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By Jackie Silver  

Wearing a wig is a fast and fun way to change your look for the evening or anytime you want. You don't have to be suffering hair loss to wear a wig. Wearing a wig can be a quick and beautiful way to be "fashion-ready" when you don't have time to wash, dry and style your hair. A wig can also be just plain fun and allow you the freedom to "be someone else," temporarily. Having fun and breaking out of your mold is conducive to Aging Backwards.

Wear and Care Tips for Wigs:  

1) Choose a style and color.  Wigs can be expensive, so here's an idea to help you choose a style you'll be happy with before you plunk down any money. Many hair-related Web sites have free virtual "try on" hairstyle studios. You just upload your photo and have a blast. When you find the hairstyle you like, you can print it out and take it wig shopping with you. Who knows? You may even buy more than one. Just google the phrase "virtual hairstyles" to find a Web site you like.

2) Synthetic or human hair?  Wigs can be constructed of synthetic hair or real human hair. Synthetic wigs are easy to maintain, pre-styled and less expensive than human hair wigs. For those looking for a wig they can wear every day and curl and style themselves, a human hair wig is the better choice. To style a human hair wig, you can use heat such as electric rollers or a hair dryer. Keep the hair dryer at least a foot away from the wig. With a human hair wig, you can spray it with water and then comb it out and you can even use spray-on conditioner just as you would with your own hair to make it more manageable. Human hair wigs can also be cut to your preferred style, but keep in mind, unlike your own hair, it will not grow back so be careful when cutting or trimming a human hair wig.

3) Wash and wear for synthetic hair wigs.  Washing a wig does not have to be a complicated procedure. Whether the wig is made of synthetic hair or real human hair, you can get a good result by washing it yourself. For synthetic wigs, fill a large bowl or the sink with cool water and add a capful of synthetic wig shampoo. You can add a teaspoon of baking soda to neutralize any odors the wig may have picked up, such as cigarette smoke. Gently swirl the wig in the water until it is saturated. Scrub the wig cap where it meets the forehead to remove dirt and makeup. Soak the wig for another 15 minutes, then empty the water and rinse with cool water. If you have a curly wig, you want to make sure the water is cool or the curls may over-relax. Gently squeeze the wig to remove excess water and lay it on an absorbent towel. You can spray on some leave-in conditioner if you'd like to make it easier to style. Once the wig is completely dry, you can restyle it with a wig pick. Do not use a brush.

4) Wash and wear for human hair wigs.  For human hair wigs, the directions are the same, but instead of cool water, use lukewarm water and shampoo for human hair wigs and avoid rubbing because that can lead to tangling. You can then blow-dry your wig and use hot rollers to style it. Be sure to store it properly on a wig form to keep it looking fresh and avoid tangles.

With proper care, your wig can look stylish and beautiful for a long time and you can be a "quick change artist"  anytime you want a new style.

Jackie Silver is aging backwards. She shares her secrets, tips, and shortcuts on her web site, AgingBackwards.com, in her forthcoming book, on the syndicated TV show, Daytime, on Clear Channel radio's Mix 100.7, and as a sought-after speaker.

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