Do you suffer from wig-itis? No matter what you do, you still think your wig looks fake. This is most often a new wig wearer’s affliction. We are so used to seeing our fine, thin hair, that the wig just seems like too much hair. And to be honest, sometimes it is. Some styles and brands seem to pack a lot more “hair” into their wigs than any real person would ever have. This is where a bit of skill comes into play. I have no such skill, so I depend on my hairdresser to do a bit of thinning and shaping on some styles. Some think the permatease is the problem; that it makes you look as if you have a ton of hair on top. But some permatease does work for some styles and gives the wig lasting shape to support the style.
But then, we have an additional issue. Are you frustrated because no matter what you do, your wig still looks a bit fake? This seems to be a major concern, and for obvious reasons. You don’t want to spend the time and money on a wig to have it announce to the world that it is…a WIG.
In this case there are several things to consider. We can’t expect a cheap wig to look as good as one with all the bells and whistles. We do get what we pay for in more ways than one. A good quality and well-made wig can make all the difference in how real they look and how long they last. We have all come to expect that a human hair wig will look more realistic. We know that a lace front and mono top can give our wigs a more realistic look, depending on the style. We know that synthetic wigs can be helped if we tamp down that shine and choose rooted colors. We know to look for blended shades of color because flat colors scream fake.
And back to our original issue…density. For most of us, especially if losing our hair was a drawn-out process where we got used to thinning hair, any wig might look like too much hair at first, and that takes a while to get used to for most people. If a “real” look is a big issue for you, then time as well as money is a big player. We know that we can’t expect to pull a wig from a box, put it on our head, and have it look very realistic, in most cases. We must take time to customize the wig for us—our head shape, our coloring, and learn which styles suits us best. This includes seeking professional help like a hair stylist to maybe trim, thin, cut bangs if needed, and in general, shape it up to suit our face, if needed.
Some other issues in wig wearing that sometimes get overlooked or thought about too late are: wig fit (cap size), wig placement (does it sit at the natural hairline?) and wig security. Did you prep your bio hair if needed and find a method of securing the wig that is comfortable for you? Trial and error, and time will help with this.
In the end, we get back what we put into our wigs. They are an investment, so it’s worth learning all that we can to make them look great and last a long time.
Sometimes it is hard to be objective as we stand there looking in the mirror. That’s where a professional stylist comes in. Your mom, best friend, partner, etc., might not be the best person/people to ask when it comes to picking a wig color and style—for obvious reasons. A stylist has no, or at least little, emotional investment, and it’s her or his business. They do this for a living. Trust the experts.
Until next time, wishing you all a happy holiday season. Break out that new wig and show off a little.
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!