The Wig Verses The Selfie

I have just spent an amazing and exhausting three days at a conference for hair loss. As I am writing this blog post the plane is chasing the sun on its way to my home. There is something to be said about looking out the window and seeing nothing but sun rays and clouds on the horizon.

This conference that I went to is an amazing event for anyone who is in the alternative hair industry.  The American Hair Loss Council is focused on education and helping others be successful in our industry so that everyone is provided exemplary service.

This year the conference was in Nashville, Tennessee. This is where the exhausting part comes into play; I was there last weekend for our CORE Masterclass. Travel is hard, and 4+ hours of flying each way twice in one week takes its toll.

But anyways… let’s talk about wigs and toppers and selfies!

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I always take a group selfie with any of the classes that I am a part of. If Diana and I are up there educating then we are taking a selfie with the group at some point during the day. (This is your warning if you are attending any CORE Masterclass this year). I love these group pictures because everyone is so happy and having such a great time. One thing that I have noticed however, is how much I do not like it when the selfie is taken and I am in a topper. I am much happier with the picture when I am wearing a full wig.

What confuses me is that I love my pixie cut! I really do, and I like the look of the different toppers that I wear in person. However, everything changes when I look back at the photos. Now I understand that we are all our own worst critics, but this goes beyond that. I am back to that feeling of not wanting people to know what it looks like beneath the wig…

I don’t identify with the women that I see in those pictures. Her hair is cute, but it isn’t me. I am enjoying having a fun pixie style, but I know that this is not a style that I am going to keep my hair length at. When I look in the mirror or at a picture of myself, I do not see me. And let’s be honest, all the fun wigs and toppers are great. It is fun to change up your style and color, but every now and then you just want to look in the mirror (or at a picture) and see you…

 

 

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Reflection

It has been almost 14 months since I shaved my head. I have learned a lot about wearing alternative hair and how to care for it (or in some cases how not to care for it) but what I am most proud of is what I have learned about myself.

I started this blog to keep track of everything that I learned and experienced while wearing wigs, but I ended up spending so much time in the moment that I never sat down to write about it. I am not sure how long I will keep writing about alternative hair, but I know for sure that it is going to be more than just a year.

Here are a few take-a-ways from my first year of wearing wigs.

  1. It is okay to not like the way you look. Wearing wigs is very different from getting a new haircut and color. Don’t feel bad about the difficult days. If you look in the mirror and start to feel the “icky” coming on take a moment and acknowledge that feeling. Cry, Scream, get mad! But what you do next is very important, take a breath and find one thing that you like about yourself. This is so hard for many women to do, we can complement our friends for days but we can’t seem to think of one wonderful thing to say to ourselves. Your hair is your crown; but remember the difference is now you can change your tiara every day if you want to. The difficult day will pass and tomorrow is a new day with new and less “icky” experiences.
  2. Not every wig fits the same or feels the same. Find what is the perfect wig for you, I am not just talking about the color and style of the wig, but the cap design. Do your research, take your measurements, and find your “perfect fit”
  3. Human hair wigs are amazing and look the most natural but they can also be the biggest pain in the butt and are very expensive to purchase and maintain. There is so much that goes into maintaining a high quality human hair wig. Alternative hair is not one of those things where the more it costs the longer it will last and the easier it will be to use. High quality human hair is expensive and there are tools that you need to protect your investment. If you don’t have the time or patience to wash, air dry, then blow-dry, and style your human hair pieces then you need to be prepared to pay for servicing (have an alternative hair professional wash and style it for you) or wear synthetic fiber.
  4. If you don’t tell anyone you are wearing hair they won’t know. SERIOUSLY!!!! The only people that look at other people’s hairline are those who are wearing or have worn hair themselves. If you care for your wigs correctly and have them customized to look more natural (customized hair line, baby hair, etc.), no one will ever know that you are wearing alternative hair.
  5. Children have no filter. My son has no problem telling everyone that his mommy wears wigs and I love that! I wish that more people were like my son and had no filter when it comes to alternative hair. That being said; at first, I didn’t want people outside of my immediate circle of friends and family to know that I was wearing wigs (even though I was writing a blog about it and shaved my head live on social media) because it was not something that I was comfortable talking about. It took time to build up self-confidence on what I was doing and why I was doing it. Now I have no problem taking my wigs off and talking about it with anyone who will listen. There are so many powerful and strong women out there who choose to not wear alternative hair at all and I think that is awesome! If you need more time to lose your alternative hair filter then you are awesome too! Wearing hair or not wearing hair is a very personal thing, and if you don’t have a very vocal four-year-old, you can tell anyone and no one on your own terms.

Petite Cap Versus Average Cap Wig

It has been over a year since I shaved my head. I am not sure what I was thinking when I thought it would only be a year-long journey. I am not only speaking about my hair growing back, after keeping it shaved for 6 months, but also the lessons that I was going to learn through the whole experience. I was so wrong, this is still just the beginning for the truth beneath the wig.

If you follow Jon Renau on any social media outlet you will notice that there is a lot of talk about measuring and why it is so important. The reason for this is that very recently Jon Renau came out with new sizes in some of their top selling styles. What I did not expect from this launch of new sizes was how much I was going to learn from wearing a cap size that fits my measurements.

Before I shaved my head, my head measured at about average wig size with my biological hair wrapped. I have always worn an average size cap because as I have mentioned a few times, Carrie is my all-time favorite style and she was only available in average. My second favorite style is Blake, also only available in average. After I shaved my head last January, I measured at about a child/petite size; petite circumference with a child ear-to-ear and front-to-back measurement.

Here are the two things that I learned from wearing Carrie and Blake in a petite cap:

If I wear a wig that is too large for my head size (my Carrie or Blake in an average), one thing I noticed was that the wig moves around unless I wear adhesive. If I don’t wear adhesive I find myself readjusting the wig throughout the day. I have no problem wearing adhesive and I always preferred it.  However, when I put on petite Carrie or Blake it is very secure and I do not need to wear any type of adhesive. I wore a Petite Blake for an entire week (even on New Year’s Eve) and never needed to use my lace front adhesive (I still love adhesive, it is my alternative hair security blanket, but I don’t need it), it was and is the same when I wear a Petite Carrie.

The second thing I learned is that when I wear a petite cap I do not experience the same amount of tangling in the nape area as I do when I wear an average sized cap.  My front-to-back and ear-to-ear measurements are that of a child’s size.  When I wear an average sized cap, there is a lot of extra base material. This extra material bunches up in the nape area which causes the tangling.

So here we are over a year into this journey and learning something new constantly, and I would not have it any other way.

For more information on how to measure watch this video all about how to measureIt is also very important to measure every six months to make sure that you are purchasing a wig that not only fits well, but will also last.

To Pack or Not To Pack

I am going on an adventure!

My mom and I are about to set off for two weeks in the UK and I am so excited. I am a bit of a procrastinator so I have not started to pack or really think too much about what I will want to bring. The one thing that is on my mind however is what hair am I going to wear?

I have been going back and forth about what I want to bring with me. It is going to be cold (remember I am from Southern California so 70 °F is cold; like jeans, boots and sweaters cold) so I want to make sure that my head stays warm. I know that I will be wearing hats so I thought about just bringing a hat magic with me, but what if I want to take my hat off? The next idea is what I wear a full wig, but if I wear a hat then it is going to get very messy and tangled.

So while I am trying to figure out what hair to wear, my mom is trying to get me to understand that we will be shopping (a lot of shopping) and that it is necessary to bring a backpack, a carry on suitcase, and check a larger suitcase inside of an even larger suitcase because we are not spending money on another suitcase while we are over there.  I travel for work and I never check a bag… this is going to be interesting.

I will be sure to take lots of pictures and try to update my blog while I am over there because every time my mom and I are together… it is a big adventure.

8 Months

My hair has been growing out for 2 months now . I am at the stage where I just want to shave it all off again because there is not much that I can do with it. I have very straight hair and it has decided that it wants to stand up tall and strong and will not be tamed!

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I’ve tried putting gel in it, but it is not long enough to lie down so instead I had tall, strong and spiky hair. The look was not horrible, but it was not what I was hoping for.  I am still wearing wigs most days so as to hide the mess that is happening beneath it; however my hairline is now popping out at the bottom and around my ears so I have to try to find ways to hide it.

I am so glad that I shaved my head and it is something that I would recommend for anyone who wears wigs full time or is a retailer. I now know the difference a perfectly altered cap can feel, how the heat can get to you when you are wearing synthetic fiber and sitting in the sun, the fear that when people are talking to you they are only looking at your hairline, the look and flexibility of styling different cap designs, and the amount of maintenance that human hair requires to protect that investment.

This has been one of the best things I have done not only for my career but also for me. It has freed me from my vanity and also exposed how strong it really is. The truth beneath the wig is that I love wearing them and I will continue to do so and educate others on how to have a successful experience with their alternative hair.

Oh…and one more thing… NO ONE CAN TELL YOU ARE WEARING HAIR! SO WEAR IT PROUDLY AND HAVE FUN WITH YOUR LOOKS!