When I first started wearing wigs, making them last longer was not even on my radar as something to think about. I was busy thinking about how I looked, if the wig would fall off, and did I buy the right color and style. It was around wig number two that I started thinking about all the other things—the difference in fibers, cap construction, and how to style wigs to make them work better for me. In other words, I was getting over the fear and into the basics.
Here are the things I had to learn along the way. I hope that if you are a new wig wearer, having the information here all together will help you and save you time and frustration.
- 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, be 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 the 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, and 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 Silicon 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 thorough 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, or 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.
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.
If you are looking for a voluminous wavy wig with the capability of multiple styles, we have two new wigs just for you! We are delighted to introduce Twix and Amber Rock from the BelleTress Collection.
Twix is chic, cool, and extremely stylish! The monofilament part and the lace front create a natural hairline and versatility of off-the-face styling options. The famous BelleTress proprietary silky fiber adds a soft and luxurious feel to the skin.
This shorter version of the Twix by BelleTress is sure to impress. This is chic, cool, and extremely stylish! The monofilament part and the lace front create a natural hairline and versatility of off-the-face styling options. The famous BelleTress proprietary silky fiber adds a soft and luxurious feel to the skin.
I was fascinated by an article in the current Southern Living Magazine about aging gracefully. Among other topics, hair was a big one, especially as it relates to aging. And all the “experts” seem to agree that we all make during our aging journey. It made me think that these things apply to wig wearers too.
According to one study they mentioned, Age 46 seems to be the magic age when women decide they need shorter hair and go looking for a more “mature” style. Yes, we all have heard and read that short hair is better for older women. But the reasons have not always been discussed. So, let’s do that. Long hair does NOT necessarily make one look older. However, several things happen as we age. Our face often loses its plumpness, our hair thins and dulls, and becomes more brittle and easier to damage. When our style is too long, it can mean fewer layers, and less movement around the face, causing a static look. Or if too long and straight, pulls your face down, and aging you.
When we get a shorter cut, it is easier to add layers and pump up the volume. The split ends are removed, and the cut, if the right one, a “bob” style, for example, can frame the jawline and flatter your face. Remember—bobs don’t have to be one length.
Let’s look at the mistakes the experts say we are making:
- Hair/wig too long
- Hair/wig color too light
- Hair/wig using too many products causing that “helmet look”
- Hair/wig that’s damaged and needs help/wigs worn too long
What is most flattering can change over the years, this applies to fashion and hairstyles. Are you still trying to look like your college picture, wedding photo, or a picture of yourself when you felt you looked the best? We age, and we can’t let that hamper the way we look today. We have choices.
If your hair is too long, the extra length can pull your facial features down, and the ends can take a beating. When in doubt about the best length for you, focus on healthy-looking cuts that you can customize with bangs or a visit to your stylist.
Don’t try to go too dark. Yes, you may have once had very beautiful, dark hair, but as
we age, the dark color can look too stark, dull our complexion, and age us. The idea is to draw light to the face. If you prefer darker, think about adding highlights around the face.
And there is too much light! So many women like blonde, but some shouldn’t go blonde. Extra light hair can wash out the complexion, having the opposite effect of adding a more youthful look. There are many shades of blonde, so consider your skin tone, age, and style before going too light.
don't want that to be us. But it’s hard to manage hair, especially wig fibers without products. The trick is not to overdo it. Use just enough to accomplish your goal and start with the least amount. Plastered down wig fibers are no more attractive than the old plastered down “helmet head hair” and are not good for our wigs either.
And finally—what is wrong with embracing natural silver strands? That gray stigma is long gone. If you have decided you’d like to embrace the look if you had natural hair, then don’t shy away from it in wigs. If you choose the right shade, there is something so striking about this color. It is as attention-getting as the blonde shades. And I’ve never heard a woman who has gone gray/silver/white say they regretted it or wanted to go back. That says a lot.
So, as nature works on “fading us out” let’s fight back a little and give nature a helping hand. Let’s learn what colors and styles work for us, and let’s not be afraid to embrace the gray, or go with that mid-length layered bob. So many wigs, so little time…
Until next time,
Vickie Lynn – who now has the silver wig bug
We've stoked the fire on your not-so-secret attraction by adding a 100% hand-tied cap to really kick the romance into high gear. This style has a low-density, lighter weight look to fawn over with the same monofilament top you've come to love!
This flattering favorite you'll turn to time and again - day or night! This versatile chameleon of a style complements any outfit thanks to its features that you can "zhuzh up." Its flexibility also allows you to wear this style smooth and polished. It has a hint of length around the face, and a monofilament part that extends to the crown with a cute texture at the nape.
You will be amazed at this time-saving stunner. With built-in lift throughout this style, it is a low-density, long page look you'll love. Better yet, it styles in seconds! It is airy and comfortable for all-day wear. This style will be your new ready-to-go favorite.
This is a tale of carefree elegance. Untold Story is completely hand-tied with a monofilament top for uncontrived beauty. Turn the page on boring with an elegant eyelash bang, and the flair of textured ends that flaunt a subtle flip. With natural looking layers, this style delivers body without bulk.
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
Fear, uncertainty, anxiety? Yes, I had those feelings when I got my first wig. I asked all the questions that most people ask: Will it look real; what do I tell people; do I tell people; what if someone asks; how do I keep it on my head; what if it’s a very windy day—and on and on until we work a nice case of “nerves” and doubt.
Fortunately, there is help waiting in the wings. We just have to learn how to access it. This blog is meant to be one of those things that can help. This entire site is meant to do that as well. There are some remarkably knowledgeable women here to help you. There is not much about wigs that they don’t know. From caps to fibers, styling, and color, they have you covered. You have only to ask and take advantage of their helpful videos.
With help in mind, I recently did another quick poll on our Facebook page and asked a few questions there.
The first question that I asked was: How long did it take you to feel comfortable in a wig. In summary, they had some of the same experiences, but some took longer to acclimate to wig-wearing than others. Some had more fear about the process than others. Most took months to a year or more to feel truly comfortable in a wig. And by that, I don’t just mean physical comfort, which is important, but I mean psychological comfort. When you arrive at the point that you go all day without thinking much about your wig. When you can look in the mirror and just see yourself and don’t automatically zero in on your insecurities: does it look wiggy, is it straight, is it still too shiny…and you know the ones. The big take-away = BE PATIENT.
The second question: If you had to give a new wig wearer one piece of advice, what would that be. A summary/combo answer was: All women (and men for that matter) of all colors and ages can be empowered to wear wigs. The advice I heard repeated was to start with something close to your own bio hair, style, and color. Don’t expect it to look like your bio hair because you will think there is too much wig hair. That’s because you slowly (in most cases) got used to your thinning bio hair over time. So, anything much thicker will look “too thick” but it is likely not. You’re going to wonder if people are staring at you—they’re not. People are way more interested in their own hair, lives, thoughts (my comment).
The third question: Do you change styles and colors often, and if so, why? As you might expect, this question had the most variety. Some like seasonal changes, some go with their mood or event, and some like to stick with the same general style and color family that they feel suits them best. (These are women who know the difference in what they like versus what looks best on them, and that comes with experience.) For example, I “like” the long flowing lovely blonde wigs, but they look ridiculous on me for my face shape, age, and coloring. After several years of trying different looks, I have settled on my length range and the two colors that suit me best. I am now a happy and confident wig buyer!
The fourth and last question was just a fun one: Do you have a style and/or color that you like above all else. And most do, and again, that’s from experience. I hope this gives you something to think about along your journey. There is a lot to learn. From cap construction, fiber, care, styles, colors, and how to secure your wig. The beginning can be overwhelming and Wig Studio 1 is here to help. Our Facebook group is beyond offers advice, pictures, detailed instructions, and all kinds of different information from people who have gone on this journey before—join us there!
Advice from the pros: check out the wonderful videos offered by the Wig Studio 1 team who do such an unbelievable job, not only showcasing the wigs but educating us about how to make them work better for you.
To paraphrase Eileen and Marlene: Get in there with your hands and massage those roots, loose those fibers, and give that wig a good shake every time before you put it on! They have a bounty of good information to share with you, and I hope you take advantage of it. I only wish I had the benefit of their knowledge and a site like this one to help me when I started on my adventure.
Until next time,
Think fall weather and fall wigs—and the holidays are coming!
(can you tell I am doing my part to try to push October in faster?)