To all you newbies to the world of wig-wearing: welcome! It has its pros and cons like everything else in life.

You may think "ooh, I've always wanted thick, long, luscious [insert colour/style here] hair... now's my chance!" 

By all means, invest in a long luscious wig if it makes you feel better about losing your bio hair.

BUT! Please think about the practicalities.

Short wigs are WAY more practical than long wigs. Here is why:

* They don't tangle nearly as much

* They are easier to wash and care for

* They are cheaper

* You can change wig styles without people noticing that it must be a wig (eg if you went from long to short to back again in a short space of time)... because those with short bio hair often cut and change it up regularly

* They stay in place much more easily

* You don't have the wig hair getting in your eyes all the time. -- This is a big deal, for me anyway. Maybe people used to emo or Bieber-esque hairstyles who have some easy desk job that doesn't require too much concentration can deal with their wig constantly getting in your eyes. But if you have allergies, or do a lot of physical work, or need to really concentrate, it's as annoying and impractical as all hell to have hair constantly tickling your eyes, getting in the way of your vision, and needing to be always swept back. Sure, you can pin or tie longer wigs back, but the chance of them looking "wiggy" goes up exponentially if you do.

* You don't have to worry about the hair in front of your ears all the time. -- This is another big deal for me and is related to the above point. When I was wearing my long wig all the time I was constantly battling between tucking it behind my ears to get it out of my eyes/face, and realizing that this made it look instantly "wiggy" because when you don't have any baby hair that grows in front of your ears, the line of the wig becomes really obvious. So I would then pull a little bit back in front of my ears, but it would be constantly falling into the wrong position. Or I would look like an elf from Lord of the Rings. (Incidentally, this is probably the main reason why so many medieval/fantasy films and TV shows include hair hanging down in front of the actors' ears: it's because to get such super-long wavy luscious hair they are all wearing wigs. See also Game of Thrones -- look at Daenerys / Khaleesi's wig.)

So my advice is: get a bob or a pixie style wig. There are plenty of modern styles out there now (eg see Rene of Paris's hi-fashion range). You won't look like an old lady if you do a bit of research and try some different styles on.

Good luck!

Views: 602

Comment by GardenJess on June 5, 2014 at 12:36am

I agree with your points and read your final wig advice with some inner amusement. When I first was looking for a wig, I figured I should try to replicate my long, straight bio hair. My husband figured this was the chance to get the extra long, luscious blonde locks he had forgone by marrying me. I politely set my husband straight and then got a wig that was a little shorter than what my hair had been but still just below my shoulders. That wig looked great, but it was so much hair that wearing it felt unnatural, and it quickly lost its silky softness. I sprang for a slightly shorter wig, and loved the ease, but it still fell in my face and the ends got mussed, so, in quick order, I bought a chin length bob, with bangs, and that has been my wig look for months now, a wig I can wear doing stuff with kids, under a hat, or even forget that I have on my head.

I'm sure long wigs are right for some people, and I still hold on to my right to put on longer hair for special occasions, but for someone who didn't want to invest a lot of energy or time into wig wearing, short has worked better for me.

Comment by Tallgirl on June 5, 2014 at 12:39am

I wear mid-length wigs with bangs. If I pull back some hair on one side to pin it, I leave a bit hanging down in a wisp in front of my ear.

Some of us have too much double chin or long neck for pixie cuts, which show the bald necks nape if we bend our heads down!

Comment by Holly on June 5, 2014 at 12:53am

I should add that bobs with bangs / fringe are more practical than bobs without, as with a fringe you don't need to tuck the hair back at the sides behind your ears. Also, a fringe easily covers up the hair/wig line so you don't need to worry about people seeing the lace or the edge or whatever.

Comment by Rose Marie' on June 5, 2014 at 8:18pm

On some levels I agree with your blog but on others I am wondering if your wigs of choice are making this decision for you.  If you are talking about synthetic hair ... then I agree they are a better option being a little shorter and sassier. (If your piccie is of your syn look great).  

There is more involved here than just practicalities though ...don't you think?.  People who have lost their hair through no choice of their own often struggle with the limitations that wigs bring.  Those limitations are not just emotional but also financial.  Many work with wigs that are reasonably priced to achieve a look they can cope with.  My thing is I don't just want my daughter or anybody to make do....I want this condition and her/their hairloss to be empowering, especially around her/their wig of choice.  

When I am talking with people that are asking me about wigs, I always realise that they have an expectation...which is not necessarily how their growing hair was.  In many instances I see that the person without hair really wants not just hair that will do...but hair that makes them feel fantastic and often that equates to long and luscious hair.  Is this most circumstances no.  So, you talk and find out what is driving the want.  You discuss hairstyles .... you start empowering the person with the reality of what can be achieved.

With the wigs I advocate for you are really able to do many of the things that you have said are limiting. Wearing your hair behind your ear really is not a problem, ponytails, updo's all work well (never perfect...that would be people's growing hair). Short or long hair always looks natural and is easy care.  Longevity is very good etc. 

I do feel that fringes/bangs and good hairstyling are the keys to a wig that works well for people.  I know many people do not want to wear wigs with bangs...but maybe this is a reality that has to be faced.  Many people I help wear their wigs without bangs and I love the styling they do...but for me, like you I think bangs work better for wigs.  

The below picture is of a wee girl that Freedom has helped with her hair....behind the ear and no fringe works for her as does long hair.  I would not like to have limited this wee person to short hair because it is more practical and in my mind for her it isn't more practical

 This ladies short Freedom Wig is fab...and absolutely practical for her age and her style.

This is such a personal choice and that's what everybody needs choice and discussion.


Comment by Holly on June 5, 2014 at 10:50pm

I know that this ear hairline thing is less of an issue for Freedom wig wearers. That little girl's wig looks pretty natural and very pretty. But not everyone can wear a Freedom wig due to the fact (correct me if I'm wrong) that you basically need to have no (or very little) bio hair to wear one; not everyone would want one anyway for whatever personal reason -- eg they may prefer the feel of fabric against their scalp instead of silicone, may find them too warm for their climate, etc; and not everyone can afford the high initial cost of a Freedom wig, even though they may last for years and give a good return on investment.

I agree there is more than just practicality to think about, but I wrote this blog post mainly for those who are new to alopecia and have a busy lifestyle, perhaps with not much money -- like me, the perennial student! I'm not so new to it all now but I wanted to share what I learned. I spent a lot of my money and my family's on a long wig initially because I had wanted to grow my hair out to be long and it had been long for most of my life, so I felt like it was a big part of my identity. However, I found that although it was a beautiful, monotop, front lace human hair wig that got me many compliments, it was seriously annoying to wear for everyday life. I then bought two short synthetic wigs (yes my pic is of one of them) and found the bob to be the most practical and wearable style that let me concentrate on my life instead of my hair, without costing too much.

Since then, my hair has mostly grown back so I now rarely wear wigs. But I feel prepared if it all falls out again, and I wanted others to have some of the insights I gained through trial, error and a lot of money (and itchiness)!

Comment by Rose Marie' on June 6, 2014 at 12:26am

I so want people to concentrate on their lives rather than their hair....that's why I do my best to educate people just as you are doing.  I guess for me I always feel like it is important to share all the information about all wigs available honestly and clearly. Your opinion and my opinion are just that and I totally respect what you have written.  You have explained eloquently why synthetic wigs work for you.  For my daughter they never did...she didn't find them a choice she could live with. She found them uncomfortable, hot and restricting.  Her opinion and one that I listened to and tried to find an alternative that would work for her. For many synthetic wigs do work and I support that choice.  For us they didn't.


Comment by Lexi on June 7, 2014 at 9:25pm

Regarding a short wig....the synthetic fibers won't go into your mouth and stick to your lipstick.  And the back will not frizz up rubbing against your neck and clothing.  But I do like longer hair.  But also I see many get synthetic wigs that are long hair, and I just can't help but wonder, where on earth do they really wear them?  Just plain not practical, esp. in hot climates, and the frizz factor, the wig wouldn't last very long.  And when you go out and about, who really do you see with that kind of long hair all flowing all over themselves?  No one.  Most have their hair pulled back in a low ponytail, or clipped up somehow.  And who could go to work with all of that long hair all over themselves?  Now HH is different to an extent.  But still, I feel one would pull it back somehow, not just have it down.  Just my two cents.  Now also, the next thought is the ease of care with a short wig.  Just swish it in some water/shampoo, rinse and let dry overnight.  HH takes much more effort to keep it looking soft and silky and not tangle.  And cost.

Comment by Holly on June 8, 2014 at 12:09am

I would think that a good option would actually be a short human hair wig. Though of course it would require some styling. 

Comment by Sunflower25 on June 8, 2014 at 8:01am

YES YES YES.  Haha.  I would never get a long wig unless it was for something special.  Every day - short it is!

I didn't want to have a part - I think that's a dead give away on the wig.  My short pixie wig has no part.  :)


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