How I Discovered Wigs – by Laurie Ohall
I have been an attorney practicing in the state of Florida for almost 30 years. When I was younger, I had hair that was very fine and thin, and I would get perms to help give me some volume (and I was a pro with a curling iron). Without the perms, my hair would not hold a curl, it looked limp – so I was STILL doing perms when they had already gone out of style. Given my Hispanic background (I am Puerto Rican and Colombian on my mother’s side), you would think I’d have a great head of hair. Unfortunately, I inherited my dad’s head of hair (he was eastern European – straight, fine, thin hair). That was no bueno!
Pony Tails and Half Wigs – Yeah, Baby!
When I got into my 40’s, I met a friend who turned me on to “ponytail” wigs and “half” wigs. At that point, I had enough hair that I could blend the half wigs (or wear a headband to cover up the seam), and I loved the ponytail wigs because I could comb the rest of my hair back, plop on the ponytail and it looked fabulous. I was able to match the color of my hair (I’m a brunette – in “wig colors” I could wear a #4 or #6) and most people did not realize that I was wearing a wig.
Menopause Does What?!
Then I hit my 50’s and welcomed in menopause (as well as COVID and the stress of a pandemic). Ugh. My hair started thinning and the ponytail wigs no longer looked good because my hairline was thinning out. So, I started looking at other options - such as full wigs and hair toppers. I decided against hair toppers because you have to clip those down, which would just pull at my already thinning hair. When it came to wigs, I thought my only option were wig stores (which were mainly for women of color). I had not yet discovered the YouTube wig world. When I walked into the wig stores, they would look at me like, “what the heck are you doing in here?” Also, the colors that they mostly offered were, again, marketed to women of color so the colors were usually too dark for me (#1B or #2), or were of a texture that I could never pull off. So, what was a girl to do?
Discovering Tia Maria’s Wigs and the World of Wig Reviewers
I happened to be looking at YouTube in 2019 and decided to search for videos about wigs. I discovered all kinds of wig reviewers out there who reviewed wigs for Caucasian women. Which was really nice, but man, those wigs are so much more expensive! I discovered Tia’s wig channel and loved the fact that she showcased wigs that were less expensive, geared towards women of color, but she helped Caucasian women see how they could wear them, too. Then she started doing reviews for the more expensive wigs (like Jon Renau, Noriko, etc), and I took a deep dive into trying those wigs.
The hard part (well, one of the hard parts) is that, when you are spending a lot of money on a wig, you want to make sure it looks right (because, in many cases, they are hard to return or you cannot return them at all). I was lucky enough to be able to fly to Dallas, Texas, in December, 2021, to do a wig try-on at a store called Mimi’s Wig Boutique, or as I like to call them, the “Toys-R-Us” of wigs. I don’t have anything like that near wear I live. You can, quite literally, try on any style and, if you give them enough advance warning, they will even order you a style if they don’t have it so that it is there for you to try on when you get there.
I never stopped watching Tia’s wig channel during all this time and, in 2022, SHE began selling wigs. I am so excited about how Tia does “live” sales because she tries them on and you have the opportunity to ask her if it is an average fit, large fit, etc. Honestly, Tia has pioneered a niche that I don’t think anyone else has really tried. I know there are those that will do wig sales once in a while, but the way her store is on YouTube (and Facebook and on her website) is really unique and wonderful.
Stay tuned for how I navigate wigs in a professional setting. (Here’s a hint – I’ve stopped giving a damn!). 😊
About Laurie: I have been wearing wigs, in one form or fashion, since 2009. I initially started out wearing “pony tails” or “half wigs” to add some dimension and make it look like my hair was thicker. Then, in 2020, not only did COVID come along, but I entered full on menopause! One of the issues I had after I hit menopause was my hair thinning out. I decided to look at wigs as an alternative for how to style my hair and then it became an OBSESSION! I live outside of Tampa, Florida, I have an amazing husband who loves all my new “looks” and a daughter who will graduate college in May, 2023. Oh, and my little doggie, Lola (whatever Lola wants, Lola gets).