*This is a reprint of an article published in 2012

Wigs are no longer just your Auntie Maude’s little secret tucked away deeply on a wig head on her nightstand. In the last decade more and more women are embracing the type of quick versatility that comes with a wig, but it seems as if some ground rules need to be set.
So here is a list of wig do’s and don’ts for every wiggy to follow:


Don’t wear a wig straight from the package.
Do take it to a hairstylist to have it cut into a shape and style that suits your face (yes, even the $20 synthetic ones from the beauty supply).

Do get the most natural looking wig as possible in a modern style.
Don’t go for outrageous colors and be very careful with retro styles—unless you’re Nicki Minaj or a former Supreme.


Do go for a natural looking hairline.
Don’t do the crescent moon hairline. At all. Let your forehead be great.


Don’t go too bulky at the crown. It’s like wearing a shirt that says “Hey, I’m wearing a wig”


Do go age-appropriate. Sure, short wigs are fun but can make your average 21 year old look 57.


Do leave the lace fronts to the professionals. Even celebs with their glam squads get lace front wigs wrong, so leave it alone if you’re not 100% sure of what you’re doing. It’s okay. We can’t win them all.

For the love of your edges, don’t be a frequent user of wig glue.


Do try a half-wig. They’re easier to pull off since some of your own hair is exposed, just make sure the texture matches your natural hair.


Do brush out the curls on a curly wig with a paddle brush for a more realistic look.


Do help keep your wig’s shape by keeping it on a wig head.

Do keep your natural hair smooth and flat underneath and covered with a wig cap.

ATL hairstylist du jour Derek J sat down with Jet magazine back in September to give even more tips. Check it out:
Can you give us one of your wig secrets?
“The first thing you want to do is shampoo it before you start wearing it. When you buy a wig, it has that shiny look that says ‘I’m a wig.’ It’s a dead giveaway to any kind of fake hair. If it’s synthetic, you can use dish detergent and condition it with fabric softener. It’s a fabric so if you shampoo it like it’s real hair, it won’t work correctly. Let it hang to dry and it will look fabulous. If it’s a human-hair wig, use a wig shampoo and conditioner and let it hang to dry.”

What’s a big mistake women make?

“Most women wear wigs too long. If it’s synthetic, change it at least once a week. I mean it’s a $20-$30 wig! Change that thing. Wear it for a week, at the most, two.”

Do women do crazy things with their wigs?

“I’ve seen people trying to jump in the pool and they have the wig all pinned up because they want people to believe it’s their hair. stop pretending. People know it’s a wig and it’s ok.”

Do you guys have anything to add?