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FEATURES

FEATURES Jan 7 2013 8:11PM
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A little Morgan Thompson in her Halloween wig.

My Journey to Wigdom

By Morgan Thompson, Beating Cancer While Staying Fabulous

I wore my first wig at age five when I dressed up as the Wicked Witch of the West for Halloween, complete with bright green makeup and a super long black wig. From the moment I put the wig on, I fell in love, wearing it long after Halloween passed, until it eventually fell apart.

I didn’t don another wig until my sophomore year in college, when an unfortunate hair color incident went wrong. Distracted by the TV (the beginning of my obsession with reality TV!), I failed Hair Color 101 by leaving the dye on my hair way too long. As I watched my now platinum blonde hair fall down the drain, I vowed to never color again. With half my hair gone, I purchased a half wig (or “fall” as my mother called it, an ode to the 60s) to pin onto my existing hair until the rest grew back.

A few years later I dabbled as a blonde again, but this time with a Beyonce-esque wig for a costume party. Having learned my lesson the first time, I relished in the ability to change my look without putting additional chemicals on my relaxed hair.

But my most influential experience with wigs occurred when I was diagnosed with cancer and faced losing all of my hair to chemotherapy. Determined to put a positive spin on a sad situation, I held a wig party at a wig shop in midtown Manhattan where Wendy Williams was rumored to shop. My friends showed up in support helped me chose a wig that looked natural (and frankly better than my own hair!). I was very worried about losing my hair and I wanted to look as much like myself as possible.

I’ve had my far share of wigdom and although I don’t know if I’m a true “wiggy” like Wendy, here are a few tips for wig wearing and maintenance:
 
Choosing the right wig
Whether you’re looking for a wig for everyday or one just for play, you want to select a wig that you can maintain with your lifestyle. For me, choosing a wig with bangs made it easy for me to wear everyday without worrying about the lace front showing.
Wearing a wig cap
Wearing a wig cap is a must. It gives you extra security to keep your wig from slipping or going askew. You can purchase wig tape and a wig cap at any beauty supply store, and make sure to change the wig tape every few days to keep it fresh.



Brushing/Detangling
Wigs can become tangled very easily, so make sure to brush it thoroughly everyday to reduce the amount of tangles. A tangled up wig is a dead giveaway when you’re going for a natural look. Never sleep in the wig; it’s just not worth the trouble trying to detangle it in the morning!

Washing the wig

I washed my wigs once a week with shampoo and conditioner made specifically for wigs. Wash it in the sink, then set to dry under a hooded hair dryer. Invest in a wig head to help maintain the shape of the wig when you’re not wearing it.

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