Wendy Williams is full-blown hair obsessed. The television talk show host has worn a wig every day for 12 years and is now taking her passion for hair to new lengths with a wig collection of her own.
This story first appeared in the August 2, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Perhaps if I had a smaller personality, the hair on my head would be fine,” said Williams, who just finished the fourth season of her show, which has been renewed on Fox through 2017. “But the bigger the hair the smaller the hips [look].”
The radio-turned-TV host began wearing wigs 15 years ago after being diagnosed with Thyroid disease, which caused her natural hair to thin.
At first, she said she used to fib and tell people she wore weaves. But Williams swore off weaves more than a decade ago in favor of wigs. She’s even created her own wig vernacular complete with wigologist (wig hair stylist), wiggie (wig devotee) and wigitry (the study of wigs), which she casually weaves into the conversation as if they belong in Merriam-Webster. Hair also plays a starring role on “The Wendy Williams Show” with skits like Hairpiece Theater and sneak peaks into her wig room.
Williams will launch the Wendy Williams Hair World Collection on especiallyyours.com and wig.com on Sept. 1, although 12 styles are available online now. The collection, created with Specialty Commerce, includes more than 40 wig styles priced between $49 and $999 for the hand-tied, human hair wig called Wendy, and assorted weaves, hairpieces and headbands, ranging from $39 to $149.
Williams sees opportunity for the line to expand to beauty supply stores, such as Harmon Discount and Sally Beauty Supply.
She’s brimming with wig tips too: Use a bit of sea salt to take down the shine on a synthetic wig, cut a few strands near the hairline and loosen them with a toothbrush to create “baby hairs,” and sew in extensions to give a wig extra volume. Or take it straight to the beauty parlor to have it styled.
“Working with the wigs is like therapy to me,” said Williams.
She said she road tested a number of wigs in the collection. “I wore them to the grocery store, to the bank and to the mall,” she said, adding that while she normally opts for human hair versions, she dons synthetic wigs at the gym or the pool — yes, she dips her head underwater — because they are lightweight and dry quickly.
“She has a mission: Every woman should wear wigs,” said Specialty Commerce chief executive officer Christian Feuer.
While hair is a major beauty focus for Williams, she also pays close attention to her skin. “I really appreciate having beautiful skin,” said Williams, who recently turned 49 years old. She said she likes drugstore brands but “swears by Elizabeth Arden.” She’s also dabbled with Botox, but hasn’t seen a needle for nearly a year. Her routine is simple: “After the show, I immediately take my face makeup off. First I clean with wipes and then a washcloth and then apply a serum and let it sit for hours. I do have appreciation for a bare face…as long as my hair is set.”
Williams is open to additional beauty categories and alliances as well. “Who wouldn’t want to have a cosmetics endorsement? I am a beauty girl,” she said.
Williams, whose is currently starring in “Chicago: The Musical” on Broadway, playing the role of Matron Mama Morton through Aug. 11, also recently launched Wendy Williams Productions, which will produce reality, game and talk shows. Where does she find the energy? “It’s a natural enthusiasm for life….I don’t stay sad or mad for long.”