They say you should never judge a book by its cover, but it’s kind of hard not too when you can change your look with the blink of eye, thanks to hair extensions, weaves and wigs. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to jump on this hair bandwagon, especially when great hair days and being mistaken for a certain celebrity are endless.
I for one, have always been set in my ways, convinced that Halle Berry and I were the only two people on the entire planet who could rock a pixie cut. But as more and more women started to rock the popular hairdo, I decided it was time for me to pledge to another sisterhood… a sisterhood of weave-wearers.
Chicago-based celebrity hairstylist, Nicole Mangrum of Freedom Salon, is a self-proclaimed “transformation specialist,” who specializes in custom-made wigs, hair extensions and hair coloring. She says that she’s always had a passion for hairdressing,
“Growing up, I was always a girly-girl, and I loved everything about the beauty industry. Making women look and feel their best is just the icing on the cake.”
And I couldn’t agree more. Mangrum transformed my short, ash-blond pixie cut into long, multicolored (a mix of golden blonds, caramel and dark chocolate shades) wavy locks that have taken on a personality all their own. You can call them, “Ginger.”
Nicole rocking her usual pixie haircut; Photo by Donna Binbek
Photo by Michael Schacht
The 7-hour makeover consisted of tinting my ash-blond hair darker, so that it would blend with the multicolored hair extensions; braiding synthetic hair with mine to form a foundation for the weave to set and finally a full sew-in weave completed with a cut and then styled.
For those of you who are virgins to sew-in hair extensions, this process could be painful if your hair is super-short, or if you have scalp sensitivity — it’s about as intense as a marching band playing in your ear when you have a migraine.
Some celebrity stylists, like Tabitha Coffey of the hit BRAVO TV show, Tabitha Takes Over, uses full, lace front wigs with undetectable hairlines from her 9-piece collection LUXHAIR HOW, to eliminate stresses associated with sew-in weaves.
Still, if the mere thought of pain makes you queasy, you can opt for clip-in extensions or custom wigs from Sherri Shepherd’s hair collection, LUXHAIR NOW. Shepard said that creating her own line of wigs allows her to “express her own style while providing accessible trends for women everywhere!”
And speaking of trends, there’s a Sheitel — a Yiddish word for “wig” — that’s worn by some Orthodox Jewish women to satisfy the requirement of a law requiring them to cover their natural hair.
Actress, IIana Levine, starring in the hit off-Broadway play, My Name is Asher Lev, plays a Hasidic woman who lives in Brooklyn during the 1950s. Below is a great example of the lace front wigs worn by Jewish women, which is handwoven and made from human hair. It looks real to me, wouldn’t you say?
I have to warn you that hair extensions aren’t cheap; they can cost anywhere from $450-$1500, depending on the type of hair you choose (I’m wearing Indian Remy) and the stylist’s price for their services.
The same goes for wigs, so you should be prepared to invest in the final results.
“Choosing the right hair is the most important part of the weave, says Mangrum. The better the hair, the better the results.”
For maintenance, I return to the salon every two weeks to have my hair shampooed and styled. Your stylist should tell you when it’s time to have your extensions tightened. Full wigs require a little less maintenance because they can be stowed away until you’re ready to wear them again.
While lace front wigs should be applied by professionals who are trained in the nonsurgical hair replacement industry, a simple consultation with a hairstylist will give you more guidance about deciding if a lace front wig is the best option for you. For now, I’m going to stick with my hair extensions, and let people mistake me for whichever celebrity they choose.
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– Nicole Townsend
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