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Why women cannot do without them

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Just as some women are obsessed with bags, shoes, and other fashion accessories, others cannot do without their hair extensions or wigs, which come in handy any day.

A number of women use hair extensions and continue to procure them from various sales outlets due to the convenience they offer as well as their desire to look trendy and gorgeous.

Bone straight, double drone, deep wave, deep curls, and sassy curls, are some of the common types of wigs on the market.

The sale of these products is considered one of the fast-moving businesses in the Central Business District in Accra, as more dealers stockpile their shops with a variety of authentic and synthetic hair imported from countries, including China, India, and Vietnam.

They come in different lengths, shapes, types, and colours with the top quality term as ‘’human hair’’.

There is also the ‘’hybrid’’, which is a combination of synthetic and original brands.

But how does one differentiate the substandard types from the genuine and more expensive human hair?

Albertina Elorm Agbenu, a Hair Facilitator and expert in hairdressing at 2nd Image Beauty College in Accra, says some synthetic brands are as expensive as the original.

She explains that women prefer ‘’human hair because it is friendly and feels natural’’ as compared with the synthetic and hybrid ones, which are made of fiber or rubber, or a combination of both. Others, she says, are made from animal skin, such as horsetail.

Differentiating between human and synthetic hair, she says, the user would have to ‘’burn the hair’’, to determine authenticity or otherwise.

‘’Synthetic hair burns faster than human hair. When you burn them, the human hair comes with a strong odour while the synthetic hair has little or no odor,’’ she said.

But as to how frequently women must wear their wigs to enhance their appearance, she says: ‘’You can be wearing wig caps every day, but if you don’t wash it and continue using it for a long time, you may develop lies in your hair.

“Sometimes, women will braid cornrows for their wig caps, and it will take a long time for them to wash or condition the hair. When this happens, the corn row may develop lies and dandruff,’’ she says, urging women who put on wigs or hair extensions to keep ‘’shampooing and conditioning their hair regularly’’.

Apart from the beauty wigs provide, some women say they settle for it to cover-up receding hairlines, which may be a result of excess hair breakage.

According to Albertina, ‘’hair breakage happens during styling because we push the hair in different directions and that is what causes the breakage from the roots. It also happens due to excessive use of glue to fix hair extensions”.

She says frequent use of wigs and hair extensions can cause ‘’alopecia traction’’ (receding hairline) in women, especially when the wig cap is too tight.

For her, the best thing to do when choosing a wig cap is to ‘’use a tape measure to measure the circumference of the head before you buy or if it is made for you.

‘’Just as the tailor measures to sew a dress, it’s the same way you have to also measure the head for a proper wig fit,’’ she advises.

The owner of Becky Wigs at the Makola Shopping Mall, says synthetic wigs are affordable, but it is advisable for women to own at least one ‘’human hair’’ because you get value for money.

Aside from the United States of America, she says some of the wigs also come from Peru, and the Philippines, while others were made locally here in Ghana.

Generally, prices of wigs range between GH¢ 30 to GH¢10,000.

However, she says ladies should purchase those that ‘’make them look good instead of settling for the ones they would buy and regret later’’.

Linda, a regular user of wigs, cited low self-esteem as another reason some women prefer wigs to daily handling of their natural hair.

‘’I can’t wake up early in the morning everyday to do my hair, but if I have a wig, I just put it on and I am good to go. I would advise women to be confident with their natural looks and cut down on using artificial hair.’’

Although women justify the use of wigs or hair extensions, a number of men seem to prefer those who maintain their natural hair.

Some believe purchasing wigs and hair extensions is a waste of time and resources and provide religious and other personal reasons to back their argument.

Richard Young, for instance, does not ‘’see anything natural about women because they have to apply something every time to enhance their body, one way or the other.

‘’It is advisable to go natural. I don’t know the taste of other men, but for me, I think natural is cool. Wigs or artificial hair are too complicated,’’ he says.

Gabriel Amartey admires natural hair because it is real and does not require much maintenance, unlike artificial hair.

‘’Going to the barber shop to trim your hair is less expensive. Artificial hair is a red flag for me so my girlfriend doesn’t use any.’’

Abdul Rahman also believes natural hair has no chemical component and is not supposed to be altered in any way, according to his religious beliefs.

‘’Some women wear wigs just to catch up with trends, but true Muslims are not supposed to use artificial hair. Our religion encourages women to keep their natural hair, which they may twist in any form or shape. I believe sometimes when women pray wearing wigs, God does not even answer their prayers. “

In all these, Albertina urges frequent washing and revamping of wigs to eliminate bacteria and other debris even when women cannot do without them.

‘’So just like your hair, you must wash your wig cap every two weeks and for the weave-on and braids you must wash your hair every month or every 6-weeks because of the dust. Every woman who wears wig must have a proper storage place like a bag or a container.’’

‘’Don’t just display your wig cap on a dummy or mannequin in the open because it will still trap dust, take it to the hairdresser every month and let them wash it for you, and it will look as new as when it was first made,’’ she says.

Clearly, women use wigs for varied reasons and it has somewhat become a trend or necessity. But whether men approve of their use or not, women would continue to keep at least one artificial hair and pamper themselves occasionally. But while at it, they must endeavour not to buy what is within their means.

In the words of Linda, women should buy wigs and hair extensions ‘’according to their pockets and not put undue pressure on themselves and others… ”

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