The art of the wig
Rose and Punani are personalities with unpredictable looks who are passionate about wigs. A mastered art at their fingertips that they have not finished exploring... Straight, squared-off bands are more Punani's style, while Rose has more of an affinity for big hair and volume. It's a question of nature and of face shape. But with them, everything can change at any moment. This duo is said to be iconic and sassy. And therefore unpredictable: here are Rose and Punani, drag queens who have been performing in the most beautiful spots in Paris since 2012. Fashion victims, divine singers, queens of the catwalk, they also create humorous content, such as the show Les Dessous De on YouTube. Rose and Punani are personalities with unpredictable looks. Stories of humor, glamor and metamorphosis. And above all, a passion for wigs. A mastered art at their fingertips that they have not finished exploring.
What role does the haircut/wig play in the creation of your characters?
Punani: We always choose it at the end. You do your make-up, you put on an outfit from a specific era, and then comes the wig. It really completes the look and adds the final touch. Depending on what we want – to be dazzling, for example, or a bit more spectacular.
Rose: You might realize at the last minute that it doesn't work at all, so you change it. Or you adapt it. It's part of the transformation; and it can be transformed too!
What is a good wig?
P: I don't think there are any good or bad wigs; we've managed to style wigs that were originally in really bad shape. We don't necessarily use wigs that cost a fortune; we go and buy them at Château d'eau, (metro Château d'eau, Paris 10th arrondissement). They cost 30 euros maximum and we give them several lives.
R: At the beginning, as soon as they come out of the bag, they’re a bit flat and too well styled, and as time goes by, they evolve. We brush them, moisturize them, trim them. We always style them around our face when we wear them. It's more accurate. It's a very important creative material for us.
It really completes the look and adds the final touch.
What are the do's and don'ts in terms of hairstyle/clothing combinations?
P: We're careful about color combinations. I'm not sure you'd dare wear an orange wig with an orange dress... If a look is very busy, we'll wear something long and simple. And if we have a high collar, we'll make sure we don't close off our face; that everything is a bit more visible.
R: For example, we won't choose long hair if we have outfits with sequins, because visually it will become an atrocious mess. You also have to be careful with materials, there are things that the hair can get caught on. The practical side is important.
How is your real hair under the wig?
R: Your hair suffers a bit under the wig. It will be quite greasy, with a strange, flattened shape, and sometimes it even creases with the folds of the wig. So I say I have the hair of Marion Cotillard in La Môme. (laughs)
P: I know that my hair is almost going to be steamed underneath, so I don't do a treatment before, but rather after.
Rose & Punani's routine
A wig, even if it’s cheap, needs to be cared for and styled often. Here is the complete routine, for a perfect fit and hold.
We style the hair of the wig beforehand, sometimes moisturizing the ends, to give it a nice fall.
If it’s a wig with bangs, we just put it on.
If it's a lace-front wig, with a false hairline, we glue it down at the temples, so that there’s no warped effect. It's a strong hairpiece glue used for theater.
Afterwards, we mix vegetable oil and soap to remove glue residue. We discovered this on a shoot and it's much more effective than make-up remover.
We brush it again before putting it away, in a place where it shouldn’t "move."
It's a very important creative material for us.
How do you maintain a wig?
P: We brush it all the time. Before, so that it doesn't get tangled, once we have it on, and then before we go out to do our show. For very long and flowing wigs, we sometimes moisturize the tips, so that they are a bit heavier. We look for a nice fall.
R: When the wig starts to get static, or a get split ends, we use a steam straightener (like for ironing clothes), and it smooths out well. Maintaining your wigs is a lot of work!