Disclaimer: Whether or not to cover your hair is a very personal religious decision. Discussing that decision is not the purpose of this post, although it may be the subject of a future post. Instead, for the ladies that have decided to cover their hair this is a post about ways to find head coverings that work for you.
There are many ways to cover your hair, some more expensive than other, some covering more than others, some more practical than others. Here's a guide to the head coverings that I have experience with and some personal asides about what I think about them. Hopefully this will help you decide what to invest in.
Full Sheitels/Wigs: These are cumbersome and expensive and require a good styler to look natural. However once you get a good style they look pretty natural. They even come in straight, wavy and curly. This is the head covering of choice for most Brooklyn women. There are some people out there who feel they are too much liken natural hair and should not be considered hair covering. I for one can always tell when a women is wearing a sheitel. There's just this 'look'. The biggest downside is that they re expensive, especially if you want custom human hair. You can save by going with out of the box synthetics but they just won't look as good. Plus there's maintenance - you have to give these bad boys in o be washed and set every now and again just as you would real hair. They are great for weddings and fancy occasions but not so great for day to day activities if you have a messy job. You want to try one on before investing. Ome people find the weight on their head or the itch bothers them. Others love the way they look and feel great in them.
Falls: A more casual, natural looking sheitel that covers most of your head but not all. The front end is not finished in a way that you can wear it plain. Instead you must wear a headband or if you are comfortable with it, take of piece of your own hair out in front to cover the wig line. These look very natural but the price tag is still steep. These are my head covering of choice for fancy occasions and weddings. I made some of the rhinestone and feather headbands to dress up the look. However once again, there is maintenance and you do not want to wear these to messy work situations. Alwys tr on before you purchase.
Hat Falls: To me these are a large waste of money. They are meant to be worn under hats and so the top is just a net and towards you have hair that will stick out under your hat. You can get the same effect by putting a hat over your regular fall. It will be a snugger fit, but how often are you in a "I need to wear a hat over this fall and it doesn't fit" situation? And these are not very versatile. You must wear a hat. You cannot take the hat off.
Kippah Falls/wiglets: This is for people who are OK with showing a lot their own hair. the wiglet sits on the crown off your head and you take pieces of hair out from all around the sides of your head to blend it in. This is what those little girls in beauty pageants wear to add volume. Again there is maintenance and cost to consider. You can usually get 2 wiglets made out of the hair from one sheitel/fall. The look is super natural, sometimes you cannot even tell someone is wearing one.
Ponytail wigs: Exactly what they sound like. You have hair but it's off our face in a ponytail. People in health care fields swear by these as they look good but do not get in the way of work. Maintenance and cost are still an issue.
Hats/baseball caps: These are great no fuss head coverings. You buy them once and upkeep is minimal. However many people feel awkward not having any hair show at all, so you should look at yourself in the mirror and decide if this is the look for you. One thing that bothered me about the baseball/newsboy hats was that they were interfering with my peripheral vision. However, if you have been accustomed to wearing these before then they are a great way to transition. Just tuck up your pony instead of leaving it sticking out. They are great for messy work conditions but not great for professional working conditions and for people in certain service industries.
Mitpachot: Those lovely Israeli do-rags. You buy them once and upkeep is minimal. It also solves the peripheral vision issue. However there aren't that many places around here to buy them. And the places that do exist are often super expensive. Most people I know got them in Israel. I have started turning old silk scarves into mitpachot. It looks pretty cute. Again, ideal for some work situations but not for others.
Bandannas: Great for people with messy jobs. However, in some situations you run the risk of people assuming you have cancer unless there is some hair sticking out. You buy them once and then maintenance is low. Be careful when washing though: make sure their color will not run onto your other clothes.
I personally, prefer a combination of bandannas for work and falls for nicer events. It's all about finding what makes you comfortable and happy and is in your budget. Good Luck!