Looking for your next sheitel? Or maybe your current sheitel could use a little revamp? Then it’s time to check out Chani Gilden’s Posh Wigs.
An expert wig and hair stylist, Chani has been doing hair on both people and sheitels for many years, including cuts, color, special hairstyles and updos for simchas. She even does wig repairs.
Growing up in Teaneck, Chani always styled her friends’ hair back when she was still in high school. When she was in Israel for a year, she met a woman who had a salon in her home where she worked on sheitels and also had a professional makeup studio. The best part was that this lady also offered courses on hair and makeup.
Dedicating the little free time she had that year, Chani spent the next several months working alongside the beautician at simchas, learning the craft and honing her skills. All that hard work and dedication paid off when she returned home for Pesach and restyled not only her mother’s and her aunt’s sheitels, but even sheitels of her friends’ mothers.
Her results got noticed and when she returned home for good a couple of months later she soon had a full client roster and a salon to call her own, working out of her parents’ house for the next four years.
When Chani lived in Florida for a few years, she partnered with another sheitel-macher (whom she since bought out) while also commuting back and forth frequently to see her clients in New Jersey. She started to notice how many women struggled with this mitzvah, and it was then that she decided to establish her own line of wigs.
She explained how she appreciates that covering the hair can be a challenging mitzvah in different ways, whether women find it physically, emotionally or financially difficult. “I can commiserate with them and I definitely have a soft spot for the women who are struggling, so I thought: How can I do this better?”
After conducting a tremendous amount of research, Chani ordered several wigs from different brands and tested them out rigorously. She had a long, stringent list of requirements that a wig needed to meet. She inspected and studied the wigs to learn which ones felt the nicest, how well they were sewn in, how well they washed, took color and held styles.
“I have high expectations for my wigs … It should fit properly, it should feel comfortable, it should look like you, so I don’t stop until it’s perfect.”
She finally settled on a distributor and ordered the first sheitel for her mother, who was thoroughly familiar with all the wig brands on the market. (Seven years later that first wig has just been retired, and Chani says it’s still in great condition.) One-by-one they ordered wigs for clients and before they knew it, business began to flourish.
Chani is now back in Teaneck and in the process of renovating her salon. She has grown her team and even added an assistant, Tali. She keeps a locked drop box right outside her salon door so people can drop off their wigs safely any time, day or night. A member of several industry groups, she is always continuing her education, regularly taking courses to learn new skills and techniques, and making sure she is staying on top of industry news and trends.
According to Chani, lace tops are the newest trend in sheitels, and even though they are delicate and require certain care, there’s nothing to be scared of— they are just as easy to maintain as other wigs. Because lace tops are made with human hair, Chani explained, it’s important to feel comfortable with them and treat them the way you would treat your own hair. Of course, she added, be careful with the caps and always use heat protectors when blow-drying or ironing the hair.
In terms of styles, Chani believes that almost anything goes, from stick-straight to natural waves and loose curls. “Blunt cuts and layers are really big now, too, and curtain bangs have made a comeback.”
However, “I try to encourage [my clients] to do less of what’s in and more of what suits them.” she said, explaining that fashion isn’t about what’s current, but rather what looks good on each individual. “Just like the same dress won’t look the same on different women, why would the same cut and style look the same on different face shapes and coloring?”
Chani always traces the hair line and makes sure it fits perfectly in the back. Sometimes a wig needs to be taken in or a client wants a pony pocket, highlights or color. She will customize the wig as much as possible. “My clients know they can always come back if they are experiencing an issue, and I’ll always take care of it,” she said.
“When my clients leave happy, it’s the best feeling knowing that I helped them with that mitzvah and they feel good about it.” (Plus she gets extra schar!)
To get your next sheitel from Posh Wigs call or text 551-655-3357.
On Instagram: @poshwigsbychani