For some time I’ve been growing out my bio hair and it is finally almost touching my shoulders. I do not have hair loss at all, but I do have pretty baby-fine hair that tends to be flat and limp when it’s longer so I’ve always worn it quite short. However, when I started wearing long wigs I realized I really do look better with long hair – just not with MY long hair. For a year or so I kept my bio hair really short and wore long wigs out and about a lot, but it always drew a ton of attention because of the drastic change. While I don’t mind it necessarily, I decided I wanted a less explanation-worthy solution, so I decided to grow my bio hair out long and continue to wear long wigs so that I could go with them or without and not get as much questioning from people about it.
It was about three years ago when I started growing it, and I finally have my stringy, fairly limp bio hair almost to my shoulders. So, I’ve been casting about for a long bob wig to supplement it without much success – Haute is perfect but I hate the HD fiber so I wasn’t going to go with that one again, then I tried Mila by Revlon but it did not look good on me at all, and Isabelle by Margu looked too wiggy to me up top as well as being too light color-wise. I’d always suspected Elle would be a really good candidate, but I tend to want to constantly try new styles rather than re-purchase ones I’ve already owned and I’ve had Elle in Shaded Peach in the past. After the failures of Mila and Isabelle though, I changed my tune about trying new styles and decided I’d rather have something tried and true if I was going to spend more money, so Elle it was.
Unfortunately, I was quite unhappy with Elle when I got her in. I found the lacefront to be sparse about an inch or so back from the hairline, and I thought it looked really weird with my dark bio hair all smushed up underneath it. I ranted about it to some online friends, many of whom agreed with me, but some of whom thought it was fine. Here’s a close-up of what I’m talking about:
Several companies that make lace fronts also have this weird white line that indicates where the lace ends and the monofilament top begins; I am sure there’s a reason it’s there that makes sense, but in a lot of wigs it shows through the fiber and can be seen. I pretty much hate that white line, but it isn’t going anywhere, so for the most part I try to deal with it. Sometimes I even use a dark brown magic marker to try and darken it, which I did a little on Elle but not on the section shown above. I was so pissed off about the hairplug-look of the crown area that I threw Elle back in the box and ignored it for several days while decided whether or not to try and return it. However, over the weekend I knew I wanted to take pictures of Easy Edge and get it reviewed, and I decided to pull Elle back out of the package and try her on again – and lo and behold, I liked it better. Much, much better, in fact:
How does this happen? All I could see when I tried it on the first time was the terrible lace front and monofilament top and all my real hair squashed under what looked like hair plugs; this time I barely noticed anything amiss with the top at all. This is part of what makes wig-shopping frustrating; our expectations and mood as well as different lighting, clothing or makeup colors, etc. can all affect what we think of a wig when we put it on, or change a we wig love into one we find questionable after wearing it for several weeks. That’s why I’m always reluctant to return wigs when I get them in and don’t like them; it’s rare to be able to return a wig without a bunch of fees and a lot of hassle and I’d rather hold onto mine awhile and see how I feel about them later and sell them on my own to someone else if I do decide I don’t like them. Bottom line here though, is that after a few days, I now think Elle is fine.
Better than fine – I really like it. I went for the 4-33 this time, which is a very dark color, but my bio hair is also dark and I wanted a decent match. The 4-33 is darker than my real hair, but not by much, and since the 6F27 is too highlighted (my real hair has no highlights) and the other browns don’t thrill me, I took the plunge and went with 4-33 even though I was nervous about it being too dark for me. In the end, it is dark, but at the same time, I find it really pretty. I also like the feel of the hair fiber on the 4-33 (I’ve noticed with Renaus that different colors feel different, don’t ask me why) as it’s a bit coarse and looks quite realistic – almost devoid of shine unless you are using a flash camera. The 4-33 does seem a little sheddy though; I find a lot of stray wig hairs in my face that I have to brush away constantly. But overall the color is gorgeous. And as I already mentioned, in looking at the lace front and monotop this time around, I didn’t see it as nearly the problem I considered it before, although it still is a bit sparse when you look at it up close.
Lace front crisis aside; the cut of Elle is just what I like, and in my dreams my bio hair could only be this lovely and thick. It is an easy wig to wear and the hair stays out of my face generally – aside from the wispy strays that wander around and eventually get yanked out by me – and the cap is comfortable and a good fit for an average-petite head with a full head of hair underneath. It has lovely movement and is simple and flattering; I don’t think it’s overly glam like a Renau Giselle or Adriana might be, and even though it’s quite full I do think it’s a nice day-to-day style.
It isn’t a cheap wig; Renau was just starting to hike up those prices when this one came out last year, but it’s still a steal compared to the prices on the wigs that came out this Spring. I got mine for $200 which was a good deal off the list price, so not too bad, but still more than I’d like to spend on a synthetic. It seems to be the way of things now, though, that even synthetic long wigs with any kind of added feature like a monofilament top/part or a lacefront are going to start at the $200 line and go up from there. Guess I just have to get used to it – although when still in a snit about the lace front/hair plug issue I bought a good old Brandi for its double-monofilament top and cheaper price (about $130 at Name Brand Wigs – and what happened to double monofilament tops anyway? Seems only Amore still makes them but I could be wrong; guess they’ve been sacrificed at the altar of lace fronts now). In spite of the price, Elle is a pretty perfect choice for me right now and I’m glad I made the purchase and gave the wig a chance; it’s a comfortable cap with nice hair fiber and although it’s thick I think I can still handle wearing it in summer. I never know with Renau what kind of lace front I’m going to get since they can be unreliable, so that’s the only drawback I can see. Raquel Welch’s lace fronts seem more consistent, but then again with wigs, it’s always gonna be something.
To close this out, here’s a shot of Elle taken outside in natural light. I’ll be back later to review the Brandi I bought, as well as the Shilo I picked up for good measure. I had videos of those wigs up before, but I’ve not written anything about them, and they are both reliable older styles I always like, which is why I re-purchased them. The wig binge continues, so let’s all enjoy it for as long as it lasts. 🙂