Brooklyn wigmaker leads the charge in global wig sales trend

boutique wig shop
Judy Holi shows off some of Shevy’s Wigs’ offerings.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

A boutique wig shop in Midwood has grown into a titan of the hairpiece industry in recent years — fitting fake hair atop the heads of prominent celebrities, and becoming the number one supplier of European-style human hairpieces worldwide, said its owner.

“We’ve seen an increase of about twenty percent, twenty-five percent a year,” said Shevy Emanuel, the owner of Shevy Wigs. “Once upon a time if you were wearing a wig you were embarrassed, today it’s a fashion statement.” 

The wig industry is seeing more growth than ever before, with some analysts expecting revenues to top $10 Billion in sales by 2023.

Wig customers come from all walks of life, including women suffering from hair loss, cancer patients going through chemotherapy, and Orthodox Jewish women who are required to keep their hair covered. 

But Emanuel, who opened her Midwood storefront 25 years ago, attributes the industry’s massive growth to the increasing number of young women purchasing wigs as a fashion statement — a popular trend led by celebrities such as Katy Perry and Cardi B, who often sport colorful hairpieces, according to one industry expert.

“While the obvious benefit of a wig for older women is appearing younger, a wig can also give wearers a bold, signature style that many of their younger colleagues may also be rocking,” said Lisa Feierstein, Senior Trend Strategist at TrendWatching.

shevy's wigs, boutique wig shop, midwood wig shop
Ryane Jones puts the finishing touches on a Shevy wig in their Midwood shop. Photo by Caroline Ourso

But Emanuel’s wigs don’t come cheap — products at the boutique wig shop start at $2,500, and can cost as much as $8,000 for a custom made wig. 

With prices like those, a Shevy Wigs hairpiece is a substantial investment — but an increasingly popular option for women in powerful positions in business, politics, and entertainment, who have sought out wigs from Shevy’s in recent years.

To accommodate the often sensitive nature of the wig-buying process, Emanuel constructed a private room with a side entrance — giving women all the privacy they need.  

“I have some celebrities who come in and they don’t want to be seen so we really feel like a private room is a great place for them to feel comfortable,” said Emanuel. 

Emanuel, a wigwearer herself, said she understands the desire for secrecy and designs some of her wigs to be so realistic it would be impossible to tell they’re not the wearer’s natural hair. 

“Wigs have become so natural,” she said. “You can’t even detect if you’re wearing a wig.”

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