Wigs are important in the transgender woman community. If a trans woman is fortunate enough to start transitioning when they are young, or she has a great hairline and plans to go full time, then she can eventually grow her hair out. However, if she is only able to be out part time, or like me, you come out at an older age when your hairline has begun to recede, a good wig becomes necessary if you intend to ‘pass’ (a controversial subject that I won’t address now). Even girls who will eventually grow their own hair out may need a wig initially until their hair is fully grown.
It is amazing, the impact a good wig can have. I have gone out in women’s clothes, such as women’s jeans, pink tennis shoes, and a feminine shirt. But without a wig I am always identified as male. However, if I add a wig, then my chances of ‘passing’ increase dramatically. It really is quite amazing.
When I first decided to start going out in public, I decided to look for wigs online. I found one on Amazon that I truly loved. The hair came down to about the middle of my back, and in the front there was a lock of hair that dropped over the left eye for a Veronica Lake look. I was going to look incredible.
It turned out to be a disaster. Going from almost no hair to full length hair turned out to be a transition I wasn’t ready for. And the lock over the eye was impossible to maintain. I wore it to my first therapy appointment and first HRT appointment, and in both cases, I spent most of my time trying to hold my hair up, and eventually the wig came off. The first time I wore it, I went out in public to a local mall, and the hair falling over my face became such a problem, my wife gave me one of her hairbands to pull the hair up. I wore the wig to the Thanksgiving dinner, and even with the hairband the hair continued to slip. This did nothing to help my gender dysphoria.
I eventually found another wig on Amazon that was shoulder length and had streaks of red in it. It wasn’t expensive, and it worked a whole lot better than the previous wig. I was able to start going out with some confidence. However, being an inexpensive wig, it began to frizz relatively soon, and I started to look more like a rock star than a middle aged woman. I realized it was time to make a serious investment in a quality wig.
I contacted a couple of girls I know from the local transgender support group and asked if they would go along. There is a wig store in Kettering called Becca’s 3700 Hair Studio, which is about an hour north of Cincinnati where I live, so it became a girls road trip.
The collection of wigs was amazing. Albeit, it was a bit overwhelming at first. I wanted to keep an open mind so I didn’t make a list or anything before hand, but I realized that if I was to have any chance of making a decision, I needed to start narrowing down my options. I decided early that this first ‘real’ wig should have brown hair until I have a chance to work on my other features, I thought it would be best to stay consistent. I also wanted to keep it about shoulder length to make it easy for me to wear.
The girls and I eventually narrowed down on a style called Raquel Welch. The hair was brown with a hint of red, and was styled to sweep around the cheeks and come under the chin, which did a nice job of framing my face and taking away attention from some of my more undesirable male facial features. I naively considered getting a second one at the time that had more blonde highlights. However, when I found out that the first wig would be about $200 and the second $250, I quickly decided my money would be better used in the growth of my wardrobe and jewellery case.
The impact of the new wig was almost immediate. I wore it out of the store, and the three of us went to have lunch. My friends commented on how much better I looked. I then met up with a group of other girls that night, and they kept inquiring about how something was different and were flabbergasted at the change. My wife, who I am now estranged from, saw me in it for the first time this weekend and I think she was taken aback.
So the impact of a good wig for a trans woman is significant. If you have the resources it is worth the investment to buy a high-quality wig, it will do wonders for your esteem.