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To pony or not to pony? PART 2

June 9, 2013

How to pick which ponytail is right for you:

Do your research. Just because ponytails wigs are cheaper than other wigs, doesn’t mean you can’t get burned. Make a couple of phone calls first. There are several manufacturers who make wigs exclusive for ponytails, and those several brands are carried by dozens of sheitel machers, so if you get prices over the phone, make sure you ask for which brand names you are being quoted for. There are also a couple of key point to keep in mind:

#1 Price is obviously the most important. Decide your price range and stick to it. Spending outside your budget can make you resent the wig and never really love it. You will always have problems with it. In the $500-$900 price range, you will only find very processed human hair (which often includes Asian hair, even if you’re told it’s European). These wigs can be counted on to get knotty or stringy looking very quickly. In the $1200-$1800 price range you will still find processed human hair, but this category often lasts longer. This may be because the hair is less processed, maybe not dyed, or using a higher quality process that lasts longer. These wigs are most often constructed to be worn down, but still will not compare to your better quality wigs. Once you go over $2000, you can count on the hair behaving more nicely, oxidizing less quickly, but still the possibility of knotting exists. These will be higher quality hair, but with some minor processing that makes it still not the best hair around. 
You can always buy a quality virgin European hair wig, that is long enough to put into a ponytail, cut a few bangs and wear it like that for a few years. Then when you get bored of the look, you can re-cut it into another look and wear it down. It may take a little refurbishing after a couple of years, but this hair is going to last a whole lot longer than any of the other options, and your sheitel macher should help you out if there is any knotting on a wig in this price range. (All of the above prices are based on my personal mark-up and may differ based on individual sheitel machers’ different prices and/or sale prices.)

#2 How the wig fits is equally important. As I mentioned earlier, when you pull all the hair away from your face and neck. You have to make sure you are completely covered. Any of your own hair sticking out may make the edge unnatural and obvious. Small, medium and larger sizes are available from some companies, making the right fit much easier to find. After choosing your size, check if it needs to be taken in at all. A good pony needs to be snug to stay put all day. 

#3 Construction and how the hair is sewn is also important. Only one or two companies make their ponytail wigs without a multi-directional top, so that aspect of construction is almost equal among most ponytails. How the back of the wig is sewn makes the most difference. Many pony wigs are made with machine sewn “wefts” (the strings of hair that are stitched onto the cap). This hair can only be pulled in the direction in which it is sewn, so they sew in the last few rows on the bottom facing upwards, to go into the ponytail smoothly. This construction is only good if you are wearing the wig ONLY in a ponytail. When worn down, those hairs that are sewn upwards will “jump” away from the head and split in a funny way, exposing your cap underneath. There are exceptions to this, but they are very rare and you should consider wearing this construction only in a ponytail. One other brand combines machine sewn and hand sewn construction, which allows the thinnest distribution of hair, making it lighter and thinner in a rubber band. When sewn into the proper stretch net, these hand sewn stitches can flip up or down, allowing this ponytail to be worn up or down. Other companies just sew all of the wefts downward, but they add the hair at the nape of the neck a little more thickly, so that you have extra coverage when you lift up your pony. These wigs cannot be worn in a pony too high up in the back of your head, as you will likely leave some of your cap underneath exposed.

Last and most difficult to figure out is whether or not the wig you are buying matches all your needs. Seriously spend time practicing in the mirror, maybe on an older wig, on a friends ponytail wig or even go into a few stores and tell them you are just looking. Try to see if you would wear the pony higher up or lower down, or if you don’t like the look of a pony at all. If you are wearing it down, ask around to find out if it gets knotty when worn down. Also, if you have more expensive sheitels at home, be aware that the most common reaction to cheaper quality hair is that it gets “dirtier” faster. This may mean that it looks greasy or frizzy earlier than you would expect from your more expensive wigs, and may need to be washed and set more often. 

For people who are accustomed only to more expensive hair, a ponytail wig may seem like a brief reprieve from spending too much on your wigs, but in the end, you may never be happy with it. My last but most important recommendation is not to buy on sale. Many of these sales force you to make an impulse decision, and the best way to decide on your wog is to take time to research your options. If you’ve already done the research, and you happen upon a sale at the exact brand you chose to buy, then just make sure to check if the cut is included. If not make sure to add that to the cost in your head so that you are comparing prices properly. 
Hatzlacha!

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