Local stylists say 360 lace wigs for black women began to gain popularity here within the a year ago. In the beginning, stylists resisted the requests as salon owners desire to be noted for promoting healthier hair on their clients’ heads as opposed to attaching someone else’s mane. But then Mary J. Blige hit the cover of Essence magazine with the article that said she wore them. Tyra Banks admitted she wore them on her show, and Beyoncé released her B’Day CD, featuring eight singles that revealed her moving, grooving and shaking all that reddish-blond hair.
Immediately the salons started getting calls. Olivia Hughes, owner of Shapes -N- More, says she fields a minimum of five requests for lace-front wigs weekly. Karen Wilson, who owns Simplicity, a Germantown salon, says she has five or so regular customers using the wigs, as well as walk-ins every day who inquire about them. “I really started doing them this season,” said Wilson, who charges $900 for the wigs and also the application. “Folks are seeing them and they also just want them.”
It’s not only the celebrity influence that’s drawing customers towards the wigs. Women suffering from alopecia (hairloss) and people who have lost their hair from chemotherapy can also be attracted to the wigs’ realism. But not everyone is satisfied with lace-front. Some stylists point out that the wigs have the potential to be really damaging to skin and hairline.
Anika Thompson, who owns Ryan Foster Inc. in Germantown, refuses to perform the applications in her salon. The bonding adhesive may be damaging for the skin and scalp, and quite often, Thompson says, when the wig comes off, the hairline comes off as well. But much more damaging than losing hair from a bad application is the loss of confidence that can originate from wearing someone else’s hair on your head for months at a time, Thompson says.
“These women arrived at me with high density full lace wigs they have got removed. … [and now they have] no hairline,” Thompson said. “Your skin on their own face is broken out of the adhesive along with their own hair is matted and broken off from rubbing against the stocking cap.” Still, you will find those who say the lace-front wig presents them courage to show themselves.
Tuere Brown, 37, experienced a miscarriage she said caused patches of her hair to drop out. The Southwest Philadelphia mother wanted a peek that wouldn’t stress out her hair and would appear natural. So she chose an off-black bob with chestnut-brown highlights that falls just above her shoulder. “I feel great by using it on,” she said. “It appears the way i utilized to wear my own hair. I adore it.”
He stores it in plastic bins and cardboard boxes, opposite the fishing supplies. “Got grays, got browns, got blonds,” he stated. “Got everything.”
Inside one bin, shiny brown bundles nestled around the other person like snakes. He picked two thick braids and lifted them from the bin. Uncoiled, they were three feet long and nearly reached the ground. “This is actually all Russian hair cut right off people’s heads,” Mr. Piazza said.
Mr. Piazza, 69, is definitely the grandson of Sicilian immigrants, the son of a detective, a tournament fisherman. He fails to appear to be a guy who would come with an exotic hair collection in his garage. But for decades, Mr. Piazza was one of the most sought-after wigmakers in New York City. He made custom wigs and hairpieces for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Brooke Astor and Lena Horne at Kenneth hair salon. He also made the nearest thing the entire world has seen to mermaid hair, creating the long tresses Daryl Hannah wore in “Splash.”
Most of his hair originated from this stash, sourced from around the globe, and which eventually outgrew his studio. “I couldn’t close my closets,” he said. “I had more hair than I knew how to handle.”
Mr. Piazza is one of the last Old World wigmakers making wigs for your public within the city, men and women trained mostly by Italian and Jewish immigrants within the centuries-old trade of silk base wigs with baby hair, a fussy affair that sykkcc the patience spectrum falls somewhere between tailoring a jacket and counting the stars.
These are generally not the hot-pink bobs at Halloween stores. They are made from human hair and have intricate hairlines that blend to the skin. To make one requires weaving hair, several strands at any given time, to your lace mesh cap using a small needle, a process called ventilating. Ventilating a lace wig, which can have up to 150,000 knots at its roots, takes about 40 hours.