My evolution into wigs as my primary form of hair styling is over a decade in the making. I began dabbling with them in early college as a way to cover up my hair when I just didn’t feel like dealing with it, but didn’t have the time or money to get a sew-in. Now they are such a ubiquitous part of my routine that I forget sometimes how averse I used to be to them. Back in the day synthetic wigs were seen as an outward sign of questionable decision making. I mean... where's the lie? But thankfully times change and so does technology. Some synthetics are hard to distinguish from the real thing unless you're putting them under severe scrutiny.
This brings me to the question that inevitably gets asked when someone not familiar or averse to hair pieces finds out I wear them: "Why do you wear wigs when you have all that hair”. This to me typifies the misunderstanding that people who don’t have lust worthy hair (which I don't think I do) or any hair at all (which shouldn't matter) are the only ones who cover it up. It also betrays a certain kind of superficiality not on the part of the wig wearer but of the observer who places more stock in the “authentic” than on the replica. Answering this questions brings even more questions because the answer isn’t what they’re looking for. I honestly have no idea what they’re looking for but I know saying, “I wear them because I have all this hair” ain't it. Quizzical looks follow and I just never have the energy. People wear them for all sorts of reasons: religious, insecurity, society's insecurity, ease, versatility, fun, convenience, and I'm sure many more I'm not thinking of. What follows are my top reasons why I wear them and will for the foreseable future.
1. Super Time Savers
Where is my super suit? How about where is my super wig? I feel like I’ve just done a quick change in a telephone booth after I’ve plopped one on. I always joke that I look a hot mess not even ten minutes before I leave the house. I hardly do my make up any more, putting on clothes isn’t difficult for me, and then all I have to do is tuck my hair under a wig cap, fluff, and go. No curling wands, hot rollers, brushes, combs, bobby pins, hair ties, or such sundry to fool with because I am done-zo.
2. Any Style, Any Time, Anywhere
I can change my hairstyle as often as my mood decides with no worry about hurting my real hair. In the morning I can have a short black pixie cut, by lunch a cute chestnut swinging asymmetric bob, and by evening sitting on four feet of blazing red yaki if I so desire. I personally don’t take switching it up to that level but I like that I can.
3. A Much Needed Break
Hair care, especially my particular head of hair, sometimes stresses me out. Sometimes it hurts my arms, sometimes it hurts my pocketbook, and sometimes it does both. When my hair is braided or twisted up under a wig there is very little I have to do to make sure it and my scalp stay happy. I can relax and not think about my follicles and what they may or may not be doing. I don’t know if I’ll be #wiglife forever but this reprieve from other forms of styling and maintenance is so nice. I usually go between two and three weeks without having to do anything other than mist it with moisturizer and make sure wig combs and caps aren’t pulling in places they should be.
4. Saving Those Ducats Scrooge McDuck Style
These days decent and good quality wigs, synthetic and otherwise, are practically everywhere. There is no need to spend a grip if you don’t want to or can’t. I don’t want to and I can’t. I don’t know if I don’t want to because I can’t, but that’s a different story. All I know is that it’s more affordable for me to pick out a new wig than it is to do a lot of other styles for my hair: braids, weaves, salon visits. I can do my regular maintenance for my real hair then spend a few extra Hamiltons and have peace of mind that I won’t have a bad hair day or a I-forgot-to-do-my-hair day. That means more money in my bank account and I look deceptively well put together.
Do you wig it up? Why? Why not? If you do which brands and styles are your favorites? I'm searching for a few new ones to add to my collection.