Before I launch into waxing lyrical about the benefits of a face-to-face wig consultation, it is very important to say that you CAN make good wig choices online and you definitely don't need to visit a wig consultant! That is however a different post which I promise to write...
So, back to the question in hand; what makes a good wig consultation?
Aside from the obvious, such as getting along with the person, feeling comfortable and secure, and knowing you'll get what you need, there are a number of things you can and should expect from a face-to-face consultation...
- Expertise - One of the key things you expect from someone who's helping you to find a wig is expertise, but surprisingly not every wig consultant is an expert. There is a big difference between someone who has a wholesale account and can order wigs, and someone who actually has the expertise to help you. As you will see from this post about my first experiences, that difference can be huge for you emotionally. Before you even get to the stage of going to see them, you should chat, email, skype, tweet or somehow get in touch and see if they clearly know their stuff. There are a lot of well-meaning people who get involved in wig sales to 'help out', but the risk is a well-meaning novice will create more problems than they solve.
- A good range / choice - The number of wigs they have actually in the shop doesn't matter, but the range that they carry do! Many businesses understandably cannot afford to carry a lot of stock (it quickly gets expensive), but they should have a few different sample pieces helping you to get an idea of cap types, fibre types and difference in quality and should also carry a range of different brands and collections. This is really important because one thing I have found out along the way is that just because someone LOVES a range of wigs themselves, doesn't mean it will be suitable for you, your budget, your lifestyle or even what you are comfy with. As part of the expertise point above, they should be finding a wig to suit you, not the other way around!
- Head Measurements - They should take head measurements before ordering a wig; every wig will come with dimensions etc, and whilst some are adjustable, it is important to make sure they are near your size. I have had a wig arrive that I could spin on my head, simply because measurements hadn't been taken!
- Communication - In the majority of cases (unless you are having a specialist wig made), wigs will arrive in around 1-2 weeks. However, sometimes they could be on back-order due to a sudden rush on a particular style or problems with the manufacturing, so communication is key! Find someone who promises to keep you up to date and more importantly actually does, because trust me, there is absolutely nothing worse than waiting weeks for the phone to ring with an update, or feeling like a pain as you ring and ring and ring.
- Charges - You'll have to make up your own mind on whether or not you are happy to pay for a consultation. However, some will charge you, some will charge you a fee redeemable against the price of a wig and some will offer their time for free. Ultimately, this is your choice, but don't be surprised if you do need to cover the time costs that someone is investing in helping you!
- Education - A good consultant will share some of their expertise with you, to help you make the most of your wigs. From hair washing to styling, removal of glue (if you use it), to storage, you should leave with everything you need to know to keep your wig looking lush!
- Added bonus - personal experience - It is a little harsh to expect a wig consultant to have first-hand experience of wearing wigs, however if you do stumble across someone with hairloss who also sells wigs, you're probably on to a winner! They can give you a first-hand insight, speak from experience and offer a valuable insight about different wigs that you simply won't get anywhere else!
Alopecia UK do offer a suppliers' directory for you to search, but make sure you feel comfortable with them before you take the plunge!
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