and even people with hair say they'd like one)... except that it's so time consuming to do that I fear it might be too expensive to have a very large audience. Maybe if i can find a way to reduce the amount of labor (or get someone who loves working with fiber to do production for me)... but being an artist who is already exhausted by how much work it is to market my art and jewelry, I think.. "yeah, just what I need is another project". Lol. Well, I will update you guys if I ever get a business under way. You're right that it would help a lot if I could get someone famous to wear it (or if I could introduce it on Oprah for example).. Like that's going to happen!