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My Wig Looks Like aWig!

When you first venture into wigs, you’ll probably experience this feeling when you take one out of the box and put it on your head. It’s too bulky. It’s not lying right against my hairline. It looks crooked. And most of all – it looks like a wig!

A few clip in dreads for short hair things to consider when you have this feeling:

It looks like a wig to you. Because you  know it’s a wig. You’ve also been looking at your head in the mirror for a long time. And you’re used to seeing your own hair – what may or  may not be left of it. You’re used to your own unique color, texture, and density. And you are NOT used to seeing something else attached to it. But other people are not nearly as accustomed to your head, your face, your hair, as you are. Not even close. Not even people who know you very well. Consider this: I read an article online years ago that described the difference between how women view themselves physically vs. how men view themselves (can’t find it now, unfortunately). clip in dreads for short hair  It stated that women view themselves as a bunch of separate body parts when they look in the mirror (I’d be perfect if I didn’t have these hips – sound familiar ) but that men don’t view themselves this way, and in general women don’t view others that way either. It’s just when we’re looking at ourselves that we mark everything up like a side of beef and scrutinize each cut. In short, you are looking in the mirror at your HAIR. Others are  looking at you…all of you. And yes, that’s true even if you’re used to being complimented repeatedly on your hair and have always been told it’s your crowning glory. Others are still putting it together with the rest of you. I promise.

I know I’ve mentioned this next tip before, but it clip in dreads for short hair fits to mention it here again. Wigs, when taken out of their packaging, are like clothes bought at a store and folded into a bag. They may have wrinkles that need smoothing out. They may need laundering. If it’s a sweater, it may be too fluffy. It may need alterations to fit your proportions properly. You may need to wash and dry it to shrink it up a tad. We accept that our clothes don’t come out of the bag perfect, but we expect our wigs to do so. And they don’t. Some need time to settle.’ Some need alteration by a stylist to better fit our face shape. And some need a quick wash and dry to get their oomph back. If it’s human hair, it may need heat styling. I personally always dunk’ my wigs in a sinkful of cool water, blot them with a towel, anmd hang them upside down to let them dry – I just clip it at the nape to a pant hanger and let it dry that way. I’ve been amazed at the transformations that simple step has manifested. It isn’t always the solution, but it works often enough for me to do it every time. Sometimes, like a pair of shoes, I have to break a wig in’ by wearing it around the house for a day or two. A seriously poufy wig may tame down by doing this, or a shiny one may dull a bit. Sometimes I just need to get used to seeing it on my head. Bottom line: it’s pretty rare to take a wig right out of the package and have it sit perfectly on your head right away. So don’t despair too quickly.

Another thing I’ve found to be helpful before passing judgment on a wig is to take a few pictures of myself in it. They don’t have to be studio quality pictures, but a decent snapshot with the camera held at a good distance from my face can provide a more realistic perspective of what the wig actually looks like than a scrutinized reflection in the mirror. I don’t know why this is, but I suspect it has to do with seeing myself as others see me instead of how I see myself. This might be because I can only see myself from certain angles and distances in a mirror, and it’s often not the angles and distances from which others view me. For whatever the reason, taking pictures of myself in a new wig can often help me determine if it works or not. So give it a try.

On this last point, I admit to being a little weak myself. But wigs can be played with. Parts can be changed up and moved (even on non-monofilament, permatease wigs), styling products can be used (I stick with products made for synthetic wigs, but not everyone does this), even water can be a styling tool on a synthetic wig. Don’t be afraid to mess it up and play with it and make it your own. I am terrible about this, but I’m that way with my own hair too – how my stylist styles it is how I style it every day. But I’m generally OK with the results. If you’re not, don’t be afraid to play and see what else the wig can do. And you CAN pull a long wig into a ponytail, or braids, and you can add hair accessories to jazz up the look. You’re not stuck with exactly what comes out of the box. And you can take that wig to a stylist if you feel it needs a little help. You can add bangs and layers or shorten it up. You can thin it if need be. Some people are comfortable doing these things themselves, and you may be too – but if not, you can take a wig to a hair stylist and have it cut. It may take time to find one who is willing, and who knows what they are doing, but it shouldn’t be a foreign request to a stylist to be asked to trim a wig, so don’t be afraid to do so. Just remember that a wig cut wrong will not grow back, so be careful about whom you choose to do the work!

It is still possible you try to make a wig work and it just doesn’t. Again, think of it like clothes. Sometimes we buy outfits we end up not liking and never wearing. How you deal with that depends on where you bought it from and the return policy for that retailer – be sure to read this post for information about wig returns, as they are often a tricky proposition. Communicating with the store from which you will buy a wig is an important step to ensuring you won’t end up stuck with one you don’t want to wear. Be sure to call ahead if you’re ordering online and ask about return policies so you know what you’re in for. And, as much as you may not want to do so, if you are buying your wig for medical reasons be sure to let the retailer know. Many stores will offer a more lenient return/exchange policy for people in need of a wig for medical reasons, so don’t be afraid to communicate your needs honestly. You have a right to own hair you want to wear! (And if you don’t need a wig for medical reasons, it would be really uncool of you to claim that you do to get special treatment. Just sayin.’)