A wig wearer’s worse fear is that everyone is looking at them and whispering, “wig,” because the evidence is plain to see. No one wants to deal with this. We wear wigs to look our best and not be the object of someone’s critique. So, what can you do to assure that you look like you—an attractive you and not “someone wearing a wig”? For a new wig wearer, this can be a paralyzing situation. They fear that everyone will look at them and be able to “tell,” and this can keep someone from buying a wig and/or learning how to best wear it. Don’t let this happen to you.
As we who have learned by research or trial and error know, the lace front wigs often offer the most natural look due to the illusion of a natural hairline. If you have a mono top, even better. That means you can part your hair as you like and what shows through at the part also looks natural. It makes styling effortless and enhances hair movement for a more natural look.
The dreaded shine! Yes, the synthetic wig comes with a factory coating. It is a fiber and a coating that is put on it for several reasons. Your job is to tamp down that coating, remove the shine and make it look like natural hair. Bear in mind that the lighter the fibers (in color) the more shine it will have. The light wig colors reflect more light. Most wearers have found that a cool wash/rinse, and then after the hair dries, the addition of dry shampoo will help take down that shine. You will find that with repeated wear and washes, the shine will continue to fade. However, use the appropriate dry shampoo. Some will produce a white powder that can taint darker wigs. Go slowly and sparingly! Too much and, you will end up having to wash it out and start again. You can use other tricks to disguise the shine as well. Styling in a “messier” style, wearing headbands and waves or curls will also cut down on the illusion of shine.
Make sure you position your wig at your natural hairline and secure the wig in the way in which you are most comfortable. Tape, glue, wig grips, bobby pins all are options. This is especially important if your head is shaped in such a way as not to help hold the wig down in the back.
Don’t be too perfect! Wispy bits are a good thing, wispy bangs can be a real asset as well. That’s not to say you must live with the dreaded wig “fliers” those bits that stand up and refuse to do otherwise. Often hairspray will tame them or just clip out the offenders, if not too many will help as well.
Don’t forget the wig part. When something looks too perfect it is a fake giveaway, and that goes for your part as well. Don’t make it perfect, and don’t forget that you can use a concealer if the contrast is too great, or you don’t like the look for the knots where the fibers are secured.
Wigs with rooted colors are a great option for a natural look. Also, remember that real hair is not just one flat color. Color gradients are very important to achieve that “real” hair appearance. Don’t buy a wig with one flat color because it screams wig.
Experiment with styling. Don’t be afraid to just sit before your mirror and try different things; an up-do, a ponytail, behind the ears, clips, and bands. All these things add to the look of naturalness. The secret: Take a selfie or several! And take several from different angles to see what others see. If you do this, you might leave the house feeling more confident. We are our own harshest critic after all.
And with all this said - there is still one more thing to think about and do. Work on your attitude—mentally prepare for wig-wearing. The more you experiment and get to know your wig, and the more you wear it, the easier it will be. You can start by wearing it around the house a few hours or out for a walk around the neighborhood. This will help you see how it feels on your head what adjustments you might need to make before you “meet the big world” so it’s worth doing. If you will be wearing a wig for many years to come, spend some time researching your options, visit the WigStudio1 FaceBook group, and watch the great video reviews.
You are going to be disappointed - if you fall in love with a wig on a model and get it home and find it’s not for you. So, do your homework before you buy, and do your prep work after you buy. Soon, you will be an expert. You will know the styles and colors that work best for you and know which vendors wig caps fit best on you. You may have a stumble or two along the way, and we all do, but eventually, you will see your wig as one of your favorite accessories, and you will leave the house knowing you look great. I promise.
Until next time,
The whole point of wearing a wig for most of us is to feel just as beautiful and confident as you did when you had a full head of natural hair, and that is hard to do if you’re worried about strangers whispering, “Is that a wig?” at the office, the grocery store, party or worse still, when meeting someone new. When meeting someone new or preparing for a special occasion, you don’t want to be worrying about your wig.
A good wig is an investment so taking the time to learn before we buy is important. Here are some tips from the experts, information that I have gathered, read, and live by.
1. Replace Your Wig Regularly
The best way to broadcast to the world that you’re wearing a wig is to wear an old ratty-looking wig. Unfortunately, no one has invented a wig that grows new hair yet, so we’re stuck with wigs that lose their quality over time. No matter how hard you wish, no amount of wig styling products or cap adjustments can save a wig that’s past its prime.
Plan to replace your synthetic wigs every 3 to 6 months and your human hair wigs every 6 to 12 months. Use your judgment based on your individual wear patterns.
2. Rooted Colors
Unless you naturally have very dark hair, it’s unlikely that your hair is just one color. Most people have shades of color and gradients (dimension) throughout their hair.
Wigs with one flat color just look fake or look like a bad color job. Wigs with rooted colors, on the other hand, mimic the natural gradients in bio hair by blending several colors.
If you can’t find a wig that you like with rooted colors look for a wig that is a ‘blend’ of two colors or ask a stylist to give your wig highlights and lowlights two shades away from the wig’s base color. (Don’t try this at home if you don’t have training!)
3. Lace Fronts and Monofilament Tops
Lace front wigs create the illusion of a natural hairline, making it look like your wig hair is growing right out of your head. Monofilament tops do the same thing, but for the wig’s part. Each hair of a monofilament top wig is individually sewn into the wig, rather than being machine applied. This allows the wig hair to move freely and lets you part the wig anywhere you want.
4. Mess Up That Part
When something looks too perfect, especially with wigs, it’s usually a sign that it’s fake. Wig companies could and should do a better job with this in my view.
Most wigs come out of the box with eerily perfect parts.
As soon as your new wig arrives, take a pair of tweezers, and carefully pluck out a few strands. Then, using baby scissors, cut a few strands so that they look like they’re just growing out. Last, choose a couple of hairs to place on the ‘wrong' side of the part. (Again, don’t try this at home unless you feel comfortable with your skills.)
5. Trim Your Wig
Or not—but take it to your stylist and get it shaped up to better flatter your face. Some of us have the skill set to do this ourselves, but some of us (uh, me) do not.
6. Blend it Out
If you have some natural hair, try ‘blending’ your natural hairline with the hairline of a lace front wig—as follows:
- Place your wig an inch or two farther back on your head than you typically would, exposing your natural hairline.
- Fully attach the wig to keep it steady and from moving too much.
- pray a little dry shampoo into your hairline and along the wig part line and use your fingers to tease everything together.
- Mimicking your own edges is one major key to achieving a flawless illusion. It keeps people guessing.
NOTE: If you’re going to try this trick, it’s important that your wig color matches your natural hair color.
We’ve all seen the instructions on how to do this and seen the charts on how to determine your cap size. If you are still in doubt look for videos that show how to do this. It’s easier than trying to read the steps. There are many good instruction videos out and cap size charts are easy to find.
8. (For wig Newbies) ALWAYS—line up your wig with your natural hairline.
If you don’t line up your wig with your natural hairline, your wig will never look natural. That’s why it’s so important that each time you put on your wig, you take the time to line it up properly.
To correctly line up your wig with your natural hairline:
- First, put your wig on your forehead just above your eyebrows.
- Next, slowly slide the wig back over your head, adjusting as you go, until the bottom of the wig hits the nape of your next.
- Last, slide the wig forward just a bit until it hits your natural hairline, and secure it in the way you have chosen.
If you have been wearing wigs for a while you have your preferences in place most likely. You love or don’t love heat-friendly wigs; you can’t go without a lace front maybe; you must have a mono top or rooted color—the list goes on. Each wig type, fiber, cap, style, has its own footprint. You may well know the good and the challenges for each type. But whether you must have human hair, heat friendly or not, there always seems to be one question: How do I take the shine out of synthetic wigs without washing them so much? Also, know as:
How to Make a Synthetic Wig Look Real
- In addition to the other things mentioned before (picking one with blended colors, rooted if you like that, there are some additional things you can do while waiting on that shine to go away through washing. *Apply some dry shampoo or talcum powder to the wig but use a light hand at first. You can always add more if needed but it’s hard to take it out without having to wash your wig if you overdo it. And of course, washing your wig more than necessary is something you will want to avoid.
So, until next time --- keep your wigs looking “real” not wiggy. And stop & smell the flowers!