Local stylists say 180 density full lace wigs began to become popular here within the last year. In the beginning, stylists resisted the requests as salon owners desire to be known for promoting healthy hair on their clients’ heads rather than 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 a minimum of 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, in addition to walk-ins each day who find out about them. “I simply started doing them this season,” said Wilson, who charges $900 for your wigs and the application. “Individuals are seeing them plus they would just like them.”
It’s not just the celebrity influence that’s drawing customers to the wigs. Women suffering from alopecia (hair loss) and those that have lost their hair from chemotherapy are also drawn to the wigs’ realism. But not everyone is happy with lace-front. Some stylists explain that the wigs have the potential to be really damaging to skin and hairline.
Anika Thompson, who owns Ryan Foster Inc. in Germantown, refuses to do the applications in their salon. The bonding adhesive could be damaging towards the skin and scalp, and often, Thompson says, when 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 may originate from wearing someone else’s hair on your head for months at a time, Thompson says.
“These women visit me with high ponytail full lace wig they have got removed. … [and now they have] no hairline,” Thompson said. “Your skin layer on their face is broken out from the adhesive as well as their own hair is matted and broken off from rubbing up against the stocking cap.” Still, there are individuals who repeat 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 peek 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 by using it on,” she said. “It appears the way i used to wear my own hair. I really like 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 from your bin. Uncoiled, these were three feet long and nearly reached the earth. “This is actually all Russian hair cut right off people’s heads,” Mr. Piazza said.
Mr. Piazza, 69, is definitely the grandson of Sicilian immigrants, the son of any detective, a tournament fisherman. He will not seem like a guy who will provide an exotic hair collection in his garage. But for decades, Mr. Piazza was one of the most sought-after wigmakers in The Big Apple. He made custom wigs and hairpieces for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Brooke Astor and Lena Horne at Kenneth beauty salon. Also, he made the nearest thing the planet has seen to mermaid hair, creating the long tresses Daryl Hannah wore in “Splash.”
Much 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 what to do with.”
Mr. Piazza is probably the last Old World wigmakers making wigs for that public in the city, people trained mostly by Italian and Jewish immigrants within the centuries-old trade of silk base wigs with baby hair, a fussy affair that sykkcc the patience spectrum falls somewhere between tailoring a jacket and counting the heavens.
These are not the new-pink bobs at Halloween stores. They are produced from human hair and also have intricate hairlines that blend in to the skin. To create one requires weaving hair, a few strands at a time, to your lace mesh cap with a small needle, an activity known as ventilating. Ventilating a lace wig, which may have as many as 150,000 knots at its roots, takes about 40 hours.