Wouldn’t it be nice not to worry about the condition of your hair – or thinning hairline – each morning, and not have the hassle of styling it every day? Now more than ever, middle-aged women are turning to wigs to regain their confidence, while sporting a chic, natural look.
According to industry experts, a key contributor to the recent global wig market boom is the 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.
“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,” said Lisa Feierstein, Senior Trend Strategist at TrendWatching’s New York Office. “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 and those with alopecia looking for custom-made, natural looks. More and more women are also scheduling appointments by Skype, she said, enabling them to enjoy the benefits of shopping for a wig from the comfort of home.
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.”
For more details, visit www.shevys.com.