How to find a real hair topper and wig stylist
by Rebecca Dawe
Often you need a bit of imagination when trying on a real hair topper or wig. Once you have decided on the perfect base construction and chosen the colour it's down to your stylist to transform this unit into you. Once it's shaped correctly to suit your personal style you're in control, it's not just a foreign extension, it becomes a part of you. Most of how you look in a human hair topper or wig is down to how confidently you own it.
The true potential of your human hairpieces can only be realised by a good stylist. I have seen some real budget pieces (not mine; I only supply the best human hair toppers and wigs) transformed into masterpieces! Lots of women happily wear their real hair toppers and wigs straight out of the box, they still look good, but I would always recommend having them personalised.
But finding a good stylist can be difficult. I've met lots of ladies replacing their wigs because their hairdressers have mullered their beautiful hair. Personally when I'm looking for another stylist to work with I get them to customise some wigs on me. I'm not happy to recommend anyone without seeing their work first.
It's surprisingly difficult to find salons in some areas that even offer real hair topper and wig cutting services let alone offer any privacy! I have some awful memories of not only having my patchy head on display to every person in the salon, but also visible to every person walking past in the street. There's little surprise women are opting to wear their hair straight out of the box.
Here's some pointers:
It's best to purchase your first wigs from a wig retailer face to face (rather than buy directly online). Not only will the retailer help you find what's right for you but will be able to cut or refer you to a stylist with lots of experience.
Salons can be very hostile places for wig wearers. It's completely nuts considering how common it is! Before you go to a salon check they can cut wigs (most can't), make sure they have specific experience of cutting real hair toppers and wigs. Ask if they have later appointments or private rooms. You can always go into the salon wearing your wig but you'll need to make sure it's very secure. Here's a link for UK salons that have been professionally trained to cut wigs.
Lots of ladies opt to have their hair cut in the security and comfort of their own homes. It's great to be able to see the same, trusted, stylist that you've built up a relationship with. Before trusting them with your precious hair ask these questions:
- What are your qualifications and how long have you been working?
It's good to use someone who has lots of salon experience and has achieved at least a level 3 NVQ.
- How many human hair toppers and wigs have you cut?
- How do you cut wigs?
You must never use normal scissors on synthetic hair. A razor cut is best as you can't leave lines on synthetic hair. Thinning scissors can be used to remove the bulk. Human hair can be cut as normal but make sure it's done slowly and more gradually.
- How short can you cut a wig?
You need to be extremely careful cutting any wig short. The cap construction is important. Generally if you go shorter than 5" the hair will stick up. For short and graduated styles you need wefting around the base of a wig.
- Can you colour my wig?
If your stylist in experienced in cutting and colouring human hair pieces generally they are more experienced in working with hair loss. Your stylist should ask about the hair the wig is made from. They should also ask about the current colour and what you want to change. Most lighter coloured human hair has been processed. It is not advisable to use bleach, therefore lightening the wig is not best practice. Adding lowlights is OK. The stylist should test a few areas before committing to colouring it. It's often better to colour your own hair to match the human hair topper or wig if you're using an integrated piece (which isn't bespoke).
- Can you perm my wig?
You can perm human hair but make sure the solution used is for treated hair. If the colour is light be careful as the extra processing may dry out the human hair too much.
- What do you charge?
Wigs take longer to cut as your stylist should work a lot slower and do things more gradually. If they're priced a bit higher than a standard cut don't be put off. If you find the right stylist they're worth it.