Wigs for the everyday woman

Wigs have been around for centuries and they are worn for various reasons from stage costumes to the peculiar ones worn by legal practitioners or the ancient Egyptians protecting themselves from the sun.

Indeed wigs have definitely made their mark locally and I believe they are a must have fashion accessories for every woman, young and old. 

Wigs have been popular in Zimbabwe since the 1970s with the afro wigs being worn by both men and women. Some wear it for fashion reasons; and some for those too lazy to grow their own afro or because they were not naturally blessed with naturally good quality hair to rock that look well.

The 1980s and 1990s popularised 'human hair' which saw the extensions not being very popular as it was believed that animal hair, particularly the tails of horses were being sheared to create these extensions. 

Fast forward to the 21st century which ushered in the lace wig trend that had a realistic looking hairline and got ladies in Zimbabwe curious. 

I remember wearing a lace wig for the first time on the set of my music video shoot for the song Nerudo in 2009 after my make-up artist offered it to me and realising that Black  American celebrities like Beyonce, Michael Jackson, Tyra banks and a whole lot of them had us fooled into believing they had such silky hair and amazing hair lines because they invested in top of the range lace wigs. 

The advent of the wig craze has also created brisk business locally with many individuals and companies importing hair pieces from China. Depending on the quality of hair, we have seen people parting with obscene amounts of money for these trendy wigs. It is rumoured that some of the hair used to make these wigs is collected from Indian temples as some Indians cut off their hair for sacrifice at their temples of worship. 

Thabo, a male hairdresser based at Gianni Hair Salon in the Central Business District is originally a dreadlocks stylist, if not one of the best in town, but he had shifted his focus to making ladies wigs because of the huge demand for them. 

Another renowned hairdresser and corporate hair stylist Pamela Nyamupfukudza shifted her focus from plaiting hair to importing wigs from China because her customers had cut down on visiting the hair salon due to wearing wigs. She is not too worried about this though because she can make a kill equivalent to 10 hairdos in one wig. 

Award winning fashion entrepreneur Cynthia Bizure Sithole of Janjam highlighted that she found wigs to be cost effective as they lessen the number of times one has to visit the hairdresser and that wigs were versatile in that they could be styled differently. 

With one also having variety to pick from, she said it is easier to have an appropriate hairstyle with your outfit as one just has to pick the right wig. It also makes it easier to wear bold daring colours with wigs as you can pull such a stunt on the appropriate occasion and ditch it the next day  and not worry that you have to visit your mother-in-law or attend a job interview in blue hair!

Besides a wig being able to rescue you from a bad hair day, wigs are also fun! Radio and TV personality Misred (Samantha Musa) said she started wearing wigs four years ago and found them convenient because of the nature of her job and the fact that she was always on the move. With wigs she says she has one less thing to worry about, and that is her hair. Though investing in quality wigs is expensive she stressed that after dividing the money she spent on wigs by 12 months, it still came to the same amount she would have spent on hair monthly.

Models, socialites and celebrities have capitalised on their social media influence by charging hair companies to model and market their hair pieces. We have seen model and socialite Nyarai Nyatsanga (Angel eyes Dimple), Tyra Chikocho (Madam Boss), Candice Mwakalyelye, and KVG (StarFM) clinching lucrative hair deals.

Wigs have been met with mixed reactions from our male counterparts as some men believe it is fraudulent for a lady to go out to the world looking glamorous then come home and remove the wig to expose often unkempt natural hair; thus giving the impression that they want to look good for the rest of the world except for their men. Joseph Dawa, a men's fashion retailer at Zanox confided that he did not mind his wife whipping off her wig at home to expose her natural beauty.

The dig craze cannot be ignored because it looks like it is here to stay, I do however urge women to wash their wigs frequently and avoid neglecting their own God given hair. Cleanliness is next to Godliness and a clean wig is the best way to slay! (Cindy is a multi-award winning singer and businesswoman who runs Cindy’s Corner in the capital)