Always popular as a protective style, wigs have in recent years become more and more on trend. For newbies venturing into the wig world, let this blog be your journey’s first port of call. We’re covering everything from human hair versus synthetic to best care practices.
Today’s wig industry largely caters to those choosing wigs as a cosmetic everyday accessory, whereas in the past they were mostly be used by dealing with hair loss or thinning.
Wigs are a great way to be expressive while doing minimal damage to your natural hair. Whether you’re looking to change your look for a night out or adding a wig to your daily beauty routine, wig options are virtually endless.
SO, WHAT ARE WIGS MADE OF?
Wigs can either be made from human hair or synthetic hair. Unsurprisingly, human hair wigs are very expensive. Nowadays, however, fibre used for synthetic wigs look and feel just like human hair but at a fraction of the cost. One of the major downsides of synthetic wigs is that they cannot be dyed like human hair.
SYNTHETIC WIGS VS HUMAN HAIR WIGS
Synthetic wigs are usually made of plastic or acrylic fibres that mimic hair. The fibres are heated to a certain temperature and then strung into strands that resemble human hair fibers. The strands are then woven into wefts, extensions and hair pieces. The fibre grade, which may vary by manufacturer, will determine the strand quality and how realistic the wig looks when worn.
When choosing a synthetic wig that resembles natural hair, the best option is to inspect the strands 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 wig’s lifespan.
On the other hand, human hair wigs are made from, you guessed it, real human hair. In many cases, religious customs in Asian communities require both men and women to shave their heads during spiritual rituals. The hair provided 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, coloured, bleached, and heat styled as desired. These wigs feature a more natural lay and flow than synthetic wigs. They can last from several months to a year with proper care.
THERE’S MORE THAN ONE TYPE OF WIG
Wigs are a pretty complex hairstyle because there are several different types 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 it 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 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 PREPARE MY HAIR 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, but the technique is a little simpler.
First, soak the wig in shampoo and water, and then comb the shampoo or conditioner out of the wig. Rinse the wig with warm water until the product is all out. Finally, comb the wig until it is untangled, and let it dry by itself. Remember that when you wash it, you don’t need to rub or massage the wig, just combing is enough.
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 it 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 preserve its healthy look and maintain its natural texture and feel.
Did you know you can dry your wigs with RevAir! RevAir’s gentle suction makes it safe for wigs and extensions.
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. As traditional blow dryers can damage your hair, so too can they damage your wig over time. RevAir is a safer option.
Whenever you are not using your wig the proper way to store it is on a mannequin or a hook of some kind, so that it is in an upright position and it doesn’t get tangled. It’s best if you cover it to avoid it from collection dust.
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 wigs 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.