Buying A Wig
Trevor Sorbie (Director) gives expert video advice on: Where can I get a good wig?; How do I choose a wig that will suit me?; Will the NHS pay for my wig? and more...
Where can I get a good wig?
To buy a decent wig there are certainly outlets throughout the country. I use a company called Trenco, and you can have mail order. They can literally overnight a wig to you. They are probably the best company in this country. Having said that, if you don't want to take that route, in most department stores there are wig counters which provide a service. I don't usually advise people to go to a department store to buy a wig because there's no privacy. And if you have no hair, it's not really a situation you want to put yourself into, having the general public walking by. There are wig shops all around, but they're not in every High Street. I would recommend two companies - Trenco, which are based out of Brighton and London, and they do a mail order service. Or, there's another company down in the southwest called Brown's, and they provide a very similar service with their excellent wigs as well. They're the two outlets that I use most.
Am I able to get my wig customised?
When you buy a wig, bear in mind that the wig is made for anyone and everyone, so one size fits everybody and the chances are that you're going to need it customised for you as an individual. Usually there's too much hair put into a wig, so it looks an abnormal amount of hair. By the use of thinning scissors you can take a lot of that bulk out. There's not many hairdressers that will customise wigs, simply because we're not trained. Hairdressers are not trained to cut wigs, either in colleges or schools, up and down the country - it doesn't exist. Having said that, I'm going to set up a series of teaching seminars. L'Oreal, the color company, are supporting me on this. They believe in my initiative and are financially helping me to set up seminars to actually teach hairdressers how to customise wigs. My crusade in this is to get as many hairdressers behind this to help ladies in their darkest hour.
Will I be able to find a wig that is a similar colour to my natural hair colour?
When you are choosing a wig, in my opinion, and this is 99.9% of the clients that I work with, they want the wig to be almost identical to what their hair was like when they had hair. There are an enormous amount of colour ranges as well with wigs, as much as there are with different hairstyles. The chances are that you can almost get, if not spot on, very close to your own hair colour. Bearing in mind the client will also remember her own colour. You can try different shades on; say you were a blonde, for example, and you were a honey-blonde, well you could try an ash-blonde, you could try a strawberry-blonde and you could try a golden-blonde. The client will know what she feels most comfortable with. She will remember the colour of her own hair even if there is no photograph available.
How much does a wig cost?
A good, synthetic wig will cost you 150 to 200 pounds. A real hair wig off the peg will cost 400 to 500 pounds. If you really want to go high end, have your head measured and have good quality hair from Italy, it takes eight weeks to make and each hair is literally sewn into the net base. You're then talking over 1000 - 1500 pounds. Some wig companies on the high end of the market will say that you actually have to have two wigs. The reason they say you have to have two wigs is because you're wearing one for a period of months. You treat a real hair wig like your own hair, you brush it and you style it. What actually happens is it starts to wear out as well, so after maybe 9 months a year period you take that wig back to the place you bought it from. They would then add new hair into it or repair it for want of a better word. Then you put your second wig on while that's being repaired. It's an interesting marketing concept and I'm not sure if I fully agree with it.
Should I get more than one wig?
A lot of clients that come to me do actually have more than one wig. They have their what they call their “day wig” and then they have their “evening wig”. It's not really necessary to have more than one. The reason is, if you're happy with that and you're going through chemo that will probably last you your term, if you like. But as I said, some clients come to me and have two and one they like better than the other and therefore that's their sort of “Sunday wig”. But it's not mandatory to have more than one wig really.
I can't afford a wig what can I do?
If you can't afford a wig, what you can do is get in contact with me. If you go to my website address, which is either trevorsorbie.com or mynewhair.org, and email us the fact that you're in a situation, you can't afford a wig. We can arrange to actually buy you a wig. We have money, funds, created by donations because I don't charge for my services. The only thing I say to any of my clients is, "If you want to donate some money to the cause or the charity, then that would be great." We've got quite a lot of money banked up now. And that money is there to buy wigs for people who can't afford them, but they have to be genuine cases. I know how to vet someone because I've got quite a bit of experience now. I've bought many wigs for many people. There was one case, a lovely young girl, she came in and she had the most awful wig that I've ever seen, really. She said, "Look, I'm getting married in three months. Can you do something with this?" And I said, "No." I said, "I can't do anything with that." I said, "But what I can do is get you one that looks good." I took her down to the wig shop; we purchased this wig - lovely long, dark hair. And I said, "That's my wedding gift to you," and she got married with the hairstyle that she wanted. And I'll tell you something, that's why I'm doing this. I'm not doing this for money. I'm doing this because I get a real heartwarming feeling and I know that I give a lot to people in difficult circumstances. So I can buy you a wig if you can't afford it.
Will the NHS pay for my wig?
My understanding of the NHS is that you can buy, or they will buy you, 2 wigs per year to the value of 50 pounds, which is not a lot. It doesn't really provide a great wig. It depends on what part of the area that you live in this country, believe it or not. I've had clients who've had NHS wigs but they're real hair, and they're really quite expensive wigs. It depends in that area where the local wig shop is, that's where they get the wigs from. If you're in an area that doesn't really have much of a supply, or good supply of wigs, then you're not going to get a great wig. But you can get a great wig in another part of the country that's still NHS. But basically, you're provided 2 wigs a year from the NHS.