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Choosing & Caring for your Hair System


     As a transgender woman, choosing and caring for your wig, or hair system, can be the most important step you take in your transition. The right hair system should be comfortable, breath well and make you feel spectacular. A good wig can be the icing on your lovely cake, but chosen poorly, it can make you stand out like a sore thumb, screaming to the world that you are wearing it. There are many steps in choosing the perfect hair system for you and each one is very important. Here are some of the things you should consider when choosing and caring for your hair system.

     Choosing Your Hair System:  Synthetic or Human hair? Would you like it to be long or short? There are two main types of wigs, Synthetic and Human Hair. Synthetic wigs have man made fibers while human hair wigs are made from human hair.

     Synthetic wigs are the most popular because they are sold at a decent price and require the least amount of care.  They offer more styling choices, colors and unique comfort features. Shorter synthetic wigs can be washed and then simply shaken and left to dry, it will keep its shape and look great. Longer style wigs need to be combed out or styled with your fingers. They are easy to pack and take with you and they resist humidity well. Your style will hold in any weather. Synthetic wigs should never be exposed to heat. Do not use a hair dryer or, as this writer did, put your wig on a lamp shade when not in use. Melting will quickly occur and you wig will be ruined.

     Human Hair wigs can be extremely versatile and you can curl them and style them as you would your own hair. However they do not come pre-styled and thus require more effort than synthetic wigs and they are considerably more expensive. You can style it yourself or just go to a salon and have it styled. Make sure you call ahead to make sure they work on human hair wigs.

     Length is Important , as a general rule, shorter “shake and go” synthetic styles are the easiest to care for, while longer synthetic styles require a little more maintenance. A simple mistake you can make is to choose a style that is too long and very difficult for you to care and may even overwhelm your features.

     Your lifestyle comes into play. What is your day like? Are you going to be wearing your hair system every day or only from time to time? Your type of social activities or what you do for work should be considered. If you work around heavy machinery for example, perhaps a long wig should be avoided.

    Choose a suitable color for your skin tone. You may feel more comfortable if you choose a color that matches your own natural hair. You can do this by looking at color samples and your hair under natural light to determine the best match.

      Get it styled for your face by a hair stylist right away. Get them to trim the bangs and the sides so it suits your face. If you wear it right off the rack it may look “odd” as it does not exactly fit your facial features. You cannot color a synthetic wig but you can a human hair wig. However I recommend you get your stylist to do it.

     Caring for your new hair system, or wig, is just as important as picking it out. If you take care of it then you will get the maximum life out of your wig. It will look spectacular day after day if you follow some simple steps to take care of your most precious beauty secret. Here are some tips on how to wash your new hair system to keep you looking fabulous!

Washing Synthetic Wigs:

  • Brush out your wig with a wig brush
  • Add one or two tablespoons of wig shampoo to a sink filled with cold water
  • Immerse the wig and agitate gently, do not rub
  • Rinse the wig gently in cold water until it is rinsed thoroughly
  • Apply one tablespoon of wig conditioner and gently massage in and leave for a minute
  • Rinse out conditioner gently with cold water
  • Blot the wig gently with a towel and let hang dry on your showerhead
  • Do not brush the wig until completely dry

     Washing Human Hair Wigs

  • Brush the wig using a wig brush or comb starting from the ends and working your way up
  • Rinse in cold water with the flow of the water following the direction of the hair. If you rinse it in a basin the hair will tangle or matt together.
  • Put a tablespoon of shampoo on your fingers and gently massage through the hair
  • Rinse in cold water in the direction of the hair
  • Gently pat the hair with a towel, do not ring out or squeeze
  • Put a tablespoon of wig conditioner on your fingers and gently massage into hair
  • Rinse in cold water in the direction of the hair.
  • Pat gently with a towel to remove excess water and then hang dry on your showerhead or folding wig stand. Styrofoam heads can stretch your new hair system.

Tips to get the most out of your new wig or hair system:

  • Make sure you get the proper accessories required to take care of your wig. A wig brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner, wig hair spray and a wig stand.
  • Only use wig brushed or wig combs on your hair, do not use a regular comb or brush.
  • Make sure your hair is clean and dry when wearing your wig, dirt and oils can transfer.
  • Do not cut or trim your wig by yourself. Get help from a wig salon.
  • Keep your wig away from heat such as a stove or BBQ, heat can and will destroy it
  • Keep your wig clean by washing it when needed.
  • Do not brush your wig while it is wet and never use a hairdryer on it.

    You can see that there are several factors to consider while choosing and maintaining your new wig, or hair system. Each and every one of them can have an effect on how your wig looks. I hope this article helps your get the most out of your wig, or hair system, and keeps you looking fabulous every day of your life!

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