Guide - Buying and Working with Wigs



The safest method is hot water:

However, that hot water method requires a lot of patience, especially with very curly or very long wigs. The curlier a wig is, the more repeats required. The longer it is, the harder it is to make a stand for the wig so the fibre can hang freely. On certain types of wig it simply isn’t very effective. However, the advantage is that you are unlikely to damage the wig, so it’s a sensible choice of technique to start with. Also, the technique isn’t just useful for straightening, but also can help with de-tangling and de-frizzing.

If it’s not working well or you’re just impatient, some alternatives:

A straightening iron on low or used with fabric between the plates and the wig fibre. If you don't have multiple settings on your straighteners, try using them as they heat up, and stop periodically to let them cool again. Whatever you do, it's risky, so try it out on some less-visible fibre first. Do a piece of the underside (where it's not visible) for testing. If the fibre crimps uncontrollably, it's too hot. If you get a little crimping, then it may not be too hot, but simply that you're pressing too tight and it's pulling the wig fibres too much. Even with a suitable temperature, you still can't linger in one place for too long otherwise it'll still damage the fibre, so find a suitable pace and go completely from top to bottom of a strand.

A slightly safer variation is to pull sections of fibre straight, and blast them with a hairdryer. Just make sure the fibre doesn’t get too hot. I usually use a mixture of the hot water and hairdryer techniques.

Much depends on the brand of wig – certain types are very resistant to straightening/curling, particularly the Japanese types or those from the Hong Kong eBay sellers (fml555 etc.) If buying those, try to get the correct degree of straightness/curliness when you buy it, because altering it might be harder. The wigs from CosWorx, Amphigory, Karen’s Wigs and the like take to straightening and curling more readily.

Next Page: Curling

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