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Hot Weather Is Not a Wig-Wearer’s Friend

This summer, so far, has been hot hot hot and baking in the sun under a wig is no fun! Hot weather is not a wig-wearer’s friend. Neither is the wind for that matter but a sweat soaked wig is a most uncomfortable and yucky feeling and simply makes me run for a headscarf!

Personally, I avoid hours in the heat during summer but let’s face it; we can’t always run and hide when the world beckons. However, there is no need to suffer. There are summer wig choices which have less fiber, light fiber and capless construction making them lighter in weight and allowing for breathable wearing on those hot days.

You can buy on-line from many sources but Paula Young has reasonable prices and they have a COOLCAP wig and a fiber called Whisperlite® which is perfect for those hot humid days… or there’s always my favorite… a scarf!

 

Alice

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Stop the Wig from Riding Up – Use the Tag

When I bought my first wig, the sales woman cut the tag out of the nape. The cloth tag really had no purpose other than to identify the name brand and maybe the style of the wig. So really—just like a mattress or pillow tag— it can be cut off and you won’t be breaking the law. 

As you may have read in other blog posts, I have experimented with many assorted fastening ideas in order to keep the wig from riding up. Most of the hair-brained (pun intended) ideas did work, but were tedious. Nothing is perfect, but I will share what I am doing now that is easy and seems to work well. Of course, I am referring to wigs that simply pull on and have no built-in fastening systems.   

Utilizing, instead of cutting the label, gives me a handle to pull the wig down and a unique way of securing the back of the wig.  

I first tried this idea out by applying toupee tape to the surface of the tag and merely pressed it down to the nape. That works too but movement of the neck oftentimes pulls the tape off the tag because the cloth tag is not an ideal surface for tape to stick to. What I was left with was a piece of tape stuck to my neck while the wig rode up. It’s a very uncomfortable feeling. 

The answer I found was right in front of me and I felt really dim-witted when I realized the solution was there all the time. It was a can’t see the forest through the trees kind of thing I suppose. 

Every wig I own— and I have many—have the same type of folded-over sewn in tag. This allows me to insert a piece of medical tape inside the loop. I cut the tape about three inches long and pull it through the tag. I use a tool to do this, which you can see in the photo. This gives me about 1” of tape on either side of the tag that now can be pressed to the cleaned (with alcohol) skin at the nape of my neck.

Any tool

You can use anything handy for a tool even a Popsicle stick will do.  

Push the tool through the loop so that it’s sticking out the other side. Stick the length of tape onto it, making sure it’s facing the right way and the pull the tool with the tape back through the loop— stopping when the tape is centered on both sides. In the photos, the tag is up, but after the tape is pulled through flip the tag down so that the sticky side of the tape is facing up and out.

Placement on your neck should not be too low. Correct positioning will allow for movement of your head. Locating the taped tag too low will result in too much pull and will loosen the tape. That’s it! Now you have tape that can secure the bottom of the wig evenly across your upper neck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wig Tape, a Driving Essential

I can’t remember why I was driving my brother’s Jimmy but I was using it when I backed into an I-beam column that held up a large canopy. I never saw the beam in the rear view mirror and was surprised when I slammed in to it. It took me a few seconds to understand what I did and in the confusion I hadn’t felt my wig fly off.

When I realized what had happened, I ducked down below the window in an effort to hide while groping for my hair on the floor of the truck. Before I could get out of the vehicle, I had to put the wig back on. It was within reach, thank goodness, so I slipped it on crookedly while lying on the seat, and then re-adjusted it sitting up. I looked around for witnesses but no one had paid the truck or me any attention.

I was grateful no one saw this episode, especially the part about me without hair. I was more concerned about being seen in that circumstance than the condition of the bumper or the column. That was a very awkward moment and I was somehow saved from extreme embarrassment but the Jimmy’s bumper didn’t fair out as well.

The column received a little ding but the Jimmy’s bumper was nearly cut in half. Weeks later, I paid for another bumper and helped install it with my brother. It was the least I could do.

Toupee tape wouldn’t have helped the bumper but it would have kept me from losing my wig. I laugh at this memory now and it’s an amusing story to tell at parties. It wasn’t funny at the time, but looking back, all I can do is laugh!

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Feeling Confident in a Wig

If you are thinking about wearing a wig, a full head of hair tucked under a wig cap will keep it in place. If you don’t have much hair, then additional methods should be added to help keep it on. This post addresses keeping a wig secure if you have little or no hair and includes a how-to video for lace wig applications for anyone who might want to wear a lace wig.

 Lots of Experimentation

As I began shedding more hair, I experimented. The less hair I had the less hair the wig had to hold on to, so I looked for extra ways to secure an out-of-box wig to my thinning scalp. Wig caps did me little good, and all too often popped off under the wig. The unnerving sensation left me feeling like my pantyhose just slipped down around my knees. It took a lot of testing over the years for me to arrive at an imperfect, but satisfactory, solution to keep the wig from slipping forward, riding up, or just plain coming off when I lifted clothing up and over my head. I tested everything from buttons to rubber bands. Some worked, some didn’t. 

Duct Tape to the Rescue

 The only other wig fix that was offered in the early days was an itty-bitty two-part Velcro fastener. One side was sewn into the wig, and the other adhered to the skin. That worked fairly well, but the adhesive side didn’t stick very well and needed to be replaced every few days, which became expensive. As I mentioned earlier, I experimented with everything, so let me save you from the pain of duct tape. Please… never use duct tape; it was a really great hold and a very bad idea. The missing layers of skin on the back of my neck took weeks to heal.

 The Evolution of Lace

 Lace wigs are more expensive and take more time to install. I think “install” might be the right word here because unlike an out-of-box wig you can simply pull on, lace wigs need glue or tape, extra time to dry and a more precise placement. The “lace” is not your mother’s tablecloth lace but a fine mesh that lines the inside of the wig. You can buy a wig with lace in front only or full lace around the perimeter. Double sided adhesive tape or glue is applied to the skin, then the underside of the wig’s lace is pressed onto the tape or glue, disappearing from view. Voila! The wig is secure… for days apparently. There is a little more to it than that, but the hairline looks great!

 Watch: How to prepare a lace wig with tape or glue

I haven’t ventured into the world of lace wigs yet, but I might. I really don’t like the fuss, although I admit that I’d like a more secure feel. There has been a time or two that a securely fastened wig would have saved me from the embarrassment of losing my wig (Oh yes!). Additionally, I’m not sure I want a wig on all night let alone a few days. For me, it might be too much effort and for too little wearing time. At the end of the day, I want my coat off and my wig too! 

Simple and Easy Wig Security

If you have decided to buy an out-of-box wig I recommend Paula Young Wigs for a huge variety of styles and colors at reasonable prices. I also suggest that you add a little extra security to help your wig stay in place all day. It’s really very easy. 

Use two small pieces of toupee or wig tape, similar but smaller than those in the video. Place two pieces on the underside of the wig, one in the front where it will adhere to your forehead and one at the back which will then adhere to the nape. Take care to press it firmly on the wig’s textured surface. Take care to keep strands of hair from sticking to the tape while you place it on your head. Start in the front and let the tape take hold, then pull it on, placing the back edge at the nape of your neck. Don’t pull it too far down the neck because your head needs room to move throughout the day. Turn your head both ways to feel if the wigs moves with you without pulling. If it pulls too much, re-position it until it’s comfortable. The tape at the back will probably not last more than two days, but the forehead tape can hold several days without applying a new piece.

 Toupee, wig tape or glue can be purchased at any wig store or beauty supply store, like Sally’s. 

I do the above routine every morning in about a minute and a half and if you buy a synthetic wig you will never need to spend any time or money styling it. Easy and simple!

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Human Hair Wigs vs. Synthetic

 

I’ve pretty much been a synthetic wig gal.

20 years ago, my only experience with human hair was a heavy wig with too much hair. Most synthetics were lighter in weight and by the end of the day, it mattered. I was back to buying synthetic.

Synthetics offer a no fuss “out of the box” styling and “wash-dry-wear” and are generally cheaper. Another benefit was that they weren’t subjected to weather conditions like real human hair. If the weather was humid, my synthetic curls weren’t wilting. Synthetics have memory which give you consistency without the bother of styling it yourself.

Fibers today are lightweight, fine and look and feel pretty much like real hair. Wigs have come a long way baby!

But here’s the rub… literally.

Synthetic fiber starts to turn ratty at the nape due to “collar wear” and is why I’ve switched to human hair. Once the fiber has been altered, it can’t be straightened. A jacket, blouse or coat collar will ruin, an otherwise, perfectly good looking wig, in no time at all. I have also experienced the same thing with a blend of human and synthetic.

Human hair wigs have come along way too. Many wigs have thinner webbing without heavy thick hair weighing you down. You do have to style them from time to time and special care needs to be taken in cleaning, but real hair seems to out perform synthetic at the nape and the hair outlasts the stretch webbing.

I’ve never tried lace front wigs. Maybe some day, but they seem like more fuss than I can handle. All that glue and glue cleaner. It doesn’t sound good to me. I may eat my words later, but for now I buy off the rack … or rather, mostly on-line from Paula Young.

Try ’em, you’ll like ’em. www.paulayoung.com They have a great selection of style, color and type. Tip from Alice… spending a lot of money on a wig, doesn’t prevent collar wear!

If someone would build a synthetic wig with human hair at the nape, I’ll be the first in line to buy one… providing it’s the right style and color. Picky picky!

Until next time…

Alice

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Battle in the Berm

I had no trouble crawling between and under the Scottish broom and other plants growing in the backyard berm. My intention was to cut a beautyberry bush from the bottom because it had also sprouted a thorn bush, which had taken over the end of the mound. My guardian angel Jeff, grass-cutting guy, pointed out that he couldn’t cut around that area anymore, given that he had been attacked by tendrils of the sticker bush. Can’t say I blamed him. Those painful things grab onto you and don’t let go. So I ducked low, avoiding the branches overhead and used my long handled lopper to push growth aside. I cut away. Once the undergrowth was severed I would drag it all out from the top. The trouble was… I couldn’t get out.

 There was no turnaround room and so I had to back out, sensing my way. The tools in my hand that helped me in… now hindered my exit. Those insidious sticker bush arms were now clinging to my shirt, my pants and my hair. The more I moved the more stuck I became. They were holding onto me from both sides and the top. Ouch! This was starting to hurt.

 I wear a wig because I have alopecia (hair loss). So when I said the thorns were stuck in my hair, I really meant my wig. I envisioned my clothes tearing as I fought to get out, but my hair would be left behind, hanging on the bush. It would just come off. This had happened before. The creepy crawling bush thought it really had me. Little did it know: I was willing to part with my hair. I did manage to extract myself, although not without injury. My clothes had a few pulls and holes and my hair had a few pieces of debris, but at least, I was finally out.

 Most of the vegetation lies on the ground now… some of it cut up in teenie tiny pieces and placed in a collection can. Tit for tat, I suppose. I tried to kill it and it was biting back. Some of it will live to fight another day… but not today!

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To Wig Or To Scarf, That Is The Question

I work part-time nights as a commercial cleaner and pretty much work by myself on the nightly assignment. There are workers still on the job so I present myself in a wig in order to appear normal, avoiding sideways glances and assumptions about my health. The problem is… it’s very hot in some areas of the plant and I’m oftentimes dripping wet by the time I’m done. The constant movement of the job causes me to overheat and I consequently have toyed with the idea of switching up to a scarf instead of a wig; but I haven’t as yet.

Additionally, special jobs come up where I work with a team on the weekends. Working these jobs in the summer forces me to put up with perspiration that runs down my head, under the wig. The wig band gets soaked which is most uncomfortable and also requires that I wash the hairpiece ahead of schedule. (Washing too often shortens the life of the wig.)

We are now in the “Dog Days of Summer”(at least according to some definitions) and I had accepted a special cleaning job with a crew that I had worked with before.

 Dilemma: To wig or to scarf, that was the question!

 I decided to make it more comfortable for me… not others. I would show up in a scarf and shrug off any inquiries. I don’t look my best in a scarf, but I certainly feel better.

 As we all lined up at the gate in our cars, the guard unlocked the gate and allowed us onto the property. When it was my turn to drive through the gate, the guard bent down to get a closer look at me. It wasn’t a casual look. He was intent on checking me out. I stopped my car and turned toward him smiling. He nodded and allowed me to pass. I hadn’t experienced this the last two times I worked there. The scarf made me suspect. I just chuckled to myself and drove on.

There is no longer a dilemma. The next time… a scarf it is!

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It Takes Two

The every day wig wearer should have an heir and a spare. There are many reasons to have two (or more), not the least of which is to lessen the look of a change up. If you don’t want to shout to the world that you wear a wig, then alternating between two or more, will give you a smoother, longer lasting look until you intend a more drastic change.

 Reason number two or maybe even number one: “ I can’t find my hair!”

One of the first things I do when I get home from work, particularly if it’s hot and humid; is to remove my wig and don a scarf. Ah… that feels so much better! I don’t always place it where it should go however. Later I’m scrambling for the wig (not unlike trying to find the car keys) when I’m running late. A second wig will keep you out of a bind. 

We change our clothes when we are hot and sweaty, so number three: You’ve been out all day and your wig is moist with perspiration and you have to go out again later. No time to wash and dry… spare to the rescue.

 So remember, an extra wig is like an extra set of cars keys, something we can all appreciate!

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