Lucinda Ellery makes a case for keeping it unreal.

The Cover-Up

How she got into the fake hair business
When I was 9, I lost two-thirds of my hair overnight. I learned later that I had alopecia areata; my immune system was attacking my hair follicles. I got my first wig when I was 12—it was one of the best days of my life. I wore wigs for 23 years. Then, in the mid-'80s, I tried extensions, but back then the process was primitive and very damaging. I decided I could do it better.

How she does it better
I weave my clients' remaining hair through a light mesh cap of extensions that they can leave on day and night.

Her client base
I see a lot of genetic female pattern hair loss and cancer treatment hair loss.

The hair she presents to the world
Long, thick, blonde.

The hair she really has
A short black ball of frizz with bald patches.

Why she'll never just shave it all off
That would feel like a terrible punishment to me. I will go to my grave with long, blonde hair. I don't feel like myself without it.

Lucinda Ellery owns salons in London, Manchester, Edinburgh, and Los Angeles.

Next: Why wigs aren't for one interior designer


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