Keep Your Hair On

This is something that isn’t so easy when you wear a wig.

I have lost count how many times I have had to throw my hand on top of my head to “keep my hair on”; every gust of wind, every rollercoaster loop and every turn of the head. Speed has never been my forte, I was always picked last in PE and I can’t run to save my life, but if “keeping your hair on” was an Olympic sport then I’d win gold.

When you wear a wig, “keeping your hair on” involves lots of skill and precision. The slightest misjudgement of time and it would be like a rat flying through the air (just imagine the horror and surprise on people’s faces) or one slip of the hand and the rat would be clinging onto your head for dear life.

It’s not just with sudden movement that you face a rat related disaster either; place a heavy clip or too many accessories in the wig and whoop straight down the back. If you’re lucky it may not slide completely off but you’ll certainly end up with a hairline higher than Christina Ricci.

So what’s the solution? Wig tape. That’s right, the solution to this problem is to tape your wig to your head. As if the prospect of having a rat clinging to your head just isn’t problematic enough, you are now face with the ultimatum that you can either risk your rat related fate or you can put tape on your head that will ultimately pull not only a lump of hair out (which hurts just as much for us with short hair as it does for you with long hair) but also rip half of your skin off. So effectively, your choices are to have a rat clinging onto your head or to wax your skin off. My choice is always to keep the rat because let’s face it, even if it does go wrong you get entertainment from the reaction of everyone surrounding you.

I hope you have a good weekend and that my rat related misfortune has brought a smile to your day.

Wig Problems: Knowing the good from the bad

All of our lives, neither me or my Mum have ever had any hair. This means that between us we have bought and owned hundreds of wigs. But, not only have we bought and owned wigs, we have learnt a lot about them. So I have decided that to share some of the things that we have learnt through a series of blogs that I will post over the next few weeks, along with others, named “Wig Problems”.

One of the biggest issues that we have faced when buying wigs is knowing which ones are good and which ones aren’t so good. By this, I mean knowing which ones will last like this –

Rene of Paris

and which ones will turn into this –

November 2006

From these pictures it may look like the bottom one is just older and less well looked after but in actual fact, this isn’t the case. It may be hard to believe but some wigs stay in great condition for months and others go tatty and horrible within weeks. Yes weeks. It’s all about knowing which ones will last and which ones won’t.

However, this can be extremely tricky when you are faced with hundreds of wigs; all of which look the same (at first!) So this week I have decided to share with you everything that me and my mum have learnt about wigs over the years.

Finding a good manufacturer:

The first piece of advice that I would give to anybody that wishes to buy a wig is knowing which manufacturers to look at. This is because, like anything else, some companies sell better quality wigs than others. For example, in the above pictures, the top is a Rene of Paris and the bottom is a Natural Image. I mean, why would you buy Banston beans when you can buy Heinz (but let’s not start that argument here). Okay, so it’s a bit different but hopefully you get the idea. Now, I have created a list of five good manufacturers and three manufacturers to avoid. A list that I have created based on my own personal experience with these companies.

Good manufactures:

  1. Rene of Paris
  2. Noriko
  3. Armore
  4. Henry Margu
  5. Revlon

Manufacturers to avoid:

  1. Natural Image
  2. Hot Hair
  3. Jon Renau

Many manufacturers also have “collections” such as Inspired by Natural Image and Raquel Welch by Hot Hair so when looking at wigs be mindful of that.

Wigs by these manufacturers and many more can be found on sites such as;

http://www.directwigs.co.uk ,

http://www.simplywigs.co.uk and

http://www.reneofparis.com

Hospital Prescriptions:

One thing that most people don’t know about wigs is that you can get pretty much ANY wig on prescription. If you leave it to the hospital, they will show you wigs from manufacturers that they have contracts with (usually the cheaper manufacturers that sell the worse quality wigs). However, if you ask for a (couple of) particular wig(s) they can order them in and you can try them on and get one on prescription, ALL FOR FREE.

In order to do this, you can look for wigs by the better manufacturers, such as Rene of Paris, on sites such as http://www.simplywigs.co.uk and give the specific details of the wig to your hospital and most hospitals will order it in for free. Alternatively, if you have a wig already that you really like but just want a newer one or to have it in a different colour etc, you can give the details off of the tag.

Tag 2

Personal Experience:

From all of the times that I ever bought a wig, I also found that many shops don’t have a clue what they are talking about! When I was little, someone in one of these shops told us that we could use curlers on a synthetic wig. Using heat on plastic fibres, yeah, that’s a good idea! However, don’t get me wrong, there are many extremely helpful people out there. I have mentioned her before but the best place that I have ever been is Andreas Hairoom (www.andreashairoom.co.uk); Andrea is a lovely women who has personal experience with alopecia and knows exactly what she is doing and talking about.

Choices Choices

Growing up, I really struggled to find what I really wanted and to know how to cope with my lack of hair. My parents, family and everyone around me always gave me this endless list of options; trying to be as supportive as possible. I could have wigs, hats, headscarves; I could wear a swimming hat, die my hair (WHATEVER I wanted). However, I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t know what was best.

I think it was when I reached my early teens that I started to build confidence (I mean, I was NEVER a shy child, as my parents constantly remind me, but it was at this stage that I became confident about my hair and wanted to show off what I had). I began to live my life on the belief that I should be more confident than wigs; that I should be able to be proud of myself the way that I am, with the amount of hair that I have. I always thought that wigs were like a mask, there to cover you up, to hide you’re imperfections. I didn’t want to feel that I should have to cover myself up and hide from the real me. I was scared that relying on wigs would rob me of my confidence and turn me into someone that I wasn’t.

But I was wrong.

I recently heard about another girl’s story, someone completely different to me; she lost her hair when she was a child. She just lost patches which gradually grew bigger and bigger. At first, she just left it and wore headscarves etc. However, as it got worse, she began to get bullied and so lost all her confidence. Then she found wigs. For her, wigs gave her back her confidence and allowed her to enjoy life a lot more.

So what I’m trying to say is that her story taught me a lot! One thing that I’ve mentioned in this post a lot is confidence because what her story taught me is that confidence is exactly what you need. I suppose I always knew this deep down because I only ever wanted to get rid of my wigs to give me confidence. However, before I heard this story, I always thought that I wanted to get rid of my wigs because I thought that by wearing a wig I was just covering myself up and being someone that I wasn’t.

In reality, the only thing that is important is feeling confident, being able to be happy with life, feeling proud of the person you are and feeling comfortable with yourself.

Happy New Year!

Hello, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas last week and are enjoying the festive season.

Now, it’s nearly 2015 and around ¾ of us will be making new years resolutions but unfortunately around 80% of us will also fail. So this year when I chose to make mine I thought I’d spend a bit of time thinking about them (because, be honest, how many of you have chosen resolutions like loose weight, stop smoking, save money etc and realised how unrealistic they are?) Now, I don’t believe that 80% of us will fail because we can’t do it, I think that we fail because our goals aren’t realistic. We choose resolutions like “get fit” rather than “go to the gym twice a week rather than once”.

To do this I looked at things that went well in 2014 and how I could improve those things. For example, 5 good things (based around my ED):

  • I went out in public without anything on my head for the first time (January 2014)
  • I let my Dad (http://nickwaltonphotography.co.uk/) publish a photo of me that’s about my condition (January 2014)

be true to who you are final

  • After I realised that people stare, I died my hair bright red so at least they had something to stare at (March 2014)

DSCN0709

  • I did a no make-up selfie without my headscarf on (the first time I uploaded a picture without it on) (March 2014)

no make xxxaup

  • I started this blog (September 2014)

After I had made this list, I had to decide how I could improve 2015 and continue to gain confidence. So I thought about things I would like to do:

  • Have enough confidence to not wear my headscarf
  • Create more awareness for my condition

So to help me do this I decided my new year resolutions would be:

  • Continue to build my blog
  • Let my dad publicise more pictures of me
  • Stop wearing my headscarf when I can

Thank you for reading this and I hope you have a happy new year.