Fighting Wig Stigma: The Social Media Comeback

Photo by Angela Lince “Most people buy wigs that look like their natural hair color,” says Leroy Nedd, owner of the wig store Hair R Us.

Wigs have existed for centuries. Their easy-to-use, versatile capabilities allow for a temporary look that, most of the time, tricks anyone into believing it’s your natural hair. Recently, younger users on social media platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, have been posting photos and videos in their new wigs, adding “#ILoveWigs” in every caption. Suddenly, wig stigmas are deteriorating. How did the stigma even begin?

Historically, wigs began with the Ancient Egyptians. According to an article on Abbawigs website, Egyptians wore wigs to indicate a “person’s status, role in society or political significance.” Most Egyptians shaved their natural hair off due to old age or to avoid lice infestation. Other ancient civilizations whose citizens wore wigs were the Greeks, Romans, Assyrians, and the Phoenicians.


In the 18th century, trendsetters Queen Elizabeth I of England and Louis XV sported periwigs, which are explained in an Elegantwigs website article as: “Long, curly wigs.”

Today, celebrities, such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Kylie Jenner, are spotted wearing wigs in all colors and styles. With their fierce, brave attitudes, they’ve shattered some of the stigma behind wearing full-wigs. Still, the idea of wearing “detached hair” puzzles some people.

When you’re wearing a wig, some people may assume you’re bald or balding, playing “dress-up,” or you’re suffering from a medical condition, such as thyroid disease. Others find that wigs should only be worn by grandmothers.

Leroy Nedd, owner of Hair R Us, located in South Burlington, Vt, says, “Wigs are meant to make you feel beautiful.” They are ideal for “disguising yourself, allowing you to achieve the appearance you want,” he adds.

When googling, “Opinions on wigs,” several links lead to conversations. Many of these stem from those who fear being perceived as “weird”.

In a public forum, hosted by Gamespot website, one user asks for an “honest opinion” from her fellow GameSpot members. “What do you guys think of wigs? What do you think when girls wear them? I bought one online and got it today. I tried it on and loved it. But I am scared to wear it in public. I just hate my real hair,” says user tepni. Several comments were posted shortly after:

“If my gf was going bald, I’d rather have her shave her head bald. Wigs are unattractive IMO,” GameSpot member quadraleap said.

Another GameSpot member CrystalFox said, “I would rather shave all my hair off than wear a wig. On others … well other than in a nightclub I would probably consider it unusual unless it’s a real good match for the person. Pics would help.”

Others, like GameSpot user weezybf gave, “no opinion.”

Samantha Snook, Instagram beauty guru, normally receives positive comments on most of her wig-related posts. “A lot of people will actually go through my photos where I’m wearing wigs and tag their friends and have a whole conversation of which wig they want. It’s kind of entertaining. But I can’t really think of any mean comments I’ve received on them, though I usually just block out the hate anyways,” Snook says.

Screenshot taken by Angela Lince. Samantha Snook, Instagram beauty enthusiast, models a new wig in a recent Instagram post. In the photo’s description, Snook includes where to purchase the wig. “I’m wearing my new Powder Room D vintage amber lace front wig,” she wrote.

Snook’s attitude toward rude account users can be achieved by simply not caring. She also comments on the stigma behind wigs:

“I don’t think there’s too much of a stigma nowadays since it’s become so popular over social media.”

Snook believes that the quality of the wig can impact existing stigmas. “I think the quality of wigs are improving a lot — so much that if you have a really nice wig, most likely, others won’t even be able to tell it’s a wig! Bottom line, I think everyone should just do what they enjoy and love, have fun, and be themselves always!!” she says.


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