February is always an inspiring month thanks to the Designer Wedding Show and National Wedding Show. I'm not talking about the walking talking scrapbook of dresses, stationery, party decor, flowers and mad cakes. For me, it's a great reminder of who I'm writing for because I get to meet readers who genuinely need our help and advice. I don't think I've ever worked at a magazine where I've felt so much job satisfaction.
This season I met a reader who had just finished a course of chemotherapy and, having unfortunately lost most of her hair, wanted to know which hair salons could style her wig for her wedding. In all honesty I was a bit stumped. From a family experience I know that www.vickiullah.com and www.trendco.co.uk make fantastic wigs, but I really didn't know if anyone specialised in styling them. I promised to email back after researching.
It turns out that a lot of salons do: I called up a few favourites (Michaeljohn, Hershesons, John Frieda, Electric and Mathew Alexander) and, yes, their stylists did in fact know how to style wigs. So my suggestion is to get recommendations from friends for a great, friendly salon - as you normally would for any hairstyling issue - and call up to find out. Ask about home visits so that you can do a trial with your wedding dress (or simply for the luxury of being in your own home).
Two bits of advice: firstly, I'm told that there can be problems with certain veils and accessories - anything too long or heavy runs the risk of tugging, thus misplacing the wig or (yikes!) yanking it off completely. I have visions of little flower girls treading on veils and the whole thing flying off down the aisle. Secondly, keep the style loose. As Mathew Alexander says: 'Once you start lifting the sections of a wig you can see the base underneath where the hair is attached, so do something very loose and add lightweight accessories (I've used silk tiger lilies in the past).'
On the same subject, a fellow beauty editrice is going through her own wig experience. Sophie Beresiner, from LOOK magazine, has sadly lost her hair following chemotherapy and has turned a 'demoralising and confidence-crushing' side-effect into a new assignment: how to look good to feel better. Her brilliant blog (http://sophiefeelsbetter.blogspot.com) tracks her progress with excellent advice for make-up, skincare and wigs for women undergoing cancer treatment. If you're going through a similar experience her insightful account is definitely worth reading.