I’d Tip My Wig to You, But I Haven’t Got a Wig

eliseMore and more people seem to be wearing hairpieces or wigs. Or maybe more and more people are wearing poorly made wigs. Walking out of a building today, I spotted a man with an obvious hairpiece. The piece was longish, all the same length (like a Dutch boy bob), and dark; but I spotted gray hair underneath where the hairpiece tilted a bit. I know other people with wigs obvious to the passerby. These folks must feel the accessory improves their looks.

But I wonder why someone would go to the trouble of buying a hairpiece that’s ill-shaped, poorly fitted, and whose color is at odds with the hard-earned traceries of time on the their faces.

Must be the wide-spread belief that gray or white hair makes you look older. Are wig-wearers so fearful of growing old—or looking old—that they’ll do anything to avoid it? Then why not dye it? Eleven percent of men and 55% of women color their hair, and you can be sure they’re not choosing gray.

Another option for changing styles are hair extensions, favored by public figures like Britney Spears, and not infrequently bedraggled or limp, and their close cousins, hair weaves. These usually are selected for the “beauty” they supposedly convey on the wearer.

Of course, there are lots of reasons to wear wigs that seem more legitimate than mere appearance: religious, health, diseases. But still the wearers are wearing wigs because they can’t or won’t tolerate nature’s dictates.

I have sufficient reason to participate. A young friend of mine guessed my age to be greater than my older sister’s, partly because my hair’s gray. But excuse me from the group. If I were really intent on fighting time, I’d do something about my hair; but I’m too lazy and too cheap and too devoted to simple comfort.

Not that there’s anything wrong with wearing artificial locks or coloring hair. Humanity has been doing it for millennia. If you have an inclination in that direction, go for it. However, I come down on the side of Chris Rock, whose documentary film “Good Hair” is a close look at black culture and the influence of society on young African-American girls. Natural hair is popularly believed to be unattractive, but Chris feels, and I agree, that natural hair tends to be a healthier, easier, more self-confident choice.

Plus, unlike wigs, natural hair won’t slip down over your forehead.