Wigging Out Just Like Mom

Sometimes a girl just wants to dress up. You know, wear mom's high heels. Change her hair a little.

For 3- to 8-year-olds, the options for hair have been limited--a yellow towel, long scarf, Halloween wig--until now. Meet Glamour Hair wigs, brought to you by Beverly Hills hairdresser Kevin Scott and Carol and Larry Bernstein of L.A. Toy Zone.

The Bernsteins, owners of the toy manufacturing company, were looking for ideas for girl dress-up toys. Scott, who also makes wigs for adults, was talking with client Carol at Salon Cristophe about his idea for girl wigs.

That was April 1998.

"We went ahead and wound up testing it with little girls, and they went wild," explained Larry Bernstein.

There were a few more surprises. The Bernsteins wanted to put a credit line on the box--"Created by Kevin of Beverly Hills"--but retailers said that wouldn't play in Peoria.

And surprisingly, the girls didn't want wild colors of purple and orange.

"They just wanted glamour to be like mommy. . . . Mommy doesn't have purple hair," Bernstein said.

There's big business in toys that allow little girls to role play, according to Larry Bernstein, who has been in the toy business for 30 years. "Dress up" is now referred to by child development experts as "role play," considered a significant stage in a youngster's development.

Scott, a collector of vintage Barbie dolls, understands one more crucial thing about girls. They are going to want to wash that hair. The wigs are washable but must be air dried. A hair dryer or electric curlers will melt the polyester hair. And then it's back to colored towels.

The wigs, available at Toys R Us, FAO Schwarz and Kmart, cost about $12.

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