From customized curls to disposable neon-pink bobs, a tour through the city’s faux-hair scene.
It’s likely the average New Yorker encounters as many wigs on a morning commute as knockoff Goyard totes. The former can be hard to spot these days, thanks to increasingly bespoke construction and clever details like second-skin mesh caps and individually knotted roots. And their popularity is rising: Wig and hairpiece revenue in the U.S. will climb to $849 million by the end of the year, fueled in part by the buzz surrounding schizophrenically coiffed pop stars like Nicki Minaj and Lady Gaga and the plethora of wigged models who walked the fall runways of designers like Louis Vuitton and Jean Paul Gaultier, not to mention the infamous teal-blue rat’s nest that Amanda Bynes wore last month to court. As the city’s salons, suppliers, and weeks-out-booked weavers meet the growing demand, here, a look at these faux-hair specialists. Plus, insight from a few well-known wig wearers and expert advice on how to keep a giant banana-shaped coif in place (hint: very carefully).
The classic-salon vibe (wooden stations, warm lighting) is reassuringly familiar for the many clients here suffering chemotherapy-related hair loss or alopecia. Available in both human hair and synthetic, the wigs at this fifteen-year-old spot are hand-sewn using ultradurable grafting technology, wherein each strand is crocheted into a stocking-thin cap (rather than applied with a machine à la the traditional wefting method). Turnaround ranges from 48 hours for ready-made versions (from $500) to six weeks for custom pieces (from $625), with maintenance like wig trims and highlights starting at $250. Cancer patients receive complimentary consultations and can drop off their wigs for free next-day styling once a month.
“So great to see HairPlaceNYC on this list. They are a leading hair salon in NYC specializing in hair loss solutions for men and women. Andrew DiSimone, the salon’s owner, created his own brand of wigs, including wigs for cancer, and sponsors www.freewigsforkids.org.”