By Mordechai Ullman
The thought of buying a wig conjures up different emotions for people. For a young and often nervous religious bride, covering her hair for the first time, it is an adventure of coming to terms with covering natural hair in an appealing manner. For others it is an unfortunate loss of hair they are seeking to replace. Then there’s a third group, people who simply want a fuller head of hair or one of different colour.
Ben Parienté of Parienté Couture informs me that the emotions and wigs are actually inseparable. As he explains, the credit for the success of his business is due to the partner with whom he set up the company, Deb. She has the passion for the fashion. “Without the passion you couldn’t last in the industry,” Ben explains. The effort, patience and concentration required for the manufacturing of the wigs needs a true interest in the product. “All the labour is done in the UK, with the hair sourced in South America, whereas the harder-to-come-by blonde or light-coloured hair is obtained in Eastern Europe.”
Whereas some suppliers will simply dye the wig to suit the customer specification, Deb sees that as a compromise in quality. “We believe in quality above all else.”
With Deb always having had a passion for hair styling and cutting, when a hair-sewing vacancy became available Deb jumped on it. Eventually, “the penny dropped” and Ben thought Deb’s skills might best be put to their own business. With Ben being in between jobs, the time was ripe. The business was set up just nine years ago in Jerusalem, with the target market being in the UK, where much of their family and friends are based. However, their services were not going to be simply another company fitting ready-made wigs on their clients; it was using the rare skill of producing wigs. “We offer the personal service” has always been the company motto of Parienté Couture. Within seven months of commencing her hair-sewing job, Deb was ready to form wigs without any assistance.
Sadly, not all wig purchases are for joyous occasions. Undergoing treatment for cancer often causes hair loss, and patients often seek to preserve their former look. Many female volunteers, voluntarily grow their hair for the express purpose of cutting and donating it to Zichron Menachem. The shaping and creating of the wigs is done in house, each hair-piece individually. The products are greatly appreciated. It is held extremely close to their hearts. Sometimes the patient will choose to cut their own hair and use that for the wig they subsequently wear. “It is really special to be there for these people at this time of their lives.”
The third category are clients seeking a different colour hair, a fuller-looking head of hair or simply a longer length.
What is the advantage of obtaining a wig that has been manufactured here in the UK as opposed to obtaining one from the travelling salespersons from abroad who offer their wares on visits here? Ben’s primary explanation: “Aftercare.” With the care of Deb, the customers know they can rely on the product looking great long term and can rest assured their salesperson lives locally and can spend hours with them keeping the wig in top shape.”People put a lot of money into them and want this care in return.”
With today’s ever-changing market, lengths of the wigs vary, with the younger consumers requesting longer hair and middle-aged to seniors seeking shoulder length or shorter. Believe it or not, synthetic wigs still abound, far cheaper to make.
With modern-day customers seeking a more natural look, skin tops have gradually become a regular feature for wig wearers. Pariente Couturé invested efforts to design a skin top that was both lighter and more durable, thereby able to overcome the inevitable signs of wear that occur.
With fewer than five companies servicing London’s Jewish community involved in the wig process from start to finish, many satisfied customers enjoy the benefits and the reassurance they get from this most unique UK-based enterprise.
For more information and to contact Parienté Couture Wigs call 07884 783 257 or email