Why You Want A Wig, or Not

With technological and design advancements, wigs have become an essential for a growing number of Nigerian women. No longer just a luxury, wigs have become a practical accessory in the female closet. For daily users or occasional dependents, wigs offer numerous cosmetic and hygiene benefits which I will attempt to list in this post.

PROS

Time Saving
Owning a wig means you can go from “Ekate” to Tyra Banks in seconds. Whatever look you are going for can happen without living the comfort of your home or sitting for hours. Even if you decide to install a full lace wig, it takes way less time than a proper sew-in will. Personally, I can’t sit still in a salon for more than 30 minutes, so once a month, I go to the “hair-plater” and twenty minutes and N500 naira later, my “shuku” is nice and neat, and safely tucked under a wig.

Variety
There are so many different types of wigs with as many different hairstyles. Synthetic wigs cost less and have a lot more coloured and styled variety, from Afro to kinky, curly, wavy and bone straight hair. However, they aren’t as durable as Human hair wigs which can last for over three years and are more responsive to styling. However, I highly recommend a “braided wig” for braid-lovers. Yes, you don’t have to sit for hours anymore. These braided/twisting wigs come in all lengths, sizes and colours and sell for about twenty thousand naira in Utako and Wuse Market.

Cost Savings
Depending on the quality of hair you desire, the right wig can be  a smart investment, The best way to explain this succinctly will be through the table below where I will compare using weave, braids and wigs, over the period of 3 years. Keep in mind that for this analysis, I have used average prices and costs in Abuja.

Cost Analysis – Braids and Braided Wigs
BRAIDS Braiding WIG
Attachment N1,500.00 N20,000.00
Service Charge N3,500.00
Transportation N1,000.00
Total Monthly Recurring Expense N4,500.00
Total Initial expense N6,000.00 N20,000.00
Total Costs in Year 1 N63,000.00 N20,000.00
Total Costs in Year 2 N63,000.00
Total Costs in Year 3 N63,000.00
Total Expense in 3 Years N189,000.00 N60,000.00

Assumptions and Remarks: To make this analysis as realistic as possible, I assumed you’ll replace your braided wig once a year and would use your braiding attachment (Expression)twice before throwing it away. I also assumed that price of attachment is N500 and wig N20,000, and that these prices will remain constant over the period.Summarily, getting a braided wig every year instead of braiding monthly will result in a cost savings of 215%.

Cost Analysis – Human Hair
HUMAN HAIR FIXING WIG
Weave N30,000.00 N100,000.00
Service Charge N3,500.00
Transportation N1,000.00
Total Monthly Recurring Expense N4,500.00
Total Initial Expense N34,500 N100,000.00
Total Costs in Year 1 N84,000.00 N100,000.00
Total Costs in Year 2 N54,000.00
Total Costs in Year 3 N54,000.00
Total Expense in 3 Years N192,000.00 N100,000.00

Assumptions and Remarks: Because Human hair is very durable, I assumed you’ll buy 12 inches weave length and use your weave and wig for the 3 years. I also assumed that other costs will remain constant during the 3 year period.Summarily, getting a Human Hair wig instead fixing the weave monthly will result in a cost savings of 92%.

Cost Analysis – synthetic hair
SYNTHETIC Hair FIXING WIG
Weave N5,000.00 N20,000.00
Service Charge N3,500.00
Transportation N1,000.00
Total Monthly Recurring Expense N4,500.00
Total Initial Expense N9,500.00 N20,000.00
Total Costs in Year 1 N59,000.00 N20,000.00
Total Costs in Year 2 N59,000.00
Total Costs in Year 3 N59,000.00
Total Expense in 3 Years N177,000.00 N60,000.00

Assumptions and Remarks: To be realistic, I assumed you’ll buy 12 inches weave length and change your synthetic weave or wig once a year (unless you are okay carrying around a spongy bird’s nest on your head) use your weave and wig for the 3 years. I also assumed that other costs will remain constant during the 3 year period.Summarily, getting a Human Hair wig instead fixing the weave monthly will result in a cost savings of 195%.
If you would like to see my worksheet, click here to download the Excel file.

Protective Styling
3 years ago, I decided to grow my own hair. In this time wigs have been my comfort, allowing me mat and grow my natural underneath, hidden and protected from harsh weather and any kind of damage. Consequently, there’s less stress and breakage to my natural hair. It is soft, full and quite long.

Hygiene
Because most wigs can be taken off at the end of the day, they can air-dry and are less likely to stink (and choke your partner when cuddling) like sew-ins and braids do after a few weeks on. I prefer to take off my wig at the end of the day, turn it inside out and hang it up to dry. This way, all the sweat dries out before my next use.

Longer Lasting Style
Being able to hang the wig up at the end of the day means you aren’t rolling around in your hair while you sleep, or forced to roll it up when the you are busy with physical activities or a morning workout. This allows the styling last longer. In my experience, I style my human hair wig once in a month in the moist rainy season and once in 6-8 months in the dry season.

Ease of Maintenance
Wigs are very low maintenance requiring little more than shampooing, conditioning and styling, all of which can be done yourself with a few YouTube tutorials and a little practice.

Sharing
Not that it is something I enjoy, but having a good wig can add value to more than just your life. You could save a sister on a bad hair day, or share with a close friend, if it’s a style you both like, or perhaps an important occasion. It’s a bit like sharing clothes so it’s not something I recommend, (possible dandruff, lice, itchy & scratchy et al) but sharing once in a while never killed anyone.

CONS

Initial Cost
Depending on the hair type and quality and the current forex rates, a decent wig can cost anywhere between ten to two hundred thousand naira. As you already know, because human hair is imported, human hair lace wigs cost the most, additionally because of the lace and desired length. However, from our table above, I prefer to see this as a capital investment.

Like “Magic”
Using a wig, your look can vary significantly to other people. Some people may not even recognize you because of how drastic the difference often is. You’ll go from 100 to 0 (or vice versa) really quickly. Expect rude comments and sleek talk about deception and your lack of self-esteem from Natural hair fans.

Embarrassing Accidents
I remember my mom getting into the car, out of breath, wig in hand and looking disheveled. We had stopped on the expressway for her to buy yams. A speeding trailer had gone by and the wind snatched up her wig and sent it flying after the trailer. Summarily, beware of  windy days, grabby kids and rough sex. Yes, wigs have resulted in some of the most awkward bedroom moments. There are countless stories by mortified women and stunned men, who in the hit of the moment pulled her hair and “the whole thing came of”. Guys, please don’t touch a black girls hair… your own good.

Summarily, whatever the situation; to glam up on a bad hair day, hide baldness or just protective styling for your own hair, your wig is there for you. These timeless beauty accessories have been around for centuries offering freedom, versatility and phenomenal cost savings, and are here to stay.
Please share any pros and cons I may have left out in the comment section below. If you haven’t got a wig, please check out my next post on types of wigs.

Click here for How to Make Your Own Wig>

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