Talk show host Wendy Williams has only in recent years become comfortable discussing what she calls her “magic hair.” Magic hair is any additional hair used for the simple but often necessary purpose of giving more volume, length and variety to one’s own locks.
The New Jersey native says she had no choice but the learn the intricate details and inner workings of wigs, weaves, and hairpieces after she was diagnosed with thyroid disease some 15 years ago.
“I had to learn about ‘magic hair’ because my own hair became so thin as a result of my disease,” recalls Williams. “I have long hair, but it’s too thin to do anything with it. Hair and skin are the first two things people see when they look at woman. Those two things have to be on point to be really in the game from my point of view.”
After years of wearing and studying all details related to the ‘magic hair’ market, Williams concluded that it was time to put her own mark on an industry that generates almost $1 billion annually through the sale of synthetic and human hair.
“Wendy Williams’ Hair World,” will launch September 1 on Wig.com, and EspeciallyYours.com. The hair line will offer women who want more follicle options 40 wig styles, 5 unique weave looks, 6 hairpieces, 5 headbands, and 1 clip-on hair-extension style.
At 5’11”, Williams has a towering presence that she says her “barely there hair” just didn’t complement.
“I’m a big woman with a big personality,” she says. “A big woman with a big personality cannot have little hair.”
She also does not believe that anyone these days is completely natural when it comes to hair or weight loss. “Most women of a certain age need a little help with their hair as time goes on," she says. Williams, 49, maintains women should use a variety of beauty enhancements as they age. “When I say most women, I mean black, white, and whatever. After 30, our hair begins to thin and it takes more work to look the way we want. Why not get some help?”
Williams says she understands the stigma often associated with wearing wigs and other hairpieces, but she encourages women to ignore their “hating ass girlfriends” and do what makes them feel and look their best.
“Hating ass girl friends—and that’s what they are, hating ass—are exactly why I stayed in the wig closet for so long,” admits Williams. “I would never admit to wearing wigs early on. I said I had a weave instead because they are bit more acceptable. Wigs have too long been considered just for those who are baldheaded or for the old lady who sits in the fourth pew in church every Sunday.”
Williams added that men, particularly black men, have contributed more than their share to unflattering conversations about women, particularly black women, who wear hair extensions.
“Chris Rock and his film about hair aside, most black men as a rule have a real problem with fake hair for some reason,” said Williams. “They want us [black women] to have a certain look that includes long hair, but then complain about you being fake and not natural. Natural is for personalities, not hair.”
Black hair is often fragile and grows in a curly pattern, making it difficult to maintain hairstyles that require extended length without using damaging chemicals and heat. Frequent straightening can damage black hair and cause breakage. Protective hairstyles such as wigs and weaves offer alternative options for women.
Williams says she advises fans of her show who admire her hairpieces to actually experiment with hair extensions before judging them or stepping out in public with them on.
“I rarely wear wigs just out of the box,” says Williams. “I buy them, cut them, and then add additional highlights and a few other tricks so that they fit me, and the look I’m going for. Women sometimes get confused, you have to work to get the look and style you want.”
“The Wendy Williams Hair Collection,” offers wigs priced from $49 to $1,000 and includes both synthetic and human hair versions in varying lengths.
Though always a fan of big hair, Williams confirms she likes Beyoncé’s new short haircut. But she does have one request for the superstar singer.
“I don’t want to see that on Sasha Fierce (Beyoncé’s alter ego on stage),” said Williams. “When I go see her in a show on stage, I want the diva fan blowing and the long hair flowing. That short hair is good to take Blue Ivy to the CVS or to the park. But it’s not showgirl hair and Beyoncé is a showgirl!”