Local stylists say 360 lace wigs for black women began to gain popularity here within the this past year. Initially, stylists resisted the requests as salon owners want to be noted for promoting healthy hair on their clients’ heads as opposed to attaching someone else’s mane. However Mary J. Blige hit the cover of Essence magazine having an article that said she wore them. Tyra Banks admitted she wore them on her show, and Beyoncé released her B’Day CD, featuring eight singles that revealed her moving, grooving and shaking all that reddish-blond hair.
Immediately the salons started getting calls. Olivia Hughes, owner of Shapes -N- More, says she fields at the very least five requests for lace-front wigs weekly. Karen Wilson, who owns Simplicity, a Germantown salon, says she has five or so regular customers with the wigs, as well as walk-ins every day who inquire about them. “I really started doing them this year,” said Wilson, who charges $900 for the wigs and also the application. “Individuals are seeing them and they simply want them.”
It’s not just the celebrity influence that’s drawing customers towards the wigs. Women struggling with alopecia (hair loss) and those who have lost their hair from chemotherapy will also be attracted to the wigs’ realism. But few are satisfied with lace-front. Some stylists explain that this wigs have the potential to be really damaging to skin and hairline.
Anika Thompson, who owns Ryan Foster Inc. in Germantown, refuses to perform the applications in their salon. The bonding adhesive could be damaging towards the skin and scalp, and sometimes, Thompson says, once the wig comes off, the hairline comes off too. But much more damaging than losing hair from the bad application is the losing of confidence that can result from wearing someone else’s hair on the head for months at a time, Thompson says.
“These women come to me with high ponytail full lace wig they have removed. … [now they have] no hairline,” Thompson said. “Your skin on their face is broken right out of the adhesive along with their own hair is matted and broken off from rubbing against the stocking cap.” Still, you can find those who say the lace-front wig provides them courage to show themselves.
Tuere Brown, 37, enjoyed a miscarriage that she said caused patches of her hair to drop out. The Southwest Philadelphia mother wanted a glance that wouldn’t stress out her hair and would appear natural. So she chose an off-black bob with chestnut-brown highlights that falls just above her shoulder. “I feel happy along with it on,” she said. “It seems how I utilized to wear my own hair. I adore it.”
He stores it in plastic bins and cardboard boxes, opposite the fishing supplies. “Got grays, got browns, got blonds,” he said. “Got everything.”
Inside one bin, shiny brown bundles nestled around the other person like snakes. He picked two thick braids and lifted them through the bin. Uncoiled, these people were three feet long and nearly reached the earth. “This is all Russian hair cut right off people’s heads,” Mr. Piazza said.
Mr. Piazza, 69, is the grandson of Sicilian immigrants, the son of any detective, a tournament fisherman. He fails to seem like a guy who will provide an exotic hair collection within his garage. But also for decades, Mr. Piazza was just about the most sought-after wigmakers in New York City. He made custom wigs and hairpieces for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Brooke Astor and Lena Horne at Kenneth hair salon. He also made the nearest thing the entire world has seen to mermaid hair, creating the long tresses Daryl Hannah wore in “Splash.”
A lot of his hair originated from this stash, sourced from around the world, and which eventually outgrew his studio. “I couldn’t close my closets,” he said. “I had more hair than I knew how to deal with.”
Mr. Piazza is one of the last Old World wigmakers making wigs for your public inside the city, men and women trained mostly by Italian and Jewish immigrants in the centuries-old trade of silk base wigs with baby hair, a fussy affair that sykkcc the patience spectrum falls approximately tailoring a jacket and counting the stars.
These are not the new-pink bobs at Halloween stores. They are made from human hair and have intricate hairlines that blend to the skin. To help make one requires weaving hair, a few strands at any given time, to a lace mesh cap with a small needle, a procedure referred to as ventilating. Ventilating a lace wig, which may have as many as 150,000 knots at its roots, takes about 40 hours.