Guide - Buying and Working with Wigs


Essentially, the key to any styling is gentle heat, and hairspray where necessary. As for brands of hairspray, the cheapest you can buy is best. More expensive brands can contain extra ingredients which can damage wigs, so the cheaper the better. Most supermarkets have their own brand which is dirt cheap. It'll work fine, but if you feel you need especially strong hairspray, try Tresemmé Freeze Hold.

Wig fibre is plastic, so heating it too much will melt it, or at least damage it. However, carefully using a hairdryer will allow you to reshape the fibre, change the direction it goes in, and combined with hairspray can even allow gravity-defying spikes. For most styles, such as flicking out hair at the tips, simply hold the fibre in the position you want it to end up in, lightly spray it with hairspray, and briefly blast it with a hairdryer. It should mostly stay in place after that. It’s important not to rely on hairspray too much – heat is the main tool, the hairspray is only to assist. However, for more dramatic styles, more hairspray is required (see under “spiking”).

An alternative to a hairdryer is hot water. If you can fix the wig fibre in the position it needs to be in (such as putting it in rollers for making curls), then pour hot water over it, when it dries it can be fixed into its style with a little hairspray.

Remember, what works on human hair won’t necessarily work on wigs. Gels, hair oils or anything designed to work specifically with hair have little effect on a wig, and are generally useless gloop. Hairspray is by far the most effective styling product for wigs. Pomade can be useful in small amounts for separating and smoothing section of hair, but too much will be overly oily on the wig and serve no useful purpose.

Heat is the ideal tool since it’s possible to style a wig with a hairdryer, hot water or steamer and not have to use any hairspray whatsoever. Hairspray should be an additional method where necessary, not the first thing to try.

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