Tuesday, July 07, 2009

I don't know why it's so hard to make a wig look real.

As Dizzy and I rambled around the west side of Gardiner (not to be confused with West Gardiner, a separate town) this morning, a passing car caught my attention.

It was a white Mustang convertible being driven by a man of late middle years, a story in itself; but what really drew my notice was this man's glorious head of blond curls.

It was not only a wig, it was a defiant wig, a Gorgeous George-style symphony of hair. It wouldn't have fooled a blind man, or his aged mother. It was becoming only as a bizarre accessory, in the manner of Phil Spector's wig wardrobe.

This man was driving and I was walking, so I did not have a chance to stop and ask him all the things I want to know (which was probably best). Does he think the wig looks natural? Why is he so afraid of baldness? Does he have different wigs for different occasions? Are people supposed to pretend that's his real hair?

I sound critical here -- and I am, of this particular case -- but of course I understand the need and desire for wigs, especially among people who have lost their hair to illness or chemotherapy. I've given my hair to Locks of Love more than once, and will probably do it again before the end of the year.

That said, why is it so hard to make a wig look real? We used wigs for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, and although the people wearing them were attractive and pleasing to the eye, the wigs themselves looked rotten. Granted, they weren't expensive wigs, but even expensive wigs rarely look real.

My next door neighbor, facing health-related hair loss, has chosen to shave her head rather than use a hairpiece. I admire that, and it actually becomes her. I hope I'll be that brave, if I ever need to be.

Do you wear a hairpiece? Would you? Would you care if it looked real, or just go straight for the pink nylon?


Claire said...

See, my wig-related question has always been, how can King Street in Alexandira support 2-3 wig shops on the same block? Is there really a demand for a wig district in Old Town?

AnswerGirl said...

I had forgotten about that! Yes, those have been there a very long time -- since I was in college, at least -- and it's always baffled me.

Ed Lamb said...

Wig shops always cluster. Before the Verizon Center revitalized the north end of Chinatown in DC, H stret had an entire block of nothing but wig stores. And, if memory serves, the DC ESPN Zone displace a couple of wig shops, too.

Why I remember DC wiggery is a mystery even to myself.

AnswerGirl said...

I remember those wig stores too, Ed. Wigs are popular in Orthodox Jewish communities, because they satisfy the requirement that women cover their hair -- but neither Old Town Alexandria nor downtown Washington has ever been a big Orthodox community, as far as I know. Chevy Chase or Kemp Mill would make more sense...

lawlis42 said...

Wig stores are always one of those time warp places. You walk in and instantly you're catapulted to somewhere between 1965 - 75. I kind of like those places.
I don't wear a hair piece but if I needed one, I'd definitely either go natural with my bald head or wear something outrageous. I'd love to be able to color coordinate my hair with my clothes or wear something fun and bright to cheer up a particularly gray day. And what about drawing designs on your naked scalp? The possibilities are endless.