There are many options for protective hair styles, mine currently being head wraps, other options include braids, buns or wigs.
Wigs were never on my radar or considered as an option in my books. Why? Because I just hated how they looked, I thought of them as being very old school. The synthetic shiny shiny hair (usually straight, European textured hair) was something that did not look good on me at all. Not to mention that they most commonly would looked fake, like really really fake, barbie doll fake, and that certainly wasn't the look I've ever desired to go for.
The only afro textured wig I used to come across were the costume afro wigs.
As far as I was concerned wigs were a thing of the past. That was of course until I came across Gina aka the Wig Witch.
I would see Gina's gorgeous face all over my social media with different afro textured wigs, not only did she look incredible, but the wigs looked like her real hair!!!
All hail The Wig Witch for saving the reputation of wearing a wig.
As soon as I saw Gina announced her wig making workshops in collaboration with SIMPLYGorgeous afro hair salon, I knew I wanted to be apart of the magic!
I felt at ease knowing it was a workshop for beginners, as I had absolutely no knowledge about wigs. It's safe to say that I left the workshop understanding the fundamentals of creating a bespoke wig.
On 2nd July, I attended the Wig Witch Workshop and was greeted with a warm welcome by Deborah, who is the co- owner of SIMPLYGorgeous. I particularly loved the venue this workshop was held in as it allowed two black owned businesses to not only collaborate and support one another, but it changed the narrative and stigma surrounding the experience of afro hair salons.Gina kick started things off with kindly sharing her natural hair journey with us, through to the birth of the Wig Witch. Though she had suspicions, she finally got confirmation from the doctors that she was experiencing alopecia (hair loss). Hair loss occurs for many reasons, in Gina's case it was stress related.
I liked that Gina shared her personal story, not only is alopecia very common amongst black women, yet never spoken about, but it was inspiring to hear how wearing wigs helped build Gina's confidence and in turn built her brand.
The table was prepped with all the essentials we needed below. So there was only one thing to do.
If there was any vital information I took away from the workshop it was that measurement is key to avoid damage to your hair underneath. You don't want your wig to be too tight and create friction on your edges, causing them to wear away. You also need to be mindful of the combs attached so you don't place them on troubled areas of your hair.
There is so much to wearing a wig, than simply wearing a wig. Gina made a valid point that you need to keep in mind your lifestyle when thinking about wearing a wig. She pointed out that A) Wigs aren't for everyone/ suit every face shape and B) More often that not you can't just pick up a wig from a stand and expect it to look good on you/ fit you correctly.
We ensured that our foam heads were a similar size to our head by padding them out with kitchen roll and securing it with cling film.
Next we took our U-part wig cap, pinned the excess material (if necessary), thread our needle and began our blanket stitch. When sewing in our tracks we started from the back and folded the weft of hair to begin our next row, to avoid the shedding that occurs when you cut the weft.
Not only did I learn a new skills (it's really easy once you know how), but I got the opportunity to connect with like minded women in a safe and comfortable environment.
Gina was very hands on and there to answer every question I had. Admittedly I had a lot of questions, but I was listening I promise! And Deborah ensured we were feed and watered... With Prosecco ;D
Not only did we get to leave with all the tools, and get an amazing goodie bag filed with black owned goodies, but we only got to take home food, and not no little sandwich either. I don't know about you, but I can't think of another event where i've had this VIP treatment.
I throughly enjoyed experiencing The Wig Witch Workshop. It certainly changed my perspective on wigs, and although finishing mine may take a while (because I sew slow) i'll be enjoying the therapeutic aspect of it.
Final Notes to those who want to make/ wear a wig:
- Ensure your wig fits correctly (not too tight) and avoid resting on problem areas, such as edges.
- Treat and care for your wig as you would your own hair.
- Remember to care for your hair underneath. Wigs are to be used as a protective style, not a neglective style lol
- U-part wigs are the most natural looking wigs due to seeing your actual scalp
"Nothing says scalp, like scalp" - Gina Knight