You Were: The Wig Maker

September 16, 2010

During the golden age of Hollywood, tourists in town to see the stars’ homes would often stop and stare at the most magnificent house in Beverley Hills.
“Whose mansion is THAT?” they’d ask their tour guides.
“That,” they were told, “belongs to the wig maker.”

Of course everyone wanted to know how a humble wig maker became one of the wealthiest people on the west coast. The answer was simple. You sold more than wigs. You traded in secrets as well.

When you were a little girl in the south of France, your breathtakingly beautiful mother woke up one morning without a hair on her head. While the doctors examined her and your father cried, you carefully gathered the locks she’d left behind on her pillow. It took more than a week, but you fashioned a stunning wig. By the time your mother was well enough to leave the house, no one would have guessed that her lovely hair wasn’t actually attached to her head.

It wasn’t long before you were the most successful wig maker in all of Europe. You knew every royal family on the continent. (Female baldness is endemic among Europe’s royals.) You were proclaimed a visionary. A genius An artist of the highest caliber.

Then you moved to Hollywood. You’d been a film fan for as long as there had been films. You had nothing but respect for the actors, directors, and cinematographers who created movie magic. You expected them to show the same respect for you. They didn’t. You were treated like m*rde. (Forgive the French.)

After a humiliating encounter with Joan Crawford (who needed your services after she’d left a hunk of hair in Bette Davis’s fist), you made up your mind. If Hollywood wouldn’t respect your artistry, you’d just have to teach them a lesson. As a wig maker to the stars, you knew which celebrities had hair—and which were bald as babies. You knew who had gone prematurely gray—and whose hair stayed greasy no matter how many times it was washed.

These were the sort of secrets that fetched top dollar back in the day. Still, you only squealed on those who deserved it. Soon, the message made it all around town. Treat the wig maker with respect, and pay her well, or cross your fingers and hope nothing ever happens to your hair.

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One Response to “You Were: The Wig Maker”

  1. Wigs Says:

    A great story of rags to riches, respect to the wig maker.


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