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A Personal Touch: Can I have a wig made of my own hair?

When faced with chemotherapy treatment or gradually worsening hair loss, getting a wig made from your own hair might seem like the easiest, most natural transition. As industry-leading bespoke wigmakers, here at Mandeville we are often asked if we can make this dream a reality. Hair is a significant part of our identity, so it’s easy to understand the importance of retaining this sense of self. It’s common to see people donating their hair to be made into wigs for others, so what about for ourselves?

While it is possible to incorporate your own hair into a custom-made wig, the amount of hair you donate will never be enough to create a full wig. The hair bundles we work with to hand-knot our wigs go through rigorous prep work to ensure superior results. This involves the removal of all short hairs found naturally at different growth cycles in a bundle of hair - we do this to make sure your completed wig is thick and full from roots to ends. Once these short hairs have been meticulously discarded by hand, you’re left with a lot less than you started with! It actually takes 3 heads of hair to make one wig on average, so the hair you donate must be blended with other matching bundles to be useable.

Another consideration is the quality of your natural hair. Has it been bleached one too many times? If it’s brittle or prone to breakage, it’s likely that much of your precious donated hair would not survive the hand-knotting process. We typically opt for natural European hair for our luxury wigs and hairpieces for its superior quality. Not only is it easy to style, it comes in an array of naturally lighter shades meaning it can be kept in its optimal condition without the dreaded colour processing.

If your natural hair is deemed suitable to blend into your new Made to Measure wig, it will be a few inches shorter than your original look. When each hair is hand tied, it cannot simply be tied from the very top of the strand, so a little length is lost each time in order to create a secure knot. This may be an important factor in considering whether to incorporate your biological hair into your wig, as you may be visualising an exact replica of your own hair in wig form. However, as wigmakers, it’s actually much easier to replicate your hair and style with new bundles of hair sourced just for you, than to try and use your own.

Arguably, one of the most major considerations is how much it means to you to know you’re wearing your own hair. Each Made to Measure wig takes around 3-4 months to create from scratch, so for the period of time between donating your hair (which for some can be traumatic in itself) and receiving your finished piece can be difficult. However, for some, being able to wear their own hair in their wig provides much comfort during their journey with hair loss. It can also be extra special if you’re able to wear hair donated by a loved one, such as a Made to Measure wig we created for our client using her granddaughter's lovingly donated locks, which were perfect for incorporating into the style our client normally wears.

In conclusion, there are pros and cons to making a wig using your own hair due to the considerations above. As highly experienced wigmakers, we usually advise clients not to use their own hair as, aside from sentimentality, we are able to source an exact hair match for you. This can be quicker, simpler and less emotional for the client than going through the process of removing their existing hair. Most importantly, it comes down to your personal feelings and what’s right for you - and what’s right for you is right for us.

For personal advice on getting a bespoke wig made from your own hair, get in touch - we’re always happy to help.


Is it cheaper to get a wig made from your own hair?

Surprisingly, it’s usually no cheaper to get a wig made from your own natural hair. It takes 3 heads of hair to make 1 wig due to the hair prep process - ‘double-drawing’ the hair means removing all the shorter lengths in a hair bundle. Therefore, hair will still need to be sourced on your behalf to blend with your own. Additionally, your own donated hair will have to be prepped before being hand-knotted, so no expense is saved by the wigmaker.

Can I have a wig made of my own hair?

In theory it is possible to have a wig made from your own hair, but it’s not always that simple. It’s important to consider the factors mentioned in this article to decide whether the results will be worth it for you personally.

Where can I donate my hair to be made into wigs?

We recommend donating hair to a wig charity such as The Little Princess Trust who rely on donations to make their hairpieces. At Mandeville London, as we are a business rather than a charity, we feel ethically we cannot accept donations. The only donations we do accept are for silver grey hair (which cannot be used by the LPC) whereby we pledge to make a financial donation to the charity on your behalf.

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