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The Social Stigma Of Wearing Wigs Has Subsided, And Are Worn By Many



Image Source: Footwear News, Getty Images

In America, over 50% of people wear wigs or hair extensions. Over 90% of celebrities fall into this category. Historically, women wore wigs discreetly and never admitted to wearing them. For example, in Revolutionary France, wigs were considered a sign of the aristocracy and were associated with deception. As a result, Parliament passed the Hair Powder Act of 1795, effectively banning wigs. However, with the growing number of celebrities and influencers wearing wigs today, the stigma associated with wigs has been largely removed, and the general public has become more accepting of wigs as a form of fashion.

One may choose to cover one’s natural hair for several reasons. Many women wear wigs or weave extensions to protect their natural hair from heat styling and the elements or to add length and volume. Some celebrities like Nicki Minaj, Megan Thee Stallion, Lil Kim, and others frequently change their appearances to experiment with new looks and promote themselves as entertainers.

A Wig Maker Destined To Promote Women’s Confidence

A primary objective of Shani Lechan, the founder of Shani Wigs, has been to rid the world of the stigma associated with wearing wigs by women across a wide range of demographics. In addition to being predominantly Jewish women, her clientele has shifted considerably to include individuals suffering from cancer and alopecia.

Shani Lechan. Credit: Women Love Tech

As a result of many celebrities wearing them, the wig business has proven to be profitable. In the Netflix series “Emily in Paris,” actress Lily Collins wore wigs designed by Lechan.


Lily Collins from the Netflix series “Emily in Paris” wearing one of hairstylist Shani Lechan’s wigs. Credit: Shani Lechan

Celebrities Who Wear Wigs With Pride

Besides changing their style, women who are unhappy with their hair, thinning, or alopecia feel less self-conscious about wearing wigs since wearing them has become more acceptable.

The talented Beyonce Knowles is a woman with an incredibly keen sense of style and an openness to experimenting with new looks. She is internationally recognized for her long sleek ponytail, blunt bob cut with curls, braided ponytail, and top bun hairstyles. In most public appearances, she wears a wig or hair extensions. As a result of Beyonce’s formation, wigs and lace-front wigs became acceptable, causing a stir within the wig industry.


Beyonce is wearing a bob-cut wig. Credit: Getty Images

Additionally, rapper Saweetie owns an extensive collection of wigs that she admitted to having filled a whole room in her home. As a musician, Saweetie needs to be versatile and able to change her look quickly. Having a room full of wigs allows her to quickly and easily switch up her style and add variety to her performances. In an interview with the New York Post’s Page Six Style, she shared: “I probably could’ve bought a house by now, with all the money I spend on wigs. I’m always going to give it a look, though.

“If I want a new wig or new colour or a new cut, that’s what the icy girl gotta do. I actually have a wig room. I’ve lost count of how many wigs I got … I might as well come out with my own line.”


Saweetie is wearing a shoulder-length, curly blue lace-front wig. Credit: @saweetie/Instagram

Celebrities & Everyone Can Do It

The fact that women now wear wigs for religious reasons also contributes to the widespread acceptance of wearing wigs. Wigs are required for women who follow the Judaism faith. Historically, this has been true since the 16th century but has become increasingly exposed to people not of the same religious belief or lifestyle.

Judaism views a woman’s hair as a symbol of ‘nakedness,’ which must be covered once she has married a man. In the past, most Jewish women wore synthetic wigs with bob lengths since these were their only selection. This is why many women opt to cover their hair with a hat, scarf, or wig once married, as it signifies modesty and respect for their spouse. This practice is known as “tznius” in Jewish culture and is an integral part of the faith.

Wigs are becoming more widespread, and many women are replacing their traditional Sheitel (Jewish wig) with longer styles manufactured from human hair and available in different colors and textures, such as curly and wavy hair. “I never thought hair covering would bring women from so many different backgrounds, religions, and ethnicity, “ said Shani.

Wig Maker Expert’s Opinions On Wigs 

New York wigmaker Merria Dearman is equally optimistic that taboos surrounding wigs are dissolving. “We know that Jennifer Lopez doesn’t have 6-inch hair one day and 24-inch hair the next day,” she said. She states that celebrities are becoming more open to wearing wigs and hair extensions and are using them as tools to bring fun and variety to their looks.

Merria Dearman in her N.Y.C. wig-making studio. Credit: JAMES ESTRIN/THE NEW YORK TIMES

Popular wigs today are lace wigs. They offer a unique opportunity to express yourself while allowing you to switch up your look daily safely and naturally. Shani Lechan echoes the same sentiment, “we believe every woman is unique, and so their wigs have to be unique too; that is why each piece is fully customized.

If it’s appropriately customized, you can’t tell it’s a wig. Dearman believes this will increase the acceptance of wigs and reduce their stigma.

Louticia Grier, owner and master wig maker of A Diva’s Hidden Hair Manufacturer, focuses on providing quality wigs to ‘everyday people’ in need. The treatment benefits individuals who wish to grow more hair, have different types of hair, or are experiencing hair loss due to medical reasons.

Louticia Grier. Credit: Cranial Prosthesis

“It’s a beautiful thing to know that my custom wigs and hair systems brings both inner and outer beauty to women,” Grier said. In her opinion, women are most beautiful when they are themselves.

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Written by Nikiya Biggs

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Experienced, dedicated, and goal-oriented writer with a flair for producing informative and captivating content. Experience spanning 5+ years in writing includes correct grammar, fact-checking, and adaptability. Throughout my life, I've been exposed to many opportunities. I have played the piano, participated in many recitals, and won numerous awards throughout my life. I have been honing my writing skills for years in my spare time. As an example, I have completed writing exercises and created my own stories in this regard.

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