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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. 


pony sheital pricing

June 9, 2013

Mind if I ask- what’s the average price for a ‘good’ quality pony shaitel? (I don’t know if you answer price questions, but it’s something I would love an opinion about…)

Price is such a variable thing because it really depends on every different sheital macher (if you are using a sheital macher).

It also varies based on the quality of hair and length, and you have to consider whether or not the cut is included or you are going to pay extra. so the price ranges that we can give you are just that – only ranges and estimates.

Now that we said that, we can tell you that the going rate now, are approximately $500-$1500 for cheaper hair mostly depending on length and brand and $2000-$3000 for better quality hair.

Some brands are above or below these ranges but this is our best estimate.

Creating side swept bangs

May 28, 2013

Creating side swept bangs

The secret to bangs is not just in the perfect cut or the quality of the hair but there is also very specific technique to get the perfect sweep to frame your face.
Obviously every wig is different and exactly where it settles on your face will also affect how your bangs will sit on a daily basis.
Using this step by step guide you can maintain your bang in between professional washes:
1. start holding a small brush parallel to your part. On medium-> low heat, list straight up away from the part.
2. pull the brush forward and down to bring the bangs down across your forehead. keep the blowdryer at a safe distance and heat so as not to burn your bangs.
3. as you come near the ends of the bangs, wrap the ends tightly around the brush and turn it towards the outside of your face.
This will give the bangs a sweeping finish away from your face.

To pony or not to pony? PART 1

May 28, 2013

For my first column, someone suggested I address ponytail related questions: “Should I spend that kind of money on something that can only be worn in a pony?” “Can it only be worn up in a pony, or also down as a full sheitel?” And of course “What’s the difference between a $600 pony and a $3000 pony?”

Why to buy a pony:
For starters, I am a big believer in the philosophy “you get what you pay for”. In most cases, and if you have an honest sheitel macher, more expensive wigs are more expensive for a reason and cheaper wigs… You get the point. If you’re thinking about buying a new, gorgeous, expensive wig but can’t afford to go all out, then don’t buy a cheaper sheitel and expect it to be the same. If you’re going to buy a ponytail sheitel and expect it to be just like a more expensive wig, it won’t. Wigs made to be worn in a ponytail and priced accordingly are made from cheaper, more processed hair and will behave poorly when worn down. Often this is because the hair is so processed that it gets stick straight right away, very knotted, oxidizes and changes color much faster than other better quality hair, etc… 

Processed hair refers to dyed or otherwise color treated, relaxed, body-waved or permed hair. Each of the above mentioned treatments compromises the quality of the hair, and shorten the lifespan of the sheitel. Manufacturers and hair suppliers have to do something with their frizzier, coarser hair too, so they apply all sorts of treatments to make it useable. This treated hair often goes into ponytail wigs so that they can’t get all knotted if they’re up in a pony all day. 

That being said, there are lots of motivating reasons to get a pony sheitel: price, comfort, and flexibility in styling. 

#1 They are cheaper than comparable length, better quality wigs. The lower cost comes primarily from money saved on the hair. There are very few shortcuts taken in production that can save the manufacturer money, so just understand that the lower prices come from lesser quality hair. Then again, for less money, you don’t mind abusing it and working it a little harder than your more expensive wigs. 

#2 They are believed to be more comfortable, as the hair is off of your neck. Unfortunately this is only part true. Most people fail to realize that a pony wig has to fit better than any other wig, because you need full coverage. When you pull all the hair away from your face and neck, you have to be completely covered for tznius and aesthetic reasons; it just won’t look natural if your own hairline shows. The pony wig has to be extra snug, actually, with lots of extra clips and combs to keep it in place and to keep your coverage intact. They can also be very back-heavy when you sweep all the hair into a ponytail and put all the weight of the hair into one central place in the back of your head, putting even more pressure on all those extra clips and combs. But the bottom line is that if you get very sweaty (I see a surge of poytail sales in the summer months) then you can’t beat having all that hair off of your neck, but still having the full coverage that a full sheitel (as opposed to a fall) gives. 

#3 They serve more purposes than just wearing in a half pony. Again, you have to be carful not to expect a ponytail to able to be worn down if the hair or construction just won’t cooperate, but if it will, you can wear it half up, in a full pony, under hats (like thos cute new slouchy berets everyone is wearing pushed back on their heads), in a bun… As a matter of fact, more of my customer would rather put their poytail wig into an “updo” for a wedding than abuse their more expensive wigs with all that hairspray, bobby pins and teasing involved in getting dressed up. Doing that actually frees up your dressier wigs for sheva brochos the week after, too.

box a wig for travel

May 28, 2013

box a wig for travel

How do i box a wig for travel?

We have found that the best way to box a wig for travel is:
1. line a box (shoe boxes are great, especially from a pair of sneakers or boots) with tissue paper/paper towel.
2. lay the wig on its back, with the inside of the cap facing open & upward.
3.**optional** take an extra sheet of tissue paper/paper towel and loosely scrunch it into a ball and stuff the inside of the cap. This step is best if you have bangs, so that you can rest the bangs on the tissue paper to keep them rounded.
4. roll the any excess hair (the ends) up inside the empty space in the center of the cap
5. fold any excess tissue paper closed over the wig and close the cover of the box.

frizzy hair?

May 28, 2013

This question was posted on a frum mommy forum. We sent our message vie pm and we are now sharing it with you:)

Does anyone know what products (companys) are used to wash and set shuly wigs? I have tried 3 diff brands of shampoos…and the hair crawls up and frizzes but when i gave it to shuly to wash it looked great for a long time! (Never experienced this with any other wig company…)

From personal experience, (working for her) i know for a fact that Shuly usually uses Tresemme deep cleansing shampoo, or some other salon deep cleansing brand, unless the sheitel has some other specific needs (deep conditioning, color care, etc…)
I also run a question-and-answer forum on my sheitel-wearing-information-blog and have a few other suggestions that may be affecting you and your wig: What you are describing sounds like a hand tied wig, and if it is, your construction may be extremely delicate and difficult to manage by an untrained professional: each stitch of hair needs to be brushed and trained in the right direction at each wash to make sure it doesnt bunch and separate in unruly knots and clumps. Shuly and one or two other brands make more of this construction than other companies, which is why i suspect this is your real problem if youve washed other wigs on your own in the past.
I suggest you call Shuly if you bought the wig directly from them and ask if your wig is hand tied. (They will be able to answer this based on your sales record only if you bought it from them directly, not through a sheitel macher). If it is, please discuss how to wash it with a professional before trying again.

Smoke smell

May 28, 2013

My friend recommended you to me for advice! how can I get rid of the bonfire smell from my sheitel WITHOUT washing it?

As far as getting rid of the smell of smoke, I cant say for sure if I know anything specific, but i can make a few suggestions: 
#1 I would try an open window, preferably at night, or out of direct sunlight so that you don’t over-expose to the sun. The breeze and constant fresh air should help it air out, while if you just tried a fan, you would only be cycling stale air that’s already in the room. 

#2 Many people try to use perfume to eliminate smells in their wigs. I don’t think this works, but a lightweight body spray might go a long way. It would probably work even better if followed by #1 above, being placed in front of an open window.