Gorillas in the Midst


Ah, the weekend is almost upon us. Well, it is at the time of writing. Little Miss is busying playing on her brother’s Xbox, while Wee Man is having a sleepover at Granny’s. That just leaves the Ever Lovely Mrs J to be provided with hot tea and quiet, while she reads. Me? Oh, I’ll while away the early evening, enjoying a gin, a quick blog entry and and editing a photo to fit this post.

Earlier in the week, I was working from home and I had a long lunch, so I could visit a local wig vendor. I’ve been after a new do for a while and despite much research online, I’d not come any closer to finding something I was happy with. It’s a tricky situation because you’re…. no, scratch that, I’m – because I can’t and won’t talk for you 🙂 – in a trilemma of cost, distance and quality.

Sue kindly recommended a shop. That’s down in Oxford, which is a serious trek from up here. I did, however, find three wigs I liked on their site and the price didn’t break the bank. I did email them but I’ve had nothing back and that’s over two weeks ago. Oh well!

With Raffles, they were local enough to be visited and having been passed a business card, by Pat at Chams, why not? Their shop at the back of a hair salon, in the outskirts of Leicester. Parking was easy enough and I was politely ushered through on arrival (hence the title). No fuss, no stress. I was offered a tea, which I think is always a nice touch.

The range of wigs was good and I tried on about five different styles. I had done some research on what was supposed to suit me, and that helped narrow down the choices.

Hair for those of us with square faces:

  • Coupled with layers that turn inward
  • An off centre parting
  • Use side hair parting, a side-swept fringe and flicks to take away the hard lines of your face shape and add some funkiness to your look.
  • Long bob : This long bob is perfect for adding length and a rounded appearance to short, square face shapes

At least, so the advice goes! 🙂

I took a snap of each one – or a selfie, as all the cool kids are saying* – which helped me look back at what I’d tried and help me remember. After you’ve tried two or three, they start to get a bit of a blue and a photo, seemed a good a way as any, to keep track of what I’d tried and how to review them.

Selfies: didn’t we trans folk invent these? Why haven’t we been reimbursed with kind favours and money off shopping? Honestly, there’s no justice in the world. 🙂

Mmm, maybe, but not this colour., Nope. And lastly, nope again.

The ones that didn’t work were a light blonde number (left), although the fit & style were both nice. The owner did say she may be able to get this in another colour, but it would be a while to order.

The middle one fitted well, but the colour wasn’t there for me.

The black one made me feel very jaw-y and seemed a little too dark. Funny, I had something very similar a few years back and liked it. It did, however, have more flick to it, whereas this was straighter.

I tried one that was curly and it was terribly old fashioned – that made us both laugh. There’s no snap of that, because it was on and pretty much, straight off again.

After some deliberation, I bought the first one I tried on. I like the shape, the colour, the feel of it on and it was different to what I’d had before. Despite a touch of buyer’s remorse – or husbandly guilt? – a day or so later, I’m happy with my purchase.

I’m hoping to give it a proper spin, at the Autumn Party next week. New hair and a new dress from my birthday last month? I’ll have some of that. I did have a chat with both owners about them visiting to Chameleons at some point. That’s still to be confirmed and I’m hopeful that will happen.

My earlier comment about prices, did prompt an interesting discussion and a bit of ‘behind the scenes’ reveal. Raffles, they sell their wigs for people who’ve lost their hair due to chemotherapy, and a small number of trans people.

I was surprised to hear how low the trade prices are for some…. less expensive brands. Now, I don’t mind an inexpensive wig, as in, it was a bargain, but cheap? No thanks. Someone at Chams once told me, to buy the best I can afford. Oddly, similar advice to buying a car, or a laptop. Buy the best you can, because you may regret not spending that extra 20 quid. It’s not like you can upgrade your hair, is it? 🙂 Well, okay, maybe a trim by a professional, but they can’t replace the fibres.

I guess, like much in life, you get what you pay for. Coming back to what I was saying, some vendors (not local and no names were named) had passed on very cheap wigs (20 quid wholesale) to NHS patients at quite a mark-up. Cue upset patients turning up, wondering why what they’d bought was looking less that natural, a few weeks later (heard this at another vendor too). Sure, we part time trans folk don’t have to wear them day in day out, but I’d like my hair to be okay for more than a handful of outings.

I think the lowest priced wig I bought was 40 quid and that was from Natural Image, back when Debenhams used to have a branch. It was my first and while it didn’t work for my features, it was, good quality. I passed that on to someone at the group, who was quite happy with it. Wow, I think that’s nearly 10 years ago.
Anyhoo, memories aside, I bought this new one with the remainder of my birthday money. I doubt anyone will ask what I spent on it. They’ll probably assume nerd gear and tech. Stereotypes eh? They do make for excellent shade 😉
Take care,


  1. My first wig was a lot cheaper and looked as good as that sounded. My general advice to others is, like instant coffee its a good idea to trade up, if you can afford it.

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