Friday, August 13, 2010

Wasting Money on a Bad Wig

Posted by Unknown at 12:42 PM
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,


Anonymous said...

A brief comment on showroom customer service:

I recently visited two wig showrooms looking to purchase an "everyday" wig. Showroom A showed me a 20+ inch wig. The hair was decent but looked and felt processed. I knew that for the length (something that I could pull back into a ponytail) and price (around $500) that I wanted virgin hair was not in the cards, so the hair's obvious processing didn't really concern me. I asked the woman who showed me the wig how much the wig cost, and when she told me that it retails for $900 I asked her how processed the hair was... I didn't think that this would be a big deal because, honestly, who expects a wig that length and price to be virgin European hair? She got SO offended that I would suggest that she was selling processed hair and insisted that the hair was European (note that she never said "unprocessed European," just "European"). I was disturbed that she would lie about something so obvious and walked out.

Showroom B showed me a wig of comparable length and superior (yet still clearly processed) hair quality for $550. When I asked how processed the hair was, they were upfront that the hair was processed and 20% Asian. I appreciated their honesty (although I still don't understand why someone would bother lying about something so obvious), and as I was pleased with the wig's overall quality relative to the amount of money that I was willing to spend, made the purchase.

-- F

Unknown on August 15, 2010 at 6:21 AM said...

DA happens to be blonde which results in more dyed hair, worst hair quality for the price.

Natural blonde hair is hard to come by there days....

Anonymous said...

I am the first to admit that I can only get away with buying in this price range because I have dark hair. I would suggest that DA (or someone similarly situated) ask other blonds for recommendations.

-- F

Anonymous said...

Hi there,

i've just been reading your conversation. I run a bespoke wigmaking business...amiwigs're more than welcome to get in touch with me if you need advice on wigs..


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