• Larry
    38
    I'm not sure if this is the right place to bring this up, but here goes.

    For those of you who don't know me, (or my situation), I'm a man with androgenetic alopecia; and even though I love my bald head (I shave off what hair I can grow), I also really like to wear wigs (different colors, styles and lengths), and I wear one (or not) <weak smile> based on what I feel like on any given day.

    I first started doing this while taking a psych course while in college. For one of my classes I had to design and implement a peer support group, and I chose to make mine for people with A. A. Being a Christian, it wasn't just a class project, but a ministry. Three years ago, a friend from those days phoned me up, and as we chatted she asked me if I still wore wigs. I laughed self consciously and said no, when you leave college you have to be a grown up, and grown ups can't have fun any more . . . besides, I'm not involved in any ministry where wearing wigs would be useful. After a long pause,she said: "Larry, you don't have to have a ministry to wear wigs. You can wear them just because you want to. I remember how much you liked wearing them just because you wanted to.

    She was right, and so I started wearing them again. Most of the time, wearing wigs has been a wonderful experience. On the other hand, I've never been "trash talked about" so much before in my life. Many of you have read my essay, "A Special Wardrobe," and how God has used both my baldness and my wigs to help people with self esteem issues.

    So, what's the problem, many of you thinking. Well, I've discovered that hateful, negative comments seem to hurt a lot more than the good, supportive, and compliments that build me up do. I guess I'm kind of envious of you ladies; you have girl friends that you can share both good things as well as bad things with. Guys don't (or can't) share things like women are able to do. I don't know anyone (men or women) who love themselves bald or wigged. Some times "being different" really seems to suck . . . (lol). I'd really appreciate some feed back.

    God bless and love,

    Larry
  • Rugtopper
    5
    Larry:

    Western society is set up for women to have other women friends, but men are not allowed without certain connotations. A woman can do pretty much anything to improve her appearance, but a man is viewed as vain or gay if he cares anything about his appearance.

    You and I have have communicated a few times. I'd like to re-establish that, if you would like.

    Keith
  • Tav
    15
    Not all women have women friends. Many women can be hateful and judgemental when one seeks a friend for support. I know how it feels to be different. Hateful words and actions have greatly encouraged me to seek solitude and self acceptance. I don't care if anyone realizes I have a wig on my head and change styles or color at will. It's fun and I intend to keep it that way.

    All I know to do is tell you that I understand where you're coming from. Wigs on men is different from on women socially speaking, but all in all there's a greater common ground for us to share. Something out of the ordinary drove most of us to wear wigs in the first place.
  • Larry
    38
    Thanks for your kind words, Tav -- you're a woman after my heart.

    I've always wanted to wear wigs,especially after getting involved working with women who have alopecia areata.

    Like you, I love wearing wigs because of fun and fashion. I also enjoy the satisfaction I get out of helping people with self esteem issues. I do wish I had friends who wear wigs so we could share not only the bad experiences, but also the good ones. Giving and getting positive opinions, advice and information about wigs would be wonderful to.

    God bless and love,

    Larry
  • Tav
    15
    Larry, I believe most of us don't have a fellow wig wearer to share and compare with. That's why this forum is so important.

    Yesterday I watched a video on YouTube by Taz where the title was Wigs give us wings. It was heart felt and very true. I can enjoy styles and hair types I didn't have growing up. No incompetent hair dressers to lop my hair off when I ask for a style that it took a year or more to grow my hair for. No one around me really gets why I wear wigs. This forum is a tried and true outlet.
  • animallover
    319
    Even as a child I never understood the saying, "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me". Really??!! I saw plenty of kids hurt, including myself. It took me over 50 years to finally realize that the people that are judging have issues within themselves and I can only let them hurt me IF I choose too......I try to be mindful of maybe they had a crappy horrible life and have to project their anger and hate onto others to feel better. That being said, sometimes I fail and I get hurt by words. I pick who I tell about my wigs, the ones that are true and faithful friends know, others including family, I choose not to tell just to save myself from having to gather the inner strength to let the words bounce off of me. Be you, the beautiful you that God created, try not to let ego get in the way. You sound like a wonderful soul. Hold your head high, smile and just walk away. The smile will confuse them!
  • linda
    85
    I truly appreciate this conversation. I am so pleased to see the forum active again.
    Tav, you are so right about "most of us don't have a fellow wig wearer to share and compare."
    I know I don't. Until this most recent discussion I was afraid the forum was disappearing.
    Larry, where have you been? It's always good to hear from you.
    Animallover, jeez, who ever created that ridiculous verse?? Quoted to children who are left to try and decipher what it means. I interpreted it as shut-up, stuff it, and move on.
    Thanks again.
    Linda
  • Larry
    38

    Again, I think similar thoughts as you, Tav. I grew up in a pretty conservative home (meaning I wasn't aloud to wear my hair long), which is why I chose the wig you see me wearing now for several reasons - one of them was because it's longer than my hair was when I was a teen-ager. I just turned 58, so better late than never. I know a lot of people don't like it (I even over heard a friend say, "he's wearing that awful red wig today." (sigh). She felt really bad when I told her I was able to hear what she said.

    I've always done what I like, regardless of what others think. Some times it's come with a cost . . . but some times I've been rewarded.for doing things my way. Still, even though I ought to know better, I tend to think about the one negative comment instead of the seven (or however many) positive comments. It does help a lot when I reflect on all the good God has done through me to help people with self esteem issues because I have done things my way; and so as far as wigs go, I still say: "My hair, my head, my wig, my say!"

    God bless and love,

    Larry
  • Larry
    38

    Sorry for the delay in writing back, (my internet server has been "spotty" over the past few days); because I wear a variety of wigs -- not to mention the days I don't wear one at all -- I don't have the option of only telling certain people that I wear wigs. It's pretty much in everyone and their brother's face that I wear wigs.

    I live in a senior citizen's condo community so there are precious few secrets here as you can imagine. How did I end up here? In 2013, I had to go on disability, at the same time Dad was diagnosed with Altzeimer's (however you spell it), and so to save money and help Mom take care of Dad I moved back home. In November 2015 (Dad had died the previous March), Mom and I moved here ("Crescent Heights"). When she died unexpectantly a year later, Management said I could stay if I wanted to even though I was a few years short of being the minimum age of 55. There are a lot of "goodies" that comes with being a resident here -- not too mention Management's offer of reducing my rent by $200, and my money was clearly "old enough" to be accepted, so I've stayed. I still drive so when the walls start to close in, I can hop into my Jeep and visit friends, family, and continue attending my Church that I love. Pets are allowed so I have my little girl, "Georgia" for company. . . . but I seriously digress.

    I have found that when most people learn how I came to wear wigs, usually after reading my essay, "A Special Wardrobe" it changes their attitude. I'm no longer that weirdo bald guy who wears different colored wigs - I'm that advocate guy who helped and continues to help people coping with hair loss problems as well as anyone else with self esteem issues that aren't related to baldness.

    Unfortunately, not everyone knows my "back story;" and I shouldn't have to "educate" people before they treat me with respect. And, of course, some don't change their opinion of me even if they do know my "back story." In some ways living here is like being back in high school: there are your little cliques, and some people can only build themselves up by tearing others down. Some time it gets to me, and then I come here and bore you people when I'm disrespected and get my feelings hurt.

    God bless and love,

    Larry
  • Larry
    38

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for remembering me. I've been around. I follow this blog faithfully and I do make the occasional comment, and even ask relevant questions. I hope you and the others here know how much I like to "pen pal" and I'd like to hear how you're doing -- both the good as well as the bad. I had a pretty good day today. One of the care givers told me she thought my hair looked nice today. Even though she knows it was a wig, she knew it would please me more by saying your hair -- not your wig -- looks nice today.

    It was a silly little thing to say, but it meant a lot for some reason. I don't think she knows my back story,we've never spoken before -- I don't even know her name!



    Hey Keith,

    Sorry for the delay in responding to your message.

    I’d be glad to “listen” to anything you need to talk about. I’m a little confused as to whether you want to wear toupees or wigs. A toupee is a hair piece that covers the balding area of the scalp; if you don’t have a bald spot or patch, how do you choose what size toupee to buy and/or have made for you. After covering the bald area, the hair (or synthetic fibres) are then combed in to the existing hair still growing on the scalp. You can’t wear toupees that are a different color than your natural hair. Perhaps like a lot of people, you’ve been thinking that “toupee” is a term used for all hair pieces for men, and that “wig” is the term used for all hair pieces made for women. These terms aren’t descriptive for the gender of who a hair piece has been made for. If the hair piece covers the whole scalp then it’s a wig – albeit a men’s wig or a woman’s wig. As to whether or not women wear toupees, I’m not sure about. If they have a bald spot or patch that isn’t too large, the ladies often wear hair pieces called “toppers.” Toppers are the same color of the woman’s hair as they are suppose to blend with their existing natural hair. In the ’60s when women started wearing wigs, those with short hair often wore a “fall” or an attachable pony tail. These created the illusion that a woman had long hair, when a woman actually had short hair. Today’s toppers now also include bangs, buns, and braids.

    I hope this helps.

    God bless and love,

    Larry
  • Rugtopper
    5
    Hi, Larry. Thanks for responding. I understand the various definitions. I am just old enough to remember seeing women getting falls and toppers at the beauty shop when I would go with my mom. She never wore them. She always got her hair teased. It was a lot easier for her.

    Anyway, when it comes to wigs or toupees for men, I am not completely sure the 'why' behind the desire to wear one. I have a full head of thick, coarse hair that is now salt and pepper. I get compliments and comments on it all the time. I'm not sure why I want to get rid of part of it for a toupee that fairly matches, or all of it for a full wig. I guess I have always been fascinated by the idea of having to wear a toupee every day. No matter how great they might be, you still know that it is a toupee, or even a wig.

    A person told me several years ago that the desire might be some form of negative attention. I can understand that. I have also read some on body dysmorphic disorder. BDS has to do with a laser-focus hatred of a part of your body, to the point that you feel you cannot be happy unless you remove it. For example, some people have removed a finger or even a limb. That is extreme and really requires psychological counseling. I'm not at that stage.

    The idea of wearing a toupee everyday has been in the back of mind and in my dreams since high school. It is totally unnecessary, of course. It is also difficult for anyone to comprehend because it is unnecessary. No one questions someone wearing a wig, especially if they are dealing with cancer-related treatments, or if they are bald for any other reason. My biggest hurdle has been trying to come up with an explanation to give to those closest to me. Getting a toupee or wig when there is no biological reason is not something easily explained. Forget the general populace. This is about those family members you care about. We are all told as we grow up to not care what others think. Well, we do care, especially when it comes to family.

    I don't know if I am explaining myself well, or just rambling. I'm not sure if I have even answered your question. This notion of getting a toupee is really silly in one respect, and yet, for some goofy reason it has dominated my thinking. To restate from an earlier exchange, this is not about sex. Yet, somewhere along the way as a kid, I got it in my mind that there was something unique and special about a man who wore a toupee. Again, not sexual, but an admiration of some sort.

    Thank you for at least tolerating my ramblings, and thank you for caring even if you might not fully understand.

    God bless,
    Keith
  • Tav
    15
    I may or may not understand where you're coming from. Maybe a part of my story will be relatable. It might be a case of the grass is always greener in someone else's yard, but it's deeply ingrained.

    I have really thick hair that doesn't move. I always admired hair that moved. The commercials for gorgeous, flowing hair made my heart soar with imagining that product was my holy grail for normal hair. It wasn't. I'd have to be in the head winds of a strong tropical depression for my hair to move like normal hair. It probably wouldn't lay down for a month afterwards just to spite me.

    I've since been through chemo and now have fancy new cow licks and a possible crop circle or two. I choose to wear wigs even in the face of relatives trying to talk me out of it. I have to thin my hair to make wig wearing possible and don't mind at all. It's the hair I wish I'd had growing up, so a very big wish came true for me through wigs.
  • Rugtopper
    5
    Thank you, Tav, for responding. I totally understand what you have related. I will share my experience as best as I can. Here is one interesting fact. Count yourself extra special. I have never had this discussion with a woman. I tried to broach the subject with my mom a few months ago. I'm 52, and I have just now gotten around to even asking my mom what she would think IF I had to get a toupee. She said she would not care as long as it looked fantastic, but that I didn't need one at all, so don't worry about it.

    So, here is the odd saga. I have thick, coarse hair. There is some movement to it, but it is not fun to deal with. Everyone is always complimenting me on my hair or commenting on it. When I had a job, before the pandemic killed it, I even had group of Girl Scouts want to run their hands through my hair. I worked at a museum; lots of tour groups of all ages; lots of adults standing around watching, etc. Anyway, back to the saga. For most of my life, I have been fascinated with men who wear toupees. Nothing sexual. I don't sleep with men. It's just that I have always afforded some sort of awe or deference onto men who wear a toupee. Where others would laugh, poke fun, humiliate, etc., I would be more interested in who he was and why he wore. If it was obvious, regardless of how much (they are all somewhat obvious no matter how pricey), I would be even more interested in why they wore apart from the biological need. I even started having dreams of being fitted for and having to wear a toupee when I was 17. It was a recurring dream, every night, that went on for six years. It stopped when I finally found someone I trusted enough to tell. Since 1992, I have had those dreams maybe a dozen times.

    Now, at this point you might ask the big 'why'! Why would you want something that you don't need, to replace something that everyone envies, only to have people possible ridicule you for it because it will be marginally obvious? I don't know. I have never understood the why behind it. Why haven't I gone and done it? First- explaining it to family. That's the biggest thing. Others in my life, I'm not concerned with trying to explain it. Second - finding a barber who would not have a problem getting rid of perfectly good hair and replacing it with a facsimile. Then there is the logistics of daily wear. I've lived with the idea of a toupee for so long, that in a twisted way, I have romanticized it. I know there is nothing romantic about a man wearing a rug. He is bald and wants to hide it. Still, I find it so interesting wanting to be that man.

    Again, none of this is about wanting have sex with a man who wears a toupee or wig. I'm straight. If anything, I'd like to know a woman who would find a man in a toupee sexy, and not have a problem with him wearing one every day.

    Does any of this make sense to you? I was serious when I said that you are the first female I have ever had the nerve to tell. Maybe I'm getting brave in my old age.

    Thank you for listening to me ramble on about an odd topic.

    God bless,
    Keith
  • Tav
    15
    You aren't rambling at all, Keith. Thank you for sharing your story. I am honored. I was fascinated by how the dreams diminished after you talked with someone about it.

    Maybe like me, you have craved a different type of hair. I could never get a decent hair cut. Stylists would turn my hair into an art project or mess it up severely. Fifteen years ago I got an unsolicited Spock cut. Coworkers would ask why didn't I do something with my hair? Heaven knows I tried.

    To add comedy to the hair style crimes, a palm sized area on the right side of my head is normal. Right now I've got Robert Redford hair over most of my head with Boris Johnson hair caught in high wind on the right. The only reason the RR hair is laying down is because I used chunker shears and thinned it. I don't recommend chunker shears for most people, but I can have a party with them. It's something that helps me to keep the volume down so I can wear wigs.

    As for toupees, back in the day there were many high profile celebrities that wore wigs. Mention Frank Sinatra, Fred Astaire or Burt Reynolds (to name a few) and a toupee is not the first thing that comes to mind. Many successful men that to mention a toupee seems petty. They were mindful of their appearance and their sexuality was never in question. It's ok to want to look good or maybe even different.
  • Rugtopper
    5
    I love your take on things, Tav! I won't let any barber or stylist use thinning shears on my hair. In the past, every time someone used thinning shears on my hair, within a week my new hair cut would look awful because my hair grows so fast. The top hair would not lie down properly because of the thinned hair underneath growing out!

    As for all the well-known men who wear hairpieces, I have a list of over 200 names of men from various walks of life, mostly Hollywood, but also politics and religion. Many of them are secret heroes to me. Of course, there are a few who are not regardless of fake hair.

    I am still considering finding a hair replacement stylist who could fit me for a hairpiece, despite it being thoroughly unnecessary.

    Thanks for listening and helping.

    Keith
  • Larry
    38
    I don't know if this is relatable or not, but I don't get grief about wanting to wear a wig, but that I wear different wigs or no wig. The assumption most people have is that like the overwhelming majority of men, I want to wear wigs because I'm ashamed or self conscious about losing my hair.

    I don't want a prostheses, as in a hair replacement system. I love my bald head -- I just enjoy having a variety of looks, and wigs allow me the option of having hair or not having hair; and having hair of different colors, styles and lengths pleases me . .. but so does having my head rubbed or kissed (especially when it's been freshly shaved) also pleases me. I don't see why I have to choose only one of the two.

    God bless and love,

    Larry
  • Tav
    15
    I just laid out why I choose wigs and can say that I no longer stress over my hair like I used to. It's more like is today a straight, curly or wavy hair day? What color suits me today? I don't feel like I'm being fair to the friends here that are dealing with hair loss but my circumstances for wearing wigs are the same. I want to look better than my hair allows.
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