Whenever we currently think of great female artists and performers we think of the likes of Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, and so many more. They all put on amazing shows and aren't afraid to switch up their look, changing outfits and wigs regularly to keep each show they perform fresh. But before these stars rose to prominence and normalized wearing bright wigs it was an oddity for performers to do so. Friend of The Renatural, Rachel Anne Warren, played in a band in the early 2000's and as she first began to loose her her she felt hesitant to turn towards wigs onstage.
While she was no stranger to wigs having worn party wigs with costumes, wigs in plays, and had been making costumes for different productions for other people for quite a few years before her hair had really even begun to fall out in my late teens and early twenties. So by the time she was on stage with the band, she of course knew about wigs. But she wore blue jeans and a faded black tank top, no make up, and no-fuss hair as a rule for several shows. She sang soul, and part of that movement is to be ultra-exposed where anything seen to be detracting from the message of the song is a distraction. She wouldn’t have imagined, during those first few shows, that she would ever even wear a tutu, let alone a wig.
This was the early 2000’s, so although the colorful costumed performers of the 1980’s were within earshot, Katy Perry hadn’t become a household name. Lady Gaga was still mostly unknown outside of some small NYC clubs. Bright wigs weren’t on the stars on the tabloids, so it felt like a risk. She figured if she wore a ball gown and glued hundreds of pom pom's to the bright pink costume wig sort of became an afterthought, and it worked!
Once she did begin to wear wigs on stage Rachel felt she could stand taller and sing louder. And this confidence slowly began to translate into her personal life as she began to transition to wearing wigs off-stage as well. Her little sister is an esthetician, and like many beauty professionals, she was very comfortable trying or adding new elements into her toolbox. Her experimentation and gentle encouragement really inspired Rachel in a slow burn kind of way. She would mention a client who worked with wigs and say, “They look really natural! Have you thought about trying one?” and with this reminder every 6 months or so, Rachel finally came around after a couple years.
As she began to become more comfortable wearing wigs she soon turned towards making her own wigs. She began to make her own wigs because often times a wig, especially a well made wig, is expensive. As a working musician who later went on to make a living as a professional high end event and wedding band singer for nine years, she didn’t have so much as a deposit for the kind of wig I felt she would be comfortable wearing. Once she accepted natural wigs in my life, she started taking them apart and putting them back together. She taught herself through YouTube and Instagram, and when she still had more questions she found a teacher.
She was also drawn towards taking wigs because she has a small head. It’s actually not really super small. In medical wigs, I ride the line of petite and average. But fashion wigs, generally used as a protective hair style, are larger to accommodate a head full of hair. She didn’t want to glue or tape my wigs to her skin. She’d had a bad experience in a salon where a woman, without her realizing, had glued a closure piece to my little hairs and the idea of revisiting that was a “never-going-to-happen” again situation. She needed the wigs to fit her without feeling like a baby’s diaper was hanging off the back of my head.
Moving away from glueing down her wigs she turned to The Wig Fix, which she also recommends to all her clients, because that extra security is unmatched. It works with people who have little to no cranial shelf to help hold the wig in place, and it keeps everything secure for those who are new to wigs, have jobs that require a lot of movement, want to work out in their wig, or even just to wear a high ponytail.
Since she first started her wig journey she's come far in her confidence and want's to lend this confidence towards other people experiencing hair loss. She want's those having a difficult time dealing with hair loss to know that everyone has something, visible or not, that they’ve got to contend with. While this is your thing for now. Not having hair doesn’t make you different at the center of you. But denial, shame, and fear can start to change you. Take the small risk. Build a support, one brick and then the next, one day or minute or hour at a time. It probably won’t ever get easy. But if you can find a way to steer this ship with a little outside help, the empowerment will lift the cloud. You’ll not only see the light, but maybe, with some luck and a lot of courage, you can be the light.