A Sister's Guide to Wigs, Part 1: The Fit, the Fake, and the Flattering
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Sister's Guide to Wigs, Part 1:
The Fit, the Fake, and the Flattering
Expert tips for finding the picture-perfect wig
What do Star Jones, Beverly Johnson, and Diahann Carroll have in common,
apart from their well-earned titles as divas?
Each of these women is an enthusiastic wig wearer. In fact, these celebrity
sisters are so in love with the idea of hair that can come and go as
the mood strikes that each of them owns a line of wigs.
For versatility and ease of use, nothing beats a wig, and more and more
women of all ages are adopting wigs as part of their beauty regimens.
Here, NiaOnline looks at the best way to select and take care of your
own faux tresses. And be sure to check back on January 21 for Part 2,
which will cover additional wig essentials such as what to do with a
portable coif at the gym and the beach.
Well, that's just the problem. Too often the wig doesn't fit, or it's
just plain unbecoming. "Try it on!" says Denise Simon, a New
York-based hairstylist who also product-tests wigs for numerous manufacturers.
Even wigs that can be ordered through catalogs are returnable if you
are not satisfied. "And get a second opinion. Most of us are not
very good at deciding what works best for us," she suggests.
Qualities to look for:
- Flattering style: The wig should compliment the shape of your face
(example, a round face does well with a bob style).
- Versatility: If you have a "get up and go" lifestyle,
it doesn't make sense to get a long, bulky wig that requires lots
- Fit: Make sure it's snug around your head, but not so tight that
it's cutting off circulation; also check that the bulk and weight
- Color and texture: Do not get a wig that does not match your skin
Once you've selected a style, you need to put it on correctly. As Simon
points out, each wig needs a foundation to which it can be attached.
If you have medium to long hair, cornrow it back. Regardless of the
length of your own hair, make sure you cover all of it with a stocking
cap before you put on the wig. Not only will this prevent slippage,
but it will also protect your hair from drying.
Natural or Synthetic?
Wigs generally range in price from $20 to $200, with some going for
as much as $500. The cost depends on the fiber and stranding (whether
the hairs are sewn or glued to the base). Expect to spend $24 to $40
for a good basic-quality wig--more if you want certain name brands or
have money to burn.
Of course, the price also depends on whether the hair is fake or real:
- Synthetic: Wigs made of synthetic fibers are precut, meaning they
don't have to be styled. "They are good if you don't have time
or really know how to do your own hair," Simon explains. A good-quality
one will last upward of six weeks if worn continually.
- Human hair: Of better quality and longer-lasting than synthetic
wigs, human-hair wigs can be styled and cut by the wearer, ensuring
a more natural looking fit. These are more expensive than synthetic
styles, and a high-quality one will last six months to a year.
Simons, a longtime wig wearer, swears by Shake N Go, Free Tress, and
Beverly Johnson wigs. "These human-hair wigs are great, with really
natural-looking fibers," she says about these lines, which retail
for approximately $30 to $40. "They have fluidity and are prestyled