Choosing the Right Wig: A Beginner’s Guide

Posted by in Alopecia, Hair Loss, Wigs

How to Choose a Wig that Gives Sophisticated, Natural Looking Hairchoosing the right wig

If you’re new to wearing wigs, it can be difficult to know where to start. Personally, I spent hours patiently combing the internet for advice but was instead faced with nothing but ads promising ‘the UK’s best wig brands’, ‘leading wig suppliers’, and so on and so forth. Now that I’m a bit more savvy when it comes to choosing the right wig, I thought I’d share this information to help others who might be in the same position that I was in a few years ago.

3 Steps to Choosing the Right Wig

1.       Wig Cap Construction

The cap construction of wigs varies considerably. Here’s a brief summary (although the specifics do vary from one manufacturer to the next).

Wig Cap Construction

Key Features

Advantages & Disadvantages

Traditional Closed flower net lace top with open wefting on sides and back Very durable; great for volume; not necessarily the most natural
Capless Open wefting throughout the cap to allow air circulation Lightweight; airy; comfortable; good lift and volume
Monofilament Sheer, hand-knotted top, parting or crown Very natural; easy to style; extremely popular; relatively expensive
Hand-tied Extremely light, sheer hand-knotted base Ideal for total hair loss and sensitive scalps; easy to style, natural, lightweight; very comfortable
Lace-front Hand-knotted lace front (pre-cut or customised) Creates natural hairline; enables you to wear your hair tied back; requires adhesive / tape

Personally, I would recommend investing in a monofilament or hand-tied wig. While they may be a little more expensive, they tend to be the most natural looking and are the easiest to style.

2.       Natural vs. Synthetic Wigs

cape mono wigOf course, wigs made using human hair tend to be more natural looking than synthetic ones. They’re also more durable, and can be styled, maintained and coloured in much the same way as ‘real’ hair. On the other hand, authenticity does come at a cost as natural wigs react to rain and humidity just as real hair does, and they tend to be heavier than synthetic wigs.

In fact, synthetic wigs have come along in leaps and bounds over the years, so much so that some even fool the stylists. They’re cheaper, easier to maintain and tend to be lighter in weight. On the downside, they can’t be styled using extreme heat and if you choose the cheapest one you can find, it’ll be pretty obvious that it’s fake.

In my experience, it’s best to begin with a good quality synthetic wig. Once you’ve got to grips with this, you should find it fairly easy to move onto human hair should you wish to do so.

3.       Wig Shape and Colour

Choosing the right wig also means finding one that suits your skin tone and face shape, ensuring that the end result looks as natural as possible. If you’re unsure, choose a shade as close to your natural one as possible as, of course, this reflects your natural colouring. Remember, you can’t use regular hair dye on a synthetic wig so be sure to choose the right colour in the first place if you’re going down that route. It’s generally best to choose one with a blend of different shades as this looks more natural than a solid block of colour.

There is some useful information on choosing wigs to suit your face shape here, which includes diagrams to give you a clearer picture of each shape. Just scroll down and click on ‘What’s My Face Shape?’ to reveal the best wig shapes for you.

joanna wigI hope this guide to choosing the right wig has answered a few of your questions. However, the best thing to do is find a specialist shop that has experienced staff on hand to provide advice. I’ve always found Simply Wigs very helpful, and although they’re based in Huddersfield they do also supply wigs on their website and offer help and advice via phone and email.