Sunday, November 21, 2010

Wefted versus Handtied Wigs

Posted by Ask Chavi at 12:09 PM 2 comments
Hi Chavi,
thank you for your wonderful website!
could you please tell me how to determine if the construction of a shaitel is well made? i recently saw a shaitel that looked nice on but felt a little bit too light to me. i have a lot of hair, so some wigs that are thinner feel cheap to me, but the shaitel macher was trying to convince me this is a good thing. so the construction of her wigs was basically a horizontal line of hair, an inch-or two of space and another line of hair. is that normal?? my shevy is not like that at all, it seems to be just hair coming from every point of the cap, there aren't any "lines" or "spaces"
is that the reason shevy is so expensive? more hair?
is that the reason my shevy knots so much?
what should i do, im afraid of buying a shaitel that doesn't feel full, it makes me doubt how long it will last..
your insight will be greatly appreciated !
-Y

Dear Y,
Thank you for your questions. First, let me explain about the two types of cap construction. It sounds like your Shevy is "handtied" which means the hairs are not sewn into rows (or wefts) but rather individually weaved throughout the holes of the cap. This cap construction is usually considered "better" because these caps are stretchier and more comfortable and the hairs can be placed in individual directions. Here is a picture of a handtied wig from a Shevy review I wrote earlier this year.  They are also usually custom sewn to fit your exact head shape. 

Wefts of Hair
The sheitel she was showing you was "wefted" which means its construction consists of various wefts of hair (pictured on left) that are sewn in rows usually a few centimeters apart.  The tops of these wigs usually have a "hand tied" section that allows the sheitel to have a multidirectional skin top.  There are two types of wefts: open and closed.  I have owned both types (my Milanos were open wefts and my Freeda and JAP fall had closed wefts.  Both have their advantages (I was able to itch my head in between an open weft before).  However, it is possible that if a open wefted sheitel is thin enough that ones real hair could actually show through.  This would only happen in rare cases though. 

Closed Wefts
Wefted does not necessarily mean thinner.  I have owned very thick wefted wigs.  It sounds like the particular piece you were shown is thin.  My JAP fall was wefted and very thin( please refer to my JAP Review).  The advantage to the thinness was that the wig was light and therefore more comfortable (I could barely feel it on my head).  However if you like the look of really thick hair, then a thicker, heavier sheitel would be more appropriate for you.



Open Wefts
Another disadvantage to wefted wigs is that the hairs have to be sewn in one direction (which is usually down).  The problem is that since the hair is headed downward it would look less natural if one tried to pull it into a low pony and could actually be hard to pull into a twist or high pony.  Pony Sheitels are actually made so that the wefts on the bottom of the sheitel are heading upward so it would make a more natural pony.  I have some friends who wear their pony sheitels down without problems.  Also, when a sheitel macher washes an open wefted wig they often have to flip sections of wefted hair that may have become twisted through normal wear.  One who is not careful about untwisting sections could cause more problems.


The reason your Shevy was so expensive is because it was handsewn, versus wefted wigs which are machine sewn.  Secondly, you were paying for Shevy customer service, which usually means that they will fix any problems that arise naturally within a reasonable amount of time.  Also, Shevy supposedly uses unprocessed European Hair (this is not confirmed) but they at least have more quality assurance in terms of picking "good hair" that is shiny, soft and silky. They have a reputation to uphold in a very competitive market.

I think there are great wefted wigs available that are good quality.  For example, even the Shuly wig reviewed on my site is made of closed wefts, as is my Freeda.  Since wefted wigs are machine sewn, they are arguably more durable in the long run.  Also, a handtied wig requires much more care and attention when being washed.  It is absolutely vital that it is washed by a trained professional or that the owner receives guidance from the manufacturer on how to properly wash and set it.  If the wefts of hair are sewn in properly (cuticle in the same direction) there should be minimal knotting.  It is possible that the hand tied cap could be causing the Shevy knotting, as knotting is the most common complaint with Shevys, but it could also attributed to some other cause perhaps the hair texture.  Keep in mind that custom handtied wigs are usually $3000-4000 and a "out of box" machine sewn "custom" usually runs for about $1500-2500 if it is made of European Hair. 

My advice, look for a thicker wefted sheitel (they do exist!).  Also, make sure there is some kind of guarantee in case the wig you buy ends up being defective.  In terms of hand tied wigs lasting longer... usually its the skin tops that thin first, necessitating the need for a new wig, not the back part that is wefted.  Handtied vs. machine shouldn't affect the life of the sheitel since they both have multiirectional skin tops.  FYI hair can be added to a thinning skin top to extend its life.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Short Movie about Buying a European Wig

Posted by Ask Chavi at 9:16 AM 6 comments
In this video our wig consumer gets no direct answers to her questions about the wig she is trying on...

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Car Seat Recommendation

Posted by Ask Chavi at 2:26 PM 0 comments
I bought a basic Graco Snugride when my baby was born with the base and it worked great.  My only complaint with it was that it did not have the tightening strap, though most Graco models now come with that feature.  My Snugride weight limit is 29 inches and the weight limit is 22 pounds.  The manual also says to make sure that there is 2 inches of spare space between the top of your baby's head and the top of the seat.  This became a problem when I happened to have a tall baby.  By her four month appointment she was nearly 26 inches tall and I knew it was time to start researching a stage two car seat. 

I decided to go with the Britax Roundabout 55.  I am sure there are plenty of other wonderful car seats but I didn't have a lot of patience to learn about them all.  Britax has a great reputation and the seat has 3 seat recline position, one of which allows the seat to go rear facing.  The Roundabout is the basic Britax car seat, and retails for $199.99, but I found it online for $159.99  They also make the Marathon, Boulevard and Advocate, which have higher weight limits and more padding including their advertised "true side impact protection" but are also much pricier.



I love that the Roundabout has pads on the shoulder straps and the convenient tightening strap which easily lets you loosen the slack to unload your baby and tightens after securing your baby.  After watching some online videos of proper car seat fitting on the internet I realized how important it is to have no slack in the child harness and am happy that I can tighten each time she rides.  The Roundabout also has a rubbery material on the bottom of the seat which prevents sliding.  I test the seat with a lot of force and the seat does not slide around.  It is pretty simple to change the strap height, but it does require re-weaving the harnesses.  The Roundabout can be installed with latch or seat belt.


The only downsides of moving my child out of her infant car seat is that I can no longer "snap and go" with her.  Every time we go on an errand I have to open her harness, remove her and then put her back afterward.  Sometimes it gets annoying.  Also, if she is sleeping I have to wake her up whereas babies can stay sleeping in their infant car seats and moved without trouble.  The third problem is that stage 2 car seats do not have the convenient sunshade so I had to get window shades for my back windows.  Depending on the time of day and angle of the sun, the light can still shine in her eyes.  However, once she got to 15 pounds it became really heavy to lug her and her car seat out of the car.  So its debatable which was more annoying to deal with.  The good news is that this seat will turn to forward facing and has a forward facing limit of 55 pounds which should last her a long time.  Additionally, the rear facing limit is 40 pounds.  A lot of states are recommending leaving babies rear facing past 1 year old (they are suggesting until 2!) and this high weight limit would allow me to do that.

If I had bought a larger infant car seat initially like the Snugride 35 I could have kept her in an infant carrier longer, since its height limit is 35 pounds and 32 inches.  BUT the car seat itself is 16.7 pounds.  That means if I had a 20 pound baby I would be lugging almost 40 pounds if I attempted to "snap and go" with it.  So ultimately, The Roundabout should last my child for a long time and work nicely in forward facing mode when we get there...

Monday, November 1, 2010

Synthetic Wigs?

Posted by Ask Chavi at 7:06 PM 1 comments
What is the deal with synthetic wigs? Why are they so cheap? How do they compare to human hair?? In the video below I discuss a $30 synthetic that I bought on Ebay.


The color of the wig turned out to be very different from how it appeared in the listing. However, I still enjoyed trying it on and I may wear it some night soon. 
Original Listing
I think synthetics are a great way to try out a new color, hairstyle, length or texture.  So many of us spend a lot of money on a wig only to realize later that we hate how we look in it.  More information in my 8 minute video... LOL i get carried away!

Anyway, I bought the wig from Ebay seller fashion1658.  It shipped immediately after payment and arrived promptly.  

What are your thoughts on synthetics?? 

 

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