Celebrity hair. Long, luxurious celebrity hair that bounces like Beyoncé’s. Moves like Mary’s and twirls like Tyra’s. Everybody generally seems to need it. But for many women, especially African American, a coif of silky, back-length locks that never sweats out (put simply, gets frizzy) and holds a curl for days can only be bought. Then it should be braided, woven or glued in.
Enter the latest must-have in millennium black good hair care: the lace-front wig. “I think those are the best as the hair is very human looking and that i can do plenty of styles,” said Shawna Webb, 24, who works in actual estate. “It’s awesome.” 360 lace wigs for black women are the next “miracle product” designed to give black women what society tells them (and what many now believe) is perfect hair. Meaning, long and straight.
The fad started with transvestite RuPaul almost a decade ago. Within the last five years, many silky-maned black celebrities, from Halle Berry to Vivica Fox, began wearing the wigs. The lace-front wigs grew in popularity due to the fact they provide the impression the wearer’s hair keeps growing directly from the scalp. So once the wig is fastened securely around the hairline, a lady can part her hair or pull it up into a ponytail without anxiety about exposing indentations in which the hair has become sewn or glued in (otherwise known as tracks).
“It merely affords me more options,” said Andrea Wright, 42, as she sat in Lisa Johnson’s chair on the Wyndmoor salon Shapes -N- More. Wright, an event planner who lives in Mount Airy, walked in to the shop sporting a quick, relaxed style. She walked by helping cover their straight dark brown hair that fell well below her shoulder. Her face was framed with soft curls.
“This really is so nice. It’s not so severe a glance to me. I could place it in a ponytail and still feel professional … feminine.” When lace-front wigs first hit the scene, they cost from $5,000 to $25,000 simply because they looked so real. But these days, the high density full lace wigs, most made from human hair, can be found for $300 to $1,000. You will find demonstrations online.com that report people the best way to apply the wigs themselves and Web sites that tell people where to find them.
The wigs come in different shades, from dark black to white blond, and a variety of hair textures from kinky/curly to straight. Some wigs are real, some are synthetic. A lot of the hair employed to fashion the wigs comes from women of Asian descent, and a lot are produced in Asia. In some of the wigs, the lace is quite fine, with pin-sized holes that mark where each strand arises from. These are generally called bleach knots and price hundreds of dollars more.
There are several ways to attach the hair, although most applications begin with a stocking cap on the head. The wig will then be glued along the cap’s perimeter with a special kind of adhesive. It takes about an hour to get the hair applied then cut and styled. That’s a small part of time it requires to have weaves and braids.
As a result of cost, nearly all women maintain the wig on for about 90 days (wearers should take it off then to allow them to wash their own hair). The wig may then be reapplied, without looking shabby, for up to a year. “You can sykkcc outside in them and swim in them and everything,” said Dayna Cherry-Smith, 35, a mom of two who lives in West Oak Lane.
About four years ago, Cherry-Smith had medical issues that caused her hair to thin out. How did celebrities have so much hair constantly? she wondered. She look at the glossy mags, then did some online research. Her search uncovered a Chinese company, and she ordered a wig for herself online. “I felt better about myself,” Cherry-Smith said. “The silk base wigs with baby hair was undetectable. You couldn’t tell which i enjoyed a wig on so when I looked into the mirror, I felt a sense of my old self was back.”
Cherry-Smith ordered more wigs for herself. Then she started ordering wigs for her friends, along with their friends, and her business grew. Now Cherry-Smith is a lace-front-wig broker, of sorts. She has sold a lot more than 500 wigs online as well as local salons. She charges about $350 each.