All About Wigs!

The Importance of Wigs

The wearing of wigs dates back centuries — Ancient Egyptians wore them atop shaved heads, Japanese kabuki performers and geishas wore them. Queen Elizabeth I famously wore a tightly curled red wig.

Marie Antoinette Boat-Pouf Wig

Boat-Pouf Wig

Wigs came into their own in the 18th century. At the French court at Versailles, large elaborate and often themed wigs (such as the comical ‘boat-poufs’) were in vogue for women. Wigs have a fascinating history and if you’re interested, click “Wigs” and “Hairstyles” for a more extensive look at their history.

J Kennedy 2 in WigWigs became most popular in our century when the “Queen of Style”, Jacqueline Kennedy, wore a wig on a trip back from Paris. Since then the demand has grown and they have become a status symbol among women of style.

Celebrities such as Dolly Parton, Raquel Welch, Cher, Tyra Banks and Lady Gaga have all worn wigs. Nowadays, we faux-females wear wigs for a variety of reasons. Drag queens use them to portray their characters or complete an outfit, whereas crossdressers and transgender women wear them to blend in and ‘pass’ as female.

For a crossdresser or transgender woman, the wig is the single most important article in her entire wardrobe because it, by itself, will create that feminine appearance that distinguishes a man from a woman  Because the wig is likely to be worn with every outfit, it defines you and thus becomes a large part of your “personal style”.

And contrary to what beginners think, there’s a lot more to wig selection and care than first meets the eye. Women know…if you get the hair right, everything else usually falls into place. In fact, great hair can cover many other shortcomings. When you combine a great head of hair with well-conceived makeup, you’ll look put-together, maybe even a little hot, no matter what other issues you face.

I can’t tell you what a pleasure it is to just put my hair under a wig cap and slap on a wig that’s already done. Its dress up for your hair!…  Felicity Huffman (TransAmerica)

Wigs can and do dramatically change your appearance. You should take your time getting to know your face shape and choosing the right style for your face.

Well styled wig1A good wig will be one of the most important investments that you make in your appearance. Styled and worn properly, it will flatter your appearance and enhance your overall presentation. A cheap wig that hasn’t been cared for or is styled in an unflattering way however can absolutely ruin an otherwise flawless look.


So, in the following sections, we’ll talk about those elements that lead to a wig selection that completes your feminine appearance

 

Just click on the section you want to read

 

Wig Types and Quality

There are generally two types of wigs, those made from human hair and those that are synthetic. Both come in many different styles and colors.

This brief comparison will show why we only recommend synthetic wigs.

  • Human hair wigs are more expensive. A decent quality human hair wigs starts at $350 and goes up to the thousands. A decent quality synthetic wig can be purchased for  $75 and a fabulous high-end synthetic wig for under $300.
  • Human hair wigs require a great deal of care. They must be styled daily, washed more often, and generally are higher maintenance than a synthetic wig. Synthetic wigs dry back to the original style while human hair wigs must be restyled after each washing.
  • Human hair wigs require trimming and styling by a hair stylist before they can be worn. Synthetic wigs come pre-styled and pre-cut and will hold their shape even when washed.  The average crossdresser rarely has the skill or the patience to restyle a wig.
  • Synthetic wigs don’t frizz no matter what weather you’re in; human hair wigs frizz in humidity and rain.
  • Synthetic color blends mimic the color blends of natural human hair, making the wigs undetectable, even to hairdressers!
  • Synthetic wigs keep their color for the life of the wig; human hair color fades over time

Since synthetics are more economical, you can afford to change your hair style more often or when you get tired of the current look. Given that synthetic wigs are light and airy and more stylish, they are simply more fun

Some General Guidelines in Selecting a Wig

What, there are rules! I hate rules, well , that is until the wig arrives and it doesn’t look at all like the picture. Sadly, we have rules to help you avoid the mistakes that all of us make. The color doesn’t match the picture, the length isn’t right, it doesn’t fit well… we’ve all been there. We’ve all made mistakes, sometimes a lot of mistakes. Follow the advice here and you will have a better experience, and save a little money too.

But first remember, we all make mistakes

My first experience was at a transformation shop. I was a blonde, I always wanted to be a blonde and I was beautiful. Well maybe. We’re talking an $80 wig here in 2004. Quality was OK but the cut wasn’t quite right. Two years later, I went to a salon and the owner knew hair. She trimmed the wig and it began to look like real hair. I never took the time to learn but just dove in. Nothing wrong with that, but you will make mistakes. I think that’s called “experience”.  Well if good judgement comes from experience, and I have lots of that, then my judgement must be impeccable now. Okay, so we made a few mistakes along the way and that’s   fine. But what else is important to know? Read about the common mistakes made by cross dressers in selecting wigs.

Choosing Your Wig

wall_of_wigs_cap_by_dianeIf you have nice natural hair, this section may not apply to you, but you should find the information interesting and perhaps help style your hair more attractively for your own face. Most crossdressers wear a wig, usually because their hair is not long enough, they don’t have the skills to maintain the style or they just want a different look. By using a wig you can change the way you look, shift moods and highlight nice features of your face.

There are several important factors in choosing your wig to get the best results and flatter your overall appearance. These  factors include:

Click on the feature for more information

By choosing the correct wig to hide certain parts of your face you are able to draw the eye to your more attractive features.

Face Framing or forward style wigs will go a long way to help you achieve a more feminine look while being easy to care for and style.

Many crossdressers and trans people have a prominent bone above the eye sockets or brow, sometimes called brow bossing. If you need to cover this area then best to go for a style with a bangs that cover the area and draws the eye down toward the lower part of the face.

A good example of a wig style to select is one that that helps cover the forehead and has enough layered volume to counter any wide jaw line without totally covering it. A general rule of thumb says that cutting your hair in layers will “tone down” a typical square male chin, getting bangs will also put focus on the eyes and soften a masculine face by hiding the male brow ridge that men often have.

Wider or square faces can be altered in appearance by bringing styles closer to the actual face and, as long as the ends are soft the effect can be very dramatic and feminizing.

Now if all this wasn’t enough, Science Daily has published an article about how femininity is determined by contrasts in your face. The article is well worth reading . If ever there was a claim for the use of cosmetics, this is it.  Remember, we are creating an illusion so this all fits together with the right wig. Be sure to read Fiona’s article on contouring to learn the techniques for creating contrast in your face.

Best Hairstyles for Cross dressers and Transgender Women

SHOP OUR WIG BOUTIQUE by hair length and face shape

Everyone wants to  look younger, prettier, and more feminine. The trick is to choose a hairstyle that not only looks great, but flatters your facial features and overall body shape.

Classically beautiful female faces tend to have small features, large eyes, and full lips. That means you need a hairstyle that plays down your nose, brow bone, chin, and jaw line – while playing up your eyes and lips. Your hair should also be in proportion with your body.

Here are 6 hairstyle considerations for transgender women: (Note: these rules apply whether you wear a wig or style your own natural hair.)

 

Angela-Side Swept-Estetica

Angela

1. Side Swept Bangs

Bangs are a great option for transgender women since they draw attention to your eyes while hiding a prominent brow ridge. Bangs also have a youthening effect. Straight bangs highlight a large nose and strong facial features, so go for soft, side swept bangs instead.

 

 

 

True-Layered-Estetica

True

2. Layered Look

Layered hairstyles are much more flattering than hair that is all one length. Face framing layers soften your features and add texture and volume to your hair.

 

 

 

Essence-Soft Waves-Vivica Fox

Essence

 

3. Soft Waves

Soft waves are super sexy and feminine. Waves also add volume to your hair, making thin hair  appear fuller. Most transgender women look great with full, wavy hair that balances out strong facial features and a larger body frame.

 

 

Venna-Shoulder length-Estetica

Venna

 

4. Shoulder length hair

Shoulder length hair is the best option for most women, including transgender women. Hair that’s too long drags down your face and looks “old Barbie” after a certain age, while hair that’s too short can look masculine. Shoulder length hair is very feminine and conceals a strong jaw and thick neck.

 

 

Upstage-Side Part-Rachel Welch

Upstage

5. Side Part Hair

Middle parts are an absolute DON’T for most TG women since they make your face look longer  and highlight a big nose and chin. Side parts are much softer and can be worn by anybody with any face shape.

 

 

 

Intimate-Highlights-Rachel Welch

Intimate

 

6. Highlights

Finally, don’t forget about color! Highlights brighten your face and look softer than a single block of color. There are lots of options besides blonde highlights – women with dark hair look fantastic with light brunette or auburn highlights.

 

 

 

You ’re probably sensing a theme here, right? The idea is to think SOFT – soft cuts, soft texture, soft color – to balance masculine features. Remember, just because a hairstyle is cute doesn’t mean it is appropriate for you.

Wig Humor 1OK, Let’s try and bring this all together with a little bit of humor and a real time look at what that wig looks like on a real woman, not just a picture on a page. If you’ll make note of any wigs that you like as you watch the videos, just click on the picture, and it will take you to that wig in the Boutique with full information on the wig.

First up is this humorous overview of wig selection from face shape to putting on the wig; watch

 

 

 youtube2

 

 

 

 

The Hairstyler Program

HairstylerThe Hairstyler is my favorite virtual hairstyler online program to date! I’ve looked at most if not all the online programs and NONE of them are without faults. But this is the one that I recommend to my sisters when they want to find a hairstyle that is good for their face shape; and frankly, one that you can fall in love with because it’s you. And although it is not 100% realistic it is more realistic than most virtual hair styling programs and it’s easy to use. It is certainly realistic enough to see whether the selected hairstyle and color suits you.

Try it yourself  and use the hairstyle consultation feature (members only) to see recommendations for your face shape. You can sign up at TheHairStyler.com, a 3 Month Membership is only $14.95!. It makes a difference to  upload your own photo and see the hairstyles on your own face.

Click here to see the entire review of the Hairstyler Program, courtesy of my friend, Jane Liddelow of Style Makeover HQ

Where To Buy Your Wig

SHOP OUR WIG BOUTIQUE by hair length and face shape

buying wigs2Although there are hundreds of wig suppliers on the internet, few meet our exacting requirements for quality, customer service, and knowledge of the transgender market. That’s part of what you are expecting from Sister House. Our suppliers operate both wig salons and internet shops and have won awards as “Best in Class” in their local areas. You can be assured that the wigs in our boutique are of the highest quality and that every effort is made to ensure that you become a happy customer. It is our intent to pamper you with expert advice, incredible service, and  emotional tips to ease you into the world of wigs with beauty and confidence.

Most of the wigs are designed for everyday use and will last you for many years with the proper care and maintenance. Click here to look at all the wigs in our Boutique Custom  wigs are available (just ask) and we do simple things such as adding hair to hairpieces, general repairs and re-sizing of wigs. If you need further information or advice, please email us your question at wigs@sisterhouse.net.

Wearing your Wig for that Natural Look.

Not this way!

Not this way!

Wearing a wig is not an art form but a few pointers will help you achieve that natural look. You don’t want it to look like a small dog perched on your head

A wig is designed with a front and a back.  The label is typically placed in the center of the back of the wig.  Makes it simple for most of us to figure out but there are still possibilities for messing it up.  Two ear tabs or triangular points stick out halfway from the front of the wig to the back.  These are supposed to sit slightly ahead of the top of the ear and generally have hair extending from them to appear to give the wearer the appearance of a full head of hair, exactly what the wig is needed for!

To put on the wig, grasp the two ear tabs, one in each hand.  Bring the front of the wig to your head and place the front edge of the wig, not the hair, against your forehead and by lightly stretching the wig back and down while the forehead area remains fixed, pull the ear tabs down and reach back with both hands and grasp the label area and pull it gently away from the back of the head and down toward the neck.  Ease the label area against the back of the neck.  Reach up and grab the ear tabs and adjust the wig to make sure it is really centered on the head, so that the same amount of material is on each side of the head.

Look at the forehead and the edge of the wig.  Does it sit where your own hair starts?  (This is for those of us that have hair, I have to guess…) If your own hair peeks out from underneath, pull the front edge of the wig slightly out away from the head in a forward direction and place it down just forward of your real hair line.

Now if you are more visually inclined, lets watch Rochelle put on her wig. And now watch how she secures it. For me, that is important as my wigs do tend to creep. And finally, you can have fun wearing your wig anywhere (well, not the pool) but in the car, while exercising or even dancing widely. You can look younger and be younger. Just enjoy the new found you.

 

Wig Care

Tranny Hairstyle 4-1It’s been said that the easiest way to spot a “cross dresser” is her wig, and a large part of that is styling and care of the wig. Well, with a synthetic wig, the styling is much less of a problem today as a synthetic wig will last for years without restyling. Just wash and shake (well almost). Human hair wigs are quite a bit different as we explained earlier. You have to do w ith that wig as you would do with your own hair. Who wants that fuss.

The problem then is regular maintenance of the wig otherwise it becomes worn and that happens fairly quickly. But this is a simple process. Read the tips below and then watch the video and you’ll be prepared.

How To Wash Synthetic Wigs or Hairpieces

 

Detangle

Detangle

Gently remove tangles using a wide tooth comb, working gradually from the ends to the root of the hair.

 

 

 

 

synthetic_care

Wash

First, fill a small hand sink or a large-sized bowl with approximately 2 quarts of COOL water. NEVER USE HOT WATER (hot water will remove the pre-styled curl pattern that is built into a synthetic wig) Add approximately of synthetic hair wash to the cool water and swish around to mix. Then place the wig or hairpiece into the solution.

Allow to soak for 5 to 10 minutes, and then swish the piece around in the soapy solution for a minute. Note: if your wig has makeup buildup along the front hairline, we recommend you use and old toothbrush and hand soap to remove this.

 

Rinse

Rinse

After washing, discard the soapy water. Rinse with clean, cool water to  remove shampoo. Now add a cream conditioner and rinse the wig again. Gently pat and press with a soft towel to remove excess water. Do not rub, squeeze, twist or wring hair.  DO NOT RUB OR WRING and DUE NOT BRUSH WHILE WET

 

 

Drying your Wig

Dry

It’s best to hang the wig upside down when drying which can be done easily with a coat hanger, not on a wig stand. This insures that the wig will dry with more fullness and fluff.

 

 

 

To recap, let’s watch Rochelle walk us through the complete process and see how easy it is.

 

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