Let the Hair Wars Begin

SoG wonders why single women think sheitels are less work than hair.

Don’t get me wrong, SoG: sheitels are delicate things. Nothing grows back, so you have to be careful when you wash and brush not to yank hairs, and that caution goes double for trimming and using heat tools when styling.

To be honest, we’re not really jealous. We like our hair better than any wig. Except when we like a wig better than our hair. There’s a reason why everyone in Hollywood owns one. It’s not that they’re less work – it’s just that they’re less work at some very critical moments when our natural hair completely fails us. Like in the morning, on road trips,  and on yomim tovim, to name a few.

When I wake up in the morning, my hair looks like this:

Messy morning hair

Your wife’s sheitel looks like this:

Neat wig

I need to shower, marinate my hair in conditioner, tease out the tangles, then spend a half-hour or so styling it with clips and things to get it looking like this:

Presentable hair
And I have to do this every single day.

Your wife’s sheitel doesn’t need daily washing and styling. A twirl and a brushing and it looks like this:

Neat wig

After plane flights, long car trips, or a nap in the lazy chair, my hair looks like this:

Mussed hair

Your wife’s hair, pinned to a head in a specially purchased box looks like this:

Neat wig

On the second day of a chag, my hair looks like this:

It's getting messy

Your wife’s hair looks like this:

Neat wig

By the third day, your wife’s hair still looks like this:

Neat wig

But mine looks like this:

three-day yom tov hair

And I’m beginning to be jealous of this:

Donald TrumpAnd seriously contemplating this:

Female buzz cut

If your wife doesn’t like her hair, she can just take it off and put in a box. I can only tie mine back and try to slick it into a socially acceptable shape with some water, a strategy that works fine until the water evaporates, leaving frizz behind.

When does the score even out? When it rains. We both end up looking like this:

Wet cat

But I just need a shower. Your wife needs help.

Care of a sheitel is nothing to sneeze at. It needs to be treated like – well, like a delicate, thousand-dollar hairpiece. It’s one of the scariest parts of getting married. And let’s face it – nobody really wants to wear one.

But you will have to be very persuasive to convince me that it doesn’t have one or two huge advantages over natural hair.

Go ahead, O MFs. Try.


29 thoughts on “Let the Hair Wars Begin

  1. Okay, fine. But….
    When it’s hot outside- and not only do you have frizzy hair, but a frizzy hot sheital on top of that hair making it even hotter and frizz even more…
    When you have to either figure out how to do your own sheital without ruining it- because it costs a pretty penny- or to pay every time you need someone to wash it- versus just going in a shower, and having your own hair grow back…
    When if it gets cut wrong- nothing doing- but your own hair will grow back…
    When that pony bump shows and makes you look ridiculous…
    When you have to carry those annoying boxes, or a bag with a sheital in it, or wear it during a hot and annoying airplane flight- and then have to get it done as soon as you land…

    How about that!

  2. You win. Hands down.

    Right before I got married there were lots of sentimental “lasts” – i.e. the last Shabbos with my parents before the wedding craziness, the last night I slept in my childhood bedroom alone etc.

    I remember the last time I had to blow-dry my hair to perfection (an hour process at least – I had thick hair) before my wedding.

    I distinctly remember thinking – “This here is one thing I ain’t gonna miss. No sentimentality here.” (Of course, now I’m waxing nostalgic over that memory too. But not because I want to go back to it!)

    Yes, wigs are an expensive, itchy, high maintenance, somewhat strange conceptually, hairline-shrinking, headache-inducing pain in the brain, but there is no question that hair is worse – at least for the frum single girl with thick hair in the tri-state area.

    I do think that many OOTers care less, in general, so things might be easier there. I worked in a setting that more or less required the perfectly straight and glossy hair look according to social norms. I can’t say that I always subscribed to these aforementioned norms, but either way, it was really really really annoying to have to deal with.

  3. I’m going to say the flip side of leftylogic. I always complained about how unmanageable my hair is. But now that I’m soon going to have to cover it forever, it’s becoming one of those “sentimental lasts” that I really am sad about.

  4. Item a: When single, I would receive compliments as left handed as, “Wow, you’re going to look so nice when you can cover your hair!.”

    Item b: Now, as a frequent host of seminary girls, many (20%?) of the ones we see go out before three day yom tovim and actually buy mitpachot to wear. No joke. And they wear them too. Crazy stuff.

  5. NMF#7 does a good job of showing why the grass is always greener. Sheitels get dirty, you’re afraid to mess with them yourself (everyone I know has a story about how an expensive wig got ruined with the wrong dye, conditioner, hot rollers, etc), and someone else’s is always freshly washed and looks nicer than yours.

    It’s nice not to have to fuss with your hair when you’re late for work, but at work, you’re continually aware that everyone else is wearing her own hair, and yours is a WIG. And if you want to go for a walk on a hot day at work, you either have to duck into a bathroom and change into a hat (and try to sneak out of the building so no one you know sees you), or end up with a sweaty mop that needs another $40 wash and set and you just got one last week.

    On the other hand, if my teenagers wore wigs, we’d use a lot less conditioner and have a lot more free time on Friday afternoons.

  6. Getting that heter to wear wigs doesn’t really seem to be worth it.

    Sheitels are expensive, high maintenance, and afraid of rain. My own hair is not hard to maintain, so I can’t really complain, although I am in a state of terror in the entire August when humidity peaks.

    I suppose it depends. My hair behaves for now, and a sheitel has it’s own drama – like a scissor-happy macher who, in a few snips, renders thousands unwearable.

    Maybe I’ll stick to kerchiefs.

  7. Being as I don’t actually wear a sheitel (barring this past purim’s colossal failure), I’m not sure if my opinion counts. But hearing my wife wax nostalgic at least once a day about how much she misses her real hair, and sit in front of the mirror trying to figure out how she can play around with her sheitel to make it look different every day, I gotta say that having to do your hair beats wearing a sheitel by a nice margin.

  8. I think you totally missed my point, and instead fully portrayed the very same uninformed, dreamy perspective ASoG had before she got married. A number of your comparisons that claim near-perfection for sheitals is empirically untrue. It takes ASoG a heckuva lot more time, concentration, and effort to maintain and style her sheitals compared to the occasions she simply straightens her real hair when we are alone in our apartment.

    I will see if she would be willing to add her own thoughts in a follow up reply.

  9. Shave your head and wear mitpachot if you’re married. If you’re not married, shave your head. That solves all the problems listed here.

  10. “It’s one of the scariest parts of getting married.” Really? Out of all the potentially frightening, intimidating, difficult aspects of marriage — such as committing to live with one person for the rest of your life, raise children with them, jointly face all the challenges that life might bring, and make an effort at staying happy together — a sheitel is scary? Sure, it might require upkeep, and it might be annoying, expensive, and inconvenient, but it seems to me that if you view sheitels as one of the most important (and daunting) aspects of marriage, you are missing the point.

  11. Like everyone else is saying, there are plusses and minusses (sp?) to both situations. I really think most of it comes from your personal feelings about your hair and how you feel about the mitzvah of covering your hair. If you love your hair or hate covering your hair, your sheital is not going to make you happy period. If your hair is not your friend or you like the option of having a pretty hairstyle ready to go, you will love wearing a sheital. I am in the second category. My hair is thin, flat, and not great to look at so I love having a nice hairdo to put on every morning. I like looking professional at work but I don’t usually wear my sheital on weekends because like tesyaa said, it can get pretty yucky on hot days or if I am doing lots of housework. The nice thing about life is that there are options. While some may be pricier than others, at least the options are out there for those that want them.

  12. Goodness, this was meant to be a fun post…

    NMF – I can outdo you. Wait til tomorrow’s post.

    LeftyLogic – I think women with extreme hair actually do look forward to them. Although with thick hair, you then have to deal with the problem of fitting it all underneath.

    Miriam – Awesome to both!

    SoG – Yes, exactly. If us single women didn’t have dreamy uninformed views about wigs, we’d never agree to get married. As for ASoG – I think time, experience, and a fashion for shorter sheitels will take care of that.

    peduncle – You have no idea how often I think about that. I regularly review pixie ‘dos, with a spike after yomim tovim.

    Moniker – But my hair!! I know what’s important, and that is it!
    Or you could note that I said it was “one of” the big issues. I would rank it right under the spousal relationship and child-rearing. But not “facing life’s challenges.” Pshaw. If you have good hair, you can take on anything. Besides, thus far life has been less challenging than my hair.

    Frayda – 😀

  13. I can make an argument for both sides. I had naturally cool highlights in my hair that would get me lotsa compliments, and even though my sheitel has some knockoff highlights where my hair used to have them, it’s not the same.

    I’ve been trying to do a certain ‘do for years, and was so happy that I was finally able to get it with my sheitel, ‘cuz it needed the thickness and height that only a sheitel could hold.

    Friday afternoons are definitely easier now that I can technically take a shower right before shabbos. And it’s nice not to have to spend an hour blow drying my hair each night.

    I did miss my hair one day last week when I made a tumble sauce at work, and my sheitel practically slid off. I guess I won’t try that stunt again. 🙂

  14. I don’t, I put it under a sparkly snood on Shabbos. I put it under a sheitel once, and besides for the guilt I felt for “ruining” my sheitel, there were no bad aftereffects.

  15. I myself am surprised I am writing a comment on this post, but after spending enough time at Shabbos and Yomim Tovim meals and being subjected to listening to the plight of the sheiteled, I guess I am semi-qualified to write something. On a whole this post was quite funny. Also, why are all the pictures Hamodiafied? 😕

    When I wake up in the morning, my hair looks like this:

    Have you seen a wig that’s been worn daily for 6 weeks without a wash? Wake up in the morning to that! Worse, much worse!

    I need to shower, marinate my hair in conditioner, tease out the tangles, then spend a half-hour or so styling it with clips and things to get it looking like this:

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but after donning a wig, you still need to maintain your hair unless you want it do “bad things.” (I don’t know exactly what these things are. I can guess though, grow into a beanstalk? 🙂 No, in all seriousness, I just heard a horror story of what can happen to hair that is overlooked)

    Your wife’s sheitel doesn’t need daily washing and styling. A twirl and a brushing and it looks like this:

    Not necessary true. You think it will be easy to do now, but you’ll see. While I understand that some newly married women have qualm with styling their wigs (such as ASoG) and that you (Bad4s) disagree, there is something to take note of. You’ve had some 20 years of experience with your hair and now you’ve got to deal with a whole new creature. To settle this, until one has had an equal amount of time “playing” with their sheitel as their hair, they can’t say styling a sheitel is easier or harder than hair. Also, do you know how much it cost to have all your sheitels washed and set every few weeks?!? Not exactly spare change if you catch my drift, and that’s before you add in cutting, professional styling, hairsprays, special brushes, and miscellaneous addendum. And don’t even try to tell me that washing it yourself is just as good or safe!

    After plane flights, long car trips, or a nap in the lazy chair, my hair looks like this:

    True, but so do sheitels. However, you in your hair can take a shower and get back to normal quickly, sheitels can’t do that.

    On the second day of a chag, my hair looks like this: and By the third day… But mine looks like this.

    Okay, I’ll give you that one. Wait, how did your hair go from black to auburn over the course of a day! That’s freaky. You might want to check that out… 😛

    And I’m beginning to be jealous of this:

    Google it, I think there is a tutorial floating around to Trumpify your hair.

    And seriously contemplating this:
    Go for it! You can even ask Natalie Portman who she used! 😛

    Ha, and you thought you killed the comments! 😀

  16. I blurred the faces because the point was to focus on the hair, not the face. A pretty enough face call pull off almost any hairdo, so I didn’t want that to get in the way of the point. Now can you stop sending my resume to Hamodia?

  17. I had lousy, thin hair when I was single. My sheitl is much prettier. Also much hotter and less comfortable, so it only wins out over my hair by … well, by a hair. *groan* There is no question that it’s hugely better on yom tov and Shabbos, though. Anyway, I am really only writing in to say that bad4shidduchim is my new hero — I haven’t been this amused on an erev shabbos in a long time! Thanks for the laugh.

  18. Two reasons why natural hair beats sheitels:
    1) Roller coasters
    2) Beaches

    Just not the same with a wig on. *sighs*

  19. RMF – You haven’t seen my hair after the beach. 😀 It’s an offense to the public eye. A mitpachat or pretie is a huge improvement.

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