What do you call this thing on your head? Is it a wig, a wiglett, a topper, helper hair or a hair piece?? Lord knows its confusing and I can’t begin to tell you why we have a physical reaction to some words and not others. Wig or even toupee are words that bring negative reactions to many of those who are wearing hair for reasons other than fashion. Those two words just bring dread and fear. But why?
I remember when I switched from toppers to full wigs. This should have been an easy transition; I had already been wearing hair pieces for many years at this point and the wigs were actually a more realistic and easier option for me at that time. While discussing this with my bestie I mentioned that I was feeling a little self-conscious and that the full “wig” thing made me insecure. She said ‘Jackie they have always been wigs!’ My heart dropped and I considered (for 10 seconds) being hurt about that comment. But then I realized that she was just speaking the truth. No matter what I called it ... it was a wig ! *uck it !
I am in my 40s and way too tired of excusing and making stories to make others feel comfortable with my genetic incapacity to grow hair properly. I often wonder if people with other physical differences are forced to explain away on a daily. Do those people missing teeth or fingers or any other of the millions of things that make us unique and one of a kind, feel the need daily to excuse their difference or the choices they make to deal with their differences?
I had a customer just recently tell me that she was part of a dance group that met weekly for fun and exercise. During a break in the dancing one of the other ladies walked up to her reached out and parted the hair on her wig and said ‘that’s what I thought’ and then walked away! THE NERVE! I just cannot believe that a person would have the audacity to be so unkind and rude.
When I began to wear toppers more than 25 years ago, I was at an event with a bunch of people and one of the guys (someone who knew before helper hair) seated in the row behind us in the bleachers reached out and tugged my hair as If to see if it would fall off. Of course, it did not but I have never gotten over that being such an invasion of my privacy and so absolutely rude.
I spent many years trying to hide or shy away from conversations on this hair stuff> I just did not know how to talk about it. Fast forward to my 40s and ….I am exhausted! Also I am over it ! This is not an issue for me. I wear hair, I have crap biological hair and for me wigs, toppers and the like allow me to feel like myself and give me the boost of confidence I need to look in the mirror and like what I see.
These days I have stopped making excuses or dodging conversations about my hair and my hair wearing experiences. I do not have time to make excuses or explain away discomfort for the masses. I wear hair. If that makes you uncomfortable then I guess you will just have to deal with that. 😊
I regularly OUT myself at parties and get togethers where there are people who do not know me. I don’t care. And here is the amazing part of it … the less I care the less the world cares about it! AMAZING!
If you project confidence and pride in yourself and your appearance the world will simply accept it. I realized that for so many years my projection was shame and fear of not being accepted. I felt ugly and was treated this way. The second I embraced who I was and started to discuss this with the world and project my inner beauty outwards, the world reflected this back at me!!! Oh how I wish I knew at 20 what I know now in my 40s!!!
SO here is my suggestion to you. Figure out your words, find the ones you are comfortable with, wig, topper, hairpiece, volume piece, or helper hair! Decide to OUT yourself and own this. “I’m just like Beyoncé I am wearing helper hair!“ “OMG it’s a wig just like the Kardashians!” For 30seconds you will feel fear or anxiety but once the words are out and you have owed them its totally off your mind. You don’t have to feel like a fraud or worry about who is looking at your hairline and part. IF people decide to be rude or talk behind your back, well that reflects on them not you. Owning it and speaking out about it, places the ownness of dealing with it squarely on their plate instead of on your ego and self-esteem! I can honestly say that once I figured this out, my social life became very easy. I stopped worrying and I felt more comfortable in my own skin. There are always going to be those people who judge and do or say rude things. However, I am way more equipped to disregard those comments and call people on rude actions these days. Being confident and happy makes those people just look horrible and petty and I can see them for who they are. It does not have as much of an effect on me and my self-esteem. Like magic, my accepting myself and owning my uniqueness has empowered me !! Trust me when I say that if you find the words and the strength to use them this journey becomes easier.