A drag look is never complete without the aid of a bold, striking wig. As described by popular drag, Cara Cavalli, ‘just as hair is always an integral part to a woman’s beauty regimen, wigs are just as important to a queen’. From killer multi-coloured wigs to dramatic curls-galore, we can all thank the drag-trendsetters for our attention-demanding hairstyles. So, if you’re reading this with a recently-laid 26” green ombre install, you should probably thank our beloved drags for that. In celebration of LGBTQ+ month 2022, let’s explore why...
Marsha P. Did it First
First off, we’d like to pay tribute to transgender activist, Marsha ‘Pay-It-No-Mind’ Johnson. Self-identified drag queen, Marsha created a safe space for socially-shunned LGBTQ members who were left homeless, and encouraged them to pay homophobic slurs ‘no mind’. As hard as it was at the time, Marsha consistently embraced her drag identity. She dolled up in dresses, wigs and everything in between. Without Marsha’s bravery, we probably wouldn’t know some of our favourite drags today. And the blonde mullet? Yup, Marsha did it first.
Thank You, Ru Paul
If you're looking for Ru Paul, you'll probably find the California-born drag queen rocking a huge blonde wig guaranteed to make heads turn. Through Ru Paul’s Emmy-nominated show, ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’, drag culture has become significantly more visible and accepted (did we mention The Wig Fix has featured on the show multiple times?). It’s allowed mainstream culture to appreciate the queens who have been at the ‘forefront of pushing limits’ in the hair industry!
Image RuPaul's Drag Race
Winner of 'RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars' season 3, Trixie Mattel is undeniably one of the most influential drag queens of them all! Arguably the 'biggest success story in the history of RuPaul's Drag Race', the Barbie-inspired drag queen has never stopped giving us iconic wigs. Take Trixie’s thick baby-pink wig below, characterised by layered bouncy bottom curls that we're obsessed with. We’ve seen something similar recently, right? Yep, you guessed it - Nicki Minaj’s birthday posts in December 2021, styled and installed by the iconic Arrogant Tae. Big, bold and colourful wigs are usually associated with drag queens (check out Kim Chi, Alyssa Edwards and Shangela), but it seems as though they have found their way into mainstream and hip-hop culture. Let’stake some examples below.
Hairstylists Who Have Been Influenced by Drag Culture
Now, let's get into just how influential drag queens are in the wig space. Yes, even some of our very faves from Terrence Davidson to Arrogant Tae, routinely create drag-inspired wigs for their clients that we adore!
Female hip-hop artists have never shied away from being bold, fierce and making a statement. Entering such a male-dominated and sexist industry demands for it, and their hairstylists have always understood the assignment! Decades of drag influence has allowed such hairstylists to go bigger, wilder and bolder. Take Nicki Minaj’s ex-hairstylist, Terrence Davidson - was there a look he didn’t create for Nicki that didn’t scream drag?! From green three-tone ombré wigs to animal-print fro's, there wasn’t a wild wig Nicki didn’t turn up to an award show with. Yet, we can draw several parallels to previous drag wigs.
If there’s one thing Tokyo Stylez knows how to do, it’s to lay a wig. Her attention to detail and visionary creativity has made him one of the most popular hairstylists, constructing wigs for the likes of Grammy-winning-artist, Cardi B. Let’s take a look at a few of her show-stopping wigs that have ‘drag-influenced’ written all over them!
Most sought-after celebrity hairstylist, Arrogant Tae, has created looks limited only by clients’ wildest imaginations. We’ve seen high-density blue wigs on City Girls’ JT and of course, bold pink tresses on Rap Queen, Nicki Minaj.
So What Does This All Mean?
Ultimately, drag culture has had a huge impact on the evolution of wigs, and here are just a few reasons why:
- Drag culture has increased the mainstream acceptance of wigs and illustrated just how diverse they can be (check out our previous blog on why wigs have become so popular - hint: drag queens are obviously mentioned!).
- Drag culture has amplified the confidence of hairstylists and wig consumers alike to experiment unconventional hairstyles.
- Drag culture has given LGBTQIA+ members the confidence to rock wigs in general, and whatever wig they see fit!
P.s... if you thought you had a huge collection of wigs, check out popular drag queen, Monét X Change's $15,000 wig closet!