Obviously hair can be a tricky issue for the male to female transgender person. The best looking option is to grow your hair and have marvelous, natural hair that you can toss around and feel fabulous with. However, whilst there are some skilled stylists out there who can produce hair styles that can work in both en homme and en femme modes, these are often hard to find and even more importantly it is not always practical for all of us to follow this route. These hairstyles don’t always ‘work’ aesthetically for all people, many of us work in positions where such hairstyles would be considered unprofessional or just too unusual for our employers, many of us lack the patience to grow our hair and others simply are not able to get a decent head of hair: male pattern baldness is, sadly, real.
Therefore wigs are the go to option for most of us who want to achieve a more convincing look (whether for ourselves, or in an effort to ‘blend’ better when out and about). My top tip is that as transgender person you can skimp on costs in many areas: cheap nail polish is fine, cheap clothes are often perfect for us, we don’t need the best shoes and we can skimp on breast forms; but you should never skimp on your hair! A good quality wig makes all the difference. The best makeup can be ruined by a sub-standard wig and no matter how femme you look, no matter how fashionable your wardrobe is, if your hair is a mess you look awful. And of course for those of us venturing into the vanilla world, a bad wig is a dead giveaway, from a distance. So the best investment you can make is a good quality wig.
For most of us a good quality synthetic wig is preferable to a human hair wig. Synthetic hair doesn’t need to be styled, it can look almost as ‘natural’ as a human hair version (if you choose carefully), it is long lasting and relatively easy to care for. Having said that even the best wigs that have been well looked after, will eventually start to look a bit shabby. At this point many of us can be heard wailing ‘my hair, my hair what am I to do with my hair’.
You will now need to find a good hairdressing salon. It would be a good idea to make sure that your hairdresser is qualified to work on wigs. In many respects you need to be more careful with wigs than you do with a head of hair. For starters you can’t use heat to style a synthetic wig, heat destroys the fibres, secondly mistakes are costly. Unlike the hair on your head, the wig’s fibres will never grow back, mistakes do not fix themselves and once cut they remain cut. Forever. Also working with synthetic fibres can be trickier than working with hair. They behave differently and the hairdresser really needs to know what they are doing.
A good hairdresser can revive an old and tired wig, giving it a different style and revitalising it for you. They can deal with the inevitable ‘scraggly’ bits and ensure that you once again look your best. They can thus save you a lot of money. One good session at the salon and a wig that you may have been ready to throw out can be returned to regular use. We are very fortunate to know Dominic from Fiore Hair Design.
Fiore is an excellent salon in Northcliff, Johannesburg. They are very LGBT friendly (they have a rainbow flag sticker on the door of the salon), and they cater to all members of the community. Their clients range from 3 year old children to 93 year old pensioners and everyone is welcome. Dominic is an excellent hairdresser and is one of the few who are qualified to work on wigs. We have spoken to him and he would be more than happy to help people who need to have their wigs worked on. When you phone ahead or e-mail him to make your booking, you can make any arrangements with him that you would like. We heartily recommend making use of his services to deal with any wig related issues. Of course we would be happy to facilitate any interactions as well.