Let's talk about wigs... better yet, let's talk about lace-front and full-lace wigs.
Look at this picture I found on the Web:
A little extreme, I admit, even insulting. But when you look at the following pictures, it's not that far from reality:
I mean, really!? The first time I saw someone with a lace-front wig five years ago I told myself I would never, ever wear one. I don't know what exactly bugged me about the lace-front wig thing. Was it the idea of gluing it on my hairline or the idea of sleeping with it on my head? For me, the convenience of wearing a wig is that you can easily put it on and take it off whenever you want so you can take care of your own hair and scalp.
I'm a dedicated wig wearer. Why? Because it makes my life easier. I'm a mother of two, I own a business, I don't have 30 minutes every morning to figure out what to do with my dry kinky hair. I have nothing against people who want to go natural... In fact, I love natural hair, but caring for it is time-consuming.
I've seen thousands of blogs and YouTube videos about natural hair. I do take care of my own hair and scalp under my wigs, but I don't think I could manage leaving my own hair out.
Ten years ago, if anyone had asked me about or suggested a wig, I would have said a big fat "No!" But after my first child, I decided to look into the wig thing, so I got myself a half-wig. Here's a picture of me wearing it:
Looks natural, right? The reason I went for the half-wig and not the full-wig is because I wanted it to look as natural as possible. A half wig is a hairpiece that comes with two combs, one in the back and one in the front, to secure it on your head and leave a little bit of your own hair out to hide the band in the front and make it look like your own hair is coming out of your scalp. Half-wigs come in all kinds of textures: straight, curly, or wavy. They are also available for all kinds of budgets. The one I am wearing in the picture is human hair. I never buy synthetic wigs, because not only do they look cheap (ugh!), but also the texture of the shiny synthetic hair can never match my own hair. Not everyone can afford human hair, I know, but human half-wigs are not really that expensive in the long term. When you think about it, you can buy a synthetic half-wig for $50 that will last you only two months max if you wear it every day. But if you add an extra $75 (say $125 total) and get yourself good human hair (it doesn't have to be Brazilian virgin hair or whatever they're calling it these days, because it's not really that anyway), you can keep it for a year depending on how you care for it. So do the math.
Girls, one thing you need to keep in mind: when it comes to your hair, don't try to do cheap, cuz it'll show. I mean, it's your head... The first thing people notice is your hair, because these days most people think all black girls have fake hair, although it's not true. No matter what you have on your head -- wig or weave -- try your best to make it look as natural as possible.
Now, back to the lace-front and full-lace wigs. Although I didn't see myself wearing either of them when they first came out, I eventually got myself a full-lace wig and thought there had to be a way to wear one of these things without it looking like the pictures below:
After purchasing my first wig (Indian Remy, kinky texture, 14", Color 2, very close to my own hair texture and color), I went home to play with it and soon had doubts. I phoned the store and asked them if I could return it. Since I had already cut off the lace part, the owner told me to forget it... I mean we're talking about a $300 wig here! I had to find a way to wear it without gluing it on my head. Because the wig had four combs inside (one on each side, one in the front, one in the back), I thought why not try wearing it like a half-wig, since I already had the combs inside to secure it on my head. Which is exactly what I did.
Here I am wearing it:
Necessity is truly the mother of invention! You'll notice I was on a boat with the wind in my hair... er... wig, which believe me, was well anchored!
I remember when I first started wearing my full-lace wig, other black girls would stare at my head and give me that look (you know what I mean). Some of them would stop me either to compliment me on my long healthy-looking hair or ask me where I got that (Yaki) hair texture and who did my hair.
I never failed to tell them in my proud, matter-of-fact way: "It's a wig, a full-lace wig."
The look of surprise or shock on their faces was priceless.
Here's another picture of me, this time wearing a lace-front wig:
There are two kinds of lace on the market: hard and soft.
The first picture below is hard lace; the second one is soft lace:
I honestly prefer soft lace-front wigs because they tend to have more parting space than the hard ones. I also realize they cause less damage to the edges.
Also, hard lace-front wigs are made of hard plastic, which rubs the edges more and damages them.
Here is a picture of me wearing a soft lace-front wig in a bun:
Like I said at the beginning of the blog, I wear wigs because they are easy. It doesn't mean I just plunk them on my head and forget about my own hair underneath. I take care of my own hair the best I can and whenever I can. Yes, whenever I can, because I have an eight-year-old bi-racial daughter who has the most beautiful but high-maintenance natural 24" 3C hair, which, as you can guess, also takes a lot of my precious time (and patience!).
I also take the time to teach her how to love and take care of her hair from a young age.
Now, why wear a wig? There are many reasons. I have regular, Caucasian customers who have never had braids or extensions and are dealing with thinning hair or baldness. I also have customers who are in chemotherapy and still want to look decent while going through this tough time. Remember, a wig is a protective hair style, and most African-American woman wear wigs to either transition from a relaxer or simply take a break between weave installs while letting their natural hair grow.
Although wigs are a great protective hair style, I wouldn't suggest wearing one every day over a three-month period. Wigs can rub the delicate edges of your hair and cause damage such as traction alopecia and baldness. This can happen even you are wearing a wig cap. In fact, my own experience has shown that wig caps can actually cause more damage. I usually wear a silk scarf underneath to protect my edges.
Very important when buying a wig: you want to make sure it has a breathable cap. I know a lot of ladies who make their own using a dome or net cap. I think it's a fantastic idea. It'll save you a few bucks, and hey, if you have the time... Personally, I would never use a wig made with a dome cap. Why? Because your natural hair can't breath under the nylon cap, and the elastic around it will quickly eat away at your edges. I'd maybe use a net cap, but only the professionally-made ones.
The safest wig cap in my opinion is something like the following picture:
This is the kind of cap I wear and sell. Notice that the back of the wig also has lace, which allows for a high ponytail, like the picture of myself above with the black top. These wigs also have a lot of space for parting on either the side or middle.
While I talk a lot about lace-front wigs, we also sell full lace and u-part wigs. To see more of our lace-front, full lace, clip-in (for natural kinky hair), and u-part wigs, click here.
For now, enjoy the following pictures of our happy customers (including myself!) with their lace-front wigs: