On this installment of Lace Frontier, Condé Nast Leisure senior producer Tiffany Bender speaks to Shanelle Drakeford concerning the first time her vital different noticed her with out her wig, what it meant for his or her relationship, and wig-shaming tradition.

I began carrying wigs in school round my sophomore 12 months. I’m very loyal to my hairdresser, however it was too costly to journey forwards and backwards from Syracuse to New York Metropolis each two months to get my hair performed, and generally, I used to be simply busy. I bear in mind going to Morehouse School homecoming, and one of many women in attendance was from Spelman School. She was carrying the flyest wig I might ever seen in my life. However I did not realize it was a wig — I believed it was her actual hair. It was a curly 3B or 3C texture, however it regarded so practical. When she ripped that wig off her head and revealed a brief pixie lower beneath, I gagged.

Not solely was it a wig, it was an inexpensive artificial wig. She had a form of confidence I did not even know might exist whereas carrying a wig. Till that time, it was both you could have Beyoncé’s form of wig, otherwise you obtained the type that our grandmas used to put on.

Courtesy Tiffany Bender

Seeing that woman in that wig was the primary time I noticed, Oh, you can also make a $35 wig appear like one thing should you carry it with confidence and know how one can apply it properly. Once I returned from homecoming that October, I went straight to the wonder provide retailer to search out one thing that had a very good mix to it. I knew a trick from watching my grandma do her wigs: She’d put powder on them in order that they did not look shiny, like baby-doll hair. So, together with my first wig, I purchased a travel-size child powder. I obtained so many compliments on my hair, however I used to be nonetheless form of embarrassed to inform individuals it was a wig. I’d say issues like, “Oh, yeah, you realize, I went dwelling and obtained my hair performed by my hairdresser.” Even my hairdresser was like, “Woman, who’s been doing all of your hair?”

Boy Meets Wigs

Courtesy Tiffany Bender

When my boyfriend and I began courting, I used to be deep into wigs.

I wore them undetected for a very, actually very long time. I might hit up the woman who impressed me to start out carrying wigs to search out out which one she was carrying the day I noticed her. Regardless that I had come into my very own for essentially the most half, I used to be nonetheless so obsessive about that wig. I am going to always remember it — it was named “Sensationnel — Evelyn.”

So, I wore that wig. And when my boyfriend Rashad spent the night time, I might go to the toilet, do my entire night time routine, brush my tooth, bathe, all that stuff; then I might take the wig, fold it inside out, put it beneath my sink, put a wig cap on my head, and then placed on a shawl over the cap so he could not really feel the braids, even when he touched my head. He in all probability by no means thought an excessive amount of about it.

Courtesy Tiffany Bender

Someday, although, he did ask, “You understand, babe, how do you get all that curly hair to tie down like that? Do you braid it each night time?” I lied and stated, “Oh, yeah, I simply put it in two braids.” And I let him really feel them — they have been really my wig-securing braids. He was like, “Oh, OK.”

I simply rocked with that for some time. Then I switched up my wig, and stored the curly one as my backup. It lived beneath the sink. Someday, I had my different wig on my head, and I heard Rashad scream from the toilet. He had discovered the curly wig beneath the sink: “What the hell is that this?” he requested. We busted out laughing. Ever since then, if I get just a little tipsy, he’ll take off my eyelashes and my wig for me earlier than I’m going to mattress, and I am going to get up with a clear face and a shawl on. Teamwork makes the dream work.

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