How do you tell a potential partner that you wear wigs? Part One

 
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From a customer e-mail:

Heather,

A personal question for you. How do you bring up to a new person you’re interested in that you wear wigs? I’m sure it’s easier for you because it’s your livelihood, but I’ve heard some horror stories about people freaking out when you tell them. I’m just worried when I meet someone I really dig that it’ll be hard to tell them. Anyway, sorry for all the angst, just wanting some advice. Have a great day!

This is an AMAZING question and one to which there is no one bulletproof, sure-fire answer, unfortunately.

I am going to discuss this in two very different ways. First, I am going to go through my philosophical stance on the matter. Secondly, towards the bottom of this article, I will dole out some concrete, practical advice for how I handle this. I think are both are important, though, so I will address both as thoroughly as possible.

PART ONE: My philosophy on this

The truth: Dating is BRUTAL. People can be a-holes. There is always the possibility that someone, somewhere, will be super-immature and get freaked out by the fact that you wear helper hair.

You can’t control other people or how they respond to this information. You can’t help how they react to your reality. STRANGERS CANNOT BE EXPECTED TO BE AS STRONG AS YOU ARE. It is in moments like this that you see what they’re made of…and it’s their weakness and intolerance that shows, not yours.

I’m not going to say something trite like, “Well, it’s their loss.” (Even though it’s true.)

What I will say, however, is that you need to focus on the one thing you do have control over in this situation: YOU.

You can either let their weakness and insecurity leave a mark on you and define how you feel about yourself . . . or you can choose not to let it mar your spirit or damage your heart. YOU are in control of this. Never forget that you always have the choice. Don’t get me wrong, here! I am a sensitive person. I know that the initial sting happens subconsciously, whether or not you intend it to. This is a process and it takes practice. The more you build up your own confidence, the harder it is for other people to tear it down without your permission. It won’t happen overnight. Give yourself permission to be hurt when someone hurts your feelings . . . but also know when it’s time to face that insecurity head on. 😉

One of my favorite quotes about this (to put in your pocket for a rainy day) comes from Eleanor Roosevelt:

Give yourself time and space to experience the emotion, and then ask WHY that person’s opinion matters so much to you. A lot of us run away from the answer and place all the blame on the other person for being a douchecanoe when in fact it was our own inner mean voice that was doing most of the abuse on our behalf. We give away all of our power when we do this!

Most of the time, you’ll find it’s not because the person who said something about your hair really mattered at all. The only real crime they committed, aside from being an insensitive jackass, was that they gave voice to an insecurity that we hold secret deep down inside ourselves, a tiny, hidden voice that we are desperately afraid other people will hear:

“I am ugly because I have no hair . . . and because I am ugly, I am a lesser person.”

DUDE.

You are soooo wrong.

First of all, if this is something you wrestle with, I just want to say I love you and I send you EPIC internet love. <3 <3 <3

This is a very common thing. Most women with alopecia struggle with this flavor of Hell at one time or another. You are in excellent company . . . and almost ALL of us are beautiful with or without the hair, for the record!

This insecurity is normal and makes complete sense. It crops up because of the social stigma surrounding hair loss, especially in women. Hair is our “crowning glory” (I freaking hate that term!) and is a secondary sexual characteristic that helps people separate the masculine from the feminine in social situations, even in the progressive 21st Century. Frankly, it would be weird if you DIDN’T occasionally feel the pressure to conform to this social norm! The fact that this makes you insecure just means you have eyeballs. You are a normal, thinking, feeling, observant member of Western society.

For just a casual, strictly non-scientific example of this, look at the picture I just took (below). (I am at a Panera Bread, writing this article for you and drinking some delicious hazelnut coffee.) The people with their backs turned to me all have long hair, except for the older one at the end. This signals to us socially that these people are 1) women, 2) young-ish, and 3) relatively healthy . . . all without them turning around to show me their faces. The woman on the end, on the other hand, has short grey hair, which signals that she’s 1) probably female based her build, 2) mature-ish, and 3) you can’t draw as many conclusions about health from short hair as you can long hair.

So, like I said above, when it’s ALL AROUND YOU, it is very difficult to avoid feeling the pressure to conform and a lot of insecurity when you CAN’T.

Have you ever heard of the term cognitive dissonance? This is a term social psychologists use to describe the discomfort associated with being confronted with an opinion or fact that deviates from our own inner narrative or world-view. The discomfort is the result of us having to adjust our own interpretation of reality in the face of this new information.

For a lot of us, especially during the initial stages of our hair loss, we construct a careful inner narrative where, if we hide everything perfectly, no one will ever know. We clutch onto this belief like a security blanket: our newly-purchased hair is our life preserver, our gateway to normalcy; as long as we keep everything locked down and spend oodles of cash on high end hair, no one will ever know. The truth is SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE will always know that you’re wearing helper hair, whether that’s a significant other, your mom, a best friend, or just some little old lady you run into in the frozen foods section of the grocery store who just beat breast cancer and, having been a wig wearer herself, can spot even a good lace front from 40 paces away.

Cognitive dissonance can also result when we try to force our world view into existence when it is clearly impossible. In this case, I am referring to the wishful thinking that people will universally be kind and accepting of our hair loss simply because it would be hurtful to us to think otherwise (as I outlined above). I would love to think people have the capacity to grow and become this fabulously open-minded . . . but I am a realist and know that the people around me can be kind of ignorant sometimes and, for better or worse, have limitations.

We must be prepared to cope with life in the world we actually live in, which is not the same as the world we wish it were.

Much of the discomfort we experience in these initial transitional stages is the result of this cognitive dissonance. Our world view is a fantasy. We can never hide enough to shield ourselves from occasional bitter moments 100% of the time. We must be prepared to talk to people about it when they “out” us – and we must also have an internal, emotional strategy in place to deal with these incidents when they occur . . . because they will.

Click here for Part Two.

This is an excerpt from our CysterWigs Knowledge Base. Check it out on our private site to see over 500 articles all about our store, wigs, and how to wear the hair!

2019 Hair Trends to Watch For

 
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By CysterWigs Contributor

In 2019 we’ll see hairstyles from the past return and we will see some new and fun hairstyles take the stage. Everything from low maintenance bangs to 60s inspired fringe can be expected throughout the next year with some emerging fashion changes as well.

The biggest trend expected for 2019 is 60s-inspired hairstyles and clothing. This trend can be embraced by folks of all ages, too. Everything from fringe to neon bobs and Jackie Kennedy-inspired styles will be making a full comeback. Another trend that has never fully left is the 80s edge. So this calls for big, wide headbands, crazy beautiful colors and of course gorgeous blowouts and curls.

ACCESSORIES!

2019 will be the year for big hair accessories! Large clips, headbands and scarfs, diamond studded clips and more that were popular throughout the 90s will be making an appearance come spring.

90s-Inspired

The blunt 90s style bob, a style named after the bottom line due to the drama it creates, has already been seen on many of celebrities and social media influencers. Let’s face it. The bob isn’t going anywhere. So, don’t be afraid to try this style out when you’re shopping for wigs.

You may have already noticed the trend of top knots, but in 2019, we’ll see top knots transform into all kinds of crazy styles. You’ll see them in their traditional form, as well as lower on the head and mixed in with messy buns and braids. Speaking of braids – Neo Braids, or box braids, will be another trend to watch for. This type of style is always open for interpretation. You can add a braid to a long, luscious curly wig or scatter braids all throughout your wig, giving you more of a rebellious look. If you don’t want to take a stab at braiding, try a style that already has braids.

Bang, Bang!

Bangs can change any hairstyle either subtlety or dramatically depending on how they’re cut. Shorter bangs can be edgy, while longer bangs or fringe can frame the face nicely. In the upcoming year, we’ll see fringe bangs, longer bangs with messy buns, or bangs pulled back behind cute hair accessories. So, if you’ve always wanted to try a wig style with bangs, go for it!

Why can’t I return defective items directly to the manufacturer?

 
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I know it seems like an elegant solution.

You buy a wig from a wig store, it stinks and you want a refund, but the store you bought it from won’t let you do it for whatever reason.  So . . . why not just send it back to the wig company directly? 

I’ll tell you why!  (Brace yourself, because things are about to get VERY real up in here!) 

It’s actually a super-simple answer:

You’re not their customer and you never actually bought anything from them, so why should they give you an exchange? 

Allow me to explain:

Wholesale suppliers (the wig companies) ONLY sell their products to retail stores and salons.

WIG STORES ARE THEIR CUSTOMERS . . . NOT YOU. 

You buy the wigs from us (wig stores).  Therefore, you are OUR customers and have to abide by the policies of our stores, which vary depending upon the store you bought it from. 

From a customer e-mail about Brand X: 

Hi Heather.  Just dealing with a QC prob on an (XXXX) wig (purchased from another online wig store that isn’t CysterWigs — let’s just say “Store Z”) and any suggestions you have for dealing with these, I’d greatly appreciate!

I’m attaching my correspondence with (Brand X) in case you wanted to see it.

From an e-mail from the PRESIDENT of Brand X regarding this issue: 

We have not had any problems reported with thin wefts on (XXXX wig) and we’ve sold close to 500 of them since she was introduced, but perhaps there is something wrong with the one you have.  If you think this is the case, please get in touch with (Store Z) to have them arrange an exchange.

This is a fairly typical response, and what you can expect to happen if you try to circumvent the policies of the store you bought your wig from by sending them directly back to the source. 

Remember what I said earlier: WIG STORES ARE THEIR CUSTOMERS . . . NOT YOU.

These guys have never touched a dime of your money.  All of the money that they’ve seen came from the retailer who sold you that wig . . . so all of this stuff is between that wig store and you.  Period. 

So in this case, it would be Store Z and their return policies that would have to cover this exchange.  This is because Brand X (or any brand we carry) doesn’t sell directly to the public.  As far as they’re concerned, this is legally between you and Store Z, because that IS technically the case in all retail transactions of this nature. 

So while on the surface the President’s response seems like a really mean move, he’s actually correct.  The manufacturers should be more flexible with big-picture customer satisfaction . . . but that is another rant for another day.

The manufacturers are not obligated in any way to deal with your concerns or complaints directly, because they do not do business directly with the public.

If you happen to receive a different outcome when try this, consider yourself very lucky indeed to have found a manufacturer that cared about your opinion and overall satisfaction, because they genuinely are not obligated to do so.

That is the retailer’s role in this process, not the manufacturer’s. 


This is an excerpt from our CysterWigs Knowledge Base. Check it out on our private site to see over 500 articles all about our store, wigs, and how to wear the hair!

WHY PERSONAL GOALS ARE IMPORTANT

 
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By CysterWigs Contributor

Let me ask you something.  Has anything ever been accomplished in life that was not planned out first?

Probably not.

Nothing is handed off to you by luck. Well, maybe your aunt’s old chair or a cute jacket that a friend no longer wants could be. But when it comes to accomplishing something major, you have to set a goal and work towards the finish line.

So, what are personal goals? They make up the path we take towards the realization of our dreams. Goals can be short-term or long-term. Either way, they’re important in our day-to-day activities, and they are also important for things we want to achieve in the future.

Little habits like planning your daily and weekly schedules can assist in setting a goal for yourself. Planning helps you meet deadlines so you can ensure that you don’t have anything holding you back.

Personal goals help eradicate procrastination. Procrastination is the worst, Cysters! It’s a mental state that convinces you to put off what you should be doing until the next day, or the day after that…or five days after that. We’ve all been there. Most likely in college when you had that paper to write but you convinced yourself to do it another time. Then before you knew it, the deadline was upon you. Remember how stressful that was? I do! The truth is, laziness is our worst enemy. It’s easy to give into it when we really don’t want to do something. We would stay idle forever if it meant that we could avoid difficult or mind-numbing tasks. But that’s no good because those things have to get done, especially if they stand in the way of your goals. So, in order to move past procrastination, you have to switch up your mindset. You need to put in more effort into setting goals for yourself. That way you would not end up with so much to do and so little time because of procrastination.

Personal goals help inspire you to accomplish the impossible. Just like every backstory to any success tale, there was someone who did not relent on setting goals that seemed crazy to accomplish. Once you know what you want, and what your finish line looks like, it will be easy enough for you to work towards it. You cannot achieve the impossible by going in blind and hoping for the best. No! Goals you set for yourself will serve as a guide to helping you achieve the things that seem impossible.

Personal goals give room for self-improvement. Personal goals are how great minds understand the routines that work for them and that is why they stick to those routines. Once you start setting realistic goals for yourself, you know your strength and understand your weaknesses as well. This will enable you work on self-improvement because once you have a plan, you’ll know what to do to make that plan more effective.

The one thing you must understand is that personal goals are not in any way going to make you invincible to mistakes. You can set goals and reset them – this is the beauty of humanity which is the ability to make and remake ourselves. So, don’t set unrealistic goals for yourself, and even if you do not achieve your goals the first time around, don’t give up. Take a step back, reevaluate the situation, adjust your goal and try again.