Afraid Your Wig Looks Fake?
Wig shown above: RYAN WIG BY NORIKO
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,
Top Ten Ways to Extend the Life of Your Wigs
- Understand Your Wig Cap’s Construction: Is it hand-tied, machine wefted, lace front, mono top, mono crown, mono part?
- Respect Your Fibers: Read any manufacturer’s care instructions or do a search to find out how to care for your wig fibers. Fiber composition makes a big difference in how to care for your wig. Human hair, blended (human hair with synthetic), heat-friendly or not—they all have different needs.
- Use the Correct Brush or Comb: It’s helpful to get into the habit of combing through your wig after taking it off. Gently (and with the appropriate comb type) remove any tangles. Smoothing and separating the hair fibers before storage will not only keep your wig looking its best, but it will be ready for wear the next time without worry. Always comb in small sections, slowly, starting at the ends and moving toward the crown. Careful of pulling too hard. You don’t want to unknot any fibers from the crown.
- Store Your Wig with Care: Everyone seems to have their own method. If you rotate your wigs a lot, keeping them out and on wig heads/stands is fine. If you have too many for that, you can store them in the box they came in, careful to make sure the fibers are not twisted or out of shape if you will be storing them for longer periods. Some people hang them from pegs or similar setups. If you are using boxes, remember to store them so that you can read the name on the box for easier access.
- Watch That Heat, Please: This is always a scary thing the first time you try it on your wig. Remember that synthetic hair does not respond like human hair. Start with the lowest temperature that is advised rather than the highest. Unfortunately, prolonged exposure to high temperatures will shorten the life of your synthetic wig or topper.
- Don’t over-wash! Washing your wig, especially over time, will cause some shedding and a slight loss of density, no matter how gentle you are. Everyone is different, and you can adjust the when to wash rules to you based on several things: how many hours a day your wear the wig, does your head sweat, how many products do you use, to name a few. If you take the wig off and can smell the wig cap, that’s a clue. If your fibers seem to be sticking together, that’s a clue. If your fibers look dull and lifeless…yes, a clue. You get the idea. Use good judgment, and with the idea in mind that the more you wash, the shorter the lifespan.
- Use Silicone-Based Products: (and other products) On Your Wig, sparingly. Over time, the use of any product will cause a buildup that can result in a lifeless, dry, and flat look. A thoroughly washing is the only answer.
- Don’t Sleep in Your Wig: Both static and sweat cause frizz, often resulting in tangles which will result in damaged fibers, and so on. It’s not worth it.
- Don’t wear your wig to the gym: No matter how cute that guy is at the gym that you want to impress or how much more attractive you feel with your wig on in general, think twice. If you must wear a wig, set aside one wig, maybe one that is shorter, and aging, one that you only wear for this one thing. Otherwise, opt for another type of headgear.
- Don’t Wear Your Wig in a Swimming Pool: The chemicals in the water are not your wig’s friend. Invest in a head wrap, bathing cap, or if you do go in and don’t plan to get your wig wet at all…. but you do, rinse it out immediately and condition it lightly, letting it air dry overnight before trying to comb through.
Your wig is an investment, both financially and emotionally. With a little thought and care, it will last you a long time and help you look your best along the way.
Please see WigStudio1 videos for more on wig care. There is a great store of information on the site.
Until next time, can you believe it’s time to think about holiday hair?