Monday, October 12, 2015

DO You Wig or Not? AKA, NO That's NOT My Real Hair!

Now we're going to revisit the HAIR.

If there is one thing in Irish Dancing that can make grown women groan and beg, it is the issue of wigs. And the parents aren't even wearing them!

Now if you have a boy, you can just grin and do your happy dance, as you get to avoid this WHOLE heated issue! Yes, we envy and hate you, as much as we love you!

There are multiple looks for Irish Dancing- natural hair or wigs.

irish dance curls

For casual performances, most Irish Dance teachers are happy with casual hair. So harken back to your youth and remember how to do rag curls (aka Shirley Temple curls, or Youtube for a tutorial, or have on hand one of the fancy curling irons! The curls are what an audience expects, and they do look much better than flat hair when the girls are dancing about. But for formal performances and competitions, they'll want your child to have a wig.

Let's look at the wigs:

bun wig 1


Usually for beginner dancers, these are the absolute EASIEST to put on, to wear, and to take care of. Yes, you can hear my joyous tone, can't you? Any parent that goes from a full wig to a bun will agree!

bun wig 2

As you can see, you can still add a band, flowers or crown, they just clip in under the rim of the bun wig. You basically just pull the har into a pony tail, then into a bun, and cover with the bug wig. Quick tie off, 2 bobby ins and you are done. Easy peasy!

As kids get older, and move up in competition, then you may move into a lighter full wig. Although lately many teens are opting for using a bun wig, or up do, to get away from the weight and aggravation of full wigs. 

Full Wig:

Full wigs have 2 choices- a tighter curl and more natural look

full small wig

Usually the tighter curl is the best, for younger kids, as they tend to run around in between dances and the wigs take a beating, as once you have these wig on, you don't want to take it off until you are done! With the tighter curl, they can loosen and then look like a more natural curl wig. Their wigs tend to be shorter, like above, just touching the shoulders.

Putting these wigs on is not for the feint of heart! You divide the hair up, make multiple buns, wrapping one around a bump for height, as well as pulling bangs for a front bump up. Then the wig goes on with about 25 bobby pins (18 of which you will find when you take the wig off , and 7 will forever be unaccounted for), in order to keep the wig from moving.

trailhead dancing 1

Once your child hits the pre-teen to teen age, then a longer, fuller wig will look better.

As you can see, the longer wig comes past the shoulders and has bigger curls, more in keeping with a teen body size. Seriously, these wigs weight about 5 pounds. Having them on your head for most of the day equates into headaches and whinning, so be forewarned.

full versus natural

Here above you can see a tighter full curl wig on the left and a natural curl wig on the right. At first you don't really see the difference. But once you look and feel, you can see how the tighter curls produce more bounce, but are heavier, and require more maintenance to keep them that way.

And while these wigs are SO much easier than having to curl your daughter's hair, upkeep can, and will be an issue, so be forewarned

wig conditioner and hair spray

This is my favorite conditioner (and my fav hairspray for keeping strays in place and that bang bump 80's high) . It's available at national hair care stores, and really helps to remove the sweatty stink from your wig, and helps you to recondition the curls. Initially you might be able to just use a finger and the conditioner to reset the curls, but later you may need to move onto to roll curlers. And no, you can NOT wash and recurl your wig, and get the same look. Some people have had success with the natural look wigs, but with the tight curls, you just won't get the same look, OR hold. 

our wig kit

And don't forget a Wig kit /carryall to safely carry your wig and supplies! With as much as you'll be spending on your wig, you don't want anything to happen to it! As you can see, we use an old ice cream container for a couple different reasons- it has a carry handle and is made of plastic, so no smooshing. And it has enough room that I can put the comb, flower, bump, and bobby pin box in it as well. So can easily have it all together. The bobby pin box is a soap bar box and has enough room for pins, rubber bands, and her earrings. See all in one place!

And lastly, don't forget the bling:

crowns 1

You have to add the bling. No irish dancer wants to dance without it!

Younger kids will have a flower, or band, like the pictures at the top of the post. But once your kid gets to Novice, the need for bling will be established! Course, they may want to pick one out early...LOL ( you can also see just HOW long the full wigs can be, behind her!)

Crowns tend to match, or compliment, solo dresses and require different ways to be hooked into the hair. The easiest have combs, or hooks for bobby pins.

sparkle band

A new alternative is crystal bands, that tie and are lighter and easier to wear! All the bling without the weight!

And yes, you'll need some sort of crown holder too!

So there you have it.

What side of the wig fence are you and your dancer on?

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