By Leah Fletcher
Wigs are worn for any number of reasons. They are a great way to make a fashion statement, offer a temporary change from your own natural hairstyle and can serve as your hair in the event of a scalp or medical condition. However, the primary goal is selecting a realistic-looking wig that convinces others it’s really your hair. Choosing the right synthetic wig will help you look your best.
During the past decade, more and more women are embracing the quick versatility that comes with a wig, but there are essential ground rules when purchasing one. So here is a list of wig do’s and don’ts to follow:
Compare synthetic vs. human hair options
Examine the synthetic wig against a real human hair option. Choose the one that mimics real hair in terms of sheen, color and drape. Get the most natural looking wig as possible in a modern style.
Don’t go for outrageous colors and be very careful with retro styles—unless you’re Nicki Minaj or a member of a former 60s girls group like Martha and the Vandellas, The Shirelles or The Ronnettes.
Consider the variety of synthetic wigs
Coarse wigs look less natural, but normally have a lower price point. Better quality options feel silky and fine, again resembling real hair. Wigs are sold in all types of textures and lengths. They range from short to long, curly or wavy, kinky to straight. Do consider costs, which can range from $20 to $30 at the low end and over $1,000 at the high end, which are usually professionally made.
Select a monofilament or hand-tied synthetic wig
Monofilament wigs look very much like real hair growing from your scalp once you put them on. Hand-tied synthetic wigs tend to be less dense, resembling the natural way human hair grows. Hand-tied options appear more natural and less bulky than machine-wefted or stitched wigs, enabling increased styling options. Do leave the lace front wigs to the professionals because not many non-professionals are proficient as handling this style or wig. If you opt for a lace front, don’t use wig glue often.
Select a wig that is heat-friendly
Cheaper synthetic wigs are easily damaged from curling irons, flat irons and some higher-powered blow dryers. Heat-friendly options hold their style until heat is reapplied, even through washings. Do go for a natural looking hairline. Don’t do the crescent moon hairline. Also don’t go too bulky at your crown because it signals you are wearing a wig. Do go for an age-appropriate wig. While short wigs are fun, they can age you average 21-year-old to age 55.
Don’t wear a wig straight from the package. Consider shampooing it before you begin to wear it. When you begin to wear a new wig, it has a sheen that indicates it is a wig. If it is synthetic, do us dish detergent and condition it with fabric softener. Because it is a fabric, you can shampoo it. Don’t use real shampoo. It won’t work on synthetic hair but it will work on human hair. Do take your wig, regardless of cost, to a hairstylist to have it cut, and shaped and styled into a hairstyle that suits your face. Do brush out the curls on a curly wig with a paddle brush for a more realistic look. Consider trying a half-wig. They are easier to style because some of your own hair is exposed. Just make sure the texture matches your natural hair. And, don’t wear the wig too long before replacing it.