This month we asked our customer Anne Marie to share her story with us.
Tell us a little about yourself
I am a 52 year old, now single mother of 3 grown children (two boys and a girl) and work two jobs. I have 3 beagle dogs and 4 Ragdoll cats that now keep me company. I work from home full time as a Claims Examiner except for two days when I commute to Boston, which is about an hour in no traffic from Rhode Island, where I live. I do my part time job from home, too, as a hospital medical record coder. I am very conscientious about the way I perform my work and present myself to others. I feel I am a very sensitive, upbeat and kind person and ALWAYS defend the underdog. My family is very important to me and we are very close but I am fiercely independent. I do not mind that my children have their own busy lives; they are good people and I am very proud of them. Two years ago I donated my kidney to my sister's Mother-in-law. It was the most wonderful experience of my life. She and I are both doing well and I encourage more people to do this. If we have two, why not share?
How long have you been wearing wigs and Jon Renau for?
I have always dreamed of beautiful hair but never contemplated wearing a wig until I noticed my hair thinning a few years ago. The reasons were many; I was menopausal, under stress, had recent kidney surgery and later learned I had a genetic predisposition for female hair loss. I was very discouraged. I hated my hair. No matter what I did, I could not deny that my hair was thinning and I could no longer wear bangs because my hair loss was particularly sparse in the front and top. I decided to buy a wig about two years ago. I searched the internet to find out more about it and went to wig shops. My first top quality wig was Jon Renau "Gisele" in Shaded Praline (12FS8). At first, I wore her where I was most comfortable: at home with family and friends. After a while, I branched out and went to stores and places where no one knew me to see if they could detect my "helper hair." When they did not seem to notice, I felt more comfortable and more confident. Eventually, I tried more styles and different colors. I went out further, showing my "hair" styles on Facebook and then wearing them to work. I love JR wigs because they offer many colors, have contemporary as well as traditional styles and a gamut of wig caps to choose from. I especially like that most of the styles are available in lace front and monofilament tops. I've never had a problem with the density wig or lace front. MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE wig is "Adriana" and my favorite color now is 14/26S10. The handtied cap is to die for. However, I typically save that wig for special occasions or when I want to feel "on top of my game". I actually wore her in a ponytail for my son's outdoor wedding, with my own hair incorporated at the base. No one knew and I felt great. My other favorites are Heidi, Julianna, new Alessandra, Victoria (when I go short) and of course, my original, Gisele. I have many colors of each, just to make life interesting.
What do you love about wearing wigs?
Wigs make my life easier, plain and simple. Since my commute is long and I get up at 5:30 in the morning, wigs help me get ready faster. No hair to curl and fight with, just "plop" and go. Because I feel better in a wig, I think I have more confidence. When other people comment on my beautiful hair, I respond, "Thanks, it's a wig...I wear them all the time." This has fostered many conversations and, I think, empowered other women to take the plunge. Now, everyone knows about my "hair." I love mixing it up and my children and family take it all in stride. The men I meet find it intriguing. It is great to be blonde today, tomorrow a brunette; next week a "Bob" style but this afternoon a long redhead. I don't really care what people think. I have fun and my hair is now an accessory I coordinate ahead of time. I love it. What advice would you give to a new wig wearer?
If anyone is thinking about wearing a wig, I say "Go for it". If you have hair loss just on top and want to take baby steps, try a topper, which is especially nice in hot weather. Who cares what people think? If you feel better in it, what's better than that? Wig wearing is no longer just for medical hair loss. It’s a fashion statement and other cultures and religions have been doing it for years. I encourage women to try different caps and styles to see what works for them. If you are more comfortable in a single color or length, buy several wigs that are slightly different to change the look (from informal to formal). Wear the less expensive cap style for everyday and the more expensive one for Special Occasions. A good example of this is wearing Scarlett for everyday and Julianne for special occasions. Or buy a wig that resembles the one you normally have but with curls. I bought Adriana and Courtney in 12FS8. I went away to a work-related training for 2 weeks. I interchanged these wigs, which were similar in length. People just thought I curled my hair one day and straightened it the next. Washing them and hanging them to dry overnight was quick and easy. It was a great way to travel; no styling tools, blow dryers or brushes to pack. My advice would be, however, invest in good wig care products to wash, condition and style the hair. Your wigs will last longer when cared for properly. Women who have medical hair loss do not need expensive wigs... just good wigs that fit them and make them feel beautiful.