Latest Wig Trends and Why Women 45+ are Paying Attention
With the global wig market expected to reach revenues of more than $10 billion by 2023 , growing at an annual rate of about nine percent, wigs have become all the rage.
In America alone, the industry has skyrocketed thanks to high-power celebrities the likes of Cardi B, Katy Perry and the Kardashians, regularly spotted parading different-colored wigs that are imitated by social media influencers and millennials across the nation.
According to industry experts, though, A-list trendsetters are not the only reason for the market boom. At the other end of the ‘notice me’ wig spectrum, is a rapidly-growing silent population of those who don’t want it known that they’re wearing one. Not only does this include rising numbers of people with cancer and alopecia-related hair loss, but also a new breed of wig wearers: middle-age women who want to look younger.
“More and more consumers of all ages are visible online and have a personal brand. For many, that brand is integral to their status, and great hair, whether it’s what they were born with or from a wig, only boosts that status,” said Lisa Feierstein, Senior Trend Strategist at TrendWatching’s New York office.
“While the obvious benefit of a wig for older women is appearing younger, a wig can also give wearers a bold, signature style that many of their younger colleagues may also be rocking,” Feierstein said. “Wigs are a convenient means of helping women express themselves, augment their brand and distinguish themselves both personally and professionally,”
NYC wig salon sees shifting clientele
Leading New York wig expert Shevy Emanuel, owner of Shevy Wigs — the No. 1 worldwide supplier of top quality European human hair wigs — is seeing this shift in demographic first-hand. With a 25-year history in the business, Shevy Wigs has recently seen an influx of female clients aged 45-plus, ranging from career women to celebrities and those in political circles, whose hair-covering secrets stay within the walls of the Brooklyn-based salon.
In fact, Emanuel explained that their desire for confidentiality is so strong that the salon has installed a separate room with a private entrance for this demographic, as well as for its additional growing client base requesting privacy — cancer patients, those with alopecia, transgender women, and women of color looking for custom-made, natural looks.
A middle-age wig wearer herself, Emanuel — who is a hair dresser and licensed cosmetologist by trade — understands first hand that sporting great hair is key to looking and feeling younger. “Our wigs are designed to be so natural and seamless, that it’s impossible to tell someone is wearing one, so it’s understandable that many of our clients wouldn’t admit that they do – and why should they? It’s a beauty accessory like any other,” she said.
In fact, Shevy wigs — which start at $2,500 and can go as high as $8,000 for a made-to-measure wig — are of such high-quality that the business attracts clients from across the globe to its 4,500 square-foot salon, which is equipped with hair stylists, colorists, and production, finishing and maintenance specialists. It also includes a distribution center that ships its wigs to distributors and stylists globally.
Each Shevy wig is designed in New York, hand-produced in the company’s proprietary factory in China under tight quality controls and hand-finished to specification in the Brooklyn salon, with hair sourced from Eastern Europe — the industry’s premium hair capital. “We’re committed to the highest standards, from raw materials to production to the end product,” Emanuel said.
Wig sales spurred by rising cancer rates
In addition to middle-age women, the biggest growth market for Shevy Wigs is made up of women suffering from cancer, she said, pointing to the rise in cancer rates globally as a likely reason. “No matter what a woman or young girl is going through, she wants to look beautiful and it’s very satisfying to see the difference in our clients’ moods from the time they enter our salon to the time they leave with big smiles on their faces.”
The surge in interest from cancer patients has prompted Shevy Wigs to add a new kind of service to their offering — working with insurance companies to reimburse the cost of the wigs.
“We are on a mission to emphasize to insurance companies that a wig is not a luxury when a person has cancer — it’s a necessity,” she said, explaining that lightweight wigs with soft, pliable caps are key for sensitive, bald heads. “Our success rate with insurance companies to date is one hundred percent, and our clients going through cancer are able to benefit from the most natural-looking, comfortable wigs on the market, which in turn helps improve their quality of life.”
Top 2020 wig trends
No matter what the reason to sport a wig, Shevy Wigs shares these five latest wig trends that are combing the industry:
Minimalist look: A stark difference to the demand the market has seen the last couple of years for fullness, height and body, today’s trending wigs are flat and lightweight. Think Kardashian-style straight, unstyled strands, resting close to the head with a defined middle part. This includes wigs made from nets that are ultra-flat, thin, lightweight and flexible.
Tousled elegance: For those looking for slightly more style but kept to a minimum, tousled, naturally-wavy hair is also in vogue. With a look that appears “undone,” it screams the message that you didn’t try too hard while still appearing chic.
Soft highlights: No matter what the color, style or length of wig, highlights in pastel and gold tones or the gently-melting look of balayage, hand-painted on a slightly darker shade of hair, are super fashionable. It’s all about creating soft, subtle and natural-looking sun-kissed strands.
Curtain bangs: Worn on the forehead or swept away from the face, stylish curtain bangs are making a comeback. Versatile and sassy, center-parted, long, wispy bangs conveniently allow for different looks depending on one’s mood, while delivering an air of sophistication.
Handmade wigs: Custom-made options with built-in lace fronts — providing the appearance of a natural hair line — all-directional parts that mimic an actual head of hair, and ultra-comfortable, malleable, lightweight caps with single-knotted, handtied strands that give the illusion of hair growing out of the scalp, are must-haves among those who can afford it.
“All of these trends are reflective of the natural look and feel today’s consumers are after,” Emanuel said. “People have become more comfortable treating their wigs like real hair and aren’t afraid to part them any which way, braid them, put them in a ponytail or dress them up with hair accessories. Thankfully, wig construction has come such a long way that there are now many options out there that enable them to do so.”
For more details, visit www.shevys.com .
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