It’s the Little Things
Though we are all wig wearers, some for many years, some new, we are individuals with different likes, dislikes, and needs. This is as true in wigs as it is in life in general.
We all have different wig priorities. If you have no hair at all or little hair, or a sensitive scalp, the wig cap construction will be very important. If you can’t stand wig bands, clips, and pins, the kind of cap and the way it fits will play an even larger role in your choice. For me, it is the less on my head the better, so a good-fitting cap is very important to me. The better the fit, the fewer security measures I feel the need to use. Sometimes it’s just luck. Our heads are all a bit different and sometimes a “made to scale” wig manufacturer’s cap won’t fit as well if you have an in-between size head and can’t get that perfect fit. If that’s the case, you will need to make security decisions.
Getting a hand-tied cap with a mono-top and lace front will cost you more because it costs the manufacturer more to make. That’s easy to understand. And ideally, you’d think everyone would want or need this. But that is not necessarily the case. Many wigs that just come with a basic cap can work well for many people. A lot depends on the wig style. If the style one doesn’t have a part and may have bangs—then a mono top and lace front would not be a dealbreaker for a lot of people. Also, for the same price, you can often get two or three of the basic cap wigs compared to maybe just one of the wigs with all the bells and whistles. That is appealing to a lot of people, especially if you are hard on your wigs, or if you just like to change styles a lot.
All fibers are not created equal. This too, you may have already learned. Some look and feel better and seem to last longer. Every manufacturer seems to do them a bit differently. They have their own vendors, processes, and craftspeople. Human hair wigs are just that, so we all know how to take care of human hair, and the pros and cons of this. It is when you get into fibers that it is more of a challenge. Over time, the coating of the fibers, the color, and the strength of the fibers will change. Depending on how much you wear your wig and how you care for it, can shorten, or lengthen the life of your wig, but eventually, the fibers will show their age and wear.
The big tradeoff: So, we must decide, do we want the best of the best, the middle of the road, or some less costly ones but do the job just fine? Fortunately, we can have one of each if the budget allows. I seem to have landed in the middle of the pack with lace front, mono-top and hand-tied as my preference, but hand-tied is not a deal breaker if I can have the other two. I still have a couple of basic cap wigs that I bought early on and can still wear but I find them hot and scratchy now because I have lost more hair loss over time. My scalp is more sensitive now too, and I must be picky about my caps.
The little extras are important. I like to get a wig with those soft tabs on the side and at the neck, along with the ability to adjust the fit. I can live with a mono-part vs. mono-top, but I hate not having the ability to make fit adjustments or have that comfort of the felt tabs on the side and the one at the bottom of the neck. So, in the end, we all find our sweet spot, what we can live with or hope we don’t have to live with, as the case may be.
Until next time,
Human Hair Wigs – are they for you?
(Wig shown above: AVA WIG BY HENRY MARGU)
It’s hard to argue that human hair gives the most natural appearance—but maybe not with the minimum of effort. The movement, color, texture, and realistic sheen make it a desirable choice for many.
Here are some recurring questions, comments, opinions, from experts and might answer some questions for you about the challenges and care of human hair wigs that you might like to review if you are considering one:
- Should I wash it before wearing it? Yes, wash the coating off to make it easier to style.
- Heat styling (at a safe level) vs air drying is recommended.
- How often should I wash the wig? If the hair appears dull, lifeless, it’s time. This, like synthetics, is usually every 6-8 wears. Deep conditioning every other wash might be helpful (mid-shaft to ends). Be careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Use shampoo and conditioning products made for color-treated hair.
- As a general rule: Do not leave the conditioner on for more than 3-4 minutes, rinse using cool water, blot/ press excess moisture with a towel.
- Style as you would your bio hair, being careful about the temperature of any equipment that you use.
- Do not dry the wig on a solid form or mannequin head to avoid stretching the cap.
- Treat the lace with care.
- Don’t brush the wig when wet, finger comb only.
Other human hair questions: What is Remy Hair? What is Virgin Hair?
Remy hair manufacturers have focused on making sure the cuticle layers (scales) of the hair strand are facing in the same direction. Closing the cuticle protects the hair and reflects light more naturally giving the wig a healthy but natural shine.
Virgin hair is unprocessed and untouched by chemicals. Remy human hair wigs can be virgin but don’t have to be.
One of the biggest differences, besides price, when looking at synthetic vs human hair wigs, is the task of styling. Human hair, just like our bio hair, will need to be styled and re-styled. Unlike synthetic wigs that hold a style, and save you time, human hair will demand more attention. If you are not talented in the styling area, or just don’t want to be bothered with this every morning, it can be an issue for some people. There will be a learning curve, and one that some don’t want to or just can’t tackle.
The care process of human hair wigs is similar to synthetic wigs, but they take more care, and usually more time for that care. The experts tell us to rotate our human hair wigs daily to make them last longer. And like synthetics, a lot of washing will take a toll. Also, like synthetics, correct washing and drying are crucial to the life of the wig.
Buying the right products is as important for human hair wigs as they are for synthetics. Why invest a lot of money in a wig only to use inferior products? The other issue with human hair is finding the right temperature for your appliances when you style the wig. If you constantly overheat your wig, it will shorten its life. Like synthetics, pay special attention to the ends of the hair, extra conditioning and trimming can make a big difference in the look and the life of the wig.
It’s been my experience that hairdressers prefer to work with human hair wigs from a styling point of view. This is understandable, but if you are lucky enough to live near a wig boutique, you will usually find someone skilled in styling human and synthetic wigs.
I made the mistake of buying a human hair wig too early in my wig journey. I had not learned enough about wigs in general and human hair wigs in particular. I grew frustrated trying to style the wig every morning and was never entirely happy with the results. I have since learned a lot but find that I gravitate to heat-friendly synthetics because I don’t like the constant styling aspect of human hair wigs, and I like to change up styles and colors. That can become very expensive with human hair wigs. But with all that said, I can see myself buying another human hair wig someday if I can find that “perfect one” – hey, you know what I mean.
Until next week,
Enjoy life and take a deep breath,