Wigs Part 3: Caring for Wigs.

More Wig Mis-Adventures

This is here to help you avoid even more wig mistakes. As I mentioned in Part 2, I made lots of mistakes. And I would say that even the information that you receive from manufacturers is not always very helpful. Let's first talk about how to wear a wig.

How to Wear a Wig

If you have a lot of hair, you will want to wear a wig cap. You can also use an old pair of pantyhose trimmed down to size. This will keep your hair manageable. At this point, in the old days, a long process of attaching bobby pins and wig clips would follow. But there is an amazing new product that holds a wig as securely as possible. It fits on your head like a headband, but properly attached (and make sure you read the directions), it is as secure as any method of attaching a wig I have found.

I bought a couple of these for just under $20. I love them.

All that is then required is for you to place the wig on your head, covering the Hair Grip. Center it, then reach back and pull down the back of your wig so it is over the Hair Grip on the back of your neck, and do any adjustment required to the ear tabs (usually minimal).

If you are putting on a lace front wig, follow the same procedure, but be careful not to pull on the lace! Instead, reach above the lace and move the wig around that way, so the lace does not get ripped or torn. I leave a line of lace on the front of the wig to help secure it. If you do that, you can use Spirit Gum (I prefer the Kryolan brand) to glue it down, and if necessary darken or lighten the lace to match your skin.

Basic Wig Tools

Now let's talk about what you need to take care of your new hard front wig. First off, you need a good brush. Do not, I repeat, do not purchase this one from Amazon:

These are terrible tools. The comb lasted less than a minute, the brush is decidedly inferior and does not work well at all. I repeat: DO NOT BUY!

Instead, get a Phillips #11 wig brush. You can get one from Bobbie Pinz for $11.50 plus shipping. That's where I bought mine. Amazon carries them for $13.50 with free Prime shipping.

You need a canvas wig block. I know that you can get Styrofoam wig heads for $5 or less, but these do not work. I have tried it. They are decent for storing your wigs on, but for styling/combing, they are a nightmare. A good canvas wig block, properly cared for, will last you a lifetime. Wig blocks come with short and long necks. The heads are sized from 19'' to 24'' in 1/2 inch increments. I personally prefer the short neck wig blocks. And you want a wig block that is as close as possible to the size of your head. Bobbie Pinz has a video on his website that explains how to measure yourself to get a properly sized wig block:

Bobbie sells wig blocks on his website for $46.00. I bought mine from Amazon for $39 with free shipping. I was nervous but I have to say the block is really well made. It's currently a bit cheaper:

Wherever you buy your wig block from, it's a really good idea to cover it. Remember that you will be spraying things on that wig, and that will soak into the block. It's easy to do: you take a large plastic bag and some packing tape and cover the block. The Wig Maestro Bobbie Pinz also has a short video describing how to do this:

You will need something to put your wig block on. If you have a workshop with a vice, you can use the handle of a broom or a large rod and clamp it in the vice. Otherwise, you can try one of these:

I bought this for $6.00. It was not worth it. Like any decent wig holder, it has adjustments to tilt and rotate the wig. Unfortunately, it is so cheaply made that when you comb the wig, it does not lock properly but rotates and tilts wildly. It is really impossible to use. It does make a nice holder for a Styrofoam wig head, so it wasn't a complete waste of money.

This is better. It comes with a suction cup bottom, which is supposed to stick to the table surface. I tried all kinds of ways to get that to work, but it never stuck. You might have better luck. It is quite heavy which does help, but if the wig is tangled and it isn't sticking to the table top, one tug will leave everything tumbling to the floor.

I have been happiest with this one. It is an attachment for a tripod that can be used to hold the wig block. The tripod is not great, but the attachment doesn't appear to be sold separately. It is not perfect, but it is the best I have found. I spent about $69 on it.

You will need some large Pearl Head Pins for attaching your wig to the block. You find T-Pins very commonly recommended for this, but I think they are horrible. Because of the construction of the "T" in the pin, the hairs of the wig catch in it, and you spend a lot of time detangling the wig from the pin, which is not exactly the point of this whole process. You can find large pearl head pins at most high-end sewing shops, or you can get them from Bobbie Pinz for $19.00. A box of these will last you forever.

Alligator clips are the best there is for clamping hair out of the way. You can get them from Bobbie Pinz for $6.75.

Finally, you need an oil-based spray. I use Motions. It is light and it evaporates a few hours after you use it. Do not buy sprays labeled "Olive Oil". These are way too heavy and greasy for a synthetic hair wig. They would work ok for a human hair wig which can absorb oils.

A few extra things for lace fronts.

You need just a few more things for lace fronts. You will two more sizes of pins to secure the lace to the wig block. You can purchase these from high-end sewing shops or from Bobbie Pinz. You need large blocking pins, which are a size down from the big pearl head pins. And you will also need small blocking pins. The final item you will need is a piece of elastic band, of the sort used to sew inside stretchable waist bands, or some cotton twill. I use the elastic. The twill is very cheap, about $0.25/yd. The pins should cost you under $10 each for a few hundred.

Combing Out your Wig

I made a video about how to do this in the videos section. If you have a password, it might be easiest just to go there and watch. If not, here are some instructions. Remember that this is for hard front wigs. Do not use these instructions for lace front wigs!

  • Attach the wig to the block with the large pearl head pins. Center it on the block (the front of the block is the flat side), then place two pins on either side of the center front of the wig, and one in the middle.
  • Grab the back of the wig, and pull it down on the block, just as you would when you put it on. Secure this with two more pearl head pins, pushing them diagonally upward into the wig foundation.
  • Finally, do the same thing with the ear tabs, securing each one with a pearl head pin pointing diagonally upward.
  • Separate the hair into sections along the wefting. I like to start around the ear. Twist the hair around itself and secure with an alligator clip, then place on top of the wig block.
  • Depending on the amount of hair, you might have to do more. I usually clip two sections on top of the block, leaving the third hanging to start combing.
  • Spray the hair liberally with the oil sheen, then start to comb. The rules for combing a wig:
    1. Always start from the ends of the hair.
    2. If there is a tangle, use your hands and fingers gently to undo it.
    3. Always hold the brush vertically, along the hair, instead of across it, when you start. Once it is detangled, brush normally.
    4. When the brush moves easily through the hair, and there are no tangles, move to the next section, and continue until you are done.
  • Remove the pins, saving them for the future, and put the wig away.

Completely Useless Products

They sell specialty products for detangling wigs. Things like conditioners and detangling liquids that you are supposed to soak the wig in. I do not find these work. Conditioners are probably a good idea for a human hair wig, but synthetics do not absorb anything, so they are pretty pointless. Don't waste your money on this stuff.

That's it! I hope you found this helpful. Thanks for reading and if you have something nice to say or a good idea or suggestion, feel free to