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Off the Top of My Head

Esther Kurtz

Need a new sheitel but don’t want to mortgage your home? Here’s everything I learned about buying a good sheitel on the cheap

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

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I was desperate for a new sheitel, but didn’t have time for the process. Plus, I’m cheap. Then a friend told me her sister had purchased a wig from AliExpress. Yes, that AliExpress, where you buy cute moccasins and headbands for your daughters for pennies and wait three months for them to arrive. If you look, you’ll find wigs, too. Put “Kosher Jewish Wig” into the search bar, and you can get lost for days

P eople work on heuristics — rules of thumb — and two of them in the sheitel world are costing people a lot of money:

1. You get what you pay for.

2. If this is how everyone does it, it must be the right way.

I’m telling you, these “hairistics” are as dated as your mother’s teased bangs.

I was desperate for a new sheitel, but didn’t have time for the process. Plus, I’m cheap. Then a friend told me her sister had purchased a wig from AliExpress. Yes, that AliExpress, where you buy cute moccasins and headbands for your daughters for pennies and wait three months for them to arrive. If you look, you’ll find wigs, too. Put “Kosher Jewish Wig” into the search bar, and you can get lost for days.

Long story short, I look awesome in my new AliExpress sheitel, and would do it again… and again. And I’ve spoken to a few people who’ve purchased AliExpress sheitels, and they echo my enthusiasm. And at $300 for 16 inches, I feel like I can buy a sheitel for every day of the week.

Chinese Chops


Want your own? If you’ve got a little can-do spirit (and by that, I mean really a little — I hardly have any, and I did it), here are the details.

I used Jack of TsingTao Wigs, the same seller used by other people I spoke to. His English is not the best, and he communicated more efficiently before the sale than after it. Still, I felt secure and comfortable with my purchase during the process for two reasons: AliExpress’s customer satisfaction guarantee and the fact that I was paying with American Express, which is known for customer protection.

For those of you who are more risk averse, or who want a selection and to see what you’re buying before you do — there are other options for sheitels that don’t require selling your firstborn to afford them

Jack has a wig factory in Qingdao, China, and employs 80 people. He told me he supplies wigs to some well-known New York–based lines of sheitels. Honestly, I took everything he said with a grain of salt, but then again, how would he know those company names? The wig came pretty quickly — around two weeks after I placed my order.

There’s no standard website for placing your order; you e-mail Jack, and he creates a custom page for you to order from. There are several choices you need to make: color, length, style (all the same length or layered), hair texture, density, and cap size. All the information about options can be found on Jack’s AliExpress webpage, and there are links to his website for more information.

I ordered a #6 in color, which should have been a light brown, but his #6 is more like a 2 or 4, a rich deep brown. I spoke to Naomi, who’s ordered about ten wigs from him, and she confirmed this experience. But there’s nothing a few added highlights (or the sun) can’t handle.

For an extra $10 to $20, you can have greater hair density. If you like a lot of hair and volume, that’s a good option and price. Miri, who has one sheitel from Jack, opted not to get more density; though her sheitelmacher cousin said Miri’s sheitel is on the thinner side, to Miri it’s perfect the way it is. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 558)

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