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If you have yet to try wearing a wig, it’s about time you get with the program. Honestly, there’s no better and easier way to try out any hair color, cut or style. Just ask Cardi B. or Kylie Jenner, two ladies whose collections could probably fill a walk-in closet (yes, I’m a little jealous). Beyond the obvious advantage of being able to switch up your look from day to day, wigs are also one of the best time-efficient protective hairstyles. At the same time, knowing how to put on a wig is probably one of the most popular questions wig-wearers have, whether they’re a newbie or want to avoid getting their current unit snatched…literally.
The upside is that wigs have come such a long way from the cringy church lady versions you may still see around Halloween or on Grandma’s head at the family reunion. Nowadays, the options look more realistic than ever—even the affordable ones. However, if you want to level up even more, a couple small tweaks will make a noticeable difference. Keep reading for a step-by-step application guide that will leave you feeling red-carpet-ready.
Start with your hair prepped and flattened under a wig cap
Wig caps are essential because they protect your natural hair from potential damage while wearing a wig (i.e. breakage from friction). Your hair needs to be as flat as possible so the wig can sit naturally and not like a hump on the top of your head. I wear my hair in flat twists (like cornrows, but twists instead of braids) because they’re easy to create and remove. However, you can also braid your hair or slick it back with gel or mousse (the latter if you have short hair). The better the foundation under your wig, the better it will look when it’s on.
The wig cap that you decide to use is also up to your discretion. I prefer a nude cap or one close to my skin tone to help the parting of the wig look more natural. I recommend grabbing various colors to see which you like most.
Apply a powder that matches your skin tone to the wig cap
This is another crucial step to help you part look natural when you’re wearing a wig with a lace front parting. If you choose a wig cap that isn’t your skin tone, this step helps tweak the cap to make the part look like your scalp.
My powder of choice is the Sephora MicroSmooth Baked Foundation Powder in the shade Tan. I like this powder because it goes on evenly and doesn’t oxidize.
Place the wig on your head, starting in the front
I find this the easiest way to put on your wig, especially if your hair is braided, twisted, or molded. This will ensure that you’re moving the wig in the direction of the foundation that you created without disrupting it.
Determine what kind of part you want and adjust the wig accordingly
The wig that I’m putting on, Mayvenn Hair’s Playful Peyton Center Part Lob Wig, has a pre-made center part that I can’t change, so I have to shift the wig to make it a side part. If you have a closure wig, you may be able to skip this step and re-part your hair instead since it has space.
Secure your wig (lace front or lace closure wigs)
Depending on the kind of wig that you have, this step may look different. If you have a wig with a lace closure or lace frontal, you may want to consider laying it down with heavy-duty hairspray like Got 2B Glued Blasting Freeze Spray. Wig glue works as well. However, I prefer the Got 2B spray because it’s easier to work with, much more forgiving and removes easily without causing damage to the hairline.
My Mayvenn Wig isn’t a full lace closure, so I’m opting not to apply spray or glue. Instead, I’m tucking the attached wig combs into my braids to secure it.
Lay down the baby hairs of your wig (optional)
While you don’t need to create baby hairs on your wig, it helps create a more realistic finish. I’m personally not a fan of overdone baby hairs, so instead, I brush a small swoop at the front portion of the part. I’m using my Baby Tress Edge Styler which is the perfect tool for laying your natural baby hair or baby hair on a wig. This helps me to hide the start of the lace, helping the wig look like natural hair (or at least an excellent sewn-in weave).
Apply powder to the parting space
Yes, yet another step to make the part look official, but you’ll be glad you did it. I’m taking the same Sephora MicroSmooth Baked Foundation Powder in the shade Tan and applying directly on the part. This helps to make the knots that you see on the closure invisible, but also slightly widens the part to once again, make it look more realistic. I’m using an angled brush from Moda Pro Line Brush, and pressing the powder into the part to create an even layer.
And just like that, your wig is installed and looks fabulous—but most of all, natural-looking. Remember, your wig doesn’t have to look like one. Now that you’re on your way to being a wig master, I recommend investing in any of these top-rated units for your new signature look.