Updated: Jan 13
If you're curious about the growing trend of wigs being a fashion item, then this is an excellent place to start! For the past few years, ladies wigs have been used in various ways – not just for medical reasons.
In the past, it seemed as if the only people who used wigs were those who had health problems that prevented them from growing their hair naturally. Because of this, there has been a long-held stigma against wig-wearing, unless it was for a medical reason.
However, that stigma is finally getting put in its place, and in recent years, they are making a big splash in fashion. Famous people have started revealing that they've been using lush wigs, which has removed some of the negative feelings people have about synthetic fibred headpieces.
If you're one of the people who want to know more, then now's the time to learn! Whether you need lush wigs for medical reasons or otherwise, it's your choice to wear a wig, and there's no shame in choosing to wear one! You don't have to reveal your reasons to anyone – you just have to let the wigs help you show the world who you are.
When it comes to wigs, there are two main types: brands that are made from human hair and wigs made from synthetic fibres. There are pros and cons for each type, but depending on what literature you're reading, you might think that you can't – or shouldn't – use a synthetic wig.
Many people think they are worse than wigs made from human hair, but technology has evolved so that several synthetic headpieces look just like wigs made from human hair.
Read on to learn more facts.
High-Quality Synthetic Wigs Look Like Real Hair Wigs
As mentioned, high-quality brands can look like natural hair. Synthetic wigs are made from a fibrous, manmade, plastic material. In most cases, this material is then shaped into a specific hairstyle (up do, high pony, braid, etc.) that it will remain in. There are low-quality synthetic cheap wigs, and these would be the ones that you would find in a costume shop. They tend to have a sheen to them that makes them look fake, and they might also feel thin and like plastic. This heightens how fake they feel!
You Cannot Change Your Synthetic Wig Hairstyle
Synthetic styled wigs have many positives, and one of them is that they come pre-styled. This means that when the wig arrives, it will already be placed in a specific hairstyle. However, this is the only hairstyle the wig will be able to be in (in most cases), meaning that if you want to have different hairstyles, you'll have to buy multiple wigs.
There are heat-friendly synthetic wigs that can be restyled, but they don't tend to last for as long as normal ones or realistic wigs made from human hair.
When it comes to non-heat-friendly, what you see is what you get. You can, of course, go to a salon and ask a hairstylist to restyle the wig, but your options will be limited if they can't use heat. Keep this in mind before purchasing a synthetic wig!
Heat-Friendly Synthetic Wigs Exist
We cannot stress this enough – if your synthetic wig is not considered heat-friendly, you cannot use any heat around it. Your wig will melt if it's exposed to a temperature higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning that if you accidentally wear your wig around the oven, it might melt to pieces on your head.
However, there is a specific type of heat-friendly synthetic wig that is great for heat! Although these wigs don't last as long as wigs made from human hair or synthetic fibres (only for about one to three months), they can give you the versatility that the other wig types lack. This is because these wigs can be restyled.
You can use a blow-dryer, hot comb, flat iron, or other heating apparatus to teach your heat-friendly synthetic wig a new style. If you're not certain how to handle this, you can also take your wig to a salon and have it be professionally styled.
Although these wigs don't last as long as other wigs, they can be a good idea for sheer convenience. No more will you have to worry if your wig is going to melt when you're baking cookies or making dinner. With a heat-resistant wig, you can style it however you want, when you want, and then go about your day without worry.
Keep in mind that even if they are heat-friendly they cannot be died through traditional methods, either.
Synthetic Wigs Are Low-Maintenance
One of the largest draws is that they're extremely low-maintenance. So long as you wash them once a month and not throw them around like yesterday's garbage, they'll retain their shape and last for a long time. Additionally, they are extremely easy to use, and you can mix and match your style depending on how you're feeling.
Just get yourself a base/stand for the wig to sit on so that it doesn't stretch or become misshapen, and you're done! Simple, easy, and versatile.
The Longevity of Wigs
The length of time that a wig lasts is different for each type of wig. A wig made from human hair will last longer than a wig made from synthetic fibre. And a synthetic fibre wig will last longer than a heat-friendly synthetic wig.
Although it depends on how you handle your wig and if you treat it well (washing it once a month, making sure it's styled, never brushing it when it's wet), the general timelines for wigs are:
Wigs made from human hair: six to eight months
Synthetic fibred wigs: three to six months
Heat-friendly synthetic fibred wigs: one to three months
As mentioned, these lengths of time are only guidelines, so you may find that your wig lasts for a far longer or far shorter amount of time. Again, it mostly comes down to how you treat your wig, although there are other factors, such as the temperature of where you live, humidity, and if you happen to be wearing your wig next to a hot oven.
Keep Your (Normal) Synthetic Wig Away From Heat!
This cannot be stressed enough, but your synthetic wig (the default version, not the heat-friendly version) must be kept away from heat. Most synthetic fibred wigs will be fine up to 300 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, but more than that, your wig may begin to melt. Remember – even though a synthetic wig may look like real hair, it is still made from plastic fibres. This means that they are highly susceptible to heat.
Even when you're washing your wig, you should do so in cool (or even cold) water. Don't use a flat iron, blow-dryer, or heat comb near the plastic fibres, unless you want your beautiful synthetic wig to melt into slag.
Wigs Have Specific Tools They Use For Styling and Care
Although they can look like natural hair, you must not forget that a synthetic wig is made from plastic fibres. It's important to remember this because you cannot use tools meant for normal hair on a wig. This means that your usual comb, brush, shampoo, and conditioner should not be used with your wig. Make sure to get a wig brush, wig shampoo, and wig conditioner – when you do this, you'll be getting the best tools to keep your wig happy and healthy.
It's important to get these tools and supplies because they are specifically meant for wigs. Your normal brush and comb will snag on the fibres, loosening them and stretching out your wig, which isn't what anyone wants.
Do Not Wring Or Twist Your Wig
Like a hat or t-shirt, you may feel tempted to wring out your wig when you are done washing it. Post-washing it, you do need to try and get all the excess water out but wringing your wig as a towel will only stress it out and damage the fibres. You can use a towel to pat it dry, or you could just let it air-dry. Just don't wring it out if you want your synthetic wig to last!
Wigs Don't Have to Be Gendered
This is less about synthetic hair care and facts, but an interesting point to consider all the same. For much of this article, we've been discussing how synthetic wigs are great for women and how they can ease their lives up.
But guess what, they can work just as well for a man! In fact, in the past (Victorian Era or so), wigs were used more often by men than by women. Although wigs have, in recent years, become more of a fashion statement that women use to their advantage, it doesn't mean wigs have to only be for women.
If there's a man in your life who wants to spice up their hairstyle or cover up some hair loss, synthetic wigs are the answer.
Synthetic Wig Sizing
Wigs are not a one-size-fits-all sort of situation. The average wig size will indeed fit most people, but there are, of course, people outside of that norm. Wig sizes tend to come in three main sizes, which are "average," "petite," and "large."
However, to know which of these will fit you, you must first measure your head. This can be tricky for people who have never done so before, but that's okay. Practice makes perfect!
To measure your head, you'll have to measure its circumference. This means you'll measure from the front of your hairline, to behind your ear, to the nape of your neck, to the opposite ear, and then back to the hairline. It may seem tricky, but it's not as bad as it sounds.
Keep in mind that many wigs come with adjustable straps to try and fit a wider range of individuals. Before you shell out extra money for a petite or a large, try to see if the average size offers an option for adjustment.
Once you have your measurements, it's good to write them down for your record-keeping. Then, use those measurements to check around different sites for their size guides. Rather than assume that your specific measurements are "average," look around wig sites to see if they have specific values attached to their three size options.
It also helps to measure your head a few times so that you can see if you're getting the same measurement each time or if you might have made a mistake previously.
It's extremely important to get a wig that is the right size for your head. Not only is it more comfortable if it's the right size, but it'll also help to keep your wig in place when you're doing your daily tasks.
Synthetic Wigs Come In Many Colours
One of the best things is that they can come in any colour you imagine. If you want to have a light blue like the early morning sky? You can. If you want a moss forest green, go for it! Sunshine yellow? Why not!
There are, of course, brands that come in more natural colours as well, but the truth of the matter is that when you start looking into synthetic wigs, the whole world opens you. You can have any hairstyle you want, and in any colour you want. There are no limitations when it comes to synthetic!
Additionally, because it's not real hair that you're dying of, you'll find that they will keep their colour for a much longer time than a headpiece made from human hair. Thus, you can choose the brightest, most fluorescent colour and trust that it'll last for the lifespan.
You Cannot Dye Synthetic
Similar to how you cannot restyle them, you also cannot dye them. There aren't commonplace dyes made for synthetic wigs, and if you try to use dyes that are meant for human hair, it won't take since there is no human hair. This means that if you're going to want to change the colour often, you'll have to deal with buying more.
Synthetic Wigs Are Budget-Friendly
Luckily, they are extremely pleasant to your budget. Because they are manmade, they can be sourced easily. This lowers the cost and makes them more available for the average buyer.
Because they are so inexpensive, this means that you can buy as many of them as you want. You can change it up with colours, hairstyles, and even coloured hairstyles. If you find that a certain outfit would be perfect if only your hair was a specific colour, you can achieve your fashion dreams with a synthetic wig.
You don't have to limit yourself when it comes to wearing a headpiece! That's part of their charm. This also helps because you'll have to replace them every three to six months, and doing so can be scary if they're expensive. Luckily, they aren't.
Synthetic Hair Is Lightweight
This is a great factor to know, especially when you realise that you might be wearing a wig for upwards of 20 hours a day. That's a lot of time to have something heavy on your head. Imagine picking up your dog or cat and setting them on your head for an entire day. Not only might you end up with neck pain and strained shoulders, but you'll be so fatigued by the end of the day that you'll never want to wear your wig again.
This is why it's great that they are so lightweight! You can put them on and, once they're secured, not have to think about them again until it's time to take them off. This is also good for places that have extremely hot summers, as there's nothing worse than having a thick mane of hair weighing you down and increasing your body temperature.
All of these downfalls are avoided with a synthetic.
With science continuing to evolve and increasing the technology and how it's used, we're only beginning to understand. Whether you need a headpiece for a personal reason or a medical one, there's no shame in going this route and checking out how synthetic wigs can change your life.
Check different websites to see if you can find the exact hairstyle and colour for your needs and go from there. You'll be surprised how much freedom the addition of a wig to your life can afford you.
As part of your research, look into different fashion trends that are using wigs, and realise that you can be hip and trendy by just changing up your hairstyle.