• Rachel Katzman

My latest gig - personal wig/sheital shopper

(photo cred: Chava Sara Siebzener, my AMAZINGLY-talented cousin of the acclaimed Salon Chavs, specializing in her incredible color work, right here in Chicago)

Hello beautiful readers!

Well, I started writing this blog post back a few weeks ago when I was sitting at jury duty (a.k.a. bored out of my mind, but at least there was free WiFi and we only stayed for 3 hours, post and Netflix happened). Woot.

I'm so excited to share with you about my newest "job title". As if I didn't already have a million things going on, why not add one more! How does "personal wig/sheital shopper" sound?

"Huh? That's a THING?"

Yep, I get that response all the time, as I've started to get the word out about my latest venture. And yes, it's a "thing" (mostly in NY, but seems there aren't many here in Chicago doing what I'm doing).

But let me back up a bit here.

Yes, I wear wigs. Of course if you are in the orthodox Jewish community, you understand, but if you're not, let me explain. I'm not going to divulge into how much of your hair, and when, and where, and around whom, but the bottom line is that married Jewish women cover their hair out of modesty. Your natural hair is meant only for your husband (again, not going into specifics here-ask your Rabbi if you have any specific questions).

So if you're wondering, yes, every photo you see of me on social media features me wearing some sort of wig, covering most if not all of my hair (again, only since I've been married). Bear with me, I'm going to get a tad personal here. I never wanted to cover my hair. Yes, I grew up in a community where some women did, but my mom wore hats to synagogue, not wigs, and I loved my hair too much to cover it. It made me sad, confused and unappreciative to those who do. Needless to say, I was in for a big surprise.

As I was planning my wedding, I worked out a deal with my fiance, and after many discussions and self reflections, I decided to get a "headband fall" - not a full wig but one where you blend your hair with the top section and wear it with a headband to cover the wig line. I would also wear hats and scarves just to mix it up. But, to my surprise, I got to a point where I WANTED to start wearing full wigs but at the time, it was mostly for convenience (read: I didn't have to do my hair every day, especially since I still had bangs at the time).

I'll be honest, I still sometimes struggle with covering my hair, especially when I take off a gorgeous wig and I show my husband my dry-shampoo-laden frizzy, blob-of-a-hairstyle mane underneath. Not so sexy, eh? To me though, at the end of the day, he and I both know that when I'm wearing a wig (even if it doesn't look like a wig), it still IS a wig. Bottom line, it's not my hair and that's ultimately the mitzvah (again, I'm no Rabbi, so talk yours about how much to cover, when, where, etc.). And for the record, I asked my husband recently if he likes my natural hair (even if it's a ratty mess, though I do make sure to take care of it, coloring, toning and conditioning often), and he said he loves my real hair. :) So there you go. Everyone has a different experience wearing wigs, and this is mine.

I also have a more casual approach to wearing my wigs (sheitals). Before my wedding, when I had my first fitting for my headband fall, I didn't feel weird about it at all. I know some brides can feel intimidated about putting on a wig - they don't want to touch it, or mess up the curls (if it's already been styled), or they're afraid of pulling out hair, but me? I got my hands in there, messed it up, and I started to feel like me (just with more luxurious hair). I prefer to have a wig look as natural as possible, and honestly, no one's hair is perfectly coiffed ALL the time (unless you're Beyonce and you have a crew of stylists following you around everywhere). ;-) So I get my hands in there and ruffle it up, make it messy, almost wind-blown (um, but not looking like a crazy person). But that's just me. If you'd rather have perfectly positioned curls with the right touch of hairspray, go for it. Sheitals should make you feel beautiful! BUT...I'm also that weird one that likes to wear my sheitals as hair accessories, like maybe one day I'll wear long white blonde hair to work, and the next week, it'll be brunette with copper/rose gold ombre. My friends at work know I wear wigs (and they know their names...yes, my wigs all have names). HA! #alterego

My goal of being a personal wig/sheital shopper is to make the overwhelming wig shopping experience an enjoyable and stress-free one! I've been to plenty sheital sales where it's so packed and you can't get the sheital macher's (wig seller) attention to either get her opinion, let alone pay for the wig (even if she has people helping with the sale). You'll find several tables full of raw hair wigs and I'm here to help you when you don't even know where to start. I'm here for you to give you an honest opinion and I'll even book the appointments for you (wig purchase and color/cut/set if needed). Buying a wig can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars and clearly it's a big purchase and a big decision (YOU have to like it and you probably want your husband to like it, or approve, or pay for it, haha).

So that's my story. I'm not writing this to make a statement or be judgmental - I just wanted to share my experience and my appreciation for this beautiful mitzvah. Just a modern Orthodox woman here hoping to spread the love and hopefully, help you see your full potential in looking your most beautiful and comfortable in your new (or freshly colored/styled) wig!

Here are a few snapshots of me wearing some different wigs (yes, I have a lot, but they all have different personalities).

Happy wig-wearing!



PS - If you'd like to schedule ANY appointment with me, click here! Thank you ALL for your unconditional love and support. work in action! Check out my friend gorgeous friend Nikki (who is so beautiful, inside AND out) trying on this gorgeous wig (don't worry, we ended up having Chava Sara color and style it to match her platinum locks)!

#wig #sheital #personalshopper #Jewish #mitzvah

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