Saturday, 29 December 2012

Let there be light!

My mum decided to buy me the combination lamp mentioned in this - - post! I am so excited. It has REVOLUTIONISED my wig making. I kid you not!

Suddenly I have more speed. I also am not getting major 'eye blur' (loss of eye focus) when I look up from working on my wig. I can even see the TV after looking down last my wig work for a while... without having to wear my glasses. This is encouraging as it surely means I am not straining my eyes.

I have noticed it is very helpful to be able to see the knots and lace with such clarity. I think that it is even improving my actual knot tension/tightness, as I can see what I am doing properly.

Who knew that something so simple could make such a difference?

I shall post update pics on my next blog entry.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Wig Grips - part two: A Review

I originally decided to buy the Milano WiGrip; however, I ended up buying The Hair Grip as this was the wig grip that my friend tried.

Product: The Hair Grip
Colour: Dark Brown (black is available and nude will apparently be available soon too)
Price: $20 for one, with discounts for American Cancer Society Patients and those buying 3.

Buying from Abroad - the shipping was incredibly reasonable and speedy. As someone from the UK who buys from the US a lot, I was really impressed by the shipping costs for this item.

Packaging and Information - the product was well packaged, and included an information leaflet on how to use/wear the Grip and how to care for it. The website is well designed and informative with a couple of video tutorials.

Construction/Quality - The Hair Grip appeared well made and looked smart (not that anyone sees it!).

This product is designed to be worn with head covers or wigs.

Use with Wigs - I found the Grip gives a reasonable amount of security when wearing it under a sheitel (regular style, closed wefted wig with a silk top and no lace front). Its main function is to prevent the wig from slipping. Initially I found it worked very well for stopping the wig from slipping backwards as I moved about, or from moving when I bent down or forwards. It is a pleasant feeling to feel that your wig is pretty 'rock solid' and I was confident that if my wig had been pulled on by accidentally getting caught on something or by a child tugging at it, it would not have budged.

The problem I am finding is that with time and wear the grip seem to be provding less adehsion/friction. I am going to wash it and see if the pile of the material (which is the part that is actually providing the friction to stop the wig slipping) fluffs up and grips better again. I will update on this after I have washed and worn it.

Unfortunately, due to the design, this type of grip is unable to address the sideburns/ear area 'flap' that many women who wear wigs struggle with, so it will not stop your wig from flapping around at the sides! The Grip is also unsuitable for wearing with a wig that has a mono or lace top or part line (i.e. a top/part line that shows through to your own scalp/hair) as there would be nothing to conceal the appearance of the Grip showing through the wig foundation (base). This is a shame, as I can imagine a lot of women would love to be able to wear this type of accessory with their lace front and full lace wigs while doing minimal or no bonding (and perhaps using some bobby pins to keep the sides held down). It would work for a lace front or full lace wig that has a silk top, and it would work for the cheaper lace fronts that have only a small inch or two of lace before the wefted top starts, as well as for the cheaper plastic skin top type synthetics.

The Grip itself is fairly comfortable, as the material is very soft. Potential issues with wearability and comfort stem from the fact that the Grip can be a little itchy (as can wigs), a bit hot, and a little bulky. The design is such that you have two open ends on the band at the back of your head and these ends have large velcro areas stitched to them. This enables you to adjust and close the band at the optimal point for your individual head size. Where the two ends overlap is quite bulky, and depending on where you place this between your occipital bone and your nape, it may or may not poke the back of your wig out a little. You also have to be careful not to tighten the Grip too much when putting it on, as this can cause headaches (both myself and my friend found this). The Grip needs to be firmly fastened so that it does not slip back on your head (and ping off!), but not too tight so as to cause discomfort.

As such, I have found that The Hair Grip requires a little practice to get right. You have to work out where is the best position for you to place it so that your wig holds on, the Grip does not move and you do not have a bump. There is a related issue at the front - in my case, if I place the Grip too far forwards, I raise the profile of my wig too high so that the front edge of it is not flush to my scalp. I am unsure if this is a problem for me because of my head shape and whether other women would not experience this issue. I tend to place my Grip a little further back than I would have thought would be correct. I do find that it still raises the profile a little, but it is definitely not as bad. I think this issue is compounded by the fact that I still have the wire zig-zag comb at the front centre that the sheitel came with. Although I do not use this comb, I have yet to remove it. I believe that because the comb is stiffish (as it is metal), this may be preventing the wig from laying as flat as possible and flush to my scalp. Again, I shall report back once I have removed that comb and see if it is any better.

I am slightly concerned that the Grip is stretching over time. I think that this is inevitable with the material it is made from. As it is not too expensive, I think I will be budgeting to buy 1 every 6 months.

Use with Head Covers - I have found the Grip is excellent when used with slippery scarves such as satin and silk material. It not only helps when wearing them, but also when tying them as it provides enough friction to stop them from slipping. I would not wear a silk or satin scarf without the Grip now as it is that good for this purpose.


I definitely think it is worth getting one to try and see how you find it. For me, it has become a good accessory for wearing with wigs. I wouldn't say it is perfect and has resolved all my problems with wig security, but it is good enough that I feel more confidence when wearing my wig out and especially around children. I am not sure how well I will manage in the summer, as the Grip and my wig sounds like a pretty boiling hot combination; however, for Autumn (Fall) through Spring, I can see it being used every time I wear my wig. I give it 4/5 for wearing with wigs.

When it comes to head covers, I feel the Grip really comes into its own. For those women with alopecia who do not like wearing head covers, especially scarves, because they feel that the material sits too close to their scalp and thus shows that they are bald underneath, the Grip is a good choice. It helps to add a little bulk there, as well as giving an unparalleled feeling of security to traditionally slippery materials such as satin and silk. I give it 5/5 for wearing with head covers.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Wig Grips - part one...

Today I want to talk about something partially related to wig making, but perhaps of more interest to the wig wearer. As I am both a maker and a wearer, matters relating to both are relevant to me.

Wig grips.

I find it amusing how the latest new thing (or fad), just springs onto the market and within a short time everyone is talking about it. It happened with full lace wigs, then with silk tops, and I have later watched as the wig grip emerged and this process also happened.

I might be wrong, but I get the impression that the Jewish sheitel (wig) company Milano were the original company to produce a wig grip. Theirs is called the WiGrip. Now more and more wig companies seem to be bringing out their own versions under different names and selling them as an accessory. Essentially they all seem to be exactly the same design:

Some form of velour (a bit like panne velour) in a headband shape that is doubled - 2 - layers (so that the pile of the velour is on both the top and underside of the headband), and the band is closed with adjustable velcro ends. It is seamed on both sides with an overlocker, and quilted across the middle to keep the two layers tightly bound together.

The idea behind this is to facilitate the easier, securer and more comfortable wearing of wigs. The fabric's pile on one side creates a degree of friction between itself and the inside of the wig base, at the same time as creating friction between your hair or scalp and the band. Thus preventing the wig from moving around and providing the 'grip'.

I saw a couple of alopecia ladies wearing them. Then my best female friend got one and I knew I had to try it. When I got my new wig, it seemed like a perfect time to try one myself. In my second post on this theme, I will write a review debating the pros, cons and effectiveness of this accessory.