There is much more to choosing a wig than liking how it looks—in theory. I was asked to address this topic again: What are some of us doing wrong with our wigs? I will re-review some of the answers I got when I interviewed some stylists in my town, and who I knew would tell me like it is. They work with clients who wear helper hair, so they understood what I was asking.
Though wigs are different from natural hair in a lot of ways, the same rules apply when it comes to color, length, and style. There is nothing worse than getting the perfect wig and finding it is not perfect for you. (This was the first hard lesson that I learned.)
What follows is the advice of two stylists who have devoted most of their careers to hair. They nicknamed their advice their “dirty dozen” rules for hair—wigs included.
Here are their opinions based on their experience.
“The Dirty Dozen” questions and concerns from clients:
- Center parts—not for everyone. They can make you look older. It takes away from the fullness at the crown. If you are young, it’s not so much a concern. Most people do tend to look better with more fullness at the crown. It draws the eye upward.
- The ongoing debate of whether should older women have long hair or not: If your hair is too long it can make you look older. They agreed that it doesn’t have to be short to work best for mature women, but long hair draws the face down, and the eye down, especially with heavier bottom ends styles with a lot of volume. Do you want people to focus on your chin and neck? For longer styles think layers and less density. Women of all ages can wear long hair and look good, but style and color are everything. They did note that if you have a heart-shaped face you have an advantage in wearing longer styles, especially with bottom volume. This style works best to “fill out the face triangle” by having more hair at the bottom under the chin area.
- Manage your expectations. Understand what your style really is – meaning, what you like and what looks best on you may not be the same thing. Also, make sure you are using volume in the right places. Refer to their comments on face shape. How does your hairstyle work with you or against you to compliment your face?
- If you have a full or very round face, watch for too much volume on the sides near the cheeks. A lot of hair there will make your face look wider. Try for more volume on top and a longer style that comes under the chin—not at the chin and curving around to accentuate more roundness.
- If you have a long face, go for that side fullness and less volume on top. You can still wear longer styles if you like, just balance the hair with the face. Bangs are also good for long faces. More about bangs in number seven.
And for all the face shapes in-between round, long, heart-shaped, well, you get the idea. The stylists’ mantra: where do you want the focus? What features do you want to highlight, or dimmish?
Bangs – handle with care was their advice. No thick straight across-cut bangs unless you have a long face and even then, it can be tricky depending on the style. Thick straight bangs will “close your face” and make a round face look even more so. Their advice for most bang lovers is to keep it light, don’t cover your entire forehead, ever. Keep your face open by making sure your forehead can be seen, at least part of it.
Color can make all the difference. Natural hair is not just one color. For wigs, you must have some shading and dimension to look natural. Know what colors work for you. For example, gold blondes tend to age some people depending on their skin tone and undertones. For some people ashy shades make them look ill or washed out. Learn if you are a cool, warm, or neutral in the color family, and pick your hair colors appropriately. A special note for those over the fifties: Going too dark can look harsh and fake. Better to lighten up, and don’t be afraid to go salt and pepper or silver/gray. It will make you look younger than the too-dark shades.
Layers are important for styling in that they keep things more balanced, and the look is less heavy– hair that just hangs in one length brings the eye down.
Don’t use too much product. If your hair won’t move it dates your style, and makes you look older. Don’t be a helmet head.
Visit a stylist and let him or her make your wig more you—have it tweaked to bring out the best in the wig so that your wig will bring out the best in you. It is a good investment especially if you have an expensive wig and wear it every day.
Be open to trying new styles. There is nothing that dates you more than keeping the same style for too many years.
This ultra-light sculpted short style is a modern classic with all of the best features. It has a hand-tied top to let you part wherever you like, and creates a natural look with an extended lace front. This style is low in density and has airy movement. There are side-sweeping bangs to flatter and frame the face and features a neck-hugging nape. It is a polished, tailored style that's ready to go... you deserve all the best!
These soft salon-inspired barrel curls are so flattering and so easy to make your own! This low-density style is surprisingly versatile. Simply mist this style to bring out the texture or brush through for a fuller, sophisticated look. The lace front hairline runs from ear to ear, and the mono part extends all the way to the crown for a very natural part line. It also gives you the ability to wear off of the face, or with a sweeping bang.
It's easy to fall for this short, textured shag. The modern movement comes from the all-over layering, and expertly tapered ends. From the volume at the crown of this style, the chin-length layers that frame the face, a charming eyelash bang, and a razor cut nape, you will love everything about this soft, casual cut.
Wig Studio 1
There are many things that can flop in life of which we have no control, however, when it comes to bangs flopping in our face, this video/blog has come to the rescue. For our subject, I have chosen Miss Macchiato HF by Belle Tress in Roca Margarita Blonde. You will need the following:
Patience, a wig head to place your wig on other than your own, 2 to 3 mesh rollers, T-Pins, and a steamer. Optional: Blow dryer, rat-tail comb, and end papers.
Needless to say, this is demonstrated on a wig that has been freshly washed and conditioned for this presentation. After securing your wig, simply section off one front fringe at a time, and carefully roll it up in the mesh roller, you may use end papers but this is not necessary. Proceed to the other side of the wig depending on the style and desired re-direction. Secure the rolled-up sections with T-Pins. Following this, plug in your steamer, I recommend using distilled water or spring water, and when the steam emits you are ready to direct the steam to the rolled-up sections for approximately 5 to 7 seconds. This can be repeated later if necessary. Be careful to avoid the lace front and concentrate the steam only on the fibers. This process can be utilized on both Heat Friendly and Regular synthetic fibers.
The most important point here is the fact that most of the work is done during the cooling down process so I would recommend leaving it to set for a few hours or overnight. If you are in a hurry you can utilize the blow dryer method. Use the low setting on the blow dryer and please take into account that this also needs to dry completely until cool to the touch. If the roller is disengaged prematurely it will not be set.
I hope you enjoy the accompanying video demonstration with the goal of seeing the light at the end of the fringe flopping tunnel.
FYI: I am wearing Kendall by Henry Margu in 10/613GR
Both wigs were purchased by creator from Wig Studio 1 (Clearance Section).