What do I say to my friend who is losing her hair?

 

Grab your girlfriend. Sit down with some wine. Let her pour her heart out about hair loss.

Grab your girlfriend. Sit down with some wine. Let her pour her heart out about hair loss.

My friend is going to lose her hair (or has lost her hair). What do I say to her? 

A friend of ours asked us this question recently and we have a few good answers.

Acknowledge your friend’s hair loss! She knows she lost her hair, whether to chemo or alopecia or hereditary hair loss.  There’s no point in NOT talking about it. It’s a huge loss. You can imagine losing your own hair. Some friends have been known to shave their heads in solidarity with their friends’ loss. This is exceptional (you don’t have to shave yours to understand what her hair loss does to her.)

Help her recognize the hair loss is progressing. If you think your friend is losing too much hair and it’s time, gently ask her how her hair loss is and how she feels about it. Some women go years (or longer) with very thin hair and get used to their appearance. A good friend asks her if she’s happy about her hair and if she’s not, encourages her to see a wig stylist and professional.

Go with her to a wig salon (if she wants you to)

A wig salon is different than a wig store. A wig salon is a private place where she can consult with a wig stylist to decide on the right path for her hair replacement. She may want a trusted confidante, a bottle of wine and a box of Kleenex. She might want her favorite leather jacket, a new lipstick and some earrings to bolster her confidence when she leaves.

Ask her how she’s doing. She might not want to answer how much her hair is growing (or falling out) and she might feel uncomfortable talking about it anywhere else but a private place. Give her space, and an open-ended opportunity to talk if she wants to.

She might come to you with some pretty emotional thoughts. Everything from feeling depressed, to how to handle feeling like less of a woman is on the table for her. She might want to be just like she was before and not talk about it at all. Let her talk, she’ll tell you what she needs.

 

Compliment her wigs, scarves and hats

She needs to know she looks beautiful. Regardless of her choice to deal with her type of hair loss, she’s still your beautiful friend. If she chooses wigs, or scarves or nothing at all, support her.

 

Buy her a gift reflective of her situation

Our gift-giving guide gives you some ideas of what to get her. The best gift of all may be time spent with you, her friend! Go for a girls night out or a girls weekend away!

 

Be a friend. The same friend you always are, and be present. That’s all she truly needs

 

 

 

Best gifts for friends and loved ones with hair loss

Women’s hair loss is hard. Give gifts - to yourself, or a loved one to make her feel renewed

You’re going to want to have something that helps you through the journey. This gift list is a great one for “what can I do to help?” questions you might get from friends. And this is just the kind of list you can expect from your wig salon – we get it! It’s about feeling beautiful, and that’s our business to help you achieve that feeling. Share this list or gift yourself, this holiday season.

Hats for hair loss:

Specifically cozy and cute hats. Slouchy beanie hats, soft hats with faux fur pom poms and berets are always great winter style and are functional and cute at the same time. This can be a great crafting project if you’re looking to make a gift for someone you love with hair loss. If you’re making them for yourself, it’s an even better way to get your mind off your hair loss. One friend we know made TWO of everything – she made herself a hat and a hat for another woman with hair loss and donated the second hat to a cancer charity. You can find hats like these everywhere. Click through to our Pinterest board for more inspiration.

 

Jewelry for hair loss:

Especially earrings. If your hair will grow out later (such as after chemo), earrings are a great way to bridge the awkward gap of having just a tiny bit of hair growth.  Don’t think it has to be diamonds (although those are nice), think of creativity and beauty – earrings are available at all price points, from things kids can craft (tassel earrings in particular, are very easy for kids to craft), to something special from a relative or significant other. There are so many lovely places to buy jewelry in the Okemos, East Lansing and Lansing area. But you can also make them! Check out our Pinterest board for crafty and easy ideas for a gift filled with love (for yourself or others!)

 

 

Meals:

It can be debilitating to go through regrowth of your hair, or perpetual hair loss. A home cooked meal can be a special gift at a time when that one bad day just sends you over the edge. Thawing a yummy dish can be just what you need to get through another day. 

 

Scarves for hair loss

A beautiful hand painted scarf is a great way to cover your head. Whether you wear it at home for lounging or out in public, it’s a wonderful gift of beauty for someone with hair loss. Often, as hair grows back in, it grows from the crown out, so those silk scarves can be worn as wide headbands as the hair grows from back to front, finally filling in at the original hairline.

 

Spa treatments:

You betcha! Your wig salon stylist can recommend a spa or beauty salon that would be particularly helpful and understanding. But be aware, at some stages of hair loss, this may induce panic (at having to remove a wig, for instance), so check with your wig stylist for the most private spa experiences.

 

Wigs for hair loss

Many women with long term hair loss such as through androgenic or autoimmune alopecia will wear wigs for the rest of their lives. A brand new (synthetic) wig from your wig salon is a fabulous gift – and your wig salon can source new wigs at all price points – giving you a fun option, a chance to have dream hair, or even a wig to wear for sports or at the beach (where your primary wig might not be a good fit.)

If you know someone with female hair loss or if that someone is you, a special, thoughtful gift is very appreciated. It might be the thing that helps you get through that day or that week, when hair loss grinds you down. Happy gifting!

Check out our Pinterest boards for more great inspiration on how and what to gift for hair loss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wearing hats with wigs and hats with hair – fall and winter hair loss tips

Fall and winter bring on new challenges with what to do with your (lack of) hair. Hair loss and wearing a wig doesn't need to be challenging, even with Michigan’s cold climate. It’s cold, and yet your wig is still itchy, and you still have to go indoors at some point – here are some hair or hat (or both!) options that you can use to look great without hair in the winter.

It’s socially acceptable to wear hats most of the year, but most common in the colder months! Even those with hair are wearing hats indoors, especially casually. 

Wear your wig under a hat:

This one can be tricky, depending on your wig’s style. Your wig may still feel itchy, and although it’s not hot, it’s not warm either! This can be frustrating to find that even in winter, a wig isn’t warm enough to be without a hat. Fall and spring seem to be the time when wearing a wig is most comfortable due to outdoor temperatures being mild but not too hot or cold. If you do wear your wig under a hat, consider that all wigs, even human hair ones (but especially synthetic) can leave your hair with static. A trick is to carry a small bottle of hair gel or hair conditioner, squirt a tiny amount into your hand, rub your hands together and smooth them over your wig when you get indoors.

Wear a hood or hooded scarf over your wig:

A hood is probably the best option for wig-wearers and a great option for when going between car and office, or car and store, a hood is not as tight, can be thrown back once inside and tends not to mess up your hair. If your coat doesn’t have a hood, consider a hooded scarf – a scarf with an attached hood. These are popular accessories in the winter, and can also be easily made in fleece fabric or knitted (by loving friends and family as gifts for you!) The only slightly distracting thing might be the rubbing of your hair under certain hoods can be noisy as the wig rubs on the inner part of the hood. (No kidding!)  Hooded fabric or knit scarves don’t have as much noise inside as nylon/quilted ones attached to coats.

Wear a hat with attached hair:

Your wig salon can help you source extensions that attach hair with Velcro to a hat. This means, with a change of several (soft, warm)  hats, you can have a cute wardrobe of outdoor hats to wear while running errands, snowshoeing, sledding, or hanging out with friends outdoors. If you’re attending a winter bonfire, just stay back from the heat of the fire with synthetic wigs, especially. You can sit by the fire if it’s burned down a bit and not throwing off high heat. In addition, it’s not at all unusual to leave your hat on inside especially in casual restaurants and pubs during the winter months. Attached hair is an extension with hair sewn to a fabric panel with velcro. The corresponding side of velcro is on the inside of the hat's cuff or brim. Several styles of extension can be attached to hats or one extension swapped between several styles of hats. Old wigs are good for this - the wig's cap can be cut for this. If you've been wearing wigs for a while (such as for alopecia), you may have older wigs you wish to repurpose into hat-wigs. 

 

Wearing wigs for snow sports:

Wearing both a merino wool hat and a Buff prepares you for both the outdoor activities (snowshoeing, cross country skiing, winter hikes with your pooch or significant other), but the indoor ones as well. Simply leave your hat on over your (bald) head, or swap it for the Buff when you get indoors. This guy on the left doesn't mind being bald at all, but he's unusual. Photo by A Wig and a Prayer client Ann. 

Wearing both a merino wool hat and a Buff prepares you for both the outdoor activities (snowshoeing, cross country skiing, winter hikes with your pooch or significant other), but the indoor ones as well. Simply leave your hat on over your (bald) head, or swap it for the Buff when you get indoors. This guy on the left doesn't mind being bald at all, but he's unusual. Photo by A Wig and a Prayer client Ann. 

If you’re participating in alpine snowsports such as snowboarding or alpine skiing, you can wear a beanie or lighter weight hat under your snowsports helmet, with attached hair (see above.)  Or you can wear a Buff or beanie under your helmet and not wear hair at all. If you wear a buff,  duck into the restroom or locker room, put your buff on like a hood, with the tube down over your neck for neck and face protection, and pull the top up over your head like a hood. The Buff will cover your entire head, neck and even face and nose under your snow sports helmet. When you get back inside, head back into the restroom or locker room and pull your buff up over your head and scrunch it and tuck it like a hat to wear inside. It won’t be too hot, and a hat worn indoors at a ski lodge is not only common, but accepted!

For outdoor endurance sports like snowshoeing or cross country skiing, you might want to dispense with attached hair altogether and wear a beanie (in a warm merino wool) alone. The beanie style hats are comfortable, snug fitting and wicking. When you come in, either swap for a Buff or keep your merino hat on. Again, as for alpine lodges, XC ski bonfire warming areas, you'll be just like other skiers, all wearing hats. 

Whatever you choose for your hair-wearing options, fall and winter are wonderful times to take in nature’s beauty outdoors in Michigan, cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa afterward. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When is it time to start wearing a wig for hair loss?

When is it time to wear a wig? A guide for women hair loss clients

When clients ask “when is it time to wear a wig?” if they are getting ready to undergo chemotherapy, have suffered androgenic hair loss (thinning) of the hair for years or decades or are losing patches to alopecia areata, the answer varies. A better question though is when to begin shopping for a wig, and that answer is nearly universal: while you still have hair, sooner, rather than later.

While you still have hair, your wig stylist can see your current hair and style, ask you what you like about your hair, what you wish your hair could be, and explore your lifestyle. Wearing wigs, or wearing hair as many wig wearers like to call it, is a personal decision, but making the choice to wear one is better when you do have hair.

This is an actual A Wig and Prayer client, about six weeks after an onset of Alopecia Areata. The average time for a custom human hair wig is 8-12 weeks. We sourced her a temporary synthetic wig (which took 10 days). She had already lost enough hair within the 10 days, that she had to resort to hats and scarves. Planning ahead is important. Come in before you think you need to.

This is an actual A Wig and Prayer client, about six weeks after an onset of Alopecia Areata. The average time for a custom human hair wig is 8-12 weeks. We sourced her a temporary synthetic wig (which took 10 days). She had already lost enough hair within the 10 days, that she had to resort to hats and scarves. Planning ahead is important. Come in before you think you need to.

If you opt for a full wig in a human hair wig, you may have to wait 6-12 weeks for your hair to be ready, so you don’t want to make the decision to wear a wig at the last minute. You can get a temporary synthetic wig from your wig salon (and it can arrive in the salon in Okemos) that will be an inexpensive option to get you through til your beautiful new hair arrives and is styled.

If you’re getting a good quality synthetic wig, and it’s in stock, you will usually wait 7-10 days for the synthetic wig to arrive in the wig salon in Okemos, and a few days further to schedule your try-on session. From there, you’ll have your wig trimmed and styled to fit you. Many wigs need trimming/thinning to look like the you that you love.

For those with androgenic alopecia, when your hair has gotten thin enough or your hairline has receded enough to not look how you love, that’s the time to get a wig.  You might have better perspective looking at older photos compared to recent photos. We get used to the slow progression of how we look, so you might not notice just how thin your hair has become. For alopecia areata, where the hair falls out in patches, progression of the disease can be months or days long, so don’t wait. Come in while you have enough hair that you won’t have to wear a temporary wig while yours is on order.

If you are undergoing chemo, usually between 1-4 treatments, you will begin losing hair. Some lose it fast, others slower, but when it falls, it comes out in clumps and you’ll be staring at patches of bald scalp. It’s best to select your wig when you still have hair, so come in as soon as you know you’ll be undergoing treatment.

The answer whether you should wear a wig is entirely personal. But when you should select your wig is always sooner rather than later. Since that first visit to your wig salon can be an emotional event, learn more about what you can expect here before you go. And schedule the appointment. It may be a hard step, but no one has ever left a wig salon without looking (and feeling) amazing!

You will say "why didn't I do this sooner!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hair replacement options that are NOT wigs: Toppers and Extensions

Your hair has been thinning, maybe for years, and now it’s gotten too thin to look how you want it to. You’ve tried thickening powders and makeup to no avail. But you’re not ready or willing to go head first into a wig. You do have some hair and either it’s thinning and showing more of your scalp than you’d like, or it’s just getting harder and harder to manage your slow hair loss.

What other hair options are out there? There are some awesome options that add to your existing hair and help you have beautiful, thick locks that look amazing (and stay in your hair for weeks at a time.)

Toppers:

Toppers, also called toppettes or hair pieces are a small section of hair that covers only the top portion of your head. Toppers are attached to your own existing hair by gluing, weaving or clipping. The type of topper that you choose will dictate the length of wear. Long term wear toppers will be woven or glued in, shampooed and styled with your own hair and removed and replaced by a professional every 4-5 weeks.  Short term or daily wear toppers will be clipped in and taken off each day and shampooed after 10-12 wearings. Far from your idea of a 'wiglet' or ‘toupee’, the topper is perfect for women with thinning hair due to age, hormones, or androgenic alopecia. You’ll be shocked at how GREAT you look with more hair! It blends in with your natural hair and it’s comfortable and easy to care for.  Toppers can be human hair or synthetic and no matter which one you choose A Wig and a Prayer has a-mazing options!

 

Extensions:

Like toppettes, extensions add fullness and body to existing hair. They can lengthen short, thin locks, and turn them into gorgeous, thick ones. They’re perfect for when you need more hair but due to androgenic, hormonal hair loss, just can’t grow it any more. Keep in mind that with extensions you have to have enough hair to hide the extension attachment. Extensions are best when your own growing hair is strong enough to hold them. If you have any questions about whether you are a candidate, give us a call!

 

It’s time, really.

Why try a topper or extensions? Simple. Your hair CAN look better. Odds are you’ve gotten used to the thinness of it, maybe haven’t noticed just how much of your scalp you can see. With a topper or extension, you can have the beautiful hair you had (or maybe always wanted!)

Here are some photos of clients wearing different types of  toppers.

 

 

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How to swim in a wig or topper (and enjoy summer's heat and fun!)

Wearing a wig or a scarf in the pool in the summer: summer hair wearing tips

Shown here, a Buff (a stretchy tube of seamless fabric, available in many prints and colors) is a great way to cover your head while swimming. It's lightweight, dries quick and has high SPF. I usually tie it into a knot at the side, but the Buffs come with many ways to tie them on. You an also wear a beautiful scarf (shown here, hand-batiked silk oblong scarf) as an aprés pool or beach head wrap. With some dramatic earrings and a great coverup / dress, you'll look fab at the pool bar or beach party!

Shown here, a Buff (a stretchy tube of seamless fabric, available in many prints and colors) is a great way to cover your head while swimming. It's lightweight, dries quick and has high SPF. I usually tie it into a knot at the side, but the Buffs come with many ways to tie them on. You an also wear a beautiful scarf (shown here, hand-batiked silk oblong scarf) as an aprés pool or beach head wrap. With some dramatic earrings and a great coverup / dress, you'll look fab at the pool bar or beach party!

If you wear a wig full time due to hair loss from chemotherapy, alopecia or diffuse hair loss, you know summer’s heat makes wearing a wig hard. Here are some options for wearing a wig (and other hair options) around pools, beaches, oceans and parties in the summer.

Wearing your wig in the pool

If you have or can get an inexpensive backup wig from your wig salon and have it styled for summer, you can wear your wigs in the pool or ocean with a little prep work. First, have your primary wig in your bag, in it’s protective bag. You can stuff the cavity of the wig with a balled-up tee shirt to hold it’s shape. Then, secure your backup wig with a silicone wig grip headband (which grips better than the velvet headbands when wet.) If you have a long-haired wig, you can braid the end to keep it neat and in place. For short hair wigs, you can use a stretchy headband to keep the hair off your face while you swim. Never wear your expensive wig or primary wig in the pool, lake or ocean.

If you do wear your backup wig, rinse it as soon as you can and wash it that evening so chlorine and salt don’t damage it.

Wear a scarf in the pool

If you’d prefer NOT to swim with a wig, you can go bald, of course. Last summer at a large public waterpark pool in East Lansing,  a beautiful, confident woman wore just her own scalp in the pool. I don't know her story but she was amazing. Be sure to wear sunblock on your head. If you’re not quite comfortable with that, you can wear a Buff, which is a stretchy tube of fabric that fits snugly on your head. There are many ways to tie/wear a Buff and they dry quickly. You can also use a scarf as a bandanna-style or Hollywood-style wrap – be sure to use a scarf that won’t ‘grow’ when wet (something not cotton) and dry quickly. You can test this out at home by tying the wet scarf on your head and checking to see that it stays in place. Many women of color wear some sort of protective head wrap while in the water to protect their often expensive and time consuming braids, or straightened locks. You won’t be alone in your head coverings at the pool.

 

Try a Buff

Consider a hat with a Buff. Wearing a Buff or even a stretchy headband under a sun hat is a great option for pool and beach. For sporty people who like to swim, sail, or other water sports, a Buff is a great idea and works well for water sports. Don’t wear your wig water skiing, though. A Buff stays in place even through splashing down water slides at adventure parks, so don’t feel you have to sit out the fun.

Get a hat and put some hair on it

Try a hat with hair. Your wig salon can help you locate hair extensions that are attached with a fabric piece that can be sewn to a hat to create a hat-with-hair look for the beach or pool. This is also a great look for summer parties outdoors – many people wear hats, and your head won’t be hot or itchy since the hair is only attached to the base of the hat! If you use Velcro bands, the hair can be swapped between hats. Fedora and large floppy sun hats are very popular again this season.

Wear a scarf for pool parties and picnics

Scarves give an ethnic Caribbean vibe to any outfit, and a great dress plus an awesome scarf is a great post-beach or pool outfit or even a summer party outfit. See our Facebook page for links to scarf tying videos for a myriad of head scarf options to try.

Bring some cool wipes for your head: Mix up equal parts distilled water and witch hazel (you’ll find this at the drug store or pharmacy section of your grocery store), with either 1 drop of peppermint or two drops of lavender essential oils in a small 4oz spray bottle. Shake well and spritz on your bare scalp before applying your wig or if you need a ‘refresher’ because of the heat. Keep your wig bag with you along with a scarf, in case you’ve reached that “I’m done with this!” stage of wig wearing in the summer and feel the need to rip it off your head. The spritz and stowing your wig for a while might make the difference between enjoying summer’s heat and not!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding a wig you love (in Michigan)

From the moment you know your hair is going to fall out (or has fallen out enough to consider covering it up) you are thinking “how will I ever find a wig I love? In Michigan, no less?”

There ARE replacement hair options on line, of course. And you’ll probably Google that right away and come away with too many choices to decide. How will you know what is right? What’s the best kind of hair? Synthetic or human? What is too expensive? Too cheap?

And the big kahuna: will everyone know you’re wearing a wig?

First, let’s get that big one out of the way. No. It’s very hard to tell today’s well-made, modern wigs from human hair. As opposed to costume wigs, good, well-made wigs whether synthetic, or human hair, are made well enough to hide. In addition, your wig stylist will trim the lace on your lace front wigs to just enough to hold the hair in place, but so it cannot be seen (an online or not-so-good wig shop won’t do this for you – they may send you away with “just trim that off if you want” and you’ll be terrified to do so!)  If you buy it online, you're even more on your own -  your stylist may be terrified to cut into or alter your wig (many need to be shaped, trimmed and thinned out to look good on you.)

A wig should be fit to you – no one-size-fits-all wigs – you should order it in a small, medium or large cap, depending on your head size for the best fit. Even the clips on the bottom of the wig aren’t designed to cinch it down to your head. Be sure the stylist you’re working with measures your head to ensure the best cap fit for you.

You’ll want a Wig Grip headband (and other accessories) that your wig stylist will provide to you with your wig purchase. These are relatively inexpensive add-ons that really make a difference in styling and caring for your wigs. This includes special shampoo, conditioning spray and styling tools that will work for your type of wig.

Finding a wig you love should be an interactive experience. Your stylist should ask you to reflect on the kind of hair you love (or hair you have/had) and explore with you what you’re looking to achieve, what your lifestyle is and how you’ll wear your wig. Finding a wig you’ll love in Michigan is possible!

 

 

 

How to wear a wig (and love it!)

When you first lose your hair, and start wearing alternative hair like wigs, there are some key things you need to have and know.

A special Wig Grip headband worn under your wig will help it stay in place whether you have some hair or none underneath. The velvet band is comfortable, adjustable and doesn’t slip around.

You’ll want a head for your wig to rest on when you’re not wearing it. It should be a formed head. You can get a travel version that snaps together and slips into the bottom of your suitcase or backpack so you can take it with you on the road.

You might want clips and a strap for styling your wig, particularly when you’re brushing or blow drying (if you have a human hair or heat tolerant wig). You'll definitely want some wig-safe brushes with round nubs on the tips of the soft bristles.

 

The practical tips on how to wear a wig don't quite cover how to love a wig.

Before you lost your hair (or at any point in your life) what would have described hair you would have wished for? Your dream hair? With wigs, you can have your dream hair! Always wanted long, wavy tresses, beachy and fun? You can have that! Always wanted sleek long hair? You can have that too! Too freaked out to ever cut your hair in a pixie but want to try it? Wigs offer a chance to try on a different look and lifestyle easily.

Loving your wig is hard sometimes. It can be hot and itchy. It can drive you batty after a long day of wearing it (you might want to yank it off as soon as you get in your car - if you do this, it's most dramatic if you do it at a stoplight with others watching from their cars ;D) But loving your wig takes a third eye. Have a friend, spouse or sibling take photos of you in your wigs. Hire a professional photographer. You will notice how great you look with your wigs. Check out YouTube and Instagram for wig-wearing women with style and grace. A favorite video is one we found on an alopecia web site (Alopecia World); a young woman took a video of herself in her 27 different wigs (most synthetic) with different outfits, and then set the clips to music. It's a fun way to celebrate the ability to have a different hair style - color, cut, length and texture - whenever you want!

Follow other wig wearers on social media and you’ll be amazed! They don’t look like they are wearing wigs and you’ll be surprised at how gorgeous you can be wearing your wig, too!  You’ll also note how they style their wigs, including updos on long-hair wigs, using hair extensions added to hats and more creative ideas on wearing alternative hair.

Instagram is a great place to follow wig wearers – as experienced wig wearers, they have great tips on how to wear wigs, how to draw on eyebrows and apply false eyelashes, have creative makeup tips. They also post about good brands that you can buy right here in Lansing from your wig salon such as Jon Reneau and Follea. Of course, you can also follow A Wig and A Prayer.

Here are a few people to follow: @alopeciablondie @follea @jonrenau @fauxhairfun @tressedtwo  Follea and Jon Renau are two wig brands that A Wig and a Prayer works with for wig clients. You can also search by #alopeciaareata or #hairloss and find dozens and dozens of others who post about their daily lives with wig, toppers, and extensions.

What about eyebrows and eyelashes? Jessica at A Wig and A Prayer in Okemos, MI can show you some options for faking gorgeous eyebrows, and you can get tutorials online on YouTube. Makeup tutorials abound. You'll note that wearing eyeliner is a great fake for not having eyelashes (it masks that pale and naked no-lash look very well.) Especially thicker eyeliner like cat-eye styles; embrace makeup when you have no hair.  There are options such as microblading, that fill in eyebrows, eyebrow tattoing that offer a semi or permanent replacement for lost brows.

Wig and a Prayer is a wig salon Okemos(Lansing-area) Michigan

 

 

 

 

What can you expect from your first hair replacement or wig appointment?

 

Because hair is so much a part of us, choosing hair is more akin to custom design than an off-the-shelf solution. Some clients want hair that matches exactly to their current style.  Others use the opportunity to have the hair they’ve always wanted. Some clients want hair only for special occasions, others need to wear their hair every day of the week. Some clients want to try different styles and have more than one wig, others need only a topette or extensions to fill in areas where hair is thinning.

 

Aero Toppettes like this one from Follea, offer lightweight hair addition options for women with androgenic alopecia where hair thins over a long time. It's perfect if you have some hair and want to blend it in with your own.

Aero Toppettes like this one from Follea, offer lightweight hair addition options for women with androgenic alopecia where hair thins over a long time. It's perfect if you have some hair and want to blend it in with your own.

Because what kind of hair is perfect for you is so unique, your wig stylist will work with you to select the perfect hair replacement options for you. You’ll sit in a comfortable, relaxed environment, private and serene. You can bring girlfriends or your spouse, or you can come alone. Jessica will ask you about your lifestyle, your budget and your hair wearing needs.

At your first appointment, you can browse a variety of hair catalogs – much like you browse Pinterest or hairstyle magazines at your regular salon, see samples of the types of hair replacement options available, feel the types of hair options and try on samples for fit. Your hair will arrive at the salon (timing depends on the type and style of your hair replacement option) and you’ll return so Jessica can cut and style your wig, hairpiece or extension to fit with your face shape and desired style.

You’ll leave feeling a new hope – and know that your new hair will be gorgeous and perfectly suited to you!

I’m losing my hair and I’m scared, what are my options?

You’re sitting in your stylists chair and she notices something. A small patch of missing hair. And another. Your first instinct is to freak out and head directly for your doctor. A wise choice. Or, you’re in the shower and notice clumps of hair coming off when you wash it. Losing your hair is scary. But there are good options for hair replacement including wigs, extensions, hairpieces called toppettes and integrated hair systems that use your own hair.

Your next stop is googling hair extensions or hair pieces or even wigs. The sheer number of results can be overwhelming. What should you choose? How do you match it to your hair color? Do you have to cover your whole head or just that spot?

Your stylist, who has cut and styled your hair for years, may know of a wig stylist, a specialist who is licensed as a stylist and has training and experience cutting and styling wigs.

A stylist who cuts wigs - synthetic or human hair – can help make that wig or hairpiece make it perfectly you. Almost all wigs require at least a small amount of styling - trimming around ears or bangs, adjusting length or reducing fullness. And few salons have stylists trained or experienced in cutting and styling wigs.

You might not need a full wig! Some clients only need a toppette, where your own hair is integrated into a cap that feels cool, natural and can stay in for weeks at a time, where you care for it as you would your normal hair. You might need extensions to help with thinning hair, or you might find you’re most comfortable with a whole wig. Your wig stylist should go over all of your options, and she should guide you to the best option that fits your type of hair loss and how you feel about your hair.

When you leave, you should feel comfortable, beautiful and confident with your new (or newly augmented) hair!

I need a wig, where do I start?!

It’s the stuff of nightmares. Your hair is falling out in clumps, due to alopecia or chemotherapy. Or it has grown so thin, you can’t continue hiding it under caps, headbands or powdered makeup. You realize you might need a wig. Where you do you start?  If you're in Lansing, or Grand Rapids or Metro Detroit in Michigan (or anywhere else, for that matter), odds are you're going to turn to Google and search for "Wigs in Lansing, Michigan".

The process of searching, evaluating and buying wigs can seem daunting. The price might seem out of reach. You might be afraid of looking like you’re wearing a Halloween costume wig instead of hair. The process of replacing your natural hair with a wig – or, as the medical industry terms it “cranial prosthesis” -  is scary. You don't know if you want a synthetic wig or a human hair wig and you won't know anything about a "lace front cap" and the third result you see is "Cheap Fashion Wigs", surely, not something you want at all!

First, it’s helpful if you have photographs of yourself before you began losing your hair. Gather up photos of yourself when you had a full head of hair, look at hairstyles that you like in magazines, or on web sites like Pinterest. Although losing your hair can be scary, it also gives opportunity for changing your look or having the hair you always wished you had!

A visit to a wig salon is your next step. A private, comfortable space where you can have a private consultation with a wig and hair style specialist is a positive and comfortable way of exploring your options. There are many options for wigs, including full wigs in both synthetic or human hair, toppettes (which clip to your remaining hair), extensions and even integrated wig extensions that incorporate your real hair.  A private consultation will ensure that you’re not overwhelmed by so many wigs, and help you explore options at a comfortable pace. If you want to bring a trusted friend or loved one, or come alone, it’s all up to you.

You probably googled Wigs and ended up at this site. And you know in your search there are thousands (millions) of listings about wigs, but are they good wigs? A great wig is an extension of you. It should make you feel beautiful, confident and, well, you.

You can’t tell that a wig will make you feel your best just from a web site. Nor can you know what hair replacement options are best for you. If you have androgenic alopecia or thining hair, you might be able to incorporate your own hair in to an integrated wig. If you are losing your hair for a short time, such as for chemotherapy, your options might be different than if you have alopecia or hormonal hair loss that can last for many years or even be permanent.

Gather up your photos and ideas, and scheduling a private consultation at a wig salon is your best option for feeling your beautiful self again.

Hair or Not, It's really OK.

It’s hard to believe that its been 2 whole years since I shaved off all my hair in an attempt to briefly understand what it would be like to wear a wig on a daily basis.  It was definitely something that I will never forget.

I have had many people ask me what my experience was like and ask me to write about it. I always meant to write about it sooner, but time got away from me and quite frankly I thought to myself, “who cares?” Who cares what I, a person who has hair, who made the “choice” to shave my head, only to have it grow back immediately with no pain and no sickness thinks? Who really cares?? And seriously, I still feel that way.  I don’t really care about my experience at all. What I do care about is each and every woman that I have helped on her journey through hair loss. I care deeply about every story that I have heard and I am humbled and grateful for the trust that these women have put in me to educate them and provide them with quality hair replacement options.

I have the pleasure of serving women who have no choice. They have absolutely no choice whether they have their own hair or not. Some are sick with cancer and lose their hair to chemo. Others have autoimmune diseases and their hair just falls out without any warning and without any rhyme or reason. There are women who have hereditary hair loss or excessive thinning.  Some, through no choice of their own, have a disorder in which they are compelled to pull out their own hair. There are many different reasons women lose their hair.  The feelings and emotions that accompany hair loss are also entirely unique with each person.

I’ve known women who, when faced with hair loss due to chemotherapy choose to shave their heads immediately before any hair starts to fall out. I’ve also known women who choose to hold on to every last strand.  There are women who are comfortable wearing hats and scarves. Some women are fine with super thin hair. There are women who grieve deeply the loss of their long thick hair while others couldn’t care less. What I have learned through all of my experiences with each woman that I encounter is that whatever they are feeling and whatever they choose to do or not do with their hair is OK.

 I had someone once say to me that a bald head seemed like a badge of courage for a woman going through chemo. Maybe it is. If a woman feels that her bald head is her badge of courage, then it should be. Not every woman feels that way and that is OK too. It shouldn’t be any less a badge of courage if a woman wants to wear a wig while she goes through chemo.

Chemo and sickness are not the only reasons people lose their hair. Some women lose hair for no apparent reason at all. They are not sick, yet if they walk around with a bald head they get looked at with eyes of sympathy and sadness because people assume they are sick. Again, if someone with long term hair loss decides that a wig is not for them and they are comfortable rocking their baldness, then I say, you go girl! If they decide they want to buy some hair to wear, then there is no shame in that either.

I’ve been asked many times why I do what I do. Why do I want to work with wigs? The answer is simple. I love to make women feel beautiful and I love to create beauty.

Should a woman feel beautiful just because of who she is on the inside? Yes. Should a woman be able to walk around with whatever hair she has or does not have and still feel beautiful? Absolutely. Should a woman have confidence because she is smart and capable? Yes. Should a woman be able to go to a meeting with no hair and not get looked at with sad or inquisitive eyes? Yep. Should her colleagues assume she is able to complete the job at hand with excellence? You bet! Do all of these things happen all of the time in the world that we live in? Nope. Is it right? No way! Will they ever happen all the time? I sure hope so.

In my experience with women and hair, I have found that it is so much more about how she feels than how she actually looks. I can tell a woman all day long that she looks fabulous in a short haircut, but at the end of the day if she “feels” ugly and unfeminine, then its not the right cut for her. She needs to “feel” fabulous.

I had many people tell me that I looked beautiful with a bald head. It was very kind of people to say and I’m sure they meant it. However, I didn’t “feel” beautiful. I felt naked and I felt like someone else. I didn’t feel like me. 

So when I’m asked how it was to wear a wig, my answer is always the same; it sucked. (Not great for business, I know!) Sometimes it was completely hot, completely itchy and completely annoying as hell. BUT it always felt completely like me. It felt like I could go anywhere and not have people look at me strange or weird. It felt like I still looked like myself and that mattered to me. The bottom line is, a wig was what I needed. It isn’t what everyone needs and that is OK. If I would’ve been a hat or scarf person, I would have worn them. I’m NOT and that’s OK. If I would’ve felt comfortable rocking my bald head, I would have. I didn’t and that’s OK. Its ok that I liked wearing a wig because it made me feel like“ME”.  

This is what I really want every woman to know when I work with her and her individual hair loss. IT’S ALL OK. If a woman feels like her best self with a hat or a scarf on, it’s OK. If a woman feels like her best self with thin fine hair, it’s OK. If a woman feels like her best self with no hair, it’s OK. If a woman feels like her best self with a wig or a hairpiece on, it’s OK.  My goal is to meet every woman where she is at and support her there. In the end, if that means she doesn’t get a wig, well then that’s OK with me too.

"So, what's with the prayer?"

"So, what's with the prayer?" This question was posed by one of my clients. I figured the blank stare and ensuing silence on my part probably wasn't going to be good enough in the future so I better mull this one over for awhile and come up with a better answer.

The very short answer for why I settled on the name A Wig and a Prayer is that I had a dream about it. I woke up in the morning and there it was right on the tip of my tongue. I thought it sounded clever and it went along with who I am, so I quickly wrote it down and the rest is history. For those of you who like the "bottom line" and you like it quickly, you can stop reading now. You’re welcome.

If you are still reading, the above paragraph told you a little about my personality. I am a big picture person. I have an uncanny ability to find the bottom line in everything. I also tend to be searching for it in everything I hear and read. So that paragraph was for all of my fellow "bottom liners" out there. Those of you still reading are probably just curious or you are more detail-oriented people. That’s ok too. Detailed people write amazing books, tell great stories, read (and follow) the directions and clean up while cooking. Details are great as long as I am able to pinpoint the bottom line in them somewhere. If not, you may encounter my "open mouth; glassy-eyed; for the love of all that is good and holy, what is this person getting at?" stare. Now you know.

Maybe it’s just who I am or maybe it has something to do with being a hairdresser. I spend a lot of time listening to long stories about hair (and relationships and family and work and life.) I have to quickly decipher what someone wants and how I am going to turn them into Jennifer Aniston in 45 short minutes. Let me tell you, women can come up with some LONG stories about their hair only to decide in the end that we will be taking a ¼ inch off the bottom. Either way, I do think that being this way makes me a better hairdresser because I have the ability to understand what someone is really trying to say, when they have said SO MUCH more than that.

The longer version of why I decided on A Wig and a Prayer must begin with telling you a little about my faith. I believe in one God who exists in three persons: God the father, Jesus Christ the son, and The Holy Spirit. I am a sinner saved by grace through the faith that I have placed in Jesus Christ. I believe that the Bible is God's true word and that it lays out His redemptive plan for sinners. It teaches me about God and is my instruction manual for life. 2 Timothy 3:15-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

Since I'm not even sure what the previous paragraph means, let me sum that up for you: I'm a big loser (recovering), God loves me anyway (and thinks I'm awesome), Jesus gave his life to secure my spot in heaven (amazing), the Holy Spirit teaches me and reminds me when I'm being an idiot (daily) and I can (and should) go to the Bible before google, (always). But let’s face it, you’re just not going to learn how to clean every inch of your house with only vinegar or a million things to do with a coffee filter in the Bible. Just sayin.'

Getting back to the “What’s with the prayer?” question. Aside from the catchy play on words and the obvious divine intervention via dreams, I used the name because of my faith. I believe in the power of prayer. Philippians 4:6-7 says, “Do not worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus."

I think that a lot of women who are facing or experiencing hair loss are fearful or worried about it. I know that I am. I'm afraid I will be ugly. I'm afraid I will lose my femininity. I'm afraid my husband will be totally freaked out by me. I'm afraid people will stare at me. I'm afraid people will judge me. I'm afraid I will look weird in a wig. I should probably stop now. I'm sure I could think of more.

Now I will close with a short self-talk. (Feel free to use it yourself if you like): I believe God is who he says he is. I believe God keeps his promises. I believe God is trustworthy. I know that I can pray and "cast all my anxieties on him because he cares for me." (1 Peter 5:7) I believe that when I do this I can experience peace. Now I'm going to go write that on a notecard and post it on my bathroom mirror. What can I say? I have a short memory. 

Why I've decided to shave my head

First and foremost I want to say that I have no idea what it is like to be diagnosed with cancer or to have medical or hereditary baldness of any kind. I am doing this to try and understand the emotions that a woman goes through when she is faced with losing her hair and all that goes along with wearing a wig on a bald head. I do not want to make light of the seriousness of hair loss or to be insensitive to women who are going through hair loss due to a sickness. On the contrary, my goal in doing this is to illustrate the intensity of emotion that a women has toward her hair and the prospect of losing it.

I am realizing that hair loss is a very personal and very different experience for each woman I meet. I have decided that in order to speak intelligently about being bald, then I really must BE BALD. I am going to be talking to women about shaving their heads and wearing wigs and if I have never actually had to do that, it is much more difficult to give advice on the subject. I want to have first hand knowledge and a new level of compassion to share with my clients.

So this is why I have decided to shave my head. This October 10th I will be getting rid of all of my hair. October is breast cancer awareness month. It also marks one year since I went to a wig store with my friend and made the final decision to begin A Wig and a Prayer. I have chosen to share this journey because I want women to see that although hair loss is frightening, it does not have to be devestating. There are gorgeous, natural looking hair replacement options to make you look and feel beautiful!

There....I've said it out loud to the world. I guess I can't change my mind now! If you are interested, I will be sharing more about the whole process and the effect it has on me as a person, a wife, a mother, and a business owner. I'd love to hear your thoughts!