Ask Hannah!

I am trying to help a trans friend of mine find her first really good wig. She has been saving for awhile.  Not a theatrical wig but a natural everyday.  Do you have a recommendation as to where to go?

For some of us, our wig is the most defining part of our presentation.  I always feel my hair completes my look.  Choosing your hair is a very important and a very personal decision.

It’s also a big change.  When I present as male, my hair is short and easy to maintain.  However, as Hannah my hair is long and needs a lot more attention.  Getting used to going from short hair to shoulder-length locks takes some time.  I would recommend investing in a less expensive wig at first and getting used to your new look.  It took me a few styles before I found one that was really ME.  I’m glad I didn’t a lot of money on one wig and only to find out that look wasn’t right for me.  Most of us try a few different styles before we find the right one.  Once you find the right one, then it might be time to invest a higher quality wig in that style.

Make sure you educate yourself between the differences between different types of wigs, such a synthetic or human hair.

I started to buy my hair online when I wanted to try different styles and looks.  I was able to try different styles and lengths without spending a lot of money.  Of course, you get what you pay for and many times I ended up replacing it after a few months but it was good to be able to try different looks before I found the right style.

I recommend visiting Sunny’s Hair in Uptown if you want to shop in person.

I recommend checking out Corrie Dupay‘s advice on taking care of your wig, as well.

Love, Hannah

 

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Wig Care: It’s a Must!

I go through about three to four wigs a year.  I like changing up my style, but synthetic wigs also require a lot of care.  Thankfully Corrie Dupay is here to help!

Corrie is a makeup artist extraordinaire and owner of Midwest Makeup Supply and
Femme Makeovers  She is a friend and hero to girls everywhere.  She is beyond talented.
Corrie has a newsletter that she sends out with helpful makeup tips like these and is reprinted here with her permission.  I am certain you’ll find this useful!  You can sign up for her newsletter here.
Love, Hannah
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Let’s be honest – I love wigs. They can transform you into an entirely different person. They are super versatile and come in literally every color and cut you can imagine. But!! As we know – over time and lots of use – they can start to get a little rough looking. In today’s newsletter I’ll cover synthetic wig maintenance including how to properly wash and store your wigs.

First, let’s talk about storing our wigs. If you can store your wigs on a canvas block or foam wig head – that is ideal. Storing it on a block or foam head will keep the shape nice and help prevent weird bends or kinks forming in the hair from being jammed into a bag. Wig blocks are made from cork covered in a heavy canvas You can find them here on Amazon for around $30. Foam heads work, too. They just are not as durable and over time you may need to replace them (especially if you are pinning your wigs to them) but they usually are pretty cheap – $4 – $10). In the photo below, the foam head is on the left, the wig block is on the right. I’ve covered my wig block with plastic to protect it from hairspray, color, etc.

If you are unable to store them on wig blocks or foam heads, the next best thing is to keep them in their original packaging. Brush them before putting them in the bag. If your wig came with a little net, put the net back on (it helps keep the hair in place a little better). Carefully put the wig back in it’s box or bag until you’re ready to wear again.
When ready to wear, take out of the bag, give a quick brushing and you should be set to go. If you put the wig in the bag nicely, it should come out looking pretty good. If you jam it in there, you might have some problems. If you do have a weird bend, try spritzing with a little water, that will sometimes help relax the bend. Also – if your wig is wet or sweaty, let it dry before you store it. This is SUPER important. Storing a wet wig can make it really stinky and you’ll for sure want to wash it before you wear it again.

Washing our wigs: You don’t have to wash your wig every time – but it is good to wash every so often. Especially if you sweat a lot or tend to use styling products on it.

Step 1: Brush your wig BEFORE getting it wet. Wet wigs tend to get snarly as we wash them, regardless of how careful we are…and we don’t want to amplify the problem by having a rats nest we haven’t taken care of beforehand.

Step 2: Fill a sink with warm water (not hot, just warm). You can use wig shampoos and conditioners (specially formulated for synthetic wigs – the white bottles came from Sunny’s in Uptown) or the cheap (like dollar store!) shampoo and conditioners work fine, too. Take a cap full or two and dilute the shampoo. Place your wig in the water and gently swish it around for a minute or two. Drain the water and fill again with clean, warm water and two caps of shampoo. Swish again for a minute and soak for about 10 minutes.  After 10 minutes, drain water and gently run warm water over wig to rinse. If your wig is REALLY bad, you may want to do two swishings, then the soak.


Step 3: Fill sink with warm water and dilute one to two cap fulls of conditioner. Swish the wig around gently for a minute or two. Drain water and gently rinse with warm water.

Step 4: Gently squeeze excess water out of the wig. DO NOT BRUSH!!! I know you’ll be tempted, but don’t. It’ll damage the hair (can stretch it or create frizzy little curls). Lay the wig on towel on a counter or table to dry. Depending on the wig – this may take a day or two. So don’t do this if you need to wear the wig that, or even possibly the next, day. It may not be dry and using a hair dryer is not an option (could melt the fibers and ruin your wig.

Step 5: Once the wig is fully dry – you are free to gently comb/brush out any snarls that formed during washing (there will be a few) and wear again. Most synthetic wigs will bounce back to their original shape/style (for the most part). Sometimes the ends might need a little trimming if they are looking a little frayed but that is the nice thing about synthetic wigs – you don’t have to worry about re-styling them too much. Some synthetic wigs can take a low amount of heat, others will melt if you touch them with an iron. If you do want your wig to have a different style, I’d suggest bringing it to someone who is knowledgeable and skilled in wig styling for help.

A few last pointers – please note the word GENTLE is used often in this newsletter. The more gentle you are and more you baby your wig, the longer life it will have. If you are rough with it and not good about keeping it brushed – you’ll end up with a seriously tangled mess in no time at all. Synthetic wigs tangle easy and need to be brushed before and after each wear.

Also – spraying them with a wig detangler or leave-in conditioner (I picked these up at Sunny’s as well) is also a good habit to get into every time you wear. The conditioners are great for taming flyaways while wearing – you can spray them down prior to wearing. The detanglers aid in brushing out any tangles you might have when you are going to store your wig for the day (just make sure it’s dry before you put into a bag or box).

There you have it!! A quick overview of how to wash and care for your wigs. If you have any additional questions, please let me know!!

Be sure to visit our newly updated website for more info and updated services.

Questions or want to request an appointment? Email me at: makeovers@midwestmakeupsupply.com

Be sure to check www.femmemakeovers.com for more info.

Love, Hannah

Ask Hannah!

day 2 dressAs the weather warms I always worry about sweating while all dressed up. How do you tackle that issue? Personally I think it’s important for me to wear hosiery even on the warmest days, but I’m wondering if I could perfect my appearance without a wig. Have you ever presented as Hannah without wearing a wig? “Hot heads” everywhere would love to know.

Of course you can perfect your look without a wig.  Cis-women have a zillion different ways that they wear their hair.  Some cis-women have incredibly short hair and so can transwomen.  There is no standard your hair must meet in order to identify as one gender or another.

Personally I always wear a wig, but I don’t have to, and neither does anyone.

I also always wear stockings, nylons or tights.  I like how nude stockings even out my skin tone, for example.  Summer is not a t-girl’s friend as some of us wear padding breastforms, wigs and makeup.  Foundation and the heat do not get along.  Luckily Corrie from Midwest Makeup Supply and Femme Makeovers has some valuable advice for sweatprooofing our makeup.

Summer isn’t all bad.  You can’t wear a dress like this outside in January…at least not in Minnesota.

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

Hi there Hannah. Just wanted to start out and say thank you for all you do. I am 31 male but I am finally starting to embrace that I enjoy dressing and possibly being female/transgender. Still unsure of some things as I am finally starting to talk about this and I am seeing a great therapist to help work things out. My questions is I am starting to actually dress and not just fantasize about it and just wondering what some good resources are to help learn how to dress and look more feminine? YouTube is great for somethings but like buying a wig and all the styles and different kinds also knowing how to do make up for my face it’s hard for me to know what would be good for me as everyone is so different? The great thing is I am also from MN so I think your insight would be amazing. Again thank you for all you do and for any advice.

Coming into your look is all about trial and error.  Coming into your look takes time, practice, mistakes and money.  It’s about discovering yourself.  It’s about finding what you like, what you are comfortable wearing and uncovering that part of you that might not get out very much.  It takes time and patience.  No one expects the first time they paint something that it will be a masterpiece.  Be easy on yourself the first (or even the fiftieth) time you dress up or apply makeup.  You might not look as fabulous as you want, but you’re getting there.

This is something you learn by doing.

Everyone has a different perspective on what is and what is not feminine.  The best, and the only way for you to find out what you like to wear is to try on a lot of clothes.  Some things you’ll try and like, others you won’t.  Some dresses make me feel like the prettiest girl in the mall, some make me feel like a man in a dress.  The important thing is for you to wear what you like.

A wig is not much different.  I tried a lot of different styles before I found the style that I like.  I’ve tried wavy styles, longer styles, styles with and without bangs before I found a style that is *me*.  It’s true there are resources out there that will help suggest what style may be best for your face, but really, who cares?  All that matters is what you like.  So, like clothing, try on a lot of different styles and you’ll find what works for you and what you like.

Makeup, like hair and clothes, also takes trial and error.  It took YEARS until I was happy with my look.  It took a lot of practice.  I made a lot of mistakes.  I spent a lot of money. Again, you achieve your look by doing.

So, here’s how you learn makeup. You could watch YouTube videos and learn from them but like buying clothes, everyone is different.  Everyone has different skin, different color, different tone.  What works for me might not work for you.  The easiest way to learn makeup is to have someone teach you.

Makeup is hard to get right.  There are still times when my eyeliner doesn’t look straight or my color correcting is a little off.  The best way to learn makeup is to schedule a makeover.  I know that sounds like the scariest thing in the world, and it is, but it’s the best way to start mastering your look.  Go to the experts, they will show you which products to use, which tones are best for your skin color and they will teach you how to apply makeup.  I’ve been doing my makeup for years and I probably had ten makeovers in the last twelve months and I still learn something new each time.  Remember, you aren’t the first or last t-girl your makeup artist will ever have. They are trained to help girls like us.  Makeup artists are also trained with advanced techniques, like contouring, which totally changed my life.

I have written pretty extensively about getting started and you can read about it here.  I cover topics like shaving, finding your measurements and more.

Since you live in Minnesota, I highly recommend you making a trip to Midwest Makeup Supply in Minneapolis and scheduling a makeup lesson.  While you’re there, I also suggest crossing the street to visit Sunny’s Hair and Wigs.  Both stores are very t-girl friendly.  I have other resources in Minnesota here, and I’d also encourage you to join the MN T-Girls.

Have fun, be safe!

Love, Hannah

 

Ask Hannah!

 

I don’t get out often so I’m curious, do you ever worry about your dress blowing up in the wind or worse, losing your wig?  If it has happened, how do you deal with that in public?  #tgirlproblems 🙂

new doOne of the first times I went out, I experienced the joy and thrill of the wind blowing through my long hair.  It was an amazing feeling.  I was afraid that the wind would blow my hair off, but that hasn’t happened.  If you are purchasing the right wig, this is unlikely.  Most wig stores sell extra-large wigs but for the most part, a standard size wig will fit most of us.  If the wig is too large, it might blow off, if it’s too small, there’s a chance it might not be on tight enough to keep it in one place.  There are also some steps you can take to ensure this such as taping, tying, and even gluing your wig to your head.  This might be not be necessary but many t-girls, performers, and drag queens use these tricks.  Not because they are afraid of the wind, but it does help keep their hair in one place.  Sometimes a wig can move a little, either side to side or front to back.  If you find yourself constantly adjusting your hair throughout the day, it might be time for a different size wig.

The wind does pose other issues besides losing my hair.  I used to have wavy, curly hair like in the picture and although I loved the look of it, one gust of wind or a strong breeze completely messed up my hair and I was constantly having to fix it and make myself presentable again.  After spending an entire weekend outside at Pride this summer, I decided it was time to go back to my long, straight, hairstyle.

day 2 dressDepending on the dress or the skirt you’re wearing, the wind might give people a glimpse of yourself you didn’t intend them to have.  Using your hands to hold down your skirt so the wind doesn’t blow it up does take some getting used to.  If the wind is really crazy then you really have your hands full.  I think those of us who have been out of the house know what I’m talking about.

If it’s very windy, I suggest keeping your hands to your sides to hold your dress down.  Simply holding it down in the front is not going to keep the back from flying up and it’s awkward to hold a skirt down behind you.  The only time this really happened was also at Pride this summer.  I wore a really cute dress that had a billowing skirt.  It was windy that day and as I walked to my car I was constantly brushing my hair out of my face and trying to keep my skirt from flying up.  I was a hot mess that day.

Love, Hannah