Guide - Buying and Working with Wigs


Having good sharp scissors is always helpful. It’s best to wear the wig yourself or get someone else to wear it so you can judge lengths properly. Always cut longer than you want the hair to be at first, and then work up the desired length. You can always cut it shorter, but making it longer again is more problematic!

If you cut straight across, it ends up looking very blunt. For some characters you might want that effect, but in general you want a more natural effect.

Katie Bair describes it as a "scooping" motion:

Cutting in a curved sweep

If that's not enough, once you've cut the fibre to the correct length, you can cut into it vertically, chopping up the ends irregularly to soften the edge. Layering and/or curling the ends under slightly will also help.

Another possibility is to try razor cutting or buy feathering shears. These techniques are ideal for layering and choppy effects. Finally, finishing a cut section by curling it under slightly with a hairdryer may help to make it more natural, particularly when cutting in a fringe.

This tutorial demonstrates several techniques, and the perils of just cutting straight across.

Videos and photos are helpful, but cutting synthetic fibre is really something you should try out and practice for yourself to develop a feel for the technique.

It’s possible to practice on an area of the wig that won’t be seen – for example the lowest layers at the back. Practise getting it neat as you go, by cutting less than you need initially, as you work up to the correct length.

Cutting in a Fringe

All the basics of cutting a wig nicely apply here, especially avoiding a blunt edge and starting longer then working your way up. Layering and curling the fringe under is also significant. Definitely make sure you cut a thick fringe (assuming you don't actually want a thin one) as it can be deceptive how much fibre is needed.

[The most important aspect is to train the fibre forwards before cutting]

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