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International wig day was 10 March and you had no idea about it

Why you should spend 24 hours of your day wearing a wig

By Alessia MavakalaPublished 3 years ago 5 min read

Here’s your reminder that international wig day was the 10th of March and you missed it, yet again. A lot of you probably have no idea that this particular day in the calendar is reserved to wigs. International wig day is not just for the sake of wearing wigs and it’s probably not that famous because it’s been an international celebration since 2016, only 5 years ago!

It was started by, a custom shop in Denmark. The aim was to raise awareness about hair loss due to chemotherapy or other autoimmune disorders such as alopecia.

Let's talk more about wigs

Wigs have been used for centuries, they were worn by the Ancient Egyptians, who would shave their heads completely and wear wigs for important events. A large, full wig was a sign of royalty and it was also helpful to protect people from the heat of the sun.

White curly wigs, also known as powdered wigs, were also worn by the the European royals, mostly in between 1700 and 1800.

Wigs today are often used by actors who have to play many different roles. I was honestly shocked when I discovered that Anya Taylor’s Joy’s red hair is not natural and is in fact a red wig.

If you ever wore a wig, you probably know how easily your look can change in a matter of minutes. One minute you have blue hair, the other you have pink hair. You can also go for a more natural colour if you don’t feel like getting an haircut or you’re indecisive about what hairstyle you should go for next.

Despite the many roles wigs play in society, the stigma around those who wear them is often negative.

There’s a lot of shame brought to people who wear wigs who are often called catfishes. This is because people believe you are hiding something from them and are not showing your true self. Many people who suffer from hair loss or cannot grow hair, sometimes have to hide the fact that they’re wearing a wig. For example, men who start wearing wigs are often ridiculed and seen as vein.

The Nigerian beauty influencer, You-tuber and burn survivor Shalom Blac, currently based in the USA, often wears wigs and show people the variety of hairstyles she can create. However, in one of her YouTube videos she shows herself, removing the wig in from of her crush, highlighting the fear she had of not being accepted.

In fact, revealing that you are wearing a wig could raise a lot of unsolicited questions. Are you insecure? Are you bold? Why did you lose your hair? Are you hiding your real hair out of shame? These types of questions are one of the reasons why, sometimes, people hide the fact that they’re wearing a wig. As previously mentioned, the Ancient Egyptians and European royals wore wigs and no one asked questions.

In the USA, wigs had a different meaning around 1964 when the Civil right act was no longer allowing racial segregation to happen. People could work in the same environment, however, black girls in particular, were forced to wear wigs to avoid showing their natural hair in non-segregated working areas as that was considered unprofessional or you could never get hired. They had to wear wigs to assimilate in society and achieve whiteness.

Despite the stereotypes and the stigmas around wigs, there are so many reasons why wigs are appreciated and loved.

Wigs can be life savers if you have a bad hair day or are late for a meeting. You can pick a wig throughout your collection and stick it on your head. Just like that.

In addition to this, despite the assimilation policy caused by racism, black people are also enjoying their natural hair and a lot of people are no longer wearing wigs to cover their Afro or curls. People wear wigs because they are pretty, everyone just likes to have a different hairstyle. It’s no longer necessary to damage your hair with chemical ingredients and hair dye products. It saves a lot of time as well.

In countries such as Nigeria people are more likely to wear braids. On my first trip to Nigeria, which is part of my ethnic background, people were wearing different types of braids every month and sometimes even every week.

Changing hair is a big part of African culture and the versatility is also interesting. In fact, wigs are introduced in the most unexpected forms. Braided wigs exist and people who don’t have time to sit down on a chair for three hours to get their braids done love it. With wigs, you can have braids in three seconds, rather that three hours.

One example is Shalom Blac. Due to an incident that severely burned her skin as a child, she lost most of her hair. She always shows her head and she always looks stunning. One of my favourite bold looks of her is the one at the YouTube Streamy awards, where she was wearing a golden Laurel crown.

She often wears braided wigs which is the perfect alternative for people who can no longer grow hair or suffer from hair loss.

We’ve spoken about many wonderful facts about wigs, however, does anyone actually know where wigs come from?

Wigs today keep hiding a very dark truth that many people are unaware about. Virgin hair wigs that are sold for hundreds in Western countries are often taken from Asia and South America. The people who give their hair away get paid cents, unaware of the real value. There are many companies that produce wigs in a safe way, that doesn’t include exploitation, therefore, we should focus on supporting those companies or hair that doesn’t belong to exploited people.

I believe we should all work towards ending or reducing the negative stigma around wearing wigs. There are thousands of different reasons why people wear them and definitely it can be something to celebrate. We should also increase the conversations about illegal hair trades that exploit people and especially women who are in extreme need of financial support.

I really want to encourage everyone to cut or shave their hair and donate to people. Your hair might become a wig and will be worn by someone who’s currently in need and might not be able to afford it. In case you regret it, it will grow back or you could buy a wig yourself. A lot of people don’t have this option.

If you don’t feel like cutting you’re hair, I still encourage you to spend a day wearing a wig, to support this day and, let me know if you'll do it by leaving a like.


About the Creator

Alessia Mavakala

Hey, I'm a filmmaker and I also love acting. Writing is my passion. I love interior design, good food and I believe self care is a form of art.

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    Alessia MavakalaWritten by Alessia Mavakala

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