Which wig will work for me?
Synthetic or Human? Long or Short?
This will answer some questions you may have about wigs so you can make a great choice with your 'alternative hair'. If you're uncertain whether to go with a synthetic or human hair wig after reading this, I suggest calling the salon at 385-3667 for guidance. Alternative Hair offers all types of wig with an emphasis on high quality human hair wigs, synthetic/human hair blends and human hair hairpieces.
When coming to the salon for a consultation, a woman is often immediately drawn to certain wigs because of the style, length and color. Of course. After all, it’s got to look great! And natural. Much farther from her mind but also very important is how comfortable and easy to wear it will be and how to take care of it. Each type of wig has it's pros and cons, and one or the other will be best choice for you.
Synthetic wigs and hairpieces are popular due to their lower price and ease of care. The synthetic hair (fiber) has style memory, so when your wig is shampooed, the style automatically comes right back in – no muss, no fuss. No heat styling tools either. Which is either a plus or a minus, depending on whether or not you like to change your look and heat style your hair i.e. curling and flat irons, hot rollers, blow dryer, etc. Be careful around the oven! The heat can fry the front and sides of a synthetic wig. The color range with this type of wig is quite varied, many with highlights worthy of the best colorist. Some come with a shaded ‘root’ which ironically looks very authentic, since half of us walk around with dark roots half the time. Expect it to last about 4-6 months with daily wear and proper care, possibly longer. Long synthetic wigs will not last even this long due to the friction created by the fiber rubbing against shoulders and back. Remember your Barbie? Remember how frizzy her hair got from all your loving attention? Better to go with human hair if you plan to wear your long wig a lot. Easy to shampoo in the sink and conditioned by spritzing on fiber conditioner and air dry, which takes about 4-6 hours.
There are heat-friendly synthetic fiber wigs on the market, but I am not a fan unless it's a short style. They are a bit more life-like and silky-feeling than regular synthetic fiber but will not hold up as long whether you heat style it or not. They’re great for more occasional wear though and can satisfy the desire to create some style change occasionally.
Human hair wigs and hairpieces are considered the ultimate in alternative hair. Ain't nothin' like the real thing baby! They can easily be styled into different looks (easily, that is, if you’re good with hair) though it’s best to keep heat styling to a minimum. Softer, with more fluid and natural movement than synthetics, it’s the wig of choice with long hair lovers and many others. Though they cannot be highlighted unless it’s virgin hair, we can deposit color – lowlight, shaded ‘roots’, ombre effects and so on. It’s crucial to use shampoo and conditioner designed especially for the unique qualities of human hair wigs and hairpieces. You cannot use whatever you have at home even if you paid big bucks for it at the salon. The shampoo/conditioning process is a bit more involved than for synthetic wigs but not difficult. It’s best to let air dry overnight then heat style if necessary to get the look you’re after. Since you're shampooing it only every 2- 3 weeks or so, this is not time-consuming at all. With good care, a high-quality human hair wig worn daily will last about a year. You may get more than that, especially if it’s made with virgin hair (this by the way is not hair from young women not yet wise to the ways of love, though an interesting concept - it means completely unprocessed, as in no chemicals have been used during the manufacturing process).
Now for what most wig studios won’t tell you - the biggest misconception with human hair wigs is that if you get one, it’s going to be just like having your own hair. It’s not. Often, it’s better! Though made from hair from various parts of the world so we can more closely match your particular texture, know that it’s unlikely (though not entirely out of the realm of possibility) that we’re going to match it exactly. The same with the density (thickness). Chances are we can come pretty close. Then there's the benefit of taking your hair off at night: if you’re currently spending 20-30 minutes or more drying and styling your hair three times a week (or worse, daily), you’re going to really enjoy the time-and-work savings. And no bed head - just put your hair on again in the morning and it looks just as fresh and beautiful as it was the day before. Believe me, you can get used to this.
Whichever type of wig you choose, shampooing and conditioning are usually necessary somewhere between every 6-20 wearings, more often if you’re perspiring under it. Which brings us to the “which one is lighter?” question. The answer is “it depends on the wig”. A synthetic wig with short layers, an open-cap construction and not much pre-tease will be cooler on a hot summer day than a shoulder-length human hair bob of average density (thickness). But a hand-knotted shoulder-length human hair bob will be cooler than machine-made synthetic of the same style (usually – there are other factors involved). There are perspiration-absorbling liners to wear underneath wigs that help a lot with comfort.
Sometimes, it's not about synthetic vs. human hair...sometimes, it just comes down to the particular wig that almost instantly upon putting it on makes you feel comfortable with the image you see in the mirror. It's the the one that has you saying, "You know, this looks really good. I feel like me in this." Or, "This makes me look better/younger/thinner than my own hair did." And even, "I'm taking this to my stylist when my hair comes back in - this is how I've always wanted my hair."
Hopefully this has answered many of your questions and may have raised some new ones. We’ll address those when you call or at your consultation.
Confused? No worries - we'll sort it out. When you make an informed decision, you are much more likely to really enjoy - even love - your new wig. Really!
Alternative Hair, 109 Sawmill Drive, Penfield, NY 14526 * 585-385-3667 *
Appointment only for the best possible service