Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Alternative Wig Styling Method

Posted by Ask Chavi at 8:15 AM 0 comments
Before
A new bride shared her creative method for styling her new wigs.  She only had a Styrofoam head but was able to mount it on a paper towel holder in order to curl her wigs with a curling iron!  I thought this was a creative and great alternative for anyone who doesn't own a wig stand clamp!

Of course if you want to buy an inexpensive wig clamp you can find one here: Manikin Clamp * Wig Block Holder


And you can get a canvas block styling head here: Canvas Wig Head (23" 24" 25") (22" Circumference)

Although resistance is not needed to make curling iron curls, it is necessary to have tension when blow drying a wig straight.  So it would be good to have a stand that is sturdy and resists pressure.

After


Monday, July 22, 2013

Wig Review: Savvy Amhurt Curly 1B

Posted by Ask Chavi at 10:07 AM 0 comments
I started AskChavi to help wig-wearers share their experience with their wigs and offer them a forum to review them open and honestly.  I am always happy to share a review from one of my readers and I encourage you to contact me if you want to review one of your wigs. 

With so many sheitel-machers & wig companies on the market today its hard to determine who to buy from.  For many readers the problem is where to buy a wig, because if one lives outside of New York, Israel, Los Angeles and other populations with large orthodox Jewish communities there may not be many or any local wig sellers to buy a wig from.  One option that is popular with readers living in more remote communities is to order online.  However, ordering online can be a stressful and difficult situation, being that a wig is such a personalized product and buying something with such a high price tag sight-unseen is a scary proposition.  However, there are many caring wig-sellers who cater to the online market with welcoming return policies and personalized customer service over the phone, striving to find out what the customer wants before sending out wigs for them to try.  I have found Savvy Sheitels to be a caring provider of wigs to their customers and they have a very customer-friendly return policy that makes it possible to find a wig over the Internet.

One of my readers wanted to share their experience with their purchase of a wig from Savvy Sheitels.  She had always wanted a curly sheitel since her natural hair is curly.  Thanks to the affordable pricing of this particular sheitel she was able to achieve the desired look.  Below is her thorough review.
Based on what I found on their website, prices seem to range from $300-$3500 depending on length, hair type & quality.
From Savvy Curly 1B
Wig Information:

Wig Name: Amhurst 12"/18" Color 1B Size L Wavy
 

Hair Type: Kosher Mongolian (European Texture)
 
Cap Type: Machine made stretch cap with closed wefts with movable "skin top"

Rating Section (How would you rate it on the following scale? A-F) :

Weight/comfort:  A with WiGrip, A- with clips.  The wig feels quite light, despite having thick hair.  The included clips were slightly pulling at my hair (this may be due to my having a large head and thick hair) but I recently switched to a WiGrip band and that solved the problem... sometimes, I even forget that I'm wearing a wig and not a tichel!

Hair Quality:  A-.  The hair itself is a very good quality--strong, maintaining its curl and virtually no split ends after almost 8-months of near daily use.  The sheitel needs gel and mousse to maintain its curls (which is true of all curly hair sheitels, and even curly hair that grows straight out of your head!) and I love that I can "reset" my wig just by scrunching in a bit of mousse -- so much easier (and cheaper!) than needing a wash and set!  I periodically add a small dab of BioSilk to the underside of the sheitel, to deter matting.  Underside matting is common with curly sheitels so I chalk that up to standard maintenance.

The hair color was originally a #2, and in my opinion it is oxidizing a bit faster than typical for this shade -- my other #2 sheitels took a full year to oxidize to the same color.  (To be fair, I live in a sunny region where oxidation is a common problem with sheitels.)  I do not think that the early oxidation will lead me to dye it any sooner than I dyed my previous sheitels so it isn't a big concern.

Skin top:  A.  The skin top extends far back on the head, allowing me to part the sheitel how I parted my own hair back in the proverbial day.  The skintop included some precut baby hairs (with other sheitel machers charge extra for) which add to the realistic hairline.

Durability:  A-/A.  After 8-months of regular weekday use, the sheitel still looks and feels like it did out of the box.  I am a bit hesitant to give a full "A" because of the minor oxidation issue mentioned above, but I'm also a bit hesitant to go all the way down to "A-" because someone who lived in a less sunny region might not share this specific concern.

Appearance: A.  The sheitel looks great, and I finally feel like I look like myself" for the first time in over six years!

Cap Construction: A.  The sheitel has a solid stretch cap that has not yet developed any holes.  It included a front hairline comb, two clips on the crown (I have no idea what those are for), two clips on the ear tabs, and two clips in back that could hold the sheitel in place for an up-do or pony tail.

Overall: A all the way!  Ironically, this sheitel is the wig that has finally, after six+ years of hair covering, turned me into a tichel wearer... I don't want to wear the sheitel every day because I want to make sure that it lasts for as long as possible!  I can't imagine that I will ever again find a sheitel that matches MY curls so perfectly.

Experience Questions:
 
Does the cap fit you well, is it comfortable?  I have an XL-sized head and very thick hair, and was a bit hesitant to purchase a wig with "only" an L-sized cap.  However, I wasn't about to pass up the chance to reclaim my curls and I am so glad that I took the risk!  The cap is much larger and more comfortable than the XL-wig that I purchased from a different manufacturer.  I would definitely recommend the Aura L and XL cap to anyone else with a large head.

Does it give you headaches?  The sheitel never gave me a headache.  My hair did pull a bit from the clips (this is probably due to my having a large head and very thick hair under the sheitel) and switching to a WiGrip cleared that right up.

Does the hair knot?  It is normal for curly sheitels to get matted in back, and this wig is no exception. Rubbing a tiny amount of BioSilk into the hair helps to keep matting at bay.  I do not find that the rest of the hair knots any more than my "real" hair did, so I don't have any complaints... of course, I never tried brushing the wig myself because brushing a curly sheitel will be its set's kiss of death.
From Savvy Curly 1B

Do you think the skin top is realistic?  The skin top is (in my opinion) very realistic, especially with the included baby's hair.

Have you ever washed it yourself?  Yes, I almost always wash my sheitels myself.  Admittedly, I tend to just add more mousse/gel whenever the sheitel isn't looking so fresh, though, so I think I've only washed it once.

How long did it take to arrive?  The wig was premade and shipped as soon as Chira received my payment.

How was the customer service?  Excellent!  Chira was very patient answering my (many!) questions when I deliberated over whether or not to make the purchase and sent me several detailed photos of both the sheitel and its cap.  When I had trouble with matting (a common problem for curly sheitels) Chira advised me on how to safely remedy the problem with BioSilk.

Would you order from them again?  Yes!   I have an extraordinarily difficult time finding sheitels that fit me comfortably, and the Aura's L-sized cap, combined with the sheitel's excellent hair quality and sturdy build, definitely won me over to their side!

Did you get what you expected in terms of quality?  Overall, I got more than I expected in terms of quality.  The sheitel's extraordinary durability and hair quality--both much, much better than I expected for the price--more than compensate for the slightly early oxidation.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sheitel Color Makeover by Brian

Posted by Ask Chavi at 7:43 PM 0 comments
I wanted to share pictures of the awesome work Brian in Los Angeles did on my old Sheitels.  The new color really revitalized these two wigs.  The full wig is a Freeda purchased in 2008 and the Band Fall is a Milano Collection fall purchased in fall 2009.  I think they have held up really well considering they are 4-5 years old!!  Adding color is much cheaper than buying a new wig.  I like how Brian added roots on the full sheitel and beautiful highlights. On the fall he made a lot of highlights and darker ash on the top to integrate nicely with my real hair. The best thing is that I didn't even have to drop them off in person!  I mailed the wigs to him and he colored them remotely and returned them to me.  I sent him a picture of my real hair so he could match the fall perfectly.  I highly recommend his work!  

 Brian
(310) 499-6836
Milano Band Fall wig Before
and After:


Freeda Wig Before Pics 
and After:


Here's more pictures!!!: Pictures of Wigs!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

MyHeadCoverings Video Review & GIVEAWAY

Posted by Ask Chavi at 3:38 PM 0 comments
AskChavi in conjunction with MyHeadCoverings.com is giving away four items to one lucky winner.  The items are shown in detail in the video below.  MyHeadCoverings.com sells a wide variety of hair coverings including hats, tichels, scarves,snoods, turbans, berets, headbands, wig accessories and more!  Check out their website for all of your headcovering needs!!

Win the Items featured in the video below:
-Travel Wig Stand
-Tichel
-Volumizer
-Headband


TO ENTER:
1. Like AskChavi on Facebook
2. Share Giveaway Image on Facebook! Tag AskChavi and MyHeadCoverings on Facebook when you share the status!!
3. Enter by 5/12/2013 (end of day) to be considered!!!

I will ship to US and Canada free of charge!



These are just a few examples of the wide variety of items they carry.
Headbands
Travel Wig Stand
Tichels!
Volumizing Stretch Liner Cap

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lena's Sheitels and LENA Handmade Wigs Review

Posted by Ask Chavi at 11:39 AM 0 comments

Since opening her consignment wig boutique, Lena’s Sheitels, in 2009, owner Lena Fleminger has sold nearly 500 gently-worn sheitels for clients from all over the U.S., Canada, and Israel. Now she’s expanding by adding her own line of new wigs, LENA Handmade Wigs, which she sells in addition to the consignment sheitels.

Lena started her consignment business when she realized that almost every woman she knew had a sheitel she never wore, worth thousands, just sitting in the closet. Her consignment shop allows women to sell the sheitels they are not wearing and put what they earn toward buying another piece.
Lena Wigs
Although the store is located in Baltimore, MD, 85% of its consignment wigs come from sellers in the New York and New Jersey area who send sheitels via the mail. Lena’s Sheitels only consigns nearly new or lightly worn pieces.

Human hair wigs are incredibly expensive, so it’s so frustrating when one spends that kind of money and ends up not using the product.  In this situation it makes so much sense that one style or length might not suit a particular woman, but may look fabulous on a different woman.  

And the consignment process at Lena’s Sheitels allows women to purchase very high-end wigs for a fraction of their retail prices. “Our most popular sellers are Shevys, Dinis, Shulys, and Freedas,” she says.
Most kallahs (brides) hate their first sheitel, and this was Lena Fleminger’s experience as well.  A sheitel macher convinced her to buy a very long wig at a higher price even though she was looking for a shoulder length wig that would have been cheaper.  Lena never felt comfortable in that kallah sheitel and spent hours styling and tweaking it.

All of this experimentation paid off because she learned so much about sheitels and how to make them look better.  This experience was the beginning of her journey to becoming a sheitel macher.

After years of selling all the different brands and styles of sheitels, Lena has started manufacturing her own line of sheitels called LENA Handmade Wigs. She conducted extensive research, testing samples from numerous manufacturers and hair suppliers until she was happy with her creation.  

One of the most distinct features of her wigs is that they are completely tied by hand (not made with machine sewn wefts), making them particularly popular with women who have comfort issues or suffer from medical hair loss.  

Chavi modeling a LENA Handmade Wig
Lena experimented with hair density to create a more natural look and comfortable wearing sheitel.  LENA Handmade Wigs are made with high quality European-texture hair that is only minimally processed in order to maintain the hair's cuticle, sheen and integrity.  The wigs are specially cut, highlighted, and styled for a haute-fashion look, and that also makes them ready-to-wear for buyers.

Lena sent me a sample of one of her wigs to try on and examine and I took some pictures and videos to share with my readers.  I found the wig incredibly comfortable and I found the hair quality to be similar to many higher-end sheitels on the market. I loved the way it looked on me
and would definitely consider purchasing one because I feel it is a great value considering the quality and price. You can see the wig in detail in the pictures and video on this page and please email me if you have any questions or feedback.  It was hard sending the wig back to Baltimore, but someone had already purchased it!  

Summary of Features
LENA Handmade Wigs
European-texture hair
Hand-tied stretch cap
Multi-directional skin top
Pre-cut and highlighted

Check out Lena's Facebook page for more information about wigs for sale and info on an upcoming giveaway!  www.facebook.com/Lenaswigs


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Wig Review: Jacquelyn Wigs Lace Front

Posted by Ask Chavi at 1:32 PM 0 comments
Click to see the entire album of photos:
Jacquelyn Lace Front


I had never tried on a lace front wig, so I was curious about them. When I found out that Jacquelyn made them, and that they can work for people who want their wig hair to not fall in their face, I figured I would try it. Jacquelyn Wigs was happy to send me one to review and I had a lot of fun trying it on, taking pictures and making a little video series on Lace Front Wigs since I had never featured any on AskChavi before.

I love that the cap is hand tied. Most wigs I see have machine sewn wefts throughout the sides and back of the cap and a small hand made french top which gives the appearance of a scalp. The hand tied wigs are a big more comfortable and stretchier than a machine wefted cap. They take more time and skill to manufacture and therefore hand made work increases the cost of a wig.

The reasons this particular wig did not work for me was mainly due to my larger than average head. I also have medium-thick hair that is a little past shoulder length. Therefore, when shoved under a wig cap this piece was a little too tight for comfort. I was a little worried about the wig application process considering that I wouldn't want to wear tape or glue. I have heard there are ways to sew regular clips into lace front wigs, and I figured that even a The Hair Grip, WiGrip or Aishes, etc. would probably keep the wig in place sufficiently. Lace front wigs still have to be styled in the front in order to make them look more natural, but they at least have a "hairline" as opposed to french top sheitels.

I think if styled and cut beautifully and if I had the application process down pat, I would love to wear a lace front in general because it would solve the problem of hair falling into my face and it nicely covers all of my hair.  I also think lace-front wigs are eye-catching and refreshing since they are still rare in orthodox Jewish circles, the kind of wig that will make people check twice to see if you are really covering your hair.  Plus, its different, why wear what everyone else is wearing when you can be a trend-setter?

However, if you like wearing bangs or side bangs or the "curtains look" (see picture below) then a lace front is NOT for you!
Ever seen wigs with a middle part tied back like this?


Video Review


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jacquelyn Wigs Interview

Posted by Ask Chavi at 10:03 PM 0 comments
My husband happened to be in New York City for work a few months ago, and he happened to pass by Jacquelyn Wig's headquarters. Being the great husband that he is, he went in and told them his wife was "Chavi" of AskChavi and he asked if he could take some pictures of their showroom. After checking with the management, they allowed my husband to take pictures (even though they hadn't heard of me!). DH was also able to introduce himself to the management team which allowed me to set up a phone call with George to learn more about Jacquelyn Wigs. I learned a lot about the wig industry and how Jacquelyn Wigs distinguishes itself. I will share some things I learned during the highly informative call.

Wig making is a complicated process that requires a high level of skill and craft. Hair has cuticles, like the scales of a fish. Hairis combined from multiple sources to produce one wig. Therefore, when hair bundles are combined the hair cuticle needs to be kept in the same direction. If this is not done properly then the wig will likely have knotting problems. For the entire process from the time the hair is cut from a person's hair, through the cleaning process and through the hackling process, the cuticles have to be kept in the right direction.  Why am I telling you this? Because if a wig is tangling from day one, its possible that some of the cuticles were sewn in upside down, therefore creating friction and tangling between the hairs. This was a great quote that I transcribed from the phone call that describes in great detail the wig-making process:

" If the hair is not handled properly throughout the whole (wig-making) process. If (the worker has) 8 oz of hair 20 inches and she might start working it, hand ventilating it in and if she takes a lunch break and comes back and forgets which end is up then there will be a serious knotting problem. After the first wash, these wigs can be identified."
George emphasized that there is greater security in buying from a reputable wig seller with years of experience (such as Jacquelyn Wigs) as opposed to at a random travelling wig sale held in a random town. He said Jacquelyn Wigs stands behind their products and have been in business for over 40 years because they are a trusted name in the industry. With random wig sales, there is not guarantee that the seller/brand will stand behind their product if there is a problem. (I thought this was a valid point. Always INQUIRE about return/warranty policy before
buying a wig from anyone!)

"Knowing where to shop and buying from the right place (is important).  Many People do not know what they are doing and they are buying because their friends are buying - certain length, certain price = bargain and grab it. They don't think about whether someone is standing behind the product. and when later at home the can't style it properly the customer realizes they are stuck with a lemon."

Jacquelyn Wigs manufactures various quality levels of wigs because they cater to a broad segment of the wig wearing population. From synthetic, synthetic human blend, processed human hair,  and the finest  Russian hair. Their basic hair wigs are "European Textured hair"(that is human hair that has been processed to feel like European hair but at a much lower cost(that hair the cuticles have been removed and hair has been colored).  The more expensive wigs that they sell use higher quality hair and are processed differently.

In today's wig market, the reality is that most hair is dyed or bleached, and this is part of the regular manufacturing process, however a customer could order a custom wig and specify that they want un-dyed hair(but costs could be astronomical). its extremely difficult to obtain virgin European hair for wigs due to developing economies in Eastern Europe and women in these previously poor countries no longer growing their hair really long and selling it to hair buyers.  Plus most women all over the world tend to dye their own hair so its already not natural color. Hair quality and length is still the #1 determining factor in a wig's price, followed by cap construction. The more hand-sewn parts of the cap, the more expensive. Blonde all natural hair is the hardest to find and hair suppliers are struggling to obtain virgin blond hair in long lengths.

I wanted to know how long wigs typically last. He said that their synthetic wigs are made of varying fibers and their higher quality fibers can last a year or two. Human Hair Blends hold up very nicely, some have lasted 2-3 years, but so - but there are ways to restore them to their original state. Some poorly made synthetics that some companies offer are truly garbage wigs that last for two months only (this usually reflected in their cheap prices). Getting 2-3 years out of a human hair wig should be expected, but it may need to be colored or deep conditioned during this time.

"People say that Jacquelyn Wigs has the best hair, they (the hair sourcers) travel the world to collect the hair.George says that buying hair is like buying a mink coat or diamond ring - As an example you could walk into a store selling Mink coats and you can see coats for $800 up to$30,000.In most cases   the average person looks at the fur and cannot tell the difference, similar with hair - most people cannot tell the difference. You are buying the quality of the wig and you are buying the styling and the trust of the company selling you the wig .Even the most expensive wig if styled poorly can look like a cheap wig. Not every girl needs a $3000-$5000 wig. When Jacquelyn started in 1969 synthetic wigs were becoming popular. (These women) had custom wigs at the time for $1200 (but) they wanted the new synthetic wigs because they were easier to maintain and much cheaper."

How often should a wig be washed?: We suggest that a wig worn every day should be be washed every  2-3 weeks(depending on the seasons of the year). if you are wearing it everyday. Some women wash their own wigs improperly or give it to someone inexperienced there by getting poor results- using the right products on a wig makes a big difference. Too much hair spray, too much mousse can hurt it. Some heavy oils make the hair clumpy and not natural looking.


In addition to being able to purchase Jacquelyn Wigs in their salon and online, Jacquelyn Wigs manufactures and sells their wigs to stores all over the world. They also manufacture private label wigs.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lace Front Wig vs French Top Wig

Posted by Ask Chavi at 7:30 AM 0 comments
I made a video showing the difference between a lace front wig and a french top wig.



The Lace Front Wig was loaned to me by Jacquelyn Wigs. 10-7 from their European Line
The French top wig (Sheitel) shown is a Milano Collection Ponytail wig which I own. 6/10/8

The Lace front wig is handtied and the transparent lace piece in front that gives the appearance of hair growing out of the wearer's head.  Additionally, the hair is sewn to go up and back off of the face and can be parted in any direction.  The most realistic way to wear the wig requires wig glue or wig tape, but I have seen some people who wear lace fronts without adhesive.

A French Top Wig has a multi-directional "skin top".  The hairs are sewn individually into several layers of material, the top layer synthetic silk material which looks like skin.  Each hair is tied into the material and pulled through the top layer of synthetic silk to give it the "skin top" look.   However, the hair direction goes forward, and there is usually a thin layer of hair in the very front of the wig (not coming out of the skin top) going forward into the face as well in order to create bangs.  Because of the multiple layers of fabric on the french top, this type of wig is more "durable" then the lace front which is  just a piece of lace.  However, if the lace front wig is treated properly and washed properly it can be maintained over time.  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Lace Front Demonstration

Posted by Ask Chavi at 7:39 PM 0 comments
Dear loyal fans and readers.  I hope you enjoy this new video where I show a lace front wig for the first time.  This is part of a multi-video series on Lace Front Wigs, the rest of which will hopefully be posted soon.  This wig was loaned to me by Jacquelyn Wigs in order for me to make this video.

Wig Info:
Brand: Jacquelyn Wigs
Color: 10-7 (light brown)
European line
Cap construction: hand-tied stretch cap with lace front.



As stated in the video. Lace Front wigs take a bit of skill to put on/apply. They can produce a more natural look especially for women who want to wear a style that does not go forward into the face (bangs)

Things to consider:
1. Lace front wigs are more delicate
2. Wig caps recommended
3. Forehead/hairline needs to be cleaned before application
4. Wig may look best if glued down. (but possible to wear without glue/clips)
5. Wig cap is not as "durable" as a french top wig
6. This lace frong wig is hand tied (very comfortable) and hair can be parted in any direction
7. this wig was tight on me, but I usually wear a size Large and I have long hair
8. the lace is trimmed down so there will be less lace on the forehead once its "customized" to the owner's head.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Topper Info and Review of Aura Topper

Posted by Ask Chavi at 6:00 AM 0 comments

This is my first post featuring topper wigs since starting AskChavi in 2010.  Toppers go by many names: kippa fall, half fall, integration piece, closure.  This is a "Clip-In" topper (because it has clips) as opposed to a bonded topper (which would be glued in).  Toppers and Wiglets are popular pieces for women who suffer from Alopecia (medial hair loss) because often their hair loss can be partial, and looks like thinness or balding, and hence a full wig is not needed. Toppers are lighter and more comfortable than full wigs because they contain less hair, and because they do not stretch over the entire head.  

Kippa Falls (as they are referred to in the Orthodox Jewish Community because the cap is the size of a kippa or yarmukle) are also becoming popular in the Modern Orthodox Jewish community.   Many MO women are committed to always covering their head, whether with a hat or scarf.  Wearing a topper or sheitel or band fall satisfies the requirement to cover their head and also allows them to blend into professional environments or formal social occasions where hats or other head wear are not common or socially normal.    Some Orthodox women only cover their hair at synagogue, so a topper is a less intense way of wearing a wig that still covers as much or more as they would cover with a hat, scarf, doily, etc.

A caveat with toppers: they will take more time to put on because they must integrate with your real hair.  Its ideal to have a topper the same color and texture as your hair and that it is cut in a way that meshes with your own hair length and style.  For example, my hair is really wavy and frizzy and currently dark blonde, so it looked a little silly when I threw perfectly sleek brown hair over it (as seen in the pics).  However, when done right they can look COMPLETELY natural, and I think its much lighter and more comfortable and should be considered as an option for women who suffer from painful wig headaches.  

The Piece:
SavvySheitels.com let me borrow a topper to review.  They manufacture Aura Wigs.  This is a light brown European Hair piece which I believe has its cuticles intact based on the feel and sound of the hair when I rubbed it.  There is no color number but it is close to my 6/8/10 wig.  The hair feels very sleek, did not knot the entire time I handled it, and the skin top looks very realistic.  There is variation in the hair color, so it looks like a natural shade.  It is neither ashy or very warm, but a medium toned light brown.  

Savvy Sheitels is offering $150 discount on all custom pieces over $700 (to AskChavi readers!).  The toppers can be viewed here - You just have to enter the code TOP150 at checkout.  This piece shown is available for sale as well.  I am just borrowing it in order to make this review.  They can manufacture a custom piece to match your hair color and texture, which I recommend highly when it comes to wearing toppers.



Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to style Full Bangs on a wig with a Blowdryer

Posted by Ask Chavi at 7:23 AM 0 comments
Here is the latest wig styling video.  In this video we are showing how to style full bangs (full fringe) on a wig (sheitel).  This wig is a Blush Pony Wig, which is made of processed hair. This can work right after a Wash and Set, or you can touch these up later. Bangs need to be re-set more often because people tend to sweat around the hairline.



I hope you find this helpful!  You will need a large round brush and a blowdryer in order to do this at home.  It also helps to have a spray bottle to slightly dampen the hair for touch ups.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

How I lost my Baby Weight

Posted by Ask Chavi at 9:27 PM 0 comments
I wanted to write about my postpartum weight loss after two close pregnancies. I am 5'9'' and have always had an athletic/broad yet curvy build.  My skinny high school weight was 155.  When I got married I was 157 size 8/10.   I am now back in the 150s but feel more in shape and toned than before. I feel really good about the way I look and am fitting into size 8.
 When I got pregnant in 2009 with my first child, I was already about 10 pounds heavier than my "wedding weight" (168 & size 10/12) and I had a desk job, ate whatever I wanted and hence I gained another 35 during the pregnancy.  I believe I clocked in over 200 near the end, scarily.  The biggest shock was coming home from the hospital and seeing that the scale read 198 (my baby was under 7 pounds).  I was essentially 30 pounds heavier than the weight I got pregnant at and it was scary to accept that.
In the beginning its really hard to lose any weight between not sleeping, nursing, not nursing, stress.  I did take a lot of walks and eventually I started working out a little bit, but I did not have a normal routine.  I became more aware of what I was eating and eventually lost about 28 pounds in 11 months.  I hadn't yet reached my pre-pregnancy weight when we decided to try for another baby (11 months postpartum), and thankfully I became pregnant right away at 171 pounds.   
During the second pregnancy I was much more active.  For one, I was chasing a toddler around.  Secondly, I wasn't working a full-time office job so I had more time to take walks, go to the park, exercise, etc.  I also became extremely lactose intolerant during my second pregnancy, so much so that I decided to stop eating dairy all together.  I tried to be more aware of what I was eating and ate much healthier during the second pregnancy.  As a result, I gained less than during my first pregnancy (under 30 pounds).  My weight right before delivering was 198.  As was my luck I delivered a baby over 9 pounds and so when I got home from the hospital I was already 186 or so.
I started going to the gym when my baby was 6 weeks old and starting taking the Les Mills Body Pump Class. Body Pump is a group exercise class centered around weight-lifting.  Participants use a barbell with adjustable weights during the following tracks: warm up, squats, chest press, back (clean&press), triceps, lunges, shoulders. The class finishes with an abs track on the floor and a cool-down/stretch. 
I also joined the website SparkPeople in February 2012.  I like Spark People because it has an excellent food tracker program and phone app.  When you join you put in your starting weight and goal weight and goal time, and it calculates how many daily calories you can consume to meet that goal.  They also have great workout recommendations and demonstrations available on their site. My first weigh in was 178.
I tried to go to Body Pump three times a week, but realistically I made it two times a week.  My weight on May 10, 2012 was 173.  I continued Body Pump through the summer and people at the gym started commenting that I had lost weight.  I do not remember weighing myself then, but I believe I was around 167 by August when we went on vacation in Israel.  I remember actually losing weight in Israel mainly because we were eating healthier and I wasn't snacking.  Being lactose intolerant meant that at every amazing dairy cafe we went to I ordered salad.  Plus, it was so hot and humid that I didn't have much appetite.  When we got home I had broken my bad snacking habits, such as eating nuts at night.  After Yom Kippur on September 28, 2012 I weighed 163, but then I gained back to 167 by the end of Sukkot (hard to avoid chagim gain)
However, after the Chagim (holidays) ended I decided to step up my workouts a notch, by committing to Body Pump 3x a week and to be more aware of my diet.  I started increasing my weights more aggressively in Body Pump, which I felt made a big difference.  Also, a friend and I started an "accountability" diet where we had to share our daily food journals with each other and report to each other if we gave into our temptation foods.  I started to change dinners a bit by making large vegetarian soups (bean and barley, split pea, vegetable tomato etc.) instead of turkey/chicken with rice etc.  I was the most successful when I made large soups in advance because then I would eat the soup for lunch and dinner for the next few days instead of snacking before meals.  I realized that I tended to eat too much in the middle of the day because I didn't have time to make a proper lunch with two little kids.  Having the soups available made a huge difference.
I was stuck at 163 for a long time, but eventually I broke through the 160 barrier and got into the 150s!!  I was so proud of myself, my clothes started to be too big and I actually got to go shopping for SMALLER clothes.  I was amazed when I went to Ann Taylor and grabbed size Large tops only to realize that they fit like bags on me and I had to ask for Mediums.  It felt amazing!

In Body Pump I am currently adding this weight to the barbell:
Warm up: 7kg
Squats: 22kg
Chest: 10kg
Triceps: 7kg
Back: 12kg
Biceps: 7kg
Lunges: 10kg
Shoulders: 7kg bar, 2.5kg free plates

So yes, I lost 30 pounds of baby weight in a year with virtually no cardio (a few classes and runs here and there) and not following any "diet" however I will share some bulleted suggestions now. 

  • Try to eat as naturally as possible.  Vegetables, Fruits, legumes, lean meats, fish. 
  •  Do not drink any caloric beverages (soda, juice, energy drinks, sweetened coffee/tea).
  • Avoid Processed foods: cakes, crackers, chips, cookies, candy.  Even bread should be eaten in moderation. (check serving sizes)
  • Build muscle.  Muscular people burn more calories.   That means, the more muscle mass you build, the more calories your body burns while doing nothing.  
  • Weight training burns calories.  The sore and achy feeling that muscles have on days between workouts means that calories are burning. 
  • Keep a food journal - it REALLY helps.  I still have off days, and writing down my consumed foods and calories helps keep me in check.  
  • Have an at-home workout option.  There were some days where I couldn't make it to the gym: sick kids, lack of time, etc. and it was helpful to have a workout video at home that I could do on those days.  I like Jillian Michaels - 30 Day Shred and Jillian Michaels Ripped in 30 The videos incorporate weights in the moves.  The videos are only 25 minutes, which is good if you are in a hurry, but I feel one either needs 6 days a week of 25-30 minutes or 3x a week of 50-60 minutes to be effective.  I just did week four of Ripped in 30 last night and it was challenging but very doable for me.
  • Working out gives me so much energy.  It makes me happy, helps me sleep at night and I feel amazing.  


SparkPeople.com: Get a 100% FREE Online Diet





Monday, February 4, 2013

How to Style Sheitel Side Bangs

Posted by Ask Chavi at 2:15 PM 0 comments
After many requests, I am finally able to bring you the next wig styling video. This video is all about styling side bangs and we show you two methods: Blowdryer and Curling Iron.  There will also be a video on how to style a full bang.





Sunday, February 3, 2013

Product Review: The Hair Grip

Posted by Ask Chavi at 9:59 PM 1 comments
I was sent "The Hair Grip" to review and decided to make a video review which can be seen below. The Hair Grip can be used to secure your wig, scarf, hat, etc. snugly to your head without requiring clips or barrettes.

Overall I find it to be a very useful product for anyone who wears accessories on their head, whether for fashion, health or modesty reasons.  The Hair Grip comes in Black, Brown and Tan, to best match your hair color or the color of your accessory.  The band is comfortable and secures all types of scarves, hats and sheitels.  In the video I demonstrate how to use it with a sheitel, with a tichel (cotton scarf) and a silk scarf with both a 3/4 fall and a full sheitel.



To order please visit the hair grip store.  If you decide to order, I would appreciate if you could enter "Ask Chavi" in the instructions field during checkout so I can get a referral credit.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Aura Wigs 2 for 1 Sale Offer

Posted by Ask Chavi at 1:47 PM 0 comments

Hi everybody,
I just wanted to pass along information about the Aura Wigs sale.  I hope to review one of these wigs soon.  But it seems that you can order a custom wig through them with a custom cap size, so it could be good for people with unusual shaped heads or L or S who have trouble fitting into a regular cap.
Thanks,
Chavi
**************

2013 AURA BOGO Sale at AURAwigs.com

Order one AURA Custom Wig at the Full Custom Price & get a second one (of equal or lesser value) FREE!!!
  • Buy 1 Longer Wig & Get 1 Shorter Wig
  • Buy 1 Straight Wig & Get 1 Wavy Wig
  • Buy 1 Formal Wig & Get 1 Casual Wig
  • Buy 1 Wig for yourself & Get 1 Wig for a friend!

PLEASE NOTE: This offer may not be combined with any other offer, coupon or sale. It applies only to full priced Custom made to order Real Custom Wigs atwww.AURAwigs.com.

USE THIS REFERRAL CODE AT CHECKOUT TO QUALIFY: askCHAVbogo

Order online and pay for the higher priced Custom Wig. To order your second wig please contact AURA Custom Wigs by email - AURAwigs@gmail.com - with details about your second order.

Pay 1/2 NOW and the balance in 2 months!

See complete instructions for the 2013 AURA Bogo Sale:

This does not apply to existing orders.
The 2nd wig is free. However professional services that are added after the wigs are made (such as cutting, styling and coloring) must be charged for each wig.

All custom wigs ordered in this offer will take 8-10 weeks to be custom-made and shipped.

NOTE: If AURA has a similar wig "on hand", you may request that instead of waiting for the custom wigs to be made. However you must still pay the Full Custom Wig price (NOT the Wig Sale price) to qualify for the Buy One Get One offer. AURA cannot ship any part of your order until the full payment has

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Incredible Sheitel Colorist in Los Angeles

Posted by Ask Chavi at 2:03 PM 0 comments
One of my favorite things about running AskChavi is getting to know various people in the sheitel and wig industry.  Recently I was contacted by Brian, a sheitel colorist in Los Angeles and I was blown away by pictures of his work that I felt I needed to share this information with my fans.

Brian operates a private salon in West Hollywood (Los Angeles) in a discreet location.  He specializes in coloring wigs and sheitels but colors hair as well.  I had a conversation with Brian to learn about his background and firmly believe that he provides a great service to his clients.

Brian was passionate about hair and wigs since he was a young boy and started as a colorist at the prestigious Elizabeth Arden Red Door Salon when he was 18 years old.  In 2001 he started working in the wig industry when he was employed by a wig-maker who specialized in custom virgin European hair wigs for cancer patients.  He worked there for 7 years until they closed down.  In 2009 he decided to go freelance by growing his business from a few faithful clients and has expanded since then.

I asked Brian why so many sheitels oxidize and go brassy and he said is has to do with the factory dye process.  In fact, most of the mass-produced wigs these days are dyed in a production line method where all of the hair is dipped in acid-based chemicals to remove the pigment, and then afterwards the desired color is added.  He said this color can only last a few washes before it starts to turn brassy or fade.  He said that some factories actually use Fabric Dye like RIT because the dye lasts longer, however this kind of color has repercussions on how it reacts with normal hair dye, such as hair turning pink etc.

Brian is a self-proclaimed color correctionist (and I believe it based on his photos) and feels he can fix any color problems including fabric dyes, cap stains, brassy tones etc.  He said he is a specialist in every color but most passionate about working with blond shades.    Brian uses a special high-end line of hair products that are ammonia and peroxide free.  He said color can last up to 12 months, but some vibrant shades will only last 3-6 months depending on how much someone washes and wears their wigs.  Brian knows how to work with over-processed and over-colored hair.  I asked him to provide a few examples of jobs he has done just to show the variety of his work:

1. Red Heads: he had a mother and daughter client who both have bold apricot-color hair, and he has been able to make them happy with their sheitel color.  When I asked what is the best color for redheads to start with, he suggested something as close to possible to their desired color, for example a virgin golden brown wig.  The closer the color to the desired, the less chemical process needed. 

2. 2-Toned Sheitel:  A client had a high-end wig which had been sent back to the manufacturer to be repaired.  Her skin top was completely re-created with new hair but was attached to the bottom wefts of the original wig.  The trouble was, the wig was two-toned.  The top was blonde, and the bottom layers were so dark and brassy and Brian described them as a barbeque color.  With a lot of work Brian was able to get the dark color blonde and integrated the two colors together to make a really nice sheitel.



Brian has worked with a lot of kallahs (brides) coordinating and integrating their wigs that they first buy upon getting married.  Brian has had a lot of girls come in extremely unhappy with their first wigs.  He works with their wigs to get them to their desired color.

Brian's work is very affordable and he guarantees his work.  If his customer is unhappy after a few weeks he says they can bring it back and he will keep tweaking the color until they are happy.
Brian said, “I may not be the best colorist in the world but no one can do a sheitel better than me”.  He believes his craft is so unique that he can spot his work out of a crowd from across a large room.

LA Ladies: Give him a try!  To all my other readers, he has a PO Box and is happy to do color work through the mail.  He does not cut.  He only does color.  I hope he realizes that his number is going to be ringing off the hook soon =)

Brian
(310) 499-6836

Brian Sheitel Colorist Los Angeles
 

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