Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Going from Curly to Straight without Wash??

Posted by Unknown at 3:46 PM 0 comments
Hi Chavi,
If i want to straighten my shietel is it best to just use a hairdryer like in your video or can you use a hot straightening iron?  If i were to leave it to dry naturally and then curl it say for a function or shabbat can i then straighten it afterwards without washing it or is that not advised. if yes can i use an iron or should i use a hairdryer?
Also, when blow drying my full sheitel do i have to worry about melting the skin?
Thanks so much for your great website. it's been really useful.
I've not yet styled my sheitel myself but i did watch my sheitel machar do it the other day so i'd know how. she didnt' spray it with hairspray after styling it - should I do that? Would it hold much better? it actually went a bit frizzy as it was raining when i went out. would hairspray help prevent that or serum perhaps? my natural hair was always really easy to manage that i never had to put products onto it!

Anytime you apply direct heat (i.e straightening or curling iron) there is a slight amount of damage put on the hair. 

It is recommended to let a wig air dry when you are going to be curling.  If you try to flat iron the curls then you will be fighting against the hair cuticle which was set with a curling iron, thus, it will be harder to get the hair straight and could cause more damage than necessary... I would wash it after the curls..

About the blow drying.  It will not melt the skin, but it could burn it.  Make sure when you are blow drying the cap that you constantly move the blowdryer around as shown in the video so it doesn't burn it.  Also, you can hold the blowdryer a little farther away to help this.  Refer to the blow drying video for more information.
Finally, treat your sheitels better than you would treat your own hair.  For example, if you had your own hair styled curly in an updo for a wedding with hairspray you would certainly wash it before blowdrying it straight.  So, you should give your sheitel the same treatment as one would do to their own hair.  I've never heard of someone just using a flat iron over their styled updo in order to fix it without a wash in between....  The hairspray would start smelling bad from the heat of the iron and become sticky... GROSS!
Hairspray will help the curl/wave stay longer and prevent frizz.  However, it will make it a little more prone to knotting when there is spray on it.  I used a soft brush on the wavy styled sheitel after I take it off to keep it from knotting.  It has been holding up really well and doesn't look frizzy yet... but I don't live in a humid climate.  I prefer a little hairspray so the wavy style lasts longer, which ultimately means less washes and less exposure to heat. 

Serum could work but if you put too much on the hair it can look oily.  You want to put hardly any on at all and make sure its well spread over your hands before putting it on.  This should be applied as a final step after either blowdrying or ironing is complete.

To answer the first question.  Blow drying to achieve straightness is recommended.   It would be bad form for a hair stylist or sheitel macher to make their living by flat iroing air dried hair.  Usually a good blow dry will work extremely well.  Environmental factors such as humidity and hair texture could mean that it is poofier than desired, but for the most part someone who knows what they are doing should be able to set it properly with a blow dryer.  There are some people who desire the "flat ironed look" and would ask their stylist to iron AFTER doing a complete blow dry, a sacrifice that does inflict slightly more damage on the hair, but can look oh so sleek...

Take care,

Friday, August 27, 2010

Alternative way to Dye - from AskChavi Reader

Posted by Unknown at 10:04 AM 6 comments
Hello Chavi,
I read your blog and watched the videos and I just loved all of it! I do my own sheitels and I am always looking for ways to do it better :) I have colored my sheitels and I have found a way to do it without ruining the skin part. I have colored almost all my sheitels :) I just colored my Milano sheitel and it came out so nice and natural :) it was Naomi color (very, very blond with lots of highlights) and now it is dark blond with light blond highlights. My fall oxidized and became too light and I colored it light brown. So here is how I do it. I either buy professional hair color and peroxide separately or a hair coloring kit. I mix the color according to the instructions & then I mix it with 1 quart of warm water and stir until color is mixed really well (make sure there are no globs of color or they will adhere to the hair strands and make a sheitel appear blotchy). Then I put my sheitel in and make sure it is saturated throughout with the mixture. I usually leave it in the mixture for 15 to 25 min depending on the desired effect. If I want to just slightly darken a really blond wig, I leave it on for 15 min, if I want it to saturate well with color and the wig is darker blond, then for a bit longer. Afterward I rinse it well and then wash it as usual. I did lighten one sheitel and it came out nice as well. I would not recommend using ashy colors as they tend to turn hair greenish tint. I usually use natural colors and they work really well. I hope this info is useful.
Here is the website from where I got the info on wig coloring:
All the best,

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wig Review: Milano Band Fall 12/14 Makeover

Posted by Unknown at 9:48 PM 3 comments

Back in September 2009, I bought a Milano band fall from one of their "out of town" distributors.  The color was a 12/14, which looked like a dirty blonde but not that reddish.  The hair looked thick and nice and so I decided to purchase it.  I believe it was $950 because it was on sale or something.  Anyway, it has been a pretty good piece.  The few problems I had with it: cap size too small and color oxidizing to this weird shade, I fixed.  This post is not only a review of a fall, but a story of how I optimized my wig.

So here it was.  My dull fall, turning into a dry oxidized piece...

My review:  This wig is fairly typical.  It has machine wefts.  It is a fall, so there is no skin top.  The hair on the crown is sewn in to fall backwards like a good fall too.  The hair on this wig was much nicer than my first Milano full wig.  It never knots, which is a plus.  It is definitely treated hair and far from "Virgin European".  Because it was treated and dyed and probably originally partially Chinese, the blonde hair oxidized pretty fast.  Let's see... I worked in an office and probably only experienced 5 hours of direct sunlight in this wig per week, and it got pretty badly oxidized within months.  My definition of badly oxidized is: the top turned a mono-chrome shade of blonde while the under-layer remained darker.  The cap being too small was always uncomfortable so I decided to do something about it.

FIRST I took care of the color.  I bought a box of light ash brown dye and weaved low-lights through the entire sheitel using the technique pictured below.  Note in the picture how the base color of the wig started to look really red.  I chose an ash shade to minimize the redness.  Then I rinsed the wig and applied conditioner and let the wig dry.

Okay, a few weeks later I decided to re-wash the sheitel and to set it in curls.  The other reason for me to wash it was to stretch the cap.  Because it is constructed of machine wefts, it is quite a durable piece.  While wet, I placed the wig on the styling block and used 4 T-Pins to stretch the four corners to its limit (near the ears, and near the back corners of the neck area).  The stretching was a GREAT success, it fits extremely comfortably now.  Then I let the wig air dry and curled my wig as per the instructions in my video.

A week after curling the wig and spraying with just a quick drop of hairspray.  Here is a picture of the finished product: dyed, stretched and curled a week after the set.  It does hold curl rather nicely, eh?

On a side note, I integrate about a 3 inch x 3 inch section of my bangs into a "bump" over the front when I wear my fall and have told that the hair is a "perfect match".

Weight/comfort: C before stretching / B+ now
Hair Quality: B
Skin top: N/A
Durability: B+
Appearance: A-
Cap Construction: B

Overall: B

Friday, August 13, 2010

Wasting Money on a Bad Wig

Posted by Unknown at 12:42 PM 4 comments
Dear Chavi,

I enjoyed reading your blog… just wondering how to avoid getting railroaded on a wig. I have been wearing wigs for ten years since I am married and have had nothing but problems with them…. Junky quality…… balding in the back .. see through in the back and it has to have hair added… how can I protect myself as a regular consumer and NOT a sheitel macher.. I m really tired of wasting so much money….. please provide any pointers that you can I appreciate this.

Dear DA, 
Here are some pointers:

1. Do not rush into a wig purchase.  
Salespeople often use the tactic of making you feel that if you do not make the purchase today the wig will not be available later.  Don't buy into it.  There are thousands of wigs available for purchase and if you do not feel 100% satisfied in the store you will not feel satisfied when you get home.

2. Reputation is important.  
If you have a friend who bought from a particular salon and had a bad customer service experience, it is likely that you could have the same customer service situation.  I think customer service (i.e. return/exchange policy is more important than the reputation of the wig brand itself)

3. Inspect the piece inside and out.  
Don't be fooled by the wigs perfectly styled appearance.  How the wig is manufactured is much more important.  How are the wefts sewed in?  Is it hand sewn or machine wefted?  What does the inside of the skin top look like?  Turn the wig upside down, does the hair on the wig immediately knot.  I know someone who inspected a wig on a showroom floor and found that one of the hair wefts was coming off!  Does the hair knot?  If it knots in the back it is more likely to tangle and fall out.

4.  Ask your friends for recommendations.  
If you start realizing that the vast majority of people who own brand X love their wigs and have had them for years, the chances are that you will also have the same experience. 

5. If the price seems too good to be true... it probably is.
There have been a lot of new wig companies marketing affordable "European Hair Wigs" with prices in the $500-$1000 range.  While I do agree that $2500 is VERY expensive for a wig, there has to be a reason that these companies can afford to sell their wigs for much less.  Perhaps they do not have a return policy, perhaps they mix Asian hair into their European hair, perhaps the European hair is heavily processed, which is easier to obtain.  If one compares the texture of hair from one of the cheaper "European companies" to the expensive top of the line brands, there is a notable difference in how the hair feels.

For example, I have a friend who bought two Milanos when she got married.  Four years later she had gone through five mediocre wigs and was not so happy.  She splurged on a Shevy ($2600) and wishes it had been her only wig all along!  She would have spent less overall,

6. Avoid Buying Online
Purchasing a wig sight-unseen is a pretty bad idea.  You have no idea if it will fit or what quality the hair will be.  If the seller agrees to free returns and/or exchanges it is workable.  But remember, with exchanges you can never get your money back if you realize the quality of the brand is low, it would just be shuffling pieces and dealing with the shipping costs. 

7. Marketing
Does the salon spend a lot of money on marketing and less on actual quality?  Find a wig maker who values wig making as an art and truly cares for making her customers happy rather than some fancy trendy salon with expensive interior design. 

8. Ask the sheitel machers direct questions about the piece.
Tough questions such as: Where was it made?  Is it 100% European hair?  Can you show me what one of your pieces looks like when air dried?  The wigs in the showroom could be sprayed with hair product to make them look shinier. If she gets really defensive she might have something to hide, if she seems cooperative her pieces probably ARE good quality. 

9. Make sure your wig is being washed properly
If your wigs are falling apart, it could be caused by harsh washing and setting.

I hope this helps.  Read as many reviews as possible.  Hopefully wig salons will become aware that their pieces are being rated on the internet and hopefully they will become accountable for what they sell. 

Good luck,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Help! My wig REALLY hurts me.

Posted by Unknown at 10:21 AM 2 comments
Dear Chavi,
I get terrible headaches from my fall.  The clips are so tight and I feel uncomfortable all day.  What can I do?

Dear R,

I have a few suggestions.  Guess what... I don't clip my side clips on my fall!  I put the center comb in and lightly place the open side clips lightly into my hair.  The placement of the side clips on the fall can also make a big difference.  I once sewed them in at 2 o'clock and 10 o'clock and found them very uncomfortable.  I moved the clips to 3'o'clock and 9'o'clock and the comfort was like night and day!

Another suggestion, if you always wear your fall with a tight headband it can actually function to keep the fall in place, so you don't really need any side clips. 

It could also be uncomfortable because it could be the wrong size for your head.  If it is too small see if you can wear it further back from your hairline.  You could also have the cap stretched.  Some sheitel machers suggest wearing it over wet hair to stretch out the cap if it is too tight.  Any other fall wearers have suggestions??


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Wig Review: Dark Brown Wavy Yaffa Wig

Posted by Unknown at 8:50 PM 6 comments
AK was generous enough to share her kallah (bridal) sheitel saga with AskChavi.  She had such a horrible experience with her first wig purchase that it caused her to stop covering her hair for an entire year!  Although the wig appeared to be made with beautiful European hair, the wig was so heavy and uncomfortable that she couldn’t wear it without getting awful headaches.  I hope all wig wearers learn the importance of having a well-made light cap that fits properly from this post.  Some women are happy with their Yaffas but I have also heard from a number of women who had bad experiences with their Yaffa wigs.  Keep in mind when purchasing a wig that you need to wear it for long enough in the salon in order to see if it will be comfortable long term.  Also, its normal for long wigs to be heavier than short wigs so keep that in mind when selecting a style.

Bangs are integrated with wig in picture.
AK’s wig was a pre-made 22-inch wavy wig in #4 (dark brown).  It had the standard Yaffa wig cap and advertised as European hair.

What made you decide to purchase a Yaffa?  Where did you hear of the brand?
I was offered a deal through a friend of my mother’s and I thought they were a good brand.

Did you purchase it from the Yaffa salon or from a sheitel macher?

Yaffa salon.

What was your favorite aspect of the sheitel?

None LOL. It was shiny and the color was nice.

What was your least favorite aspect (or what could you change if you could)?

Everything - it was an uncomfortable disaster.

What was the hardest thing about finding a sheitel as a kallah?

Not knowing anything and not having anyone to properly educate you.

Did the cap fit you well, was it comfortable? 

No it was so tight and uncomfortable.

Did it give you headaches? 

All the time. I was still in school when I first got married and I got such bad headaches that I used to have leave class sit in the bathroom stall and take it off for 5 minutes and just let my head throb.

Did the hair knot? 

That was the biggest problem. It knotted so badly and when I tried to detangle it clumps of hair came out. When I told the people at Yaffa this, they claimed it wasn’t being washed properly because it was a handmade cap which is garbage because they only make machine weft...

Do you think the skin top was really realistic?

The part was pretty good although the very front where it started could have been better.

Did you ever wash it yourself?  If so, did the hair knot when wet?

The hair didn’t knot so much it just came out in clumps. within 6 months it was half bald....

What quality hair was advertised to you and do you feel the hair was the same as advertised?

It was supposed to be virgin European. It did look and feel like it but based on how it stood up I doubt it. Some gay guy in California is wearing it now hope he’s enjoying it. lol

How much did you pay? 

In the end because my mom’s friend knew them, I got a raw deal like $350 but it was supposed to be $900 and I think originally $1800.  The entire situation dissolved the friendship between my mother and this woman. Never buy a sheitel through an arrangement like this.

How was the Yaffa customer service? 

Awful!  They were so mean to me and took forever to “fix” it the times I brought it in after, even though I told them it was the only wig I had.

Would you buy a Yaffa again?
Hell no.

Are you happy with your sheitel cut?  Would you get a different style next time?
It wasn’t included through Yaffa so I went elsewhere it was ok for what I paid.

Weight/comfort: F
Hair Quality: B
Skin top A-
Durability: F
Appearance: A
Cap Construction: F

and Overall: D-

Bangs are integrated with wig in picture


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