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FEATURES Jan 7 2013 8:11PM
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.

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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