Part one of this article is available here.
PART TWO: My personal rules for handling this
NOTE: These are my strategies. I definitely advise you to experiment a little to come up with a solution that you are comfortable with. Everyone’s different and what works for me may not be a comfortable solution for you. 🙂
- Come up with a game plan in ADVANCE. This involves asking yourself some pretty tough personal questions about where your boundaries are in terms of how far you are willing to discuss things and how much curiosity you are willing to indulge. You will also have to determine what kind of negative reactions you are willing to accept, if any. I, personally, will not date anyone who is judgmental of wig wear in any negative way whatsoever. It’s just too big of a part of my life! I will literally drop a $20 bill on the table (or however much pays for my meal + tip) and GTFO because as a very wise woman once said, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”
- Because of my strong stance, I tell potential partners right away. For a lot of people – especially heterosexual men – profound hair loss can be an absolute deal breaker. (Again, go back to my point above about cognitive dissonance. I wish this weren’t the case, but it absolutely is.) By putting it out there right away, you can weed out all the people who would make a big deal out of this right away before you would end up in a situation where you would have to tell them face-to-face. If on an online dating site, you can post this right in your profile. This can be done relatively discretely by posting pictures of yourself in various wigs and waiting for people to ask you directly about why your hair changes so much. This can also be done overtly by putting a statement about it directly in the text of the picture captions or body of your profile.
- If you make this public knowledge up-front on your dating profiles, be aware that you DO NOT have to pay attention to every question people ask you about your hair. You can (and probably should) ignore people who want to reduce you to a sideshow attraction. Those trolls can just as easily google wigs, so let them and save your energy. (Hell, send them a link to my blog or this article and maybe that’ll sort them out! LOL)
- When on dates, try asking fun questions to the other person about their opinions about hair. This can be about specific hair cuts, colors, social views about hair, women who change their hair a lot, etc. All of these can make fun topical segues to help you break the ice about your wig wear.
- Frame the situation as something that plays to their advantage. (Appeal to their fantasies.) I have historically always framed it as the opportunity to “look however I want, whenever I want.” Your partner wants to date a blonde for a day? PRESTO! You’ve got the hair for that. How about a redhead? No worries, you can accommodate that too! Make them a part of the process. It becomes much more fun for both of you that way and then they are much more likely to embrace your wig wear . . . and they may even become part of the purchasing process! (We have husbands buy wigs for their wives in this store all the time, for example.)
- If someone makes a rude comment, try your best not to take it personally. It’s difficult. I know that. However, you’re better off knowing they’re a knuckle-dragging troglodyte sooner rather than later. Internally thank them for saving you the guess work and cut your losses. 😉
- Do NOT try to convince someone to change their mind if they are opposed to dating someone with hair loss. People have extremely specific and individualized notions of what they consider attractive. Honestly, I don’t get down with the PC police. I think that telling people they’re wrong for liking what they like is misguided. Instead, we should focus on not barking up the wrong tree to begin with to avoid the headache. (IMHO)
- Likewise, do NOT feel obligated to “educate” someone who is rude or overly curious about it if you are not comfortable talking about it. You get to dictate the boundaries about your own hair loss and how you talk about it. (Remember, you’re She-Ra: YOU have the power.) You don’t OWE it to anyone – particularly a total stranger in the beginning of the dating process – to disclose more or less information than you are comfortable discussing. Once you establish your boundaries in step #1, stick to them!
Hopefully this article is helpful to some of you! 🙂