Is that your real hair?
According to a recent study, barely one-fourth of women and men are satisfied with how they look.
That means that the rest of, the other 75%, don’t always love the way they look in the mirror.
We worry about our weight. Whether we have too many zits or wrinkles. If our teeth are white enough. And, yes, we worry about how our hair looks.
Our hair is part of our identity. When we have a good hair day, we feel good about ourselves. When we have a bad hair day, well, we’ve all know what that’s like...
Losing our hair is an entirely different story.
Women who experience any level of hair loss often say that it feels like they’ve lost a part of themselves, and it can be particularly tricky to talk about it.
So when a stranger, or even a friend, asks you about your wig it can bring up a mixed bag emotion: grief, anger, sadness, or anxiety.
That’s why it’s good to have an answer in your back pocket (or purse - because let’s be honest the pockets on women’s jeans are just for show), for when someone eventually asks you: are you wearing a wig?
Here are our top eight answers that you can use to dodge, deflect, accept, or celebrate the question you definitely don’t want to be asked...but probably will be.
1. Why do you ask?
The quickest way to deal with an unwanted question is to ask something else in response. More likely than not, when you ask someone to think about why they’re asking about your hair, they won’t have a very good answer or any at all.
Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. And, the fact is that people who haven’t experienced hair loss can’t understand the daily emotional work it takes to accept it. That’s why people don’t realize that asking women about whether or not they’re wearing a wig is impolite.
The next time you’re asked about your wig, ask that person why they’re asking you in the first place. It will force them to stop and think so that the next time they’ll think twice about asking someone so personal a question.
2. Yes, it’s my hair.
Now, before you say, “Hey, that’s not true!”, think for a second.
Do you say that the cell phone you bought with your own money isn’t yours?
What about your car? Your clothes? Your house?
Just because hair didn’t grow out of your head it doesn’t mean it’s doesn’t belong to you.
It doesn’t matter if the hair you wear on your head grew out of your head. The hair you choose to wear is your hair.
3. Why, yes, it is. Thank you for asking!
Just because you wear a wig, it doesn’t mean you have to be ashamed of wearing a wig.
As a matter of fact, we don’t think there’s anything to be ashamed of at all about wearing wigs. Some women who have all their natural hair even decide to wear wigs because of how beautiful they look.
It’s okay to be loud and proud about your wigs! Wigs, extensions, hair pieces, toppers - they are all supposed to make you feel more beautiful.
Don’t pretend to be embarrassed because the world says you should be.
4. Yes, it is. And no, you can’t touch it.
Pregnant women and wig wearers have one very important thing in common: strangers touching them when they don’t want to be touched.
Your body and your hair is yours, not the property of anyone else. You’re allowed to feel uncomfortable when a stranger invades your personal space, especially when that stranger is trying to mess around with the wig you spent good time styling and placing on your head.
When you’re worried about someone touching your wig, preempt them and tell them not just that you don’t want them to touch you, but that they aren’t allowed to touch you.
5. Why does it matter?
This is similar to asking, “Why do you ask that?”, but more pointedly.
The hair color you choose, the length, the cut, the style - all of those decisions are up to you and only you. Why does it matter what someone else thinks about those choices?
Now, keep in mind that people are asking this question because they’re either wearing or considering wearing a wig themselves. If that’s the case, the person may be looking to start a conversation about your experiences wearing wigs.
You are by no means obligated to have that conversation, but if you feel up to the task - you should! The more open conversations we have about wigs, the less stigmatized the conversation surrounding them becomes.
But if you don’t feel like having “the talk,” don’t.
Which brings us to...
6. I don’t need to talk about my hair with you.
This isn’t just something to say. It’s the truth.
You don’t need to talk about your hair choices with anyone if you don’t want to.
Your hair story is yours. Your hair loss experience is yours. Your choices about your hair are yours. And, most importantly, your hair story is yours to tell or not tell.
Sometimes strangers, friends, and even family members need to be reminded that just because they ask a question, it doesn’t mean they should expect an answer.
Go ahead and remind people that your hair is your business.
7. I’m sure you didn’t mean to be quite so rude, but...
People can’t learn from their mistakes if they don’t know what that mistake was in the first place.
We know not to ask our friends about the state of our finances because we’re taught that it’s inappropriate to ask. We don’t ask strangers how their marriage is faring for the same reason.
But few people are taught that asking about wigs is an inappropriate question. How would they be? For a long time, no one has spoken about wigs at all.
Explaining to someone why asking whether or not someone is wearing a wig will go a long way not just in making sure that person doesn’t do it again, but also in educating people about wigs.
8. It is, and I LOVE it.
There is no shame in wearing a wig. Or wearing a topper. Or extensions.
If you didn’t mind people knowing that you wear a wig, by all means, tell them! The more we talk about wearing our wigs, the less stigmatized wearing them becomes.
So, if like us, are proud of the beautiful wigs you wear and want the world to know about it, let the world know!
Want to learn more about how to talk to your family members about wearing wigs? Read What Do You Say to Someone Experiencing Hair Loss?