Destinee Steele, International Thespian Society alum and regular contributor to, has an MFA in wig and makeup design. She is the CEO of The Beauty Menagerie, LLC. She is also a Founding Board Member of Black Hair and Makeup United. In this video Destinee shares three factors to consider when deciding to use wigs vs. natural hair in a performance. Whether for yourself or when working on Black actors’ hair.


Factor #1 – How many performances will there be? How long is the run?
For example, extensions require more maintenance than a wig. So if it’s a short run then extensions may work. But, say, the show is scheduled for an eight-month run then a wig is likely going to be more manageable, easier on the actor’s natural hair, and more cost effective. 

Factor #2 – How much time does that style require?
Similar to factor #1, take into account TIME – both the actor’s and the stylist’s. Some styles may require a substantial time investment to work. Make a choice that’s reasonable for everyone.

Factor #3 – How much does maintaining the style cost vs. the cost of a wig in that same style? Let’s estimate that extensions for an actor cost $280. It’s possible that a wig in that same style could cost as much as $6,000! There’s always a budget amount to stay within so know the total costs for all options. 

Watch another video with Destinee talking about styling Black hair.

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