Let’s talk about wigs for now. To the people at home or in the crowd.
For starters, I became a “fan” of wigs during my Sophomore year in college. College not only schools you on the fundamentals of your chosen career, but it also provides you with the first-hand, unwanted experience of how to stretch a coin. And while it is lovely to wear a weave; weaves can cause serious damage to an already thinning bank account.
It was summer of 2008 when I purchased my first wig. I was planning to attend Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert, (held at the completely outdoor MetLife Stadium) and determined that my then permed tresses, wouldn’t be able to successfully withstand the heat. So I decided to venture to my local hair store in search of a drawstring ponytail to solve my woes. After scalping through the sparse selection of pony’s, I was feeling disappointed and all the way frustrated. It was entirely too hot to spend $40 on a Dominican blowout however, that seemed to be my only solution. But before settling, I decided to venture into, what I naively labeled, the “forbidden” wig section.
As I thumbed through the selection of wigs, I kept “oohing” and “ahhing” at the level of poppiness that each look gave me. But stigmas associated with wig wearing combatted my thoughts and almost made me walk out without giving it a whirl. Thankfully most hair stores hire employees that also double as hairstylists. So as soon as homegirl that worked in the store hurried over to assist me, it deaded my negative connotations. She suggested an Outre brand half-wig and enlightened me that while I could opt for a traditional full-coverage wig, half-wigs offered the ability to leave a bit of your real hair out in front (similar to that of a weave). After sitting me down in her makeshift stylist’s chair, she parted a small section at top of my hair from ear to ear, held it down with a clip, and neatly French braided the remainder. Next, she slipped on a wig cap, straddled a bouncy wavy wig on my head and secured it in place with flat bobby pins.
And *BOOM*, 5-minutes and $25 later (!!!) I was done. I was too hype. (SB: Don’t mind at my chunky 20-year-old face, lol!)
Following this experience, wig wearing became my fake-it-till-I-make-it, “behind-closed-doors” secret when it came to my hair.
Since graduating from college and on to other seasons in hairstyles, I’ve discovered that nothing beats the effortlessness of rocking a wig. And thanks to celebrity hair chameleons like Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and even the ladies of the Love & Hip-Hop franchise; as of late, many stigmas related to wig wearing have been dismissed.
After making the transition from relaxed to natural in late 2013, for myself (and many other natural gals) protective styles have become key. And recently, I have been rocking an extra natural looking wig that has been happily mistaken for my real hurr several times. After a couple of questions, alongside props on my wig game, I figured I’d spill the tea. While I don’t claim to be a hair expert, here’s some dish on the wig brand I swear by, how I keep this jawn tight, and how I skillfully blend my natural coils.
When it comes to certain experiences, first time’s the charm. And as previously mentioned, Outre was the maker of the first wig I owned. Though I’ve tried wigs by other brands since; I remain loyal to Outre. This hair brand has since expanded their premium synthetic wig collection to include the Batik Bundle Hair line, featuring looks inspired by bundle hair (virgin, human hair) and the Big Beautiful Hair line, carrying curly textures that perfectly mimic, and blend with your natural coils.
Currently, I’m sporting the Batik Hair, Dominican Blowout Straight half-wig.
The look and texture of the wig resembles that of its Dominican blowout namesake, while the feel reminds me of Yaki human hair. For those less familiar, Yaki texture can be described as African-American hair that has been straightened and is low on silk and high in body and bounce. (Sidebar: the mention of Yaki hair gives me major throwback vibes to the track ponytail we ALL sported for at least one school picture back-in-the-day). Not to mention the wig cap is not too thick and fits comfortably to the head.
Most, if not all, of Outre’s wigs, are crafted with hi-tek heat resistant fibers that offer the ability to style the wig by adding heat to it. Heat UP to 400 degrees (cues the Juvenile album) that is. Therefore if you’re looking to keep the bank intact, you can do so without skimping on the styling abilities – which is especially important when rocking a straight wig.
I’d say I love Outre not only for this but also for the aforementioned versatility it provides in terms of its overall selection. Personally, I feel wigs by this brand are long lasting as I’ve been able to stretch a wig for over a month, without washing her. I admit, there are certain downsides attached to synthetic wigs. The main one being that the fibers can get tangled, calling for constant brushing, but that comes with the territory of wearing a synthetic wig.
Which leads me into my next topic . . .
Let’s Talk About how I care for this jawn. . .
Washing your natural hair is an already annoying task. So imagine caring for your real hair and your fake hair separately. Sounds like a drag – but, the gag is….it’s actually not that bad! The amazing hair gals on Youtube have taught me a trick or three when it comes to washing. I’d like to share a few bits that combined, have assisted me in keeping my jawn tight for the long haul.
- To wash: Use conditioner or the unconventional items of dishwashing liquid (to give your wig a robust cleaning) or a blend of fabric softener + detergent. The fabric softener helps to calm the synthetic fibers that make up the wig
- Brush the hair while dry to detangle.
- Fill up the basin with lukewarm water. Make sure it is lukewarm as it avoids further detangling!
- Add the “shampoo” and thoroughly lather. Let the wig sit in the water (some of the homegirls on YouTube have let their gals “bathe” in the basin for up to 30 minutes).
- Once you remove the wig, rinse with lukewarm water until it is fully clean – aka make sure there are no suds are in sight
- Dry with an old t-shirt and NOT a towel, as terrycloth can dry out the wig.
- If you have no wig head, lay your girl on a flat surface to dry completely
- Once completely dry, brush to detangle and VOILA – issa new wig!
*You may have to curl or flat iron it to bring her completely back to life – but it all depends!*
Let’s Talk About, How I blend My Coils
For starters, my hair is supa thick. So blending can be difficult. I’ve found that if I part the very front of my hair from ear to ear (similar to that of my first wig experience), I can blend a small portion of my hair MUCH easier than trying to over add hair in the front. Following washing and air drying my entire head, I grease my hair with a little coconut oil and blow dry the small portion in the front. Next, I use a flat iron (on a low temperature) to straighten this section. To maintain this area, I make sure to add a little hair polisher spray to my natural hair, slick it back, and tie it up tight at night. This helps to limit the use of heat on my hair.
In order to blend the natural hair with my wig, I use a medium bristle hair brush. And of course, I lay my baby hairs down with a dab of edge control (enough to cover the very tip of my pinky) and a toothbrush to slick it down. I use Hicks Edges pomade for an edge control, which is a bit pricier than it’s edge competitors, however, it is long lasting and simply, da best *DJ Khaled voice*.
Homegirls, sound off in the comments section and share your thoughts on wigs! And if you’ve tried a wig yourself, spill the tea on your hair secrets below!
Photo Credit (Hair Model): Black Hairspray