The Ultimate Buying Guide for Hair Wigs for First Time Buyers

Introduction

Throughout history, our hair has been viewed as our “crowning glory.” It’s a status symbol, a beauty standard, and a fashion accessory.

Unfortunately, there is only so much the natural hair can do. Thus, many have relied on the powers of hair wigs and extensions to achieve their desired remarks.

Hair wigs are as useful in the fashion and beauty industry as makeups and outfits. It is not only for costumes and dealing with hair loss. Like cosmetics, it can be worn to express one’s self.

Whatever the reason behind why you’re getting fake hair, make sure you have fun playing with the different types!

What Are Wigs?

Wigs play a significant role in the beauty industry. They have been a long-time essential for public figures, such as celebrities, newscasters, and even politicians. They are useful for these people to change their hairstyles fast to showcase on the red carpet without damaging their hair.

They are also useful to people who suffer from hair loss to cover their baldness.

So, what are they?

Wigs are head coverings that are usually made from human or animal hair. However, many wigs now are made from synthetic fibers.

The word “wig” is originally known as “periwig.” It means a highly-styled wig worn by both men and women as a trendy headdress. The term first came up around in 1675 AD in a documented English literature.

How Wigs Can Make Life Better

There are various reasons why people use wigs. The following are the most common:
  • They hide hair loss.
  • They are less intrusive and cheaper than going through surgery to restore hair..
  • Women who love to change their looks from time to time use wigs.
  • Wigs are common among actors and actresses to match the characters they’re portraying.

Which Hair Wig Is Best for You?

Since there are several types of wigs, it can be difficult to decide which one suits you best. Below is a quick guide to offer you a better picture of the various hair wigs.

There are two main types of wigs:

Human Hair Wigs

These are the most natural-looking. They can be dyed, trimmed, and styled just like normal hair. They are heat-tolerant, and they last longer.

Synthetic Hair Wigs

Synthetic wigs are less expensive. They are durable. Depending on the quality, they can appear as real hair. The curl pattern is joined into the hair’s structure, so it stays that way.

Wigs can also be categorized depending on the weft and method used to secure the hair together:

Hand-tied Wefts

These wigs are made by tying the hair strands together around a strong weaving thread. They are quite expensive as labor is exhaustive.

Double Wefting

Double weft wigs are created from two wefts that are sewn together. This is for the person wearing the wig to enjoy twice as much hair than a regular one.

Machine-stitched Weft Wig

These wigs are made by stitching the hair strands together using hair sewing equipment.

Furthermore, wigs can be further categorized into the following:

Full Lace Wigs

Full lace wigs come with various specifications. They are made of lace, but they use urethane layers of adhesives to be attached.

Lace Frontal Wigs

These wigs only have lace at the front part. The rest of the items have full caps. These caps may have clips attached to it. This is to help secure the wig on the person’s head.

PU Skin Weft

These wigs are specially made for people who have sensitive scalps. The cloth-based wefts can be itchy and uncomfortable for some people. Therefore, they use polyurethane as an alternative.

Wigs can also be divided according to the cap construction:

Open Cap Wigs

These wigs are also referred to as capless wigs. Usually, they are machine-made that consist wefts that have been sewn in a circular pattern unto elastic strips.

Full Cap Wigs

These wigs are made with elastic mesh base and are typically hand-tied. They are usually denser. They are ideal for those who have little to no hair. The front edge of the cap will be created from a material that most resembles the scalp of the client. It will be knotted under to conceal the wig’s base. This is to achieve a more natural look.


Human Hair Wig and Synthetic Hair Wig - What are the Differences?

Which will suit you best, the human hair wig or the synthetic one? They both have their upsides and downsides, which make them the right answer to different situations. Both are excellent options depending on your budget, time, and needs.

The following are various facts to let you know what situation is most advantageous for each type.

  • Human Hair
As previously mentioned, wigs made from human hair provides the most natural look. They are soft and natural to feel. The way they shine and move is hard for synthetic wigs to imitate. They are also versatile.

Human hair wigs can be trimmed and styled to meet your personal preference. Even though it’s more expensive, it’s durable enough to last a year. That is if you take care of them properly.

Generally, there are four basic types of human hair wigs: Caucasian/ European, Indonesian, Chinese, and Indian. Most wigs are created from Asian hair.

Chinese hair has a thick denier (the unit of fineness), which leads to hair being straight. It’s more resistant to curl. Therefore, more challenging to style.

Indonesian hair has excellent supply and is less expensive. Hair strands from this type are typically used to create ethnic style hair wigs.

Indian hair has thin denier and is the closest to European hair. But, it has more texture.

European hair is the most desired hair type due to its fine denier. Unfortunately, it costs more as supply continues to decline.

However, the hair’s lineage is not the only factor to consider. The processing procedure is directly linked to the quality and strength of the end-product.

The chemicals needed - to clean and remove the original color to create different colors and curl patterns - are quite strong. They can affect the entire quality of the hair, depending on the technique being executed.

This means that the more skillful the method is being performed, and the better quality the chemicals are being used, the end-results have excellent features. This also means that they come at a costly price.

  • The Finest Human Hair
Remy hair is considered the most premium hair choice. Hair follicles keep running in a uniform direction when collecting and making the hair wig. Because of this, there is less tangling. The hair will also feel and appear silkier.

If it was only based on quality, the human hair is the ideal choice. Other than it being expensive, it requires high maintenance.

For a lot of people, they prefer to style it daily. It allows them more control over the look, as well as the sense of normality that comes with it.

  • Synthetic Hair
Synthetic hair wigs have progressed gracefully due to the development of technologies. In many situations, it’s hard to tell if they are really artificial. This happens to high-quality synthetic hair wigs. In fact, in some of them, you’d never know that they were not real unless you can personally compare it against natural hair!

The most attractive benefit of synthetic hair wigs is they can be immediately worn after unboxing them. The material used has a recollection of the curl, volume, and wave. This enables the hair to return into place with little to no effort. Artificial wigs can even withstand bad weather without any frizzing and drooping.

While artificial hair wigs offer you ease, it lacks versatility. You can’t style them for different looks, which you can do to human hair wigs. You can only heat special heat-friendly artificial wigs to alter the curl pattern.

However, heat-friendly hair strands can still be challenging to style as synthetic fibers are highly resistant to change.

Artificial hair wigs are less durable compared to their natural counterparts. Synthetic wigs are expected to last for about four to six months. That is if they are well taken care of. Heat-friendly artificial wigs may last for only two to three months.

The good news is, synthetic hair wigs are affordable. Since they lack flexibility, you can always get more from different styles that are ready to flaunt each day!


Here’s a thorough summarization of what you must remember before you purchase hair wigs:

Human hair:
  • Provides the most natural experience
  • Has the most potential for styling versatility
  • Needs more styling, particularly after washing
  • Durable - can last for more than a year with proper maintenance and care

Remy Human Hair:
  • The leading quality for human hair
  • Hair cuticles run in the same direction causing reduced tangling
  • A more careful process of collecting and crafting resulting in better hair quality
  • More expensive

Synthetic Hair:
  • High-quality artificial hair offers an almost natural look
  • Limited styling flexibility
  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Can usually be worn immediately after unboxing, without any need for styling
  • Not as durable as organic hair

Heat-friendly Artificial Hair
  • Provides more styling flexibility with the use of hot tools
  • More difficult to style compared to natural hair
  • Requires extra care to prevent tangling
  • The least durable - can only last between two to three months, even with proper treatment

Your Step-by-step Guide to Buying Wigs

Determine the hair type.

Since wigs are made from different materials, it's essential that you first determine what hair type you wish to buy and what you're going to use it for.

For instance, if you're only going to use it once, it's recommended that you buy the synthetic ones. They are relatively cheaper and they require less maintenance.

In contrast, if you're going to use it daily, it's highly suggested that you use those that are made from organic hair.

Find the Right Hairstyle for Your Hair

Wigs come in different hairstyles - straight, wavy, curly, or kinky. The hair type greatly affects how controllable the hairstyle is.

Straight hair - They tend to be the most resilient and have the most shine. They are durable, and they look natural.

The downside of straight hair wigs is they lack volume.

Wavy hair - If you’re opting for natural hair that has the right volume, then this hairstyle is an excellent choice. A lot of women who choose wavy hair wigs appear younger than their actual age. Wavy hair also makes women appear carefree.

The disadvantage of this hair type is frizz. Fortunately, there are ways to address this. A great example is using a conditioner to soften and strengthen your hair wig at the same time.

Curly hair - The form of this hairstyle is like an S-shape. The advantage of curly hair wigs is their bounciness. They make women appear young and playful.

Curly hair wigs require less frequent washing, but once it gets wet from rain, it will frizz a lot.

 

Find the right color.

Wigs are available in different colors. You must pick a wig that will suit your skin tone. Hold the wig against your face in natural light. See if it compliments you or not.

When shopping online, it can be a challenge as you need to get it right the first time. Before buying online, you must first choose the brand you’re familiar with. Then, pick the color. After that, take accurate measurements of your head and compare them to the wigs available. Remember, an excellent fit makes all the difference!

It is best that you have a wig that has the same shade as your hair’s natural color as it will compliment your skin the most. Then, add a few variations of that same shade.

Choose the right volume and length.

Some oversee the sizes of wigs, but they do matter! We all have different head sizes. It’s essential that you choose the one you’re most comfortable with. If you’re buying the wig, make sure to try it on.

However, if you are purchasing online, study the measurements on the website and compare them with your head circumference.

Short wigs are ideal during the summer. They are also easier to wear compared to long wigs.

On the other hand, long wigs are more fun to style. Unfortunately, they tangle easily, and they require to be brushed regularly.

When purchasing a wig, be sure to select the length that fits your lifestyle. Consider how long you’re willing to spend in styling your hair.

Whatever your decision is, it’s recommended that you get a wig longer than what you’ve planned. You can always have it trimmed and styled to match your preferences.

 

Consider your lifestyle.

You must consider the following before buying a wig: your daily schedule, lifestyle, and the time you’re willing to invest in styling your hair.

Whatever happens, don’t go for wigs that will make a drastic change to your lifestyle. You must be honest; if you’re not willing to spend at least thirty minutes fashioning your hair now, then it’s unlikely you’ll ever start!

 

Remember the cap.

The layout of the cap is another essential factor you must look into before you buy a wig. The wig’s front part is typically made from silk or lace. Also, it is designed with a structured parting, or you can create one wherever you choose.

A silk closure is created with a silk base. The hair strands are inserted into the silk with lace to coat them. The knots are invisible as they are attached in the silk layer, providing it a scalp-like look.

Think about how adjustable you want your wig and how natural you want it to look.

How to Use Wigs

Before we go through the step-by-step guide on how to use wigs, you must prepare first the things you’ll need:
  • Blow dry device
  • Small adhesive brush
  • Wig adhesive
  • Nude-colored wig cap
  • Hair wig
  • Scalp protector
  • Scissors

Prepare yourself.

Clean your scalp and hair with soap and water. This is to make sure that the application area is free from oil. Spray the scalp protector on your head directly. This will act as a boundary between the adhesive and your skin.

Apply the adhesive using your brush to the areas where the wig will attach. Blow dry the adhesive for around thirty seconds using the cool air mode.

Position the front section of your hair wig on your forehead. Then, put pressure using both of your hands for at least a full minute. Attach each side to the matching sections of your scalp and put pressure again for another sixty seconds.


Cut the lace on your full lace wig.

This step is only done when it’s the first time you’ll use your wig. There’s no need to perform this step if the manufacturer has already cut the lace.

Place the wig on your head first. Then, cut the lace. Use hair clips to secure the hair wig. This is to keep it backed away from the scalp line.

Cut any part of the lace that protrudes beyond the wig line using your scissors. Be patient while cutting. Trim small heaps at a time to avoid over-trimming. Be extra careful not to trim any parts of the hair wig. Leave a small amount of lace protruding, about less than an inch.


Sanitize your skin.

Sterilize the skin near your hairline using a cotton ball with isopropyl alcohol. This is to get rid of body oil that could hinder the adhesive from sticking well.

If you have sensitive skin, apply the scalp protector to the skin near your hairline.

Apply adhesive.

Using your fingers, apply your preferred edge control gel or product to lay down the edges smoothly.

If you are using adhesive glue, use a thin layer. Apply it to the whole hairline using a makeup brush or stick.

If you are using a soft-bond adhesive, don’t attach the wig right away. Wait for a few minutes after the adhesive becomes washed out.

However, if you are using a hard-bond adhesive, you can attach the wig immediately as this type of adhesive bonds right away.


Attach your wig.

Position your wig to part up according to your preference. Then, use your wig combs to fasten it unto your hair. Be sure that you don’t pull it too tight.

If you’re attaching your wig using glue, you must start attaching at the hairline at the front middle area of your forehead. Press the edge gently against the bonded skin. Workaround the hairline until the wig is completely attached around the hairline.


Style your hair wig.

Pull down and adjust your wig as needed. Using a flat iron can help tone down the top area to imitate your natural hair. Press on the edges of your wig for about five seconds. This is to make the adhesive bond with your skin. Style your wig however you like it.

Here’s a very detailed video on how to install a lace frontal wig:


How to Take Care of Your Wigs

Wig Treatment Guidelines

The proper treatment of your hair wig will make it appear new for a long time. A lot of women own various wigs. This is due to the following reasons - first, they love changing their hairstyles every day; second, to give time for their wigs to be cleaned and dried.
How often you wash your wigs will depend on several factors, including humidity and air quality. Usually, a wig must be washed after it has been used for eight to twelve times.

To take extra care of your hair wig, you must follow the instructions of the manufacturer.

Or, you can use the guidelines below that will apply to your wig:

How to Take Care of Human Hair Wig

  • Before washing, brush your wig gently using a wig brush. However, if your wig has a tight curl, use your fingers instead. Then, remove the tangles gently.
  • Use a mild shampoo. In a basin, mix your shampoo with cold water. Turn your wig inside out. Immerse. Then, swirl it gently and allow to soak for about five minutes.
  • Gently rinse your wig with cold water. Do this twice to make sure you get rid of all the shampoo.
  • Apply conditioner and leave it for two minutes.
  • Rinse the wig until you remove all of the hair conditioner.
  • Wrap your wig with a towel. Pat your wig to clear excess water.
  • If you want, you can apply conditioning spray over your wig. This is only optional. If you don’t have any, it’s completely fine.
  • Put your clean wig on your wig stand. Allow it to completely dry before you brush or comb it. Take note, don’t let your wig dry through direct sunlight.

How to Take Care of Synthetic Hair Wig

  • Before washing, brush your wig gently using a wig brush. However, if your wig has a tight curl, use your fingers instead. Then, remove the tangles gently.
  • Use a special wig shampoo that is formulated for artificial wigs. In a basin, mix two cups of the shampoo with cold water. Turn the wig inside out. Immerse. Then, swirl it gently and allow to soak for five minutes.
  • Gently rinse your wig until all of the hair shampoo is gone.
  • Apply one to two cups of wig conditioner. Leave it for two minutes for the strands to absorb the conditioner.
  • Rinse the wig until you remove all of the hair conditioner.
  • Wrap your wig with a towel. Pat your wig to clear excess water. Don’t rub!
  • Spray a revitalizing conditioner over the whole surface of the hair wig.
  • Important: To avoid any damage to the strands, don’t use a hair dryer, curling iron, or other drying/ heating devices. Also, keep your wigs from open flame and heat sources - for example, cigarette lighters, ovens, barbecue grills, and stoves.
  • Put your clean wig on your wig stand. Allow it to completely dry before you brush or comb it.
  • When your wig is dry, use a hair pick or wig brush to restore styling.
  • Use a finishing spray to provide more shine and styling support to your wig.

Wig Styling Directions

    • You can style your wig by using a wig comb, wig brush, or your fingertips. Do not use a hairbrush created for natural hair. This type of brush can cause tension and overstretch of the hair. This will potentially lead to damaging your wig.
    • A spray bottle of clean and cold water - This is the best and most inexpensive tool for styling your wig.
    • Gently spray your wig with water to get rid of static electricity so your wig can return to its authentic look.
    • Liquid wig mousse is a vital styling tool for achieving different styles. For wavy and curly styles - use the mousse, crumple up, and choose the style into curls. For straight styles - apply the mousse and brush your hair lightly.
    • Your wig was created with a basic design. However, the different styles you want to achieve are countless.
    • You can add height by lightly lifting your wig using a wig comb.
    • You can add fullness, too. Back-comb, then flatten the surface hair over it.
    • Your wig can return to its original style after it’s been washed and air-dried.
    • If you want to restyle your wig, you have to take it to a professional stylist.


Hair Weave Washing Directions

  • Your hair should always be clean - hair tangles when sweat and dirt build up. Always wash your hair after swimming, exercising, and other similar activities.
  • Gently brush your hair. Remove any tangles before you start washing it.
  • Use a shampoo with excellent quality. You can ask your stylist for recommendations. They will know what brand will suit your hair type best. Distribute evenly. The, wash your hair in a downward motion. Press the products into the hair weave. However, avoid rubbing and scrubbing.
  • Rinse your hair with tepid to cold water.
  • Apply a conditioner with top quality.
  • Rinse your weave again with lukewarm to cool water.
  • Wrap your hair with a towel. Pat your hair to get rid of excess water. Don’t rub.
  • Use a quality hairspray for hair conditioner that’s meant to be left behind. This will make the weave soft.
  • For synthetic hair weave, it should be air dried before sleeping. For human hair weave, it can either be air or blow dry.
  • If you blow dry your hair, dry the wet part of the hair weave first. Then, complete the drying process from the ends up. Do not pull your hair while it’s still wet.
  • Whenever possible, allow your hair weave to air dry. Care for it like how you would with your real hair. Avoid too much processing and heat. Never go to bed with damp or wet hair.


Hair Weave Styling Directions

  • Comb your hair weave in the morning and night using your fingers. Shake the weave gently to loosen the curls and remove tangles. Avoid using small-toothed brushes and combs as they can pull and damage your hair weave.
  • Do not use any heat styling devices for synthetic hair weaves. For human hair weaves, you can style it as you would to natural hair. You can use blow dryers, hot irons, etc. But, be careful that the bonded area won’t be affected with direct heat.
  • Moreover, you could use hair products as long as you regularly wash them. If you apply too many products, your human hair weave will eventually tangle.
  • Visit your professional stylist regularly every six to eight weeks. It’s necessary to remove your hair weave between these times, as they will get dry and old.
  • If you have braided weaves, it may be fine to leave them if your stylist sees that they are still healthy.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How will I know my wig size?

  1. Measure your head circumference using a tape measure. Put one end on your forehead. Then, go all around your head while following the hairline. Jot down the measurement.
  1. Again, put one end on your forehead. However, this time, go to your head’s back, then at your neck. Record this as well. These are the two primary measurements that you will need so you can choose the proper size.
  2. Wigs usually come in small, medium, and large sizes. A lot of women have medium-sized heads. But, this is not the norm. Some women need small sizes, while others need the large ones.
  3. Each store will have their sizes, as well as the estimated measurements for each size. All you have to do is check them out and compare with your measurements.
  4. Typically, super small caps will fit heads that are below twenty inches; for small caps - 21 inches; medium sizes - between 21.5 to 22.5 inches; and large caps fit heads that are bigger than 22.5 inches.
  5. Please don’t be in a hurry to buy your first wig. You have to guarantee that it fits you perfectly. Many stores don’t offer refunds just because you’re not comfortable with the hair wig.

What do you mean by ‘density of a wig?’

The density of a wig means how much hair is on the cap. It verifies the overall volume and thickness of the hair wig.

If the density is low, you’ll receive fine and thin hair. On the other hand, if it’s high, you’ll obtain more thickness.

You must decide what look you’re opting for so you can choose the proper density percentage.

90% is the lowest, and it’s highly discouraged. 130% density is an excellent choice as it’s almost identical to natural hair. 150% density means more volume, but not exaggerated. 180% to 200% densities indicate large thickness and volume, which are ideal for special events.

Could a hair wig damage my scalp or slow the growth of my natural hair?

No. Wearing a hair wig won’t damage your scalp or affect the natural growth of your real hair. A hair wig will boost your confidence. It will make you comfortable with your physical appearance. A lot of women who went through medical treatments prefer to wear wigs. They will continue to wear them until their real hair has grown enough to shape and style.

How can I be assured that my wig won’t fall off?

If your hair wig is attached correctly, it should fit you securely and comfortably. It should not move or fall off. It will make a significant difference if you can choose a hair wig in your proper size.

Will a wig be uncomfortable, itchy, and hot?

If your hair wig has excellent quality, you’ll be amazed at how comfortable it is to wear. For convenient and lightweight wigs, choose wigs that feature light fiber and open cap for better air circulation.

How do I choose a wig cap?

A classic wig cap is made from fabric and has hair stitched unto it using a sewing machine. The hair bundles are lightly teased on the roots to seal the cap better. If you buy a quality hair wig with a classic cap, it will appear excellent and genuine.

Also, there are monofilament caps that are made out of a lace net fabric with the hair strands manually sewn.

Typically, this kind of caps is used on full lace wigs. Of course, they’re more comfortable to wear. They also look more natural.

What is the monofilament design?

This design offers a more genuine look. The mesh material used will create an image of hair growth on your scalp. Monofilament hair wigs can have monofilament at the crown or on the whole top of the hair wig. This enables the wig to be combed or parted in various directions.

Which hair wigs are ideal for sensitive scalps?

Any monofilament hair wig is excellent for those with sensitive scalps. The most ideal is the one that is solely made out of lace. However, lace front and 360 are fine. The general rule is: the more lace there is, the better.

A full lace hair wig is exceptionally light. The material is so soft that you can be assured that it won’t hurt your scalp.

But, if you wish to be really careful, you can wear a wig cap under for further protection. Keep in mind to stay away from standard caps, and capless as they’re heavy, a bit uncomfortable, and the thick material might irritate your skin.

Should I wear a full wig if I have partial hair loss?

If you only have partial hair loss, and it’s not severe, you can use a hair topper instead. It will conceal the areas where hair is thinning. A hair topper will blend effectively with your real hair and will appear seamless.

But, if your hair loss is getting serious, it’s better if you get a hair wig. Make sure your doctor finds the cause of your condition and come up with the right treatment.

How can I remove a wig safely?

It will depend on which technique you choose. However, removing a wig is a lot easier compared to attaching it. If the hair wig is stitched in, you should look for all the stitches. After, you will cut the thread. You must observe extra precaution when doing this. You don’t want to cut any strands and damage your wig.

You can ease up the process by asking someone to help you with it. You can ask a friend or family member so they can help you in the back areas where you don’t have any visual.

The wig will simply come off once all of the thread is removed.

If the hair is taped in, you’ll have to remove each of the tapes. Avoid pulling it too hard to prevent any damage.

If you used glue, you’d require some adhesive remover. Through this, the wig will detach right away. All that leaves you is to get rid of any glue left on your skin and hair wig.


Conclusion

Every topic covered in this article will help you decide whether to buy a wig and which one to buy. As you may already know now, purchasing a hair wig can be confusing, particularly if it’s your first time. There are various types you can choose from. If you don’t have experience with wigs, it can become overwhelming.

It’s imperative that you select the right one. So, here’s what you need to remember:

Purpose > wig type > choose the perfect fit > choose the right colors > choose the appropriate density > take care of it the right way


Regardless of the reason behind it, you must let yourself have fun! Because you have the power to decide what look you’re feeling on a particular day, you don’t need to worry if it appears natural or not.

It all comes down to one important thing: be yourself!