I have a confession to make: I’m wearing a wig. Now, to say you’re wearing a wig in 2018 isn’t particularly shocking: a slew of celebrities including Kylie Jenner, Blac Chyna, and Nicki Minaj all wear them on the regular, after all. To me, though, it’s a pretty big deal because I have always held wigs to a pretty low standard. Maybe it’s the trauma of going to family functions as a kid and seeing aunties with cheap synthetic pieces that looked like they were seconds away from catching fire, or the fact that bad-looking wigs are the butt of a lot of jokes in the Black community, but the thought of wearing one always felt a bit off-putting, if not intimidating.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always liked to experiment with my hair. I changed it so often growing up that my friends referred to me as the “hair chameleon.” Cornrows, braids, twists, weaves, long, short, curly, straight — you name a style and I can 99 percent guarantee I’ve tried it. In elementary school, I wore braids, in middle school I had a relaxer, and in high school, I wore extensions because I thought I was the missing member of Destiny’s Child. Once I hit college, I had a cropped edgy cut similar to Rihanna from her “Good Girl Gone Bad” days, and I even experimented with blonde and red highlights, but the worst was when I dyed it magenta and it grew out into a rusty orange hue (don’t ask, because those pictures will never see the light of day).
Post-college, I pulled an India Arie, chopping it off and going natural. However, thanks to bouts of breakage from high-tension styles coupled with infamous stress from grad school, my hair had enough — it essentially said, “Sorry sis, you tried it.” In an attempt to grow my hair back out and give the stressed areas a break, I decided to wear protective styles to get it back on track. Enter: My fabulous unit from XOXO Virgin Hair.
I noticed stylists having difficulty trying to curl hair extensions
that models were wearing because [the hair] couldn’t hold a curl.
Launched by Stephanie Nolan in 2014, XOXO Virgin Hair is a company known for its affordable, premium quality hair and rising list of star-studded clientele, including Micaela Cole and Jordyn Woods. A former commercial model turned entrepreneur, Nolan observed a lack of quality hair extensions when working on sets, so she took matters into her own hands by creating her own brand.
“During an experience shooting for Adidas, I’d seen stylists have difficulty trying to curl the hair extensions that other models were wearing because they couldn’t hold a curl,” Nolan explains. “I took bullet points from that experience and got opinions from other hairstylists and customers expressing their concern in what they wanted in hair extensions. So I thought, let me bring a product that is easy to work with, very high-quality, and will keep people from spending too much money maintaining it, or having to throw the hair away because it’s not performing how it should.”
XOXO Virgin Hair offers collections, including Vietnamese, Shiu Mei (Chinese), and Shade, its newest launch, all of which are made from real,
ethically-sourced hair. It’s also 100 percent pure, meaning it doesn’t contain chemical or synthetic fillers to imitate natural hair. “I believe in marketing my product honestly. I’m trying to change the perspective of hair extensions by being transparent about what I’m selling. People will see really tightly curled hair and think that it’s given that way by nature, but it’s not possible because Asian people don’t have tightly coiled hair. The only way to produce that is to do a very hot wet set by a steam process,” Nolan explains.
I believe in marketing my product honestly, by being transparent about
what I’m selling.
Starting at $85 per bundle, with a variety of textures and lengths to choose from, you don’t have to break the bank to look fly. “It’s an investment, but buying high-quality hair is cheaper in the long run. Women are spending thousands of dollars a year on hair from places like Ali Express, but with time may eventually start to deteriorate,” Nolan adds.
To be clear, XOXO Virgin Hair does not typically sell wigs. The online site offers bundles, meaning the hair is on a weft that can either be used for a sew-in weave or a wig, in addition to lace closures and frontals. For my consultation, I informed Nolan that I wanted a style similar to Solange Knowles a la A Seat at the Table, provided my head measurements, and she kindly created a customized wig for me. When I got it in the mail, I was met with a light pink box with the words “Ready to Slay” on the outside (talk about incredible packaging). I kid you not, the minute I saw the wig it was love at first sight — it literally snatched all of my edges. Needless to say, all of my preconceived notions about wigs had disappeared.
I received the Vietnamese collection hair, a gorgeous loose curly wave that felt incredibly luxurious and almost felt too pretty to wear. In terms of the actual unit itself, the wig is secured with two clips in the front and three clips in the back, making it extremely easy to put on. Since I am a lace front newbie, I went to a salon first to get my hair cornrowed to ensure a smooth, flawless base prior to application. If you have shorter hair you can wear a wig cap too, but make sure that it matches your skin tone. After getting my hair cornrowed, I carefully cut around the perimeter of the lace, secured the clips around my head, and placed it on. Voila — it’s that easy. Within seconds my look changed from drab to fab, and I loved how effortless it was.
When I debuted my hair at work, everyone loved it. I felt like a million bucks and received endless compliments from coworkers, family, and even my hairstylist best friend commented on how amazing my hair looked. After wearing it for 30 days, I can attest that this hair is the real deal, and I’m hooked. And with proper upkeep (washing and conditioning the hair every one to two weeks), the hair should last at least three years or more.
So, if you’re in the market for a new look and want quality hair extensions that last, what are you waiting for? Head to XOXO Virgin Hair and get you some bundles.
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