This pro hairstylist breaks it down.
In a world where beauty trends seem to come and go as often as the sun rises and sets, it’s easy to get caught in the revolving door of buzzy new styles, especially when it comes to hair. Last year alone saw a slew of standout trends including the bixie cut, French girl bangs, money piece highlights, baby braids — the list quite literally goes on. The idea of trying all these looks within a short span of time sounds absurd when you consider the amount of stress your hair would have to endure from cutting, coloring, and, styling, and more. That is, unless you consider installing a wig with a natural finish.
Yes, incorporating wigs into your day-to-day routine is definitely an art that requires technique, but it can be done — especially if you have a few expert tips handy. Just ask hairstylist ‘Weezydidit’, who is responsible for the stunning hair look Simone Biles sported on her now-legendary Essence cover. While Weezy’s hair masterpieces often require some level of expertise that only a pro can offer, his secrets to laying a flawless wig at home are actually widely accessible.
According to Weezy, it all begins with the quality of the lace and hair you choose. “First, invest in HD lace, it allows for the wig to appear seamless.” he explains. Weezy’s go-to brand is The Upgrade Boutique, known for its quality hair that can be customized to each buyer’s liking by expert stylists. Lace is the thinly netted fabric that the hair is attached to that creates the wig. The hair pro explains that the more transparent the lace, the more natural the wig will look, and HD lace is as transparent as it gets.
The glossary of wig types and styles is vast. There’s U-part wigs, which requires leaving a bit of your natural hair out in the front, typically for clients who want a more natural look, and full lace wigs for those who don’t want to leave any natural hair exposed but want the illusion that the wig hair is growing out of their scalp. “You’re able to do endless styles because the entire unit is lace so it will appear extremely natural, if installed properly,” says Weezy.
Frontal wigs, which include lace that covers the entire perimeter of your hairline (ear to ear), are for clients who want a bit more versatility in how they wear their part, making this wig style especially great for those who love half-up, half-down styles. Lastly, closure wigs, which only include lace at the front of the wig, are for the day to day, for someone who wants a simpler piece that shows off a natural part.
“Do a bit of research to see the type of wig that works best for your day-to-day lifestyle,” says Weezy. “Once you figure that out you’ll feel more comfortable moving forward.”
Below, see a step-by-step process of how to install a wig for a flawless, undetectable finish.
As with any multi-step process, preparation is key. Wigs can be a great protective style that allow for your strands to say safe and tucked away, promoting growth and length retention, as long as your hair is well prepped. “Do about eight to 10 cornrows straight back,” Weezy tells TZR. This will allow your hair to lay flat underneath the wig to prevent a bumpy helmet head look. Hair health is also key, so make sure your hair is properly cleansed, detangled, and moisturized before braiding it back — consider doing a deep conditioning treatment during your pre-wig wash day to really ensure that your hair is thoroughly moisturized.
A stocking cap is exactly what it sounds like — a head cap made from stocking (like hosiery) material that is meant to protect your hair from any gel or glue used to secure the wig. It’s best to use a stocking cap that is close to the color of your complexion, but if you can’t find one, just use a fair colored cap and use foundation to tint the cap to match your skin tone. Put the cap on, making sure it’s laid a little over your hairline. An alternative method is to pull the stocking cap down all the way over your ears, cutting holes for your ears.
Then “melt” the cap with Got2b freeze spray (or any freeze spray for wigs) by spraying it along the perimeter of the cap where it sits on top of your hairline. Once the spray is dry (about five minutes — if you’re impatient use a blowdryer), cut the wig cap along the hairline. “This will create a bald look if done properly,” Weezy explains. Next, apply your choice of adhesive hold along the perimeter of your hairline (lace glue, wig tape, or holding gel) and allow each coat to dry completely (the drying time depends on the glue you use but at least five minutes is a good minimum) — it’s recommended to apply two to three coats.
Once your stocking cap is secure, it’s time to apply the wig. This part can be a bit tricky but attention to detail and a steady hand will be your friends. Making sure the glue you applied is dry, but tacky to the touch, put the wig on with the lace part laying right on top of your hairline. Position it in a way that looks natural (along your hairline) and feels comfortable, then secure it with an elastic band or wig strip (Weezy recommends leaving the band on for 10-20 minutes), before beginning to cut the lace off. When cutting the lace off the wig, go slowly and move in jagged motions to imitate the imperfections of the natural hairline — it’s best to use small nail scissors or even an eyebrow shaving tool.
If you’re really new to this and have never installed a wig before, Youtube, Instagram, and TikTok tutorials like the one below will be super helpful.
Now the fun part: styling. You can style the rest of the hair while the elastic band is still tied around your hairline to make the best use of time. Make sure to read the information that comes along with your wig to determine the amount of heat that can be used on the hair.
After some styling, brushing, curling, and even straightening if you wish, you’re left with a completely different hairstyle than you started with. You can rock a jaw length bob one day, and switch to long mermaid waves the next — that is the true beauty of wigs.
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