Thursday, July 8, 2010

Why do people wear wigs?

I get asked a lot from friends and family, "why do people wear wigs?" There really is no one clear answer to that question. We have clients who wear wigs because they have experienced hair loss of varying degrees of severity. Some have lost some hair only on top; some have lost ALL their hair. Some are undergoing chemotherapy. We have clients who just don't want to be bothered having to deal with their own hair, or perhaps just want to give their hair a break from relaxers or perms.

I do have one client with an interesting story that I wanted to share with you. She's recently begun having severe allergic reaction to hair dyes. Her story is below.

The month before I went into Miss MyMy for the first time, I coloured my hair as I have many times since I was a teenager. The time prior, I experienced some sensitivity, and thought it had more to do with my relaxer than the hair colour, so this time, I used a salon formula hair colour, and waited weeks between relaxing and colouring. In fact I hadn't relaxed at all prior to colouring. I applied the colour following the directions. Everything seemed to be going well. The colour looked lovely, and I was happy. For a couple hours...

Later that evening, my scalp started to tingle. Tingle turned to itching. By the time I went to bed, it was full fledged burning! I woke up in the morning with my hair sticking to my scalp. My entire scalp was a mess of weeping sores. The pain was excruciating! I was so uncomfortable, I could barely focus on anything other than the feeling of my head being on fire. That night, I had to wrap a towel around my pillow to keep my pillow from being stained. When I woke up the next morning, I felt like I was coming down with the flu. My glands around my neck were all swollen, and my throat was sore. There was a rash down the back of my neck, around my hairline, and behind my ears. The bottom of my feet were itching so badly. That night I couldn't sleep at all, I was so uncomfortable. I cried. I sat up all night watching movies. I read. I surfed the web. I found out there are MANY people who have had severe allergic reactions to a chemical called paraphenylenediamine (PPD) commonly used in hair dyes. Some of them had worse reactions than I did. Many required hospitalization.

At this point my vanity began to rear it's head. I started going grey very early (I was 25). Having recently celebrated my 40th birthday, I really am in no hurry to look older than I am. In fact most people tell me I look much younger than I really am. So imagine my panic when the thought hit me at 3:30 in the morning, that if I can't colour my hair anymore, I'll be very grey very soon. Hard to look 10 years younger than your actual age when you have a head full of silver. I grabbed my laptop and started searching. I looked for natural hair dyes. With the exception of henna, which would give me a nice orange or red, there really are not many options out there. Even the PPD free dyes have a small amount of PPD in them.

Later that same morning, my sister called me. I told her what happened. She was shocked! She was upset with me for not going to the hospital, saying that if I was itching on the BOTTOM of my feet and and sore in my throat, that CAN'T have been good. Then she suggested I call Miss MyMy and look into getting a wig. She has had her own wig for well over two years now, and is very happy with it. I'll admit I have never really been a fan of wearing wigs or weaves. I've had bad experiences with bad hair. At this point, I really had nothing else to lose.

I made my appointment, and got my first wig. It was about a month after the allergic reaction when I had my wig sewn in for the first time. I loved it! It's been about 6 months since started wearing a wig. I still hate to see the grey in my hair when Maya is redoing my sew-in, but once it's on, I love the freedom of not having to stress about my own hair. I love the way it feels, and I love the way it looks! In fact I've been getting more compliments now about looking younger, than ever before. I look great, and I feel even better. And the best part is, my hair and my scalp are getting a break. I don't plan to use hair dyes again, so I guess for now, the answer for me, is my Miss MyMy wig. Only thing I lose sleep about now is thinking about the next wig I want, and going longer!