How to Style a Wig

Just like any other kind of hair, wigs can get messy and often need styling. Learn how to style a wig like a pro right here

A wig is a covering for the head, made either of real or artificial hair. The word wig itself is short for periwig, a word first recorded in the English language in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, a play by William Shakespeare.

Humans have been wearing wigs for thousands of years. Several ancient cultures utilized wigs, including the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Assyrians, and Phoenicians.

Today, wigs remain an incredibly popular accessory. They serve a host of benefits, including the ability to change one's appearance whenever one wishes. In this blog post, we will look at how to style a wig so that you can always look your best and feel confident when wearing a wig.

We'll highlight practical tips for both synthetic and human hair wigs, as well as highlight the difference between these options. Let's get started.

Styling a Synthetic Wig

To ensure that your wig is looking its best at all times, wig styling is important. It requires as much attention and care as natural hair. Here, we will highlight tips on how to style and look after an artificial/synthetic wig.

Style When Dry

We recommend that you always wait for your wig to be completely dry when you use any styling tools. That means that you should be patient if you have recently washed your wig or applied any wet styling products.

The reason for this is that the weight of the water may stretch the wig's fibers or upset your desired style. In the case of curly wigs, you may find that the curls begin to straighten.

On the point of using products, we also recommend that you only use products that are specifically designed for synthetic wigs. That way, you can be confident that the wig's fibers won't get damaged.

Have a Spray Bottle Handy

When styling your wig, it's beneficial to have a spray bottle with clean water handy. This is an effective way to freshen up your look.

All you need to do is spray a small amount of water onto your wig and then use your fingers to smooth away any frizz and add volume when it is needed.

Whether you are styling a straight, curl, short, or long hair wig, a spray bottle is a very handy tool to have. Remember not to spray too much water onto your wig (following on from the above point) so as to avoid risking any damage to it.

If you are on the move, say at work or socializing with friends, a small spray bottle of water that fits into your handbag is very useful to have. That way, you can make adjustments as needed.

Correctly Brush Your Wig

We recommend that you always use wig combs and wig brushes when trying new wig styles, rather than opting for regular brushes that are designed for natural hair.

The reason is that wig combs and brushes are designed with softer, rounded prongs and bristles. This helps to ensure that the wig's fibers are not dragged or damaged when you are detangling the hairs on your wig.

The type of brushing styling you should use depends on the type of wig you are wearing. For example, with a wig with tight curls, focus on short, lifting strokes with your fingertips in order to maintain the curls.

With wigs with tight curls (as well as waves and soft curls), you should generally avoid brushes and combs as these may risk disrupting those precious curls permanently.

Add Volume to Your Look

If you wish to add volume to your synthetic wig, you can do so by using a comb at the roots. Be very careful to avoid coming into contact with the cap mesh.

When adding volume, gently lift the brush upwards so as to create height. There are also a number of wig sprays specially designed for this purpose. Again, always only use a wig spray that is designed for synthetic hair if that is the kind of wig you are wearing.

In terms of styling the wig, it's best to do so whilst you are wearing it. That way, you are able to fix the style that suits your face best. If you wish to cut your wig, it's also best to do so while wearing it, in order to tailor the new look to your face shape.

We do recommend that you visit a professional hairdresser when you wish to have your hair cut, styled, or shaped. This ensures no amateur mishaps!

Personalize With Accessories

Wearing a wig allows you to get as creative as you wish. This means you can further personalize your look by adding accessories.

For example, a hair clip, headband, or scarf are easy-to-find accessories that help to transform your style. It's also an effective way to update your look every day.

When it comes to accessories, we urge you to get creative, try different items, and discover which pieces you love. It's a great opportunity to have some fun with your look.

Correctly Wash Your Wig

There are a number of steps you should follow when washing a synthetic wig to protect it and ensure its longevity.

Start by using a wig brush (or your fingers) to detangle your wig. Next, use clean water to wash your wig, along with a suitable shampoo and conditioner.

Using a mix of wig shampoo and tepid water, soak your wig. Do not rub the shampoo into your wig. Rinse the wig to remove all the shampoo.

Next, use a synthetic wig conditioner (check on the bottle to see if the conditioner solution is a leave-in formula or if it needs to be rinsed).

Finally, remove excess water by towel drying the wig. Gently comb the wig back into shape from the root to the tip before allowing it to air dry on a wig stand.

Styling a Human Hair Wig

If you purchase a human hair wig, it's important to note that there are a number of different styling tips you should follow. Let's highlight these here so you can perfectly style and take care of your human hair wig.

Style When Dry

As with a synthetic wig, you should avoid styling a human hair wig while it is wet. The reason is that this may manage the wig's construction.

Wash your wig and allow it plenty of time to fully dry. Then, comb the wig using a wig-detangling comb. It's best to do this step while the wig is placed on a wig stand.

If you need to speed up the drying process (if you are running late, for example), it is acceptable to use a hairdryer at low or medium heat. Using heat styling spray will help to avoid any damage during this process.

Correctly Brush Your Wig

When you are working with a human hair wig, avoid combing the mesh at the wig base. Otherwise, you may end up causing damage to the wig's construction. 

Always use a specially designed wig comb or brush to gently brush through the wig from the base to the ends. Start by removing any tangles, starting at the bottom.

Using a wide-tooth comb is recommended as this allows you to perform gentle brush strokes and avoid disrupting the fibers and the cap.

Add Volume to Your Look

If you want to add some volume to your look while wearing a human hair wig, you can do this by teasing the wig from the root. This serves to add height.

Use gentle motions, working upwards and away from the wig cap. Wig spray is also beneficial for this task as it will hold your desired style in place for longer.

Style While Wearing Your Wig

When styling your wig, it's best to either do so while wearing the wig or else use a styling head. This way, you are able to fix the wig exactly as it will be worn.

When styling the wig on your head, it's helpful to use a chin strap. This allows you to have more freedom to style with both hands without the risk of the wig shifting in place.

As noted, a styling head is also very useful when styling a wig, especially if you are having difficulty styling the back of the wig.

Get Creative With New Styles

At the end of the day, wearing a wig is all about being creative. We recommend that you try out new hairdos and styles with your human hair wig to find the look that you prefer, as you would with natural hair.

The use of accessories is also recommended to create different styles. Wig clips, hair bobbles, and other accessories such as ponytails are great for this purpose.

For example, if you are wearing a longer-length wig, it's a good idea to try a loose ponytail or a messy updo. Not only are these styles very much in vogue right now, but they will also give your hair a more natural look.

Correctly Wash Your Wig

The first point to make here is that you should not wash a human hair wig as frequently as you would wash your natural hair. Ideally, you should only wash your human hair wig when there is a build-up of product or when it is dirty.

When washing your wig, use clean water. Change the water between the shampoo and conditioner stages.

Before starting, use a wig comb, brush, or your fingers to detangle your wig. Then, start by soaking your wig in lukewarm water.

Always use a shampoo that is specially designed for human hair wigs. Shampoo from the roots to the tips and follow the specific instructions on the bottle. Avoid rubbing the shampoo into the wig.

After rinsing the wig, use a specially designed human hair wig conditioner. Spread the product evenly throughout the strands. Use your fingertips to complete this step.

Depending on the instructions on the conditioner bottle, either gently rinse out the conditioner or leave it in.

There are two steps to drying your human hair wig after washing it. Firstly, gently towel dry your wig to remove any dripping water. Secondly, allow it to fully dry by hanging it on a wig stand.

Synthetic Wig Versus Human Hair Wig

Let's finish up by looking at the differences between a synthetic wig and a human hair wig.

In terms of cost, a human hair wig is typically more expensive though this also means that it lasts longer.

A human hair wig is also far more versatile when it comes to styling, allowing you to style it to suit any look. It can also be styled using heat without damage, which is not the case with a synthetic wig.

A synthetic wig is more lightweight and has more of an artificial shine, compared to a human hair wig which is heavier and has more of a natural shine.

Finally, a synthetic wig is easier to maintain, as a human hair wig requires more maintenance and attention.

Tips and Advice on How to Style a Wig

We think wigs are wonderful! They allow wearers to alter their looks and appearance as they wish. They are wonderful for people looking to increase their confidence and create a stylish look they love.

As this blog post on how to style a wig highlights, there are many steps you should follow when styling a wig, whether you own a synthetic wig or a human hair wig.

For quality wigs in the United States, your premier choice is Wig Stop Shop. We sell a wide selection of wigs, including both 100% pure human hair wigs and synthetic wigs, in a range of wig styles.

Check out our collection here.