Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wig Review: Michal Wigs Band Fall

Posted by Unknown at 2:24 PM
A loyal AskChavi reader wanted her chance to write a review of one of her sheitels. I conducted an interview to find out more about her Michal Wigs fall which was purchased in 2008. Michal Wigs are known for their affordability. The Michal Website says that they use quality European Hair and are able to keep the prices down by providing factory-direct wigs. There is only one US distributor and wigs can be ordered directly from her, or purchased at sales which are run across North America in people’s homes and synagogues. With prices from $325-$650 its intriguing for wig-wearers to wonder what a Michal is actually like. Today AskChavi brings you the exclusive information provided by one of our readers and Michal owners.

 Wig Info 
Brand: Michal Wigs
Wig Type: 17’’ fall
Color: #01B
Price: $425, longer falls are $475

 Chavi: Michal Wigs is not one of the “high fashion” wig names tossed around in Brooklyn, how does its hair quality compare to other brands?
 F: On a scale of A-F I, rate the hair quality an A based on its affordable price, but a B+ compared to “dream sheitel” (*SEE FOOTNOTE*) I wore this piece every weekday for two years and during that time the wig would look like virgin European Human Hair for the first two weeks after a wash and set, by week 3 a decent quality human hair wig and by the end of week 4 the hair looked ratty and needed another wash/set. The fall is now four years old and the hair looks very decent after a wash/set but starts to look a little ratty in the back a few weeks later. Overall, it still looks much better than most other four-year old sheitels that have seen this much use, so I’m not complaining! 

Chavi: What is the hair texture like?
F: The hair is thick and straight, which is similar to my own hair, so I was very happy with the texture. However, someone with whispy hair may not find the texture to be a good match. I never tried curling the hair so I do not know whether or not it holds a curl/wavy style. 

Chavi: Does the fall have a skin top?
 F: No, but skin tops were not considered a "standard" fall feature when I purchased this piece in '08. It is possible that Michal carries skin top falls, but I have never asked. 

Chavi: How do you rate the durability?
 F: For price A / Compared to “dream Sheitel” A – After 2 years of regular weekday use the hair quality was pretty much identical to the time of purchase. The hair is starting to look less “new” but it is still very good. The hair needed to be dyed once every 10-12 months, but I live in a sunny region and it is common for sheitels in my color range to need a dye job that often so I'm chalking the oxidation up to standard wear and tear. 

Chavi: How do you rate the cap construction and quality?
F: For price A / compared to dream sheitel B+ – The cap is built (but doesn’t feel!) like steel, and is the sturdiest mass-produced wig cap that I have ever seen. After four years of regular use, the cap is still in like-new condition. The very top of the fall has a patch that is thinner than the rest of the fall, which didn't bother me given the price (and the fact that the patch was covered by a headband/hat/bandana). 

Chavi: Does the cap fit you well, is it comfortable?
F: I have an XL sized head and ordered a standard size fall, so while the cap does not fit me well this is because I ordered the wrong size. I would not hesitate to order a Michal with a larger cap. The cap starts to get itchy about 3.5 weeks after a wash and set, but I usually wash it every four week so this wasn't a huge problem. 

Chavi: Does it give you headaches?
F: Yes, but this is because I purchased the wrong size cap (see above). The headaches are from a tight cap and not from the weight of the hair -- the hair is actually very light, which is impressive considering that it is a thick fall. 

Chavi: Does the hair knot?
F: Yes, but the hair was close to 17" when I first cut the fall and knotting is common at that length. The hair did get knottier in weeks 3-4 after a wash/set. (As I wrote above, the hair looked and felt custom for the first two weeks after a wash/set when I originally purchased the piece.) I cut off several inches a few years ago (one inch to deal with two years worth of split ends, and the rest for a style change) and haven't had any problems with knotting since that big snip. 

Chavi: Have you ever washed it yourself?
F: Yes, every time other than when I took it in to get cut (once when I got it originally cut after purchase, again at the 2 year mark to take care of split ends). 

Chavi: How was the Michal/Sheitel Macher customer service?
F: Excellent! I emailed Michal's American distributer several times with questions, and each email was answered promptly. She mailed my wig as soon as she received payment. 

Chavi: Would you order from them again?
F: Definitely! I highly recommend Michal to anyone looking to purchase a dark colored in this price range. (I do not know how their hair quality is for lighter colors, which are more heavily processed.) 

Chavi: Did you get what you expected in terms of quality?
F: I got MORE than I expected in terms of quality. I expected the fall to be getting ratty (but still functional) at the 2 year mark; however, at that point cap and hair were still in like-new condition (with the exception of some split ends, which are standard wear and tear on a regularly worn sheitel). The fall is now four years old and still in very good condition. 

Chavi: Do you have any other thoughts that you would like to share with the AskChavi Audience: 
F: Michal is considered a "low end" brand, and given their pricing it isn't hard to imagine why. I was not looking to spend a lot of money on my weekday fall, and because was twice burned by another "low end" brand I decided to try Michal. This fall is a very realistic looking piece, and while the hair quality and overall appearance are not comparable to the high end brands, all in all it is worth much more than the few hundred dollars that I paid. When purchasing sheitels made out of processed hair it is very important to bear hair color in mind. Most low end companies heavily process coarse dark hair to create a "European" look. With dark hair (my color) the processing isn't as traumatic as it is with blond hair (which is bleached of all color, and then dyed the appropriate shade of blond), so dark "low end" wigs will generally look much nicer than their blond counterparts. While I enthusiastically recommend Michal's to women with dark hair color I cannot speak to the quality of their light browns, reds and blonds. All in all I cannot imagine a better quality fall at this price. 

Overall Rating (A-F scale) 
A / (compared to dream sheitel) A-/B+ 

 *FOOTNOTE* - “Dream Sheitel” is the mythical hand sewn wig made out of virgin EHH hair, with a custom-fitted feather light cap that we all dream of and can never manage to find.


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