How To Shop For A Wig Online According To The Pros


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You know those “what you ordered + what you actually got” memes? Hilarious every time. Another person’s poorly sewn dress is your entertainment, right? Well, it’s all fun and games until it happens to you. And when it comes to buying wigs (especially if you’re doing so online) you could potentially be setting yourself up to star in your own meme. We gotchu, though. Wigs are an easy way to switch up your look without having to damage your hair, if you apply your wig correctly, that is! If you’re thinking about buying a wig, make sure to read through this killer advice straight from the mouths of wig pros.

How Much Can You Expect to Pay for a Nice Wig?

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This is the ultimate question, especially for those of us who love saving money and aren’t afraid to cut a few corners in the process. Turns out, you’re not going to find a high-quality wig for $20 on Amazon. A one-off Halloween wig, sure, but a top-notch wig is a proper investment. Generally speaking, you can snag a nice one for between $300 and $500. Some wigs, like the kind Queen B might wear, can go for as much as $3000!!

“I believe you get exactly what you pay for when it comes to wigs. The prices are usually based on the quality of hair and lace that’s on the wig, as well as the length of time it takes to actually construct the wig,” says Dominique Evans, a wig maker, professional stylist, and founder for HABD Hair Care.

A high-quality wig will last a while (ideally three months or longer) and if you plan to wear it often then it makes sense to splurge on something that looks real and won’t betray you. Or pros say that the only time it doesn’t make sense to invest in a high-quality wig is if it’s not something you can afford right now.

The Signs a Wig is Top Quality

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It feels like real hair: Evans says, “The hair on your wig should feel natural. You should be able to run your hands through it with no snags, making it easier for you to manage.”

You can wash, heat style, and dye it: “If it colors well and evenly without damage then this shows that the wig was made with the best quality hair,” explains Simone Cremona, a certified weave and wig specialist with Mayvenn. “One of the key signs of a low-quality wig is if it sticks to your iron or burns, or if it won’t take color processing well.”

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It’s made with breathable fabric: “It should be made from breathable fabric – so that the heat won’t be trapped between it and your head. This helps keep your head from being hot with all the extra hair,” notes Evans. Swiss lace, “thin skin” (a sheer polyurethane material), monofilament (breathable nylon), and silk are all excellent fabric options.

The construction looks great: The inside of the wig shouldn’t look a mess. It should be constructed with care, and free of thick or hard lace which can be U-G-L-Y and, more importantly, uncomfortable.

It has good density: Density refers to the wig’s thickness, and 100% density is considered to be the average head of hair. Cremona says, “Anything less is less thick, and anything more is thicker. Most wigs are bought between 130% to 150% density. Those that need that diva effect should get 180% and up.”

It lasts: “If it’s six months later and you are still loving your wig, this is a sure sign of a top-notch wig. If your wig survived your ill-treatment, then she’s a keeper,” says Evans.

What Kinds of Wigs Can You Buy?

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There are loads of wigs out there, and they all funnel down into four primary categories: lace front, standard closure front, 360 lace, and full lace. “Lace” simply refers to the sheer mesh material that tiny strands of hair are tied to.

Lace Front Wigs: “On this wig type, the front (from ear to ear) is made of that skin-like mesh lace material,” says Cremona. Evans adds, “Lace frontals are so popular because it gives the appearance of a natural hairline, giving you more options to part your hair the way you like.”

Standard Closure Front: “This style gives much less parting space than the lace front. This wig option is for someone who doesn’t plan on changing their part,” says Cremona.

360 Lace Wigs: “This wig has everything a lace front wig has, except the lace goes around the entire perimeter of the wig,” notes Evans. “This means you can put your wig literally however you want — a high ponytail, cornrows, however, you desire!”

Full Lace Wigs: “Here, the entire wig is made of this skin-like mesh lace. This type allows parting options throughout the entire wig,” says Cremona.

Whatever kind you buy, do make sure that it fits. Most wigs are adjustable, so you’ll be able to find an approximate size and then adjust from there. To find the right size for you, Cremona recommends using a tape measurer to measure your head starting at the top of your forehead and bringing it around the hairline back to the top of your forehead. That number is your wig size, and standard sizes are 22 and 23.

How to Apply your Wig Like a Pro

Glue is key when it comes to applying your wig and ensuring it stays put! Not only does it prevent shifting throughout the day, but glue also creates a more seamless, realistic look.

Esha Absolute Lace Wig Adhesive, $16, is a great option for beginners because it goes on teal and becomes clear as it dries. This helps you know when the glue has dried down enough for your wig to stick. Another option is Bold Hold Extreme Cream, $27, a gentle but ultra-strong hold glue for people who are more active.

Another product wig-wearers swear by is Got2B Glued Blasting Freeze Spray, $6.50, which isn’t technically a wig glue but is a go-to fave for securing lace front wigs. Not only is it sticky enough to hold your wig in place, but it’s user-friendly for beginners. For example, if you didn’t get your placement quite right the first time, you can spray with water and re-adjust. Check out this helpful tutorial using the product for lace-front wigs.

Learning how to apply your wig takes a bit of practice, patience, and attention to detail. The most important aspects include:

  • Adjusting the wig beforehand to ensure it fits snugly
  • Cutting the lace so it frames your face (do this while wearing the wig, but before using glue)
  • Prepping your natural hair so it’s flat against your head (twisted, braided, and/or with a cap)
  • Aligning your natural part with where the wig will be parted
  • Using the right amount of glue so the wig is secure.
  • Placing the wig so it looks natural with your hairline

To really learn the ropes, we recommend watching wig application tutorials online – this one is great, and so is this one – or you can meet with a stylist/wig specialist who can guide you.

How to Take Care of Your Wig

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Once you’ve got your hands on your wig, treat it like it’s your baby! Care of it, nurture it, and protect it. Some ways to you keep it looking great for longer:

Take it on and off at night: “This saves the quality of the hair and the lace, making your wig lasting much longer,” notes Evans.

Give your wig its own space: “Whether it’s the closet, a shelf, or a box under the bed, your wig needs a home. A Styrofoam head, a hanger with clips, or even a hook will do the job.”

Let it air dry: In the same way, you try to cut back how much heat styling you to natural hair, give your wig a break by pressing pause on the blow dryer. Blow drying can also increase shedding, notes Evans.

Comb it from bottom to top to prevent shedding: Just like you’d comb your natural hair from bottom to top to prevent too much tugging at the root. Also, Evans suggests using a wide-tooth comb and to use a detangling product.

Wash your wig regularly: “Your wig should be washed at least every two to three weeks – just like you would for your weave install. Dirty hair can cause breakouts and other skin irritations,” notes Cremona. She added that you might be able to stretch this to a month if you are not wearing the wig daily, and that dry shampoo can help you stretch out your washes also. You can technically use the same products on your wig that you use on your natural hair.

The world of wigs is a wide one, but if you’ve made your way through this beginner’s guide then you’re well on your way! Let us know if you have any specific questions in the comment section below.

Disclaimer: Every product we review has been independently selected and tested without bias by our editorial team. We never take payment to review products, however, some brands allow affiliate links, so we may earn a commission if you purchase a product by clicking on one of our links.