Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Everything I Know About Wigs

Old ladies like me can knock ten years off our age just by femulating. Makeup hides some of our faces’ signs of old age. Girdles hide some of the pounds we put on as we mature. But I think wearing a wig makes the biggest difference. Replace thinning gray hair (or no hair) with a beautiful hairdo in a pretty color and a 60-year-old guy becomes a 50-something lady.

I bought my first wig in 1970, have purchased probably 50 more since then and have learned a lot about wigs in the process. I will relate to you everything I know.

Wig Shopping

You can buy wigs online or at a wig store. I have done both, but I highly recommend that novice wig buyers shop at a wig store because the shop staff can assist you when it comes to the best color, style and length of wig for you. You may pay more at a shop than online, but the added expense is worth it. 

Inexpensive wigs are attractive to femulators because they are inexpensive. Their attractiveness ends there because a cheap wig by any other name is still a cheap wig. 

When you wear a cheap wig, there is no fooling anyone that the hair on your head is fake. And when people see that you are wearing a wig, they might examine you more closely and find other clues that give away your natal gender.

I have owned a few cheap wigs in my time and my photos wearing those cheap wigs convinced me to go upscale in the wig department. “Upscale” meant spending $99 rather than $49 for a wig. That was an improvement, but not good enough. A $99 wig was still relatively inexpensive for a wig (it was just a more expensive “cheap” wig).

Also, starting out, I did not know what wig was best for me. I tried different styles, different lengths and different colors, but always avoided blond shades because I thought that blond was oh so drag. All the boys who wanted to be girls wanted to be blond girls. Also, I avoided short lengths because I thought my head was too big to be properly covered with a short wig.

A trip to a wig shop convinced me otherwise. I told the wig seller to have her way with me. So she sat me down at a mirror and went to the back room to fetch a wig she thought would be perfect for me. A few minutes later, she returned with a short blond wig.

I thought to myself, “Oh no, she's is making a mistake.”

She pulled the wig over my head, finger-combed it a bit and then let me look in the mirror.

In a very soft voice, I said, “Oh, my god!”

The wig looked absolutely fabulous on me and I did not think twice about purchasing it. That wig (“Ryan” by Noriko) was not cheap by any means ($342 is its current list price), but it was worth every penny. It pushed my femulation skills up a few notches. (That’s me wearing Ryan in the photo above.)

Wearing that wig, I lost count how many times people complimented me about my hair. (I never received such reactions wearing my $99 and $49 wigs.)

The bottom line is (1) seek out a professional wig seller for advice concerning the best wig color, style and length for you and (2) be willing to spend much more than $99 for a wig.

And don’t be afraid of shopping in person at a wig store. En femme or en homme, I assure you that you will not be the first male customer at the wig store. 

Shopping en femme is better than shopping en homme because you are all made up and dressed up, so as you try on various wigs, you will know exactly how they look on you when you femulate. 

So go for it. I am sure the store will welcome your business. If not, there are plenty of other wig stores that will.

However, if you prefer to shop online, there are plenty of online wig stores. Many offer assistance as to what wigs are more suitable for you, but they can only offer general advice, nothing like the advice you will receive in person from the staff at a wig store. 

And choosing colors online is an inexact science. Sometimes the color you order is different than the color you receive. The wig store is not trying to pull a fast one – it’s just that colors often appear different on your computer/tablet/smartphone screen than they do in person. Some stores will loan you a color ring that has a sample of all the available colors, but some don’t. And some stores will let you return a wig if you don’t like the color, but some don’t, so caveat emptor.

Large Caps

In general, ladies like us have bigger heads than civilian girls. So it behooves us ladies to adorn our heads with bigger wigs (also known as “large caps”).

In my youth, I did not pay attention to wig sizes – I assumed that wigs trying to escape from my head was par for the course in WigLand. Then I bought a large-sized wig and happily discovered that it did not try to runaway from me like my average-sized wigs!

Here are some signs your wig is too small (according to wigs.com):

๐Ÿ‘  If the wig slides back on your head and reveals your scalp or hairline, it’s too small.

๐Ÿ‘  If the wig has a lace front, check it out. If it’s rolling under instead of lying flat, you need a bigger wig.

๐Ÿ‘  Likewise, if your wig has a monofilament top, it should lay flat too. If the monofilament cap sticks up like a point on the top of your head, that’s a symptom of a wig that’s too small.

๐Ÿ‘  Lastly, if it’s too tight, it’s obviously too small. If it squeezes your temples or pulls your biological hair, it’s too tight. (It may also give you a splitting headache.)

I learned my lesson and now I only buy large-sized wigs. They not only fit better, but they look better because they are properly proportioned for my large head.

The only problem (and it is a big problem) is that the selection of wigs in large sizes is limited. For example, I searched one online wig retailer (wigs.com) and found 28 large-sized wigs, while that same retailer had over 825 average-sized wigs! So I am always on the lookout for new large caps.

My Prefs

I favor the monofilament wigs from Noriko, specifically the models that are available in gradient dark-rooted colors. The dark roots add authenticity to the wigs.

Since I began wearing the Noriko brand, I have been told countless times that my wigs look like real hair. Some people were very surprised when I told them I was wearing a wig.

In the next installment  of “Everything I Know About Wigs,” I will write about wearing and maintaining wigs. So, stay tuned.

Warning: I have no formal training in the femulating arts. However, I do have over 50 years experience practicing those arts and have become so adept at them that I pass more often than not.

Wearing Venus
Wearing Venus

Jimmy Eagles femulating (to Bing Crosby's surprise) in the 1933 film short Billboard Girl.
You can view the film on YouTube.


  1. Thanks for the tips. I admit I am one of those who buys cheap - or free! Working in theater, I have access to stage wigs that are in pretty good condition, but I have no idea where they actually fall in the "cheap to quality" range. I rely on my closest girl friend to tell me what looks good or not.

    Also, I first encountered BILLBOARD GIRL probably 30 years ago. I found it on a VHS cassette of "Old Radio Stars" films - Jack Benny, Bing Crosby. I probably wore out the tape watching and rewatching it. Thanks for the reminder.


  2. "And don’t be afraid of shopping in person at a wig store. En femme or en homme, I assure you that you will not be the first male customer at the wig store."

    This is so true I never had a problem in a wig store, as you say we are part of their customer base and have been for years.

    I have a friend in the Boston area, she goes out once a week and in the early days she would try a different wig store each week, they all received her with enthusiasm . Only one store out of dozens was a bit off about her but still helped her

  3. i would suggest that another thing to consider is the circumstances in which one wears a wig? if venturing out in straightsville, then yes i would agree that a more expensive one looks more natural at close quarters and so perhaps worth the extra investment. but if one is going out on the gay club scene (where you're not trying to fool anybody!) or in the privacy of home (where nobody else is going to see it), then with a bit of effort one can find reasonably-priced wigs that in my opinion are not "obviously wiggy" and more-than adequate for the job

    1. If one is dressing not to pass, then anything would work. You could even go wigless!

    2. apart from being part of the "disguise" (and also for some an opportunity to experiment with different looks), my view on why most crossdressers wear wigs is simply because their own hair is not up to the job - even if they still have it all, which of course is not the case for many of those longer in the tooth. i am fortunate in that i still have mine at my advanced age, but despite it being extremely long at the moment (partly through choice, partly thanks to the virus)) unless i make use of a trained practitioner then i know it's just not good enough to get away with.

      i have always had a high forehead, which is one reason i have been reluctant to go out dressed sans wig (even on the gay club scene). but by chance i recently saw a pic of hollywood movie star helen hunt, and couldn't help but notice her hairline was even higher than mine! so with that in mind, maybe the next time i get an opportunity to go out dressed fo the evening without fear of a possible painful death as a result, i might visit a hairdressing emporium for a professional makeover in a feminine style beforehand?

      i was also encouraged to consider the above by reading a recent interview with the fabulous joan collins, where among other things refuted allegations that she always wore a wig. but she admitted they were far more convenient for public appearances, as it had taken two and half hours to do her real hair for the interview!

  4. I don't know, Gina. Dressing at home is one thing, but when you're out as Gina you should present your best feminine self. The people in gay clubs accept us, which is more than a lot of straight people do. But if you sashay into a gay club with a sub-par wig and looking like a guy in a dress who doesn't feel the need to even try just because it's a gay place is disrespecting them, and you won't be getting much acceptance from them. I think that whenever we go out we should present as our best femme selves.

    1. mikki i'm not saying that you should hang out in gay bars wearing something bought from a fancy dress shop for £9.99 (i for one would never do so, unless i was doing something like a tina turner tribute ha ha), but i do think there is a more-than-acceptable middle ground that can be achieved in that circumstances without breaking the bank.

      i totally agree that gays should be respected and given thanks for allowing "guests" like us to hang out on their patch without looking over our shoulder for fear of our wigs being pulled off (or worse!). as such i give as much consideration and effort as i can afford with regard to to how i present myself in those circumstances - despite knowing i am almost certainly going to be read, simply because of the circumstances i am in - even if wearing the most expensive wig in the world (although a transvestite in a gay bar i was in a year ago told me that she thought i was real woman until she heard me speak!)

  5. I do not live anywhere near a wig shop
    A few years ago I wanted to see how I would look with dark hair
    I bought a cheap as possible fancy dress wig, off an auction site, roughly the colour and style I wanted to try
    The dark "hair" highlighted every imperfection there was in my very fair skin
    It was cheaper to do that than to travel to London and find dark hair does not suit me

    1. if you have the user skills and access to an image-editing programme like photoshop, then it can be useful to superimpose a pic of your (made-up) face on the wig photos in order to get at least some idea of what they would look like on you before ordering via the internet or mail order (i have done that, with fairly pleasing results). perhaps these days there is even specialist software that exists for that purpose (in the same manner criminal identikit photos are put together ha ha)?

    2. also: if one would rather try a wig in person than take their chances ordering remotely, then unless living somewhere like the outer hebrides, i would think one shouldn't have to travel that far within the UK to visit a half-decent wig salon. i live in greater manchester, and i know of at least 4 such emporia that offer personal services and fittings on appointment within 10 miles of my home: