Wigs: A How To Guide

Whether you are losing your hair, want to try a new look, or just have some fun wigs can be a great option.

A few things to know:

Sizing:

How to measure your head:

Step 1:  measure around your head.  Start at the top front hair line (forehead) to the very top of your ears (behind you ear) to the nape of your neck to your other ear and back around to the front.

Step 2:  measure from the very top of your ear (from behind) were your hairline starts over the top (crown) of the head to your other ear.

Step 3:  measure from the top front hair line (forehead) over the top of the head (crown) to were the head and neck meet (hairline)

Use the 3 measurements to determine your wig size. (Chart in inches)

Cap Size:                Measurement 1                  Measurement 2               Measurement 3

Child/Ultra Petite  19.00                                             12.00                                   12.00

Petite                 21.00                                              13.00                                   13.25

Petite/Average    21.25                                               13.25                                    13.75

Average              21.50                                              13.50                                    14.25

Average/Large     22.25                                              13.75                                    14.75

Large                   23.00                                             14.00                                    15.50

Determine your face shape:  Via Beautylish

Step 1

PREP

To find your face shape with this technique, you’ll need a dry-erase  marker, a mirror, and your face. You can substitute lipstick or lip liner if you don’t have any erasable markers.

Step 2

MEET YOUR MIRROR

Stand directly in front of your mirror with your hair pulled back. Stay completely still as you trace an outline of your face with your marker or lipstick.

Step 3

CROSS-REFERENCE

Once you’ve finished drawing an outline of your face, stand back and take a look at the results. Is the shape oblong or short? Where does your face widen and taper? Use the gray shapes in the chart to cross-reference your shape with common facial structures.

OVAL

Megan Fox

The most common face shape. Your facial features are spaced in even proportion.

Try: Most any hair shape works well. Short, medium and long lengths, plus styles swept away from face.

LONG/OBLONG

Liv Tyler

Your face shape is similar to an oval shape, but with more length added to the forehead and chin.

Try:  To create the illusion of an oval face, add width and fullness at the sides with soft curls and waves. Having bangs will give you the softness that is needed and help shorten the facial appearance. Avoid one length cuts and short layers that add   volume to the crown areas.

ROUND

Kirsten Dunst

Your face is wider than others, with more emphasis on your cheeks and chin.

Try: Chin-length or longer styles, cuts with fullness and height at the crown, layered top, off-center parts.

RECTANGLE

Jessica Simpson – who has a line of clip in hair extension called, “Hairdo

Your face is slightly more oblong, with a well-defined jaw and hairline.

Try: Short to medium lengths, fullness at the sides, soft wispy bangs.

SQUARE

Angelina Jolie

You have the same chiseled features of a rectangular face, with shorter proportions.

Try: Styles that lengthen the face and add fullness on top work best. Avoid styles that add width at the jawline.

TRIANGLE

Ali Larter

Your narrow forehead widens to a more pronounced jawbone.

Try: Frame the face with bangs and full layers on the sides and on top, with hair falling below the chin.

DIAMOND

Elizabeth Hurley

Your hairline and chin mark the narrowest points of your face, while your cheekbones are the widest. This dramatic contrast in width creates a diamond shape.

Try:  With a diamond shaped face you should reduce width at the sides, and have more fullness at the chin. Bob hairstyles work great for this shape. Also try some fringe or bang to cover your narrow forehead. Try to avoid volume at the sides along the cheek line.

INVERTED TRIANGLE

Victoria Beckham

Your widest features are at the top of your face, gradually tapering to a narrow chin.

Try:  to minimize the upper portion of the head while creating volume and a horizontal line at the jaw area for width.

HEART

Michelle Pfeiffer

Your face shape is characterized by a wide forehead and a heart-shaped hairline. Your cheeks widen at the temples, but thin out above the chin.

Try: Chin-length or longer styles, side parts, swept forward layers around the upper face, wispy bangs.

Choose the Length and Texture of the Wig:

– Short (to the ears or shorter)                             Straight                 Synthetic

– Medium/Short (ears to chin)                              Wavy                    Human Hair

– Medium (chin to shoulders)                               Curly

– Long (shoulders and beyond)                            Braids

– Hairpieces (short, medium, long)                      Ethnic

(clip-in, draw string, hair wrap)

Choose your cap style:

Honey Comb or Pull Through – feature wefts that have been sewn into a honeycomb design, with very large spaces between the wefts for the wearer to pull her own hair up and through. These pieces are a lot cooler to wear in hot weather than a regular wig or hairpiece.  Some women select a honeycomb product in a slightly different shade than their own hair, to give a highlighted or frosted effect when their hair is pulled through and blended in.  In most cases, these pieces are held on with pressure-sensitive combs (also known as toupee clips), or small combs.

Skin Top – basically a wefted cap with an insert of scalp-colored plastic sewn in at the crown.  Individual hairs are inserted into this material to give the appearance of hair growing out of a natural scalp.  Some wigs feature a “Skin Part” which is similar to a monofilament part — the plastic material is sewn in just at the part line to give a more natural appearance.  Once again, the location of the part CANNOT be changed with this type of cap construction.  An important note:  the scalp color may not be suitable for all ethnic groups, as it is extremely light.

Capless – This type of cap allows for maximum aeration for the wearer. The crown is constructed by vertical lace strips with open spaces between wefts. These openings allow the wig to be lighter and more breathable than standard cap wigs.

Monofilament – Made in such a way that gives the look of a natural scalp by allowing the natural scalp color of the wearer to show through. Monofilament caps are typically made of thin mesh-like material, usually of nylon or polyester. Due to hairs usually being attached by hand tying at the crown, these caps usually give the most natural look. Wigs are thus easier to style and more versatile due to the attachment method. Much like real hair, the wig can be parted or brushed in any direction. These soft cap wigs are good for easily irritable scalps. Due to the natural look of the wig, it is also highly recommended for severe and total hair loss individuals.

Dermafix – specialty cap construction feature rows of a special material, mostly used in the medical industry for burn patients. This rubbery type material secures to a bald scalp much more easily than other types of caps do.

Fall or 3/4 – designed to be worn with the wearer’s own hair showing at the front hairline and down the temples to the ears.  Most falls utilize conventional wefted caps.  They are attached using a half-round comb at the front (bangs area) and another at the back (nape area) for an extremely secure fit.  Some falls feature a cloth headband (almost always black) which affords a slight separation between the color of the fall, and the color of the wearer’s own hair, which can be beneficial when these colors don’t match exactly. 

Wiglet – features a smaller wig cap.  Wiglets can be used to cover thinning spots on the head, or to add volume or fullness in general. They come in a variety of cap styles and sizes. There are wefted, monofilament-top, and pull-through wiglets. They are made in dimensions generally ranging from 3” x 4” to 5” x 7” with many more combinations. They usually attach by using pressure-sensitive combs (toupee clips) that are sewn into the top and/or sides of the cap. They can also come with a drawstring attachment.

Choose the color:

Ask yourself:

Do you want to match your hair color?

Do you want to try another color?

If making your own hair color buy a wig color wheel from the brand you are interested in or some companies will allow you to mail in a hair sample to match for you.

If you want to try a different color, you need to determine your skin tone first.

Warm or Cool

Look at your inner arm at the veins. Veins that appear greenish indicate yellow undertones which means that your skin tone is warm. Veins that appear to be more blue indicate blue undertones which means your skin tone is cool.

With your hair away from your face with a headband or pulled back. Wash your face and then place a white towel or sheet of paper next to your neck and shoulders. The pure white cloth will reflect skin undertones. If your face looks yellow next to the white towel you have a warm skin tone and if it looks more blue then you have a cool skin tone.

If you look better in silver jewelry you have a cool skin tone, and if you look better in gold then you have a warm skin tone.

Look at the natural color of your hair and eyes. People with cool tones usually have blue, green, or grey eyes with blond, black, or brown hair. Those with warm skin tones often have brown, black, or hazel eyes with black, brown, blond, red, or strawberry blond hair.

Cool tones should avoid gold, yellow, red and bronze tones in hair color. These warm tones have a tendency to make you look sallow and drawn.

 

The best hair color shades for a cool toned person are shinny raven-wing blacks, cool ash browns, cool blondes in shades ranging from mink to platinum and icy white. Highlights should be wheat, honey, taupe or ash shades. Stick to neutral, ash and beige bases when choosing a hair color.

Warm skin tones should avoid blue, violet, (beige) and ash based based hair colors which will  “wash out” your skin color. You’ll find dark, warm browns, chestnuts, rich golden browns and auburn, warm gold and red highlights, and golden blond shades look best on you. Any color that has red-orange or gold base will look great on you. Highlighting is a great way to add warm tones to your hair. Highlight with golden blondes, copper streaks, golden brown shades.
Final Tips:
If you want to extend the life of your wig and keep it looking beautiful the proper care products are essential. Synthetic wigs require care products specifically formulated for synthetic hair. For human hair wigs, choose sulfate-free care products or products specifically formulated for color treated hair to keep the color looking vibrant, longer.

NEVER open the oven while wearing a synthetic wig! The sudden burst of heat will ruin your wig; even the hot steam from a boiling pot of water can cause irreparable damage.

Synthetic wigs with too much shine look fake and unnatural. To minimize shine, sprinkle a little hair powder on your wig, and then brush through for a more natural look.
No one wants their wig to fly off. This is a common fear shared by many women; try wig tape or adhesive.
If your are sweaty or run hot invest in sweat liners to keep your wig clean.
How to put a wig on:  Via Wigs.com

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