Ruth Regina—An 8th Generation Wigmaker

By Lauren Salapatek | 07/07/2010 1:54:04 PM

 

From iconic legends, rock stars and belles of the ball, Ruth Regina has worked with them all. A legend in her field, she is an 8th generation wigmaker who combines old world craftsmanship with modern technology. For the past 50 years, Regina has been actively involved in the film and television industry working with CBS, ABC and NBC since the ‘50’s, and her stellar career has led to numerous contributions.

She was the Make-up Director and Wig Master for the entire run of the Jackie Gleason Show in Miami Beach. Regina’s credits also include involvement with film studios the likes of MGM, Columbia and Orion Pictures and productions such as The Bellboy starring Jerry Lewis, Scarface starring Al Pacino and The Feast of the Goat where she designed and made all the hair pieces for Tomas Milian who played Rafael Leonidas Trujillo, to name just a few.  

Regina has donned her work on the likes of past Presidents of the United States, supermodels Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum, and big screen actresses such as Jennifer Lopez, Marisa Tomei and Rosalyn Sanchez. She was also responsible for make-up work on the set of the Miss Universe Pageant for 14 years and coverage of the National Presidential Conventions. Regina was the first woman on the United States East Coast to receive screen credits for her work as a Make-up Artist, thus setting the precedence for other recipients.

As a hobby, Regina designs special hairpieces for man’s and women’s best friends under her newest venture, Wiggles Dog Wigs, which has been featured on the Late Show with David Letterman, the Wendy William’s Show, Animal Planet to the Today Show.

                                                          Ruth Regina

 
 Ruth Regina and David Letterman

I got the chance to ask Regina a few questions about her career. Take a look:

What’s your most recent accomplishment?
My most recent Industry recognition took place May 10, 2010 at the Fountain Bleu Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, where I received the Innovator Award from Intercoiffure US-Canada, a worldwide prestigious association for hairdressing and beauty.

What kinds of men’s hair pieces have you made that are especially interesting?
I have been actively involved in the film and television industry over the past 50 years working with all the major networks as well as many major motion picture studios. The characters brought to life through the actors I have collaborated with—utilizing hair pieces I designed and created—have been quite interesting. Some of these were done throughout the 8-year run of the Jackie Gleason Show, various movies working with Jerry Lewis in the Bellyboy to Al Pacino in Scarface and Striptease with Demi Moore.

For certain occasions, some gentlemen like to emulate the look of a particular celebrity or icon. We have made hair pieces that resemble Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Bob Marley, Barack Obama and even Donald Trump.

What was your favorite wig you ever made?
Whenever I am involved in the creative process I am at my happiest. But I must say those closest to my heart are the clients who come to me due to hair loss through health issues. What touches me the most is helping the patients that are more concerned by the loss of their hair than their illnesses.

What kinds of special hair pieces for man’s best friend have you created?
The love of my art and my love for animals made an odd and unique coupling twenty years ago when my niece, Marlana, asked me to make a wig for her basset hound. Years later, I saw the luxurious accessories for animals such as tiaras, necklaces and designer carrying bags becoming popular and I thought, “Why not dog wigs?!”
I design and manufacture the wigs specifically for canines, keeping their comfort the primary concern while adding a flair of distinctive fashion so appropriate and en vogue with pet parents who go the extra mile when accessorizing their little darlings. I dedicate Wiggles to all my fellow dog lovers and hope they enjoy our wears with a little humor and a lot of heart.
                                                                                                                                                         
You combine world craftsmanship with modern technology...how do you achieve this?
I integrate the quality of long-standing, tried and true techniques used by the old masters with new, cutting-edge technologies that facilitate the making of a much more light-weight foundation. I also incorporated openings in the wigs so that a client’s own hair can be integrated and blended in, when possible and appropriate. Clients wearing hair pieces for the purpose of adding volume, length or enhancements with highlights can do so without others being privy to that fact.

Also, long ago, hair pieces and extensions were pinned to the head through the foundation, which could damage it. Now clip on combs, simply referred to as “clip-ons”, are available and eliminate this problem of the past. The main thing is to make the hair pieces and wigs as light-weight and natural looking as possible while creating endless possibilities in style and color to match the new techniques being applied permanently to hair. This means a client does not have to commit long-term and, in the case of hair thinning, can achieve the fullness and length they desire.

What steps should a hairdresser take if they are thinking about entering the wig making industry?
There may be schools that teach the craft and technique. Fortunately, I was blessed because my parents were in the business and taught me the profession.

 
 Ruth Regina and Judy Garland

 Regina's hair style on Jennifer Lopez for Elle Magazine.

 

 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lauren Salapatek

Lauren Salapatek Lauren Salapatek, Web Editor for Modern Salon | Salon Today | First Chair.

(Previous positions: Associate Editor/E-Newsletter Content Production Manager)

Since January 2010, Lauren has worked for Modern Salon Media covering salon style, product and beauty trends, and business editorial for both print and online content. As of October 2013, Lauren’s role changed to Web Editor—now she manages all online editorial content for modernsalon.com, salontoday.com and firstchair.com. As part of her responsibilities, she creates, edits, organizes and curates content for all Modern Salon Media’s websites; manages the creation and production of all Salon e-newsletters; promotes Modern Salon Media’s digital content via several social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest); and maintains an editorial calendar to keep all Modern Salon Media’s websites timely and current.

You can find Lauren on Google+ or e-mail her at lsalapatek@modernsalon.com.

 


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234447768ggyyrtyytytytuhyihugiuhuhuuhjhjhkhkhjhfermvk,lobv iprt[pl;y  |  February, 14, 2012 at 01:27 PM

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CK    
Lake Worth  |  August, 28, 2012 at 02:45 PM

I am SOOOOO disappointed with my entire experience! First of all she claimed to use "the finest Italian hair" and the first time I wore it it tangled immediately when I walked outside! I placed it back in the box and tried it again a few weeks later and it did the exact same thing! I called her to enquire about a refund, (A SINGLE THIN CLIP-IN WEFT COSTS $1000!!!) she told me they never gave refunds and that was NOT what she told me when I purchased it and she REFUSED to stand by her product!!! I waited 2 months before contacting her for a refund, BUT THE PRODUCT WAS GUARANTEED FOR LIFE!!! When I told her I would be contacting the Better Business Bureau, she actually started calling me "An EVIL LITTLE GIRL". I am a 32 y/o Physician practicing within the community, not a child and I have NEVER BEEN TREATED LIKE THIS!!! HORRIBLE WIG MAKER & A FRAUD!!!

Norma Glass    
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Lincolnshire, IL. 60069  |  October, 22, 2013 at 02:19 AM

I watched all your videos. All I can say is WOW cuz you're something else!!! And you look great.

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