At the very start of my career, I know now, that I was really fortunate to study a two year City & Guilds course in the art of Wig Making. I suppose looking back, I have to admit that I did not really enjoy the course at the time, even though it was a part of hairdressing training in those days. In my head if I am honest, I did not want to work with wigs I simply wanted to work with real hair.
It really saddens me now to think that at the age of 16 I had that attitude to wigs.
But my attitude totally changed about when around 20 years ago when sadly one of my amazing clients was unfortunately diagnosed with breast cancer. She came to me and asked me would I find her a wig to match her hairstyle. At that time I had never worked with wigs since the day I finished my training at college when I was 18 years old. However, I did not tell her this at the time I just decided that I needed to do this for her.
So I simply said
of course I will find you the right wig and I will match it to your hairstyle.
So that was what I did. I found the perfect wig, it really was beautifully made and the important thing was that my lady felt comfortable and confident wearing it. I have to say she really did look amazing when she was wearing it.
Since then I have styled many many wigs. People have to wear them for many different reasons. I have seen so many different conditions that affect hair-growth in my long career and I have to admit I do find it very interesting.
I have always studied hair on a deeper level than most. So I suppose it is another element of the science of hairdressing, that keeps me behind the chair. If I can see, I am not getting the results I expect and am not seeing the client’s hair in amazing condition and full of shine, after using my products. I will then always start to analyse the client’s health and well-being, only by doing this can I start to understand why I am not achieving the result I would expect to see. I will then work with the client to try to improve the situation.
The reason I am writing this particular post, is because whilst I was talking to one of my clients who currently wears a wig. She was talking about the stigma she experiences by wearing a wig. I was amazed to hear her tell me about people’s’ reactions and their typical views about wigs.
My lady totally accepts that she has to wear one and she really does look amazing, both she and I love the style of her latest wig. My client was discussing the fact that people can be very rude and negative to a person who is wearing a wig, but then the same people seem to like even respect those wearing false eyelashes, false nails, false boobs and of course false eyebrows.
This then got me thinking, I thought my client was completely correct. If someone is wearing the most ridiculous of false eyelashes there is seems to be no stigma at all in this “fashion statement”. What shook me was when I told her that many people do not realise that a lot of celebrities over the years have worn and still do wear wigs.
So I do hope, that somehow by writing this post that even if I change just one person’s attitude about wearing wigs then that is a small step forward.
Believe me there are some amazing wigs out there and they can completely change a someone’s look in a very positive way. Wigs are not just used for a negative reason, don’t forget that they can also be used as an accessory just like false eyelashes to create a new look for the person. So even if you know a person is wearing a wig, just remember it is absolutely OK to give them a compliment, they will not be offended, you might even make their day.
So over the last 20 years or so, I have really enjoyed, choosing wigs and styling them for clients. I am so pleased that it was my clients and their needs, that finally helped me change my initial negative attitude about working with wigs and I can admit openly that I simply love doing it and get a great kick out of seeing the end result.
Love and light
Mel Johnson xx