For all women I think your hair is important. Whether you have it short or long, it is the style defines you and can change your face. Doing you makeup and sorting your hair I suppose in some ways it is like laying a carpet in a newly decorated room. It is the finishing touch that brings everything together. The hair on your head is just as important and just as defining.
For all women it can be the bane of their life but more so for trans ladies. Do you grow your own hair, are you at the stage where you are follically challenged so options are limited or do you prefer wearing a hairpiece and even then do you stick to one style or do you chop and change as the mood takes you.
For Lucy we deliberated over many websites of wigs last year trying to pick a new style that we thought would suit her as she was moving away from the previous cheaper wigs she had been wearing and also changing the colour and style. There are so many websites and many purport to be UK based and use a co.uk web address but are actually in China and then there are all the reviews of the websites and the quality of the wigs provided. The whole thing is just a minefield. For someone not so confident you may not want to go to one of the few shops around and would prefer to purchase online. When you order online you have no idea of the fit or the quality and the price varies from site to site. The last thing we wanted to end up with was some cheap looking fancy dress type wig which cost a fortune! So many times when we have been out I have seen trans ladies wearing some awful hairpieces. I really would like to give advice and help these ladies but just know I would be treading on very dangerous ground if I said anything so always keep diplomatically quiet much to Lucy's relief.
In the end we found a human hair style we both liked and even though there were a handful of negative reviews (none positive, although we did feel that they were expecting an expensive style wig for a low price and generally no-one posts a review if they are happy) we decided to order the wig. It was £100 which for us is a lot of money but we took the risk as in the world of wigs that didn't seem to be an overly extravagant price for a real hair wig.
The company updated us through all the manufacturing process (it was made to order with custom head sizes) and we were informed when it had been despatched. As you can imagine we were both anxious and when the parcel from Hong Kong arrived we waited so we could open it together. Well, we were pleasantly surprised. The wig was beautiful, made and styled well and fitted perfectly. I will never forget the first time she wore it..... she looked stunning. Of course we left positive feedback on a review site and to be honest it has worn really well and still looks quite good 7 months later.
We knew that at some point we would need to get a few more wigs as one was not going to last long plus we need to start making plans for when Lucy is full time. Although she is going to grow her own hair that will take time and we need to see how that pans out. I recently got a small bonus from work so the first thing I bought was another 2 of the same wigs we had received before from the same place.
This time they came quicker but we were still informed where they were in the process and we were just as excited when we opened the parcel. At first glance they looked great, similar colour and the style was the same so we packed them away for our next night out which was only a few days away.
We decided to go to Pink Punters on a non trans night. Got ready as usual and at this point Lucy decided she wanted to wear one of the new wigs. We took it out the packet, gave it a brush and just as she was gong to put it on we noticed the fringe (bangs). It was a thin frizzy mess and nothing like the previous wig and the stitching for the parting was a mess. We were totally disappointed. Luckily Lucy had brought the original wig with her so we were covered as it would have been a total disaster if she hadn't!
As soon as we got home the next day I emailed the company and as a precaution I also raised a PayPal dispute, luckily this was how I had paid and not using my debit card. At this point I was thinking of the negative reviews I had read and in particular those relating to their customer service. The company responded to me fairly quickly ( I think raising the PayPal dispute helped) and after an exchange of emails where I also sent picture of the original and then some of the 2 new wigs they agreed that I should return them and in the meantime they will arrange for 2 new wigs to be made (luckily I had taken pictures of me in the original wig as a giggle as I am blonde not a brunette so I didn't have to send pictures of Lucy as didn't want them ending up being posted somewhere). They did admit that they had changed their manufacturing process in January but I cannot believe that this is how they make their wigs now as I would have expected a flurry of negative reviews as the fringe is awful on both wigs. When we compared pictures of the new wigs against the original wig it looks like it is not just the fringe that is dodgy.
So, the new wigs were packed up and we have now sent them on their way back to Hong Kong. That on its own was a lengthy process as we had to do shipping invoices and print off address labels which cost us £25. I have asked if we will be reimbursed the postage but have heard nothing as yet. The company did ask me to close the PayPal dispute but I have told them I will only close it when the replacement wigs have been received.
In the meantime we had a search around for an alternative wig just in case and found a UK site with a very similar, synthetic wig. This was ordered and was with us within 3 days. This was £35 and was really lovely with a great shine to it. The style is about 4 inches shorter but great to have as a backup or if Lucy just wants a slightly different style.
So we are now waiting for the replacement wigs to be despatched and will do an update when they are received.
(1st pic is the original and the other pics are of the new wigs and I think the different is obvious - excuse the grumpy face as wasn't going to smile for those pics!)