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?


55 thoughts on “Beauty Bomb: The Do’s and Don’ts of Wearing Wigs”

  1. Dust your wig with a TINY amount of cornstarch to get rid of the shiny plastic look.

    You can place lace front behind your hairline

    Bangs are fantastic

    Your hairline does not start at your eyebrows

  2. I wig it out with my natural hair all day erryday. I do not know how to wear a wig, neither do I know about lacefronts. I put a wig or was it a weave, that left me scratching my head like someone on drugs! Good lawwwwd. I love my hair.

  3. I actually like caira’s wig think she rock it. Agreed with Trish definitly a dont for the Wendy Williams wigs you always knows she’s wearing wigs.

  4. Everyone is not blessed with great hair so sometimes a wig/weave is the only alternative. I would love to rock my natural hair but I”m not able to for several reasons beyond my control, so I rock a 100% human hair wig and it’s fab! I still take care of my own hair and do exactly what Derek J suggests. It’s looks like a good weave. xoxo

  5. I am transitioning to becoming natural but since I work on Wall St (no offense) but I can’t walk around with permed ends and a heap of newgrowth. My selfesteem won’t allow it and I personally don’t think its cute. So I have been weaving and wearing caps for the past 5 months (my transition goal is 20 months). My weaver is magnificient and worth every penny, just this morning a lady in my office came to my desk and said “your hair has grown very nicely” you know your hair is good when people think its 100% yours.

  6. I have tried some do’s and don’ts of wearing a wig like in college, I wore a synthetic weave for about 1 month that thing was horrible after much tugging and pulling so I agree limit that thing to a week the most, but I don’t recommend the hair glue either, that can get real messy. I’m a fan of awesome weaves.

  7. I will do the occational wig,human remy hair. When I get sewn in weaves they are indian remy hair. Im also going natural,however I dont like fooling with my hair daily.wigs and weaves give me freedom.Remember t

  8. I’m increasingly disturbed by the wigs I see on a daily. I wish I could print these out and give them away on the Metro.

  9. remember,to shampoo and deep condition hair atleast bi weekly and every 6_8weeks trim your ends!

  10. In regards to lace fronts…let’s leave that to Barbie and the little dollies in the toy store…..

  11. for more tips check out blackhairmedia.com/forums there’s a TON of info on weaves & wigs. Those ladies are serious guru’s about hair. I’m sad my weave isn’t giving me life right now :(

  12. I love wigs! i cant wait to take this sew in out and go back to my wigs…im transitioning as well and it just wrks for me. I tried a lace front once but it had a bang I dont wont ppl knowing its a wig unless I tell em…not to say I havent done “donts” but thats how u find what wrks for u. Half wigs are nice as well…

  13. Best book for hair care regarding African-Americans: The Science Of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. She covers everything on a scientific as well as practical level. I love my sew-in since Vegas water is too harsh on my hair, but also love my own hair. Health is all that really matters.

  14. Wigs should be avoided at all costs, excluding those who where them for personal health issues as stated above.

  15. I think its about finding what’s right for you cause some people aren’t wearing wigs or weaves and their hair looks horrible. I’ve worn lace front and people thought it was my hair. I wear wigs and they think i went and got a weave done. Go on YouTube look up some hair reviewers who know what their doing. Muffinsmylover is one of my favorite. I wear them now due to alopecia not caused by weaves.

  16. I had to wear a wig for a while due to health issues. It allowed me time to grow my hair back. I loved the lace fronts and I made it work without having to use glue. It’s not back to the length I want it to be so I’m going to try half wigs every now and then to switch up.

    “Don’t do the crescent moon hairline. At all. Let your forehead be great.” I agree, I hate when women wear the wigs so low its touching their eyebrows. The singer Brandy was good for that.

  17. I am a wig wearer all day everyday with lost of NATURAL hair underneath. But many misconstrue the term NATURAL. Natural would be your hair naturally no? I tell my homegirl who perms her hair that is not natural boo lol but the wig don’ts don’t all apply to me. I don’t ever go to a professional and all i wear is lacefronts people rarely can tell its a wig and please please the wig pulled down to your eyebrow look is so BAD! like whose hairline starts on their eyebrows. But there are many bad wig wearers out there which make most people say ban wigs or lacefronts that is because the few of us who do wear them right, wear it so well that you think its a weave. I say if you gonna wig it do it right and if unsure seek a professionals help. That is all ;-)

  18. First I agree with @nursechocolate I love muffinismylover!
    Second I’ve never had my wigs cut or had to use cornstarch and all I use are synthetic. I think there’s an art to wigs and you have research and try them on. I do however swear by half wigs but thats just me

  19. I wear synthetic wigs, (mostly curly/wavy) the majority of the time, and do wear them more than 1 week at a time. It’s not in my budget to wear a synthetic wig and throw it out. If you take care of the wig, you can get more wear, I’d say at least a month’s worth.

  20. I wear what I want, and do a great job of wearing and exchanging wigs! My hair is extremely long, but very thin due to medications taken over the years! I do take great care of my hair underneath, but refuse to sit for hours in a salon twice a month, while paying a small ransom, when I can purchase a lace front, and save precious time and money! For those who “love their hair”, more power to you! I love my lace front, and if you don’t want to wear one, fine, but please don’t tell me how, or if I should wear one!

  21. I have read previous comments in regards to wearers and non-wearers of the lace wigs and yes!! I understand both points of view. I am a lace wig wearer, not for vanity but for necessity. I am an alopecia sufferer and due to a variety of medical reasons, I will never be able to have my own hair out on display ever again. I work in an industry where I am constantly in the eyes of the public. Facing people, demonstrating to customers and clients is a day to day thing. I need to feel confident enough to continue the job I love doing, I cannot hide behind a desk with a hat on my head. So, for me and many others, wigs are a god-send, allowing us to function in today’s forever critical world; without fear of been looked and frowned upon. God bless to those who still have a choice, but have the understanding to those who have not. Those who through various illnesses can still feel confident with the aid of a wig!!!

  22. There are various reasons why some women wear wigs. I have been suffering for years with thyroid disease. The meds have caused my hair to break and become very thin. I have wasted a lot of money on weaves and going to the salon. I now wear lace fronts or half wigs. I love them.

  23. I recently chopped my locs off. My natural hair is about one inch long. I particularly don`t like the look of my twa, even though my natural hair is curly. I really began wearing wigs after viewing Joann Grays videos on you tube. I own eleven wigs. I rotate them every week. I wash the wig I wore from the prior week and place it in its original package. I wear a netted wig cap beneath my wig so my scalp can breath. I purchase brands that look real such as Motown Tress, Harlem 125, and Freetress Equal.

  24. Godsend indeed ! I will never be able to wear my own hair either, way too little of it. I have found the good quality synthetics to be amazingly natural and realistic looking.I wore human hair pieces for years thinking that synthetics were too wiggy looking, but recently was delighted to find the 200 dollar plus range synthetics are so well made now…even fAmily was convinced it was my own hair (:

  25. I am having to buy wigs because I have cancer, and the chemo is making my real beautiful hair fall out. I bought a $300 synthetic one, and I had better get more than just a few months out of it, and the human hair one I ordered retails at over a thousand, so THAT one had better last until my real hair grows back. They are both lovely wigs, and like Berry says those $200 synthetic ones have come a long way. I put on mine, and wore it for hours around my son, and he never once noticed it was a wig. I just had to for my own emotional health get a human hair one. Y’all check out ebay and go for the name brands, they are waaay nicer than the cheapo ones. You would be surprised at what is affordable there.

  26. Has anyone tried Hair Direct?-
    I gave them a try after spending a good amount at the hair club for men and women and so I saved some bucks.

  27. Why are people so offended by wearing wigs?
    Like some people wear shoes with extra cushion, it’s not fake feet, or a bra that has extra support. They’re practical!
    I know a wig would help me out a lot. It takes about two to three hours EVERY morning of washing, drying, styling, brushing, etc. (and sometimes even then it has to be redone!!!) to get my hair to be presentable for the day. Most days it takes 3 hours in the morning.
    That’s 14 to 21 hours a week!
    56 to 84 hours a month!
    672 (28 days) to 1,008 hours (42 days) a year.
    Good lord I am tired!!!
    That time could be put towards studying or sleeping!
    Just throw on a wig and go!

    Not to mention I like to change up the colour of my hair a lot…

    Now that I think about it I am surprised I haven’t gotten one sooner!
    Now I know why Mamaw loved wigs so much in her youth!

  28. I can’t stop myself from commenting here. I am white, in my 60’s, and have for years worn my hair very short. It’s salt and pepper, coarse and very wavy. I’ve decided to grow it out and am not looking forward to the next year of transition. I wore wigs when I was a teenager (grew up a block away from a wig store) but not since then. I’ve decided to wear a wig when my hair is looking really unattractive. I just bought an Estetica at a local store after trying on many and think it will be unnoticeable unless you know me well. I’m quite pleased, and I hope it lasts a long time if I care for it.

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  30. I recently switched from weave to wig and love the freedom of being able to really care for my hair. I am torn about wearing different wigs tho, like one day curly, long and black and the next day straight, short and brown. Does anyone else worry about that?

  31. Why is it anyone’s concern that I, an alopecia areata sufferer, wears wigs? Black women are so judgmental and catty about “hair.”

    Most of us should be more concerned about what’s IN our heads, rather than what’s ON our heads.

    But that takes too much intelligence!

  32. For those of us who must wear a wig, we have a choice: hide the fact, get as close to our former real hair, and never tell. Eventually you’ll have a discontinued style and have to start over with a style/color.

    Or you can enjoy the benefits, since you can’t change the situation. Some people are offended, uncomfortable if you change styles.What they think is their issue. I find a compromise works for me. I wear one style, my “real” hair, and play with others styles and colors and admit to wearing a wig when I do, if someone is nosy, rude etc. As an artist, I claim my creativity and say it’s fun.

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  35. Wearing wigs is cool.is like u wearing a hat.its good for those that are bald head.i think it looks very good.

  36. Love my wigs.looks pretty.feels good.people wear cloths to cover there naked bodys is similar things people do.freak some people have boobs,body transplants,hair..etc.what makes u happy and feel good is your fantasy.!!

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  39. I am transitioning, MTF, and I find wigs to be a great start for long hair. I have about 5 synthetic wigs and they have lasted me for a while. I find wigs to be great for any occasion.

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  44. I think it’s wonderful that wigs are more accepted and normalized in society because people who NEED to wear them no longer will be looked upon as a freak for wearing a wig, and creating a larger market for them makes them more affordable and available.

  45. I have some hereditary issues that has thinned my hair out so bad that I now wear a wig everyday, and buzz the hair I do have… EXCEPT for side burns and the nape of my neck. This allows me to have more of a natural look. Always use high quality salon shampoo, miracle 10, and coconut oil. Leaves my hair amazing soft, manageable and real looking!

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