Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Jacquelyn Wigs Interview

Posted by Unknown 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 Unknown 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 Unknown 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 Unknown 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.


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