A Gathering Place for Adults Who Love Irish Dance

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wigs vs. Natural

What’s your opinion on wigs for adult dancers?

As you know, I am a newbie in the world of Irish dancing and I haven’t decided whether or not to wear a wig in competition.   I hear a lot of conflict on this topic.  Some people say the judges won’t take you seriously if you are without the bouncing curls, others disagree and point out that some judges are annoyed by adults who wear a wig.  I’ve read that some people think a ponytail or lighter weight wig is easier to dance in, but there are some who think it looks ridiculous on an adult. 

So tell me, what’s your attitude towards the curly stuff?  Go wig or go natural?


  1. this was my first summer feising. I did the first few wigless and the remaining 4 with a ponytail wig on. For me, it brings me closer to it all AND I don't have to really think about or do much with my hair the day of. Unfortunately, I am probably going to have to hang up my wig in the next few months. Now that my hair is getting longer (and it is thick) it doesn't fit well in that style. In my region, it is not very common to see adults in wigs and hardly ever in full wigs. People talk.. and its not nice.

  2. I have wavy hair, dance adults, don't wear a wig, and am mostly in PW. I compete against a lady, also in PW, who wears a wig. I think it is entirely up to the individual dancer as to what they put on their heads!

  3. I am starting to see that it doesn't really matter if you wear a wig or not, it's how it makes you feel when you perform. It really is too bad if other people judge a dancer by what they are wearing.

  4. I am light-years late in commenting on this topic, but as I just found this blog, I wanted to give my two cents.

    I initially began dancing in high school and during that time wigs were just beginning to make an appearance at feisanna. My dance teacher had a strict rule regarding them, namely that we had to reach prizewinner level before we could wear them. She told us that if she had to go to church and school in ridiculous curlers when she was a dancer, then so did we. It was character building, apparently. My hair is very straight and very fine and does not take to curling. My parents and I tried everything: foam rollers, foam spikes, pin curls, oodles and oodles of hair spray. And each time without fail, after I danced my first dance my curls would fall in limp greasy strands around my head. At the time, I really looked forward to being allowed to get a wig just so I could forgo the torture my scalp was forced to endure for each feis. Of course I had just reached prizewinner status when I stopped dancing in order to do silly things such as attend college and grad school.

    Now that I'm returning to dance after a 10 year hiatus and I'm looking at competing in my first feis this fall, I have a completely different attitude about the entire thing. Wigs have gotten so out-of-control ridiculous --- they get more poofy each year, I swear --- dancers can very easily look clownish wearing them. I also realized that curly hair doesn't particularly suit me. I look better with straight hair, which is probably why I have straight hair in the first place and why my hair fought me for so many years about being curled. I also don't get why curly hair is "preferred" by judges. I get the concept that it looks nice and bouncy, but nowhere in the NAFC rules does it say hair should be curled. How "authentic" is curly hair and dancing anyway?

    I've written a novel here (I could probably write my own blog), all by way of saying that I'm going natural when I compete. As long as my hair is nicely styled and not falling in my face as I dance, I think it's fine. If I can echo Christy Dorrity, it's about the dancing, not the hair.

  5. Thanks for the comment eightk. My experience is the same, I can pull my hair into curlers until my eyes are squinty, but the second I move the curls fall out. Jean Butler looks nice with long straight hair. I don't know if I will ever get a wig, I may if I get a solo dress someday, but for now, my hair will be straight!

  6. Thanks for your post. I’ve been thinking about writing a very comparable post over the last couple of weeks, I’ll probably keep it short and sweet and link to this instead if thats cool. Thanks. wigs for women


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