How to Style Your Wig Like a Pro
Achieve Your Dream Look With These Top Tips for Wig Styling
As a wig wearer, it’s sometimes easy to get stuck in a rut. But with wigs and styling products becoming increasingly sophisticated, there’s no longer any need to subject yourself to wearing the same hairstyle day in, day out. Knowing how to style your wig will enable you to change up your look whenever you feel like it, without having to splash out on a brand new wig or hairpiece.
These top styling tips for human hair and synthetic wigs will give you the lowdown, enabling you to create a fresh new look without damaging your wig in the process.
General Wig Styling Tips
Keep your wig or hairpiece looking its best for longer with the right wig care and styling products. Some good ones include the Hairpower and Pure Power ranges by Ellen Wille, the T-range by Trendco, and the Revlon range for synthetic hair.
- Personalise your look with cute hair accessories. Glam it up with sparkly kirby grips, add a pop of colour with a clip-in corsage, or go boho with a patterned headscarf.
- Ask your hairstylist to give your wig a restyle. Add a fringe, have it shaped around your face or add volume and bounce with layers.
- Give mid-length hair an instant lift with a half-up, half-down style. If you have a longer wig, try a loose updo or low ponytail.
- Keep your style loose and refrain from scraping the hair right back unless you have a lace front wig, in which case you should still leave a few tendrils of hair loose for a natural look.
- If wearing the hair back from the face, position the wig very slightly below your natural hairline and tuck in any stray hairs from underneath, using gel or hairspray if required.
- If your natural hair colour is close to the colour of your wig, pull small sections out along the hairline using a tail comb for a seamless look.
Styling Human Hair Wigs
Human hair wigs can be styled in much the same way as you would your own hair, but try to go easy on the heat styling. Unlike natural hair, wigs don’t regenerate and any damage is permanent, so save the blowdryer, straighteners and curling tongs for special occasions.
When using heated appliances, turn them down to the lowest heat setting and use a protective spray to prolong the life of your wig.
Heat-free methods for styling a wig
If you like to wear your wig in a particular style for the majority of the time, choose a wig that is as close to this style as possible in the first place. You may wish to buy two wigs of similar colour and length, but with differing textures so that you can easily vary your style from one day to the next.
This will also extend the lives of both wigs and ensure that you always have a spare in case something should happen to the other, and whilst the other wig is being washed and dried.
There are several ways to curl your wig without using heat, and you won’t even need rollers. However, you will need to leave the wig for a few hours to take on the new style, so only use the following methods overnight, if you have a spare wig or headscarf on hand, or if you feel confident leaving the house without a wig.
- Braid damp hair, leave to dry naturally on a wig stand then undo the braids for a crimped look. The smaller the braids, the more dramatic the effect. Take care not to pull on the hair.
- A more natural, wavy look can be achieved by gently twisting sections of damp hair into loose buns and securing with kirby grips. Leave until dry, unravel the curls and separate with your fingers.
- Some people find it easier to do this with strips of fabric. Lay a section of hair across the centre of the fabric, roll it up and tie it in place.
Another option is to experiment with different colours using home dyeing kits. Follow the instructions carefully and take extra care not to leave the dye on for too long, as this can damage the fibres irreparably.
Styling Synthetic Wigs
Unlike human hair wigs, most synthetic wigs cannot be heat styled at all as this will melt the fibres. Even standing too close to a hot oven is enough to make some go frizzy. These wigs are generally made with ‘style memory’, meaning that they retain their original style even after washing.
On the positive side, synthetic wigs tend to be cheaper than human hair wigs, making it possible for many people to have two or even three to choose from at any one time.
It’s important to steer well clear of hairdryers, straighteners and curling tongs, and to avoid brushing or combing the wig when wet. However, there are a few less obvious wig styling tips and tricks you can employ to subtly improve the look and feel of your wig without causing any lasting damage. Here are two examples from the wig wearing community:
- Loosen out overstyled wigs with a wide-toothed comb.
- Spray your wig evenly with a small amount of dry shampoo and gently pat this in to decrease shine and make the hair appear more natural.
Recent innovations in synthetic wig styling
For those wearers of synthetic wigs who like to heat style their hair, all is not lost. Manufacturers like Raquel Welch and Gisela Mayer have recently started producing heat-resistant models that can be blow dried, straightened and curled in the same way as human hair wigs. A good range can be found on simplywigs.co.uk.
There is also a new range of styling tools with Smart Heat controls, which enable you to switch to a lower temperature that is apparently suitable for synthetic hair. I can’t vouch for these personally and you should still exercise a certain amount of caution, but if you’re interested they are available on afrostyling.com.