Fun With Hairpieces and a Bit About Glamour
Some time ago, at ‘wichcraft in TriBeCa, normally rife with corporate bores, I was struck by a woman’s ponytail (not physically). “Look at her hair,” I said surreptitiously to my friend. “That’s a piece.”
The woman would have been just a french twist in a suit. But she clipped a fall atop said twist – and unless they cared or stared, most people probably just thought she looked smart. I was astonished by the woman’s bravado and her devil-may-care more-is-more attitude.
When she clipped this spare hair into her own scalp before the vanity this morning, what was her motive? Did she say, “this needs to look longer today” or “screw it, this fro is going balls out and who cares!” I believe it was the cojones approach.
This was going to be really, really fun.
I gleefully clapped for her and at myself when the box arrived full of Haute-Look sourced hairdo™, Clip-In Hair Extensions by Jessica Simpson and Ken Paves. This was going to be really, really fun.
As you can see from these ‘before’ shots, at the time of the experiments, I had pin straight hair (who knows where my children get those luscious curls) and deep layers. At this summery and summary length, my ponytails were flat and phtttbt.
To zshuzh this up and have some laughs, I started with a pony-extender. It gave fun length, and I happily felt a little bit Willow Smith. It was literally a snap (one snap exactly) to install, with a bit of twisting and pinning.
No posers here. Just those whose genuine selves look fancier than the natural selves they woke up with.
This kind of look is for gals with a sense of humor who find themselves comfortable saying “look at my falsies today!” or “I’m not skinny, it’s a super tight Spanx!”. Witty ladies with a bent towards a giggle at themselves, and a handle on honesty in beauty. Ones who upon hearing a compliment would lean in to whisper conspiratorially, “it’s a wig”, inadvertently instantaneously removing the stigma from it.
Is the downside to glamour a dollop of humility? Is saying “darling, I paid for these” the small price we pay for being the gutsy ones? Or is the sacrifice spent on a smidgen of frank forgery all too baldly apparent, as when my bobbypinning went batty and separated my Simpson from my Stephie?
Inasmuch, with deep questions about beauty and my genuine self left unanswered, I turned to a fall, or half-wig. I pinned up my real hair strategically and attached the piece, deep in very vain thoughts.
My hair simply does not hold a curl. I can leave the salon like a Dallas prom queen and by nightfall, you would not know I had ever seen much of a curling iron. Knowing this, the fall could have been as fun as a vacation had I purchased the right color. You can see the piece is blonder than my hair at the time (wishful thinking) but would have allowed me to flit around with curls for once in my life.
This is the kind of fakery I could buy into – “oh, these old ringlets! They're from a box.” No posers here, just those whose genuine selves look fancier than the natural selves they woke up with.
Could I achieve quite a literal head-first dive with a full-on wig?
I wondered if I could address some feelings on the fraud of glamour by going all the way. Isn’t that what the more-is-more lady did? Could I achieve quite a literal head-first dive with a full-on wig? Why yes, of course.
With my thinking cap tightly affixed, I came to a solid conclusion. I want my daughter to know that no matter what she glamorizes from red hair to ruby slippers, to blue suede shoes to her superman tee, she will be beautiful. She will grow up to rock any look, real or fabricated, if it feels genuine, so long as the first thing she puts on is bravery, and the second thing, unpretentiousness.
Because there is no sense in saying, "my real self is the one with makeup" if you can't say it with a self-effacing wink and a smile.
Xx, Mom in Mascara
Photo credit: David Stingle