Feather Magazine, Spring 2013
Caitlin Macatee spotted the long, wine-red locks at the wig vendor’s table. She was at a comic convention, and wondered if something so different from her natural, deep brown bob cut could be “her.” But when she clipped on the wig, and glanced at her exotic, doll-like reflection, she saw that it already was.
“Wigs made me realize I have absolute control over the way that I look,” Macatee says. “If you feel that your inside doesn’t match your outside, then you can make your outside match.”
Macatee, a 23-year-old student from Orange, California, is one of many women in their twenties who have chosen to adopt wigs as a method for altering their hairstyle—no coloring or cutting required. Two types of wigs are available: those made from synthetic hair and those made from real hair. The pieces are often made by hand, and individually strung through a cloth cap, to sell on average for between $50 and $80.
Macatee, who has purchased six wigs in the last three years, says wigs are trending today because of the alternative fashion inspired by Cosplay, a performing costume art.
Wigs were popular in the United States in the 60s for women wanting to get the same fantastic hairstyles as the stars, or that classic pin-up look, but it seems they’re resurfacing. Recently, celebrities like Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera and Beyoncé have been spotted sporting the flexible pieces. But you don’t have to be a celebrity, or into Cosplay, to play around with wigs.
Erin McCavera, a 24-year-old hedge fund assistant in New York City, experimented with blonde wigs to try out a thicker and different style when her auburn hair thinned after a surgery.
“I wanted to do something a little adventurous, and I wanted to try out this alter-Erin personality – the Blonde,” she says.
However, she wasn’t convinced of the pieces in the beginning.
“My main worry was that everyone would know I was wearing a wig. There are dorky or cheap costume wigs, that are very obvious in their design. But the recent wigs I’ve purchased have a natural hairline and a lace cap wear so if the wind blows, it looks like a natural scalp. The pieces look totally real, and people often don’t believe I’m wearing a wig because of how real they look and feel.”
Will you wig out for style?