Thus far, we’ve given you all the tea on the best practices for healthy hair. What we haven’t done is given you insight to hair that doesn’t grow from your scalp. We briefly mentioned wigs in our protective styles blog post, but I’m sure there are many of you that have worn wigs or have been interested to learn more about wigs.
This blog post will be a deep dive into the wig world. We’ll cover human hair wigs versus synthetic wigs, how to care for your wigs, how wigs are made, and more.
As wig use has evolved over the years, so has the industry. Today it largely caters to those that choose to use wigs as a cosmetic everyday accessory, whereas in the past wigs have been known to mostly be used by people who were dealing with hair loss or hair thinning.
Wigs are a great way to get creative while doing minimal damage to your hair. Whether you’re looking to change up your look for a night out or you want to add a wig to your daily beauty routine, wig options are virtually endless.
WHAT ARE WIGS MADE FROM?
Wigs can either be made from human hair or synthetic hair. If you don’t know, human hair wigs are very expensive, however, nowadays the fiber that is used for synthetic wigs looks and feels just like human hair and is a fraction of the cost. One of the major downsides of synthetic wigs is that it cannot be dyed like human hair.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SYNTHETIC WIGS AND HUMAN HAIR WIGS?
Synthetic wigs are usually made of plastic or acrylic fibers that mimic hair. The fibers are heated to a certain temperature and then strung into hairs that resemble human hair fibers. The hair strands are then woven into wefts, extensions and hair pieces.
The grade of these fibers may vary based on the manufacturer and will determine how realistic the wig looks on your head and the quality of the hair itself.
When choosing a synthetic wig that resembles natural hair, the best option is to inspect the hair against a human hair wig or your own natural hair.
Many synthetic textures that are curly can easily become tangled, matted, and unwearable after just several weeks. When it comes to synthetic textures it’s important to understand that the curlier the hair, the shorter the lifespan of the wig.
On the other hand, human hair wigs are made from, you guessed it, real human hair. In many cases, religious customs in the Brazilian and Indian communities require both men and women to shave their heads during spiritual rituals.
You may have also seen human hair wigs made from Peruvian or Malaysian hair. The hair then goes through a process of cleansing, sanitation, and inspection before being designed into a beautiful natural hair wig.
Human hair wigs have a longer lifespan and can be cut to style, colored, bleached, and heat styled as desired. These wigs feature a more natural lay and flow than synthetic wigs. They can last for several months up to a year, with the proper care.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF WIGS
Wigs are a pretty complex hairstyle because there are a few different types of wigs you can create and wear. There are three main types of wigs: lace frontal, 360 lace frontal, and full lace wigs.
Lace Frontal Wigs
The popularity of “Lace Frontals” has grown significantly over the last few years. This is especially due to celebrities and social media influencers rocking them.
Lace frontal wigs give the appearance of a natural hairline. There are usually more options with the way you can part your hair as well.
In the world of wigs, “lace” refers to a fine, sheer mesh that hairs are individually tied to. A wig labeled as “lace front” means that a piece of sheer lace mesh is located at the front of the wig cap.
Lace front wigs should be worn at or just in front of the natural hair line. To put on your wig, hold the wig by the ear tabs and flip the wig upside down with the interior of the cap facing up and the back of the wig furthest away from your body. Place the front of the wig cap at your forehead and slide the wig back over your head. Once you have your wig on, you can adjust the placement of your wig to give yourself the most flattering look.
There are different adhesive applications with applying a lace front wig. Hair glue is one of the most popular techniques used to secure wigs to the hairline.
360 Lace Frontal Wigs
A 360 lace frontal wig is very similar to a lace front in that they both have lace, however, a 360 lace frontal has lace all over the perimeter (360 degrees) and sometimes even the center. This creates a natural hairline look all around the perimeter of your head allowing you to be able to wear your hair in a ponytail.
Full Lace Wigs
A full lace wig has a base that is entirely made of lace. This means you are able to see the “scalp,” when the hair is parted. A full lace wig will be more versatile, but it also means it will come at a higher price tag.
HOW DO I PREP FOR A WIG?
One of the most important steps in wearing a wig is how you prep your natural hair. It’s important to wash and condition your hair before wig installation. If your hair is long enough, you will want to cornrow your hair to tuck it away. You should try to always wear a wig cap to protect your natural hair.
If you don't have hair because of hair loss due to a medical condition, bonded wigs are best for you. Double-sided tape, which is similar to garment tape that sticks to skin, can also ensure the wig stays put on your scalp.
Never wear a wig that you haven’t inspected and cleaned. You can shampoo and condition human hair wigs just as you would with your own natural hair.
Some synthetic wigs can withstand shampoo but it is best not to use it to avoid damaging the texture of the wig. Dry shampoo or conditioner is best for synthetic wigs because it will refresh the wig and eliminate the abnormal shine.
Because human hair wigs should be treated like your own hair, it needs to be properly treated and maintained. Shampooing your wig twice a month, if worn on a daily basis, helps guarantee the look of the healthiness of the human hair wig and upkeep of texture and its feel.
Did you know you can dry wigs with the RevAir! Cardi B’s hairstylist prepped her wig with it before a show.
The RevAir works on human hair wigs just like it does on hair that’s on your head. It’s the perfect styling tool for getting your wig ready for installation, because just like how traditional blow dryers can damage your hair, it can also damage your wig over time.
WIGS ARE A FORM OF EXPRESSION
Although many people wear wigs due to hair loss or hair thinning or as a protective style, the option to wear wig gives everyone the ability to express their creativity. Synthetic wigs come in a variety of colors and styles, and human hair wigs gives you the freedom to dye your wig whatever color you desire.
There’s so much information on wigs that we don’t want to overwhelm you. Stay tuned for our blog post on how to properly install, care for, and even make your own wigs.