Name: Stella Hogan
Owner, A Wig Center, 83 S. Main St.
How did you get started in the wig business? How long have you owned your own business?
I worked as a receptionist in the field, and always liked doing hair, and over the course of 10 years became educated in wigs and decided to open my own business. And it will be 21 years this summer since I opened here.
Do you make any of the wigs? If not, where are they made?
We don't physically make them here, but we alter them and repair them if we have the right materials. Most of them are made in China. Korea used to be the primary manufacturing country, but when the auto industry moved in, they couldn't compete with the wages, so most companies moved to China.
Do you do eyebrows? How about beards and mustaches?
We do beards and mustaches if someone wants them. We don't do eyebrows. Usually with women, we teach them how to use makeup to get a dimensional look. But we also do a lot of work with theater, and custom work for long-term alopecia clients. We can do a mold of your head and then pick the length, highlights, that sort of thing.
What are the synthetic wigs made of?
It's a modacrylic fiber. Human hair comes in fairly long and straight and has to be cut. Synthetics are easier in the sense that they hold their shape and aren't affected by rain or humidity. And you only need to service them once every few months. We do more with synthetic, because the price of human hair has gone up considerably over the years.
What does wig care entail?
With human hair, you use a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner, and with synthetics you use shampoo for synthetic hair. With human hair, you can partially blow dry it and then you can style or set it however you like. With synthetic, you let it air dry and just brush it and let it fall back into place. With synthetics, heat can damage it but heat will also fix it. That's why you never have a bad hair day. If it's taken care of properly, it's never "wiggy."
Do you wear a different wig home every night?
Not myself, because I have an exceptionally large head. Nothing fits. But one of the women who used to work here would buy different wigs and wear different ones just for a different look.
What kind of wig do you recommend for me?
You can go anywhere with your hair. You can be a rock star with a long, shaggy look, or if you let your hair grow a little longer you could go with a hair piece.
Is there an art or science to fitting a wig to a person?
You get better and better at it as times goes on. You get to know face shapes and personalities. Lots of times our clients are surprised and say, "I never would have picked that, but I really like it." Ultimately, it's what makes them smile that we want to sell them.
Any celebrities wearing a wig that we might not know about?
Probably a lot of them. Sherri on The View wears a different wig just about every day. Tony Bennett wears a wig - his wig presently looks a lot better than it did years ago. Jessica Simpson has her own line of extensions. They all wear what's necessary to get the point across for what they're doing.
Can you spot a wig a mile away?
Sometimes. But I've had people in the store, and as I go to greet them I wonder why they are here and then find out they are wearing a wig. Usually the reason you can spot one is because of the color or because it's not styled properly so it looks kind of clumpy.
What's the most popular style?
One of the most popular is the "gaby," because it works for almost any age. You can spike it up and put gel in it or wear it down. That's probably one of our best sellers.