Wigs have become increasingly popular over the years, not just for those who wear them due to hair loss or thinning, but also as a fashion statement. They are a fantastic way to change up your look quickly without altering your natural hair. Installing a wig can be a bit tricky and not as straightforward as it may seem. Before you jump into buying a wig and installing it, there are a few things you need to do to ensure that your experience with wigs is a pleasant one.
In this article, we will discuss the essential steps you must take before installing a wig to ensure that you get the best possible outcome.
1. Choose Your Wig Wisely
Choosing the right wig is the first step in ensuring a successful installation. There are several factors to consider when selecting a wig, including the style, length, color, and material. When choosing a style, try to select a wig that complements your face shape. You can consult with a hairstylist if you're unsure about what style would work best for you. The color of your wig should also complement your skin tone. If you're not sure what color to choose, you can take inspiration from your natural hair color.
When selecting a wig's material, you need to consider its breathability and durability. Wigs made from high-quality materials like human hair or synthetic hair blend tend to last longer and are more breathable than cheaper options.
2. Measure Your Head
A properly sized wig is essential for a comfortable fit and a natural appearance. Before purchasing a wig, you need to measure your head accurately. To do this, use a soft measuring tape to measure the circumference of your head from the hairline at the forehead, behind the ear, to the nape of the neck, and back around to the other ear. Record this measurement to select a wig size that will fit you perfectly. Most wigs come in small, medium, and large sizes.
3. Prepare Your Natural Hair
Before installing a wig, you need to prepare your natural hair properly. Start by washing your hair thoroughly and conditioning it. You can also detangle your hair using a wide-tooth comb or brush. If you have long hair, consider tying it into braids or twists to help secure the wig in place.
Ⅰ. Wash Your Natural Hair
Before installing a wig, it is crucial to wash your natural hair properly. This step will ensure that your scalp is clean, healthy, and free of any product buildup. It will also help prevent any itching or discomfort caused by wearing a wig for an extended period. To wash your hair, start by wetting it thoroughly with warm water. Apply a gentle shampoo and massage it into your scalp and hair. Rinse thoroughly with warm water and repeat if necessary. Follow up with a conditioner to nourish your hair and make it more manageable.
Braiding your natural hair can help protect it from the friction caused by the wig cap and hold it in place. Braids also provide a foundation for the wig to sit on, ensuring that it looks natural and secure. To create braids, start by dividing your hair into sections and combing it to remove any tangles. Then, using a rat-tail comb, part a small section of hair at the front of your head and braid it tightly. Secure the end of the braid with a rubber band or hair tie. Repeat this process until all your hair is braided.
Cornrows are another excellent option for protecting your natural hair and creating a foundation for the wig. They are similar to braids but involve weaving the hair tightly against the scalp. To create cornrows, start by dividing your hair into sections and combing it to remove any tangles. Then, using a rat-tail comb, create a part in the center of your head, and braid a small section of hair on one side of the part, starting at the front of your head. As you braid, add more hair from each section until you reach the back of your head. Secure the end of the braid with a rubber band or hair tie. Repeat this process on the other side of the part.
Twists are another great option for protecting your natural hair and creating a foundation for the wig. They are similar to braids but involve twisting the hair instead of braiding it. To create twists, start by dividing your hair into sections and combing it to remove any tangles. Then, apply a styling product like curl cream or gel to the section of hair you want to twist. Divide that section into two strands and twist them around each other tightly. Continue twisting until you reach the end of the strand. Secure the end of the twist with a rubber band or hair tie. Repeat this process until all your hair is twisted.
4. Protect Your Hairline
Wearing a wig can potentially cause damage to your natural hairline, especially if you don't protect it beforehand. Use an oil-based product, like petroleum jelly or wig tape, to protect your hairline from any friction caused by the wig cap. Apply the product just above your hairline, where the wig will sit, to prevent any hair breakage or damage.
5. Invest in Quality Wig Accessories
Having the right accessories can make a significant difference in achieving a natural and comfortable wig installation. A wig cap is essential as it helps keep your natural hair in place and provides a smooth surface for the wig to sit on. Hairspray or gel can help secure the wig in place, while bobby pins can be used to hold specific sections of the wig down. A wig brush or comb can also be used to smooth out the hair and remove any tangles.
6. Practice Proper Wig Care
Installing a wig is only half the battle; you also need to take care of it correctly. Wigs need to be washed, conditioned, and styled just like natural hair. Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for wigs. Avoid hot water and be gentle when washing and conditioning your wig. Allow your wig to air dry naturally, and avoid using a hairdryer or other heat styling tools that could damage the wig.
Additionally, store your wig on a wig stand or mannequin head to preserve its shape and ensure that it lasts as long as possible.
How long does an installed wig last?
The lifespan of a wig depends on several factors, including the quality of the wig, how often it's worn, and how well it's maintained. A high-quality wig made from human hair can last up to three years with proper care, while a synthetic wig may last up to a year. However, if you wear your wig daily or expose it to harsh conditions like excessive heat or sunlight, its lifespan may be shorter. Proper maintenance is essential to ensure that your wig lasts as long as possible. This includes washing and conditioning it regularly, storing it properly, and avoiding heat styling tools.
How much is a wig install?
The cost of a wig installation varies depending on several factors, including the type of wig, the length of your natural hair, and the hairstylist's experience and expertise. On average, a wig installation can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 or more, depending on the type of installation you want. A basic installation may involve simply attaching the wig to your natural hair using clips or combs, while a more advanced installation may involve gluing or sewing the wig onto your scalp. It is essential to research different hairstylists and their prices before choosing one to ensure that you're getting the best deal possible.
In conclusion, there are several things you must do before installing a wig to ensure that you get the best possible result. Choosing the right wig, measuring your head, preparing your natural hair, protecting your hairline, investing in quality wig accessories, and practicing proper wig care are all essential steps in achieving a natural and comfortable wig installation. By following these tips, you can have an enjoyable and comfortable wig-wearing experience.