It’s a fact of black life that we like to style our hair, often in braids, or straightened, however, it’s also a fact that our beautiful black hair can be fragile – harsh styling and delicate hair is never going to end well, is it?
According to Debra Shigley, the founder of the Colour app, up to 50% of black women wear wigs or weaves, and although most of us know the damage caused by chemical hair treatments, subsequently turning to more natural products, such as beneficial Ayurvedic herbs, it can take months, if not years for our hair and scalp to recover from those harsh treatments. During that period, and trust me, I’ve been there, it’s hard to leave the house without feeling self-conscious, thinking everyone’s staring. I remember my self-esteem plummeted, and I would use every excuse going to stay indoors.
The medical term for hair loss caused by tightly braiding hair is traction alopecia, and even though there are gentle herbal remedies to encourage our hair to grow back, they can take time. Wigs and professionally applied weaves, then, can allow us to be fully confident, not hiding indoors from a misplaced sense of embarrassment, or even shame.
In order to find the right size wig for your head, take a tape measure and, with the end in the middle of your front hairline, run it just behind your ear, back of neck, behind the other ear and back to the front.
There are two main types of wigs available, both with synthetic and human hair. Synthetic wigs are less expensive, but human hair versions are easier to style, and tend to be more durable.
Full lace wigs
Comprising of a lace cap that covers the whole head, the hair, usually human in origin, is hand woven over the entire cap providing a realistic look. The most frequently seen style, worn by Beyonce and many other Afro American celebs, lace caps are available in a variety of cuts, style and colors.
Lace front wigs
These are designed to create a natural and realistic hairline, and being more affordable than the full cap, are becoming increasingly popular. Blending with your skin’s color and texture, the lace front offers an invisible, effective solution to thinning, or receding hairlines. This is the type I chose to wear, going for the human hair option. The Pizazz Human Hair Lace Front Wig really helped with my self-confidence, was easy to style, and, the best bit of all, no one knew I was wearing it. Once my hairline had recovered, for old time’s sake, I would still go wigged-up for a night out, or a special occasion, and I still do, sometimes.
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