Wig / Extension Owner Manual Guide
Wig Owner Manual
We've prepared this guide to help you learn how to care for your custom wigs and bundles of hair - the guide will discuss product recommendations to help maintain your wig, how to try your item on for the first time, and basic use, care, and maintenance. With proper care and handling, you can expect to use and enjoy your wig/bundles for years! Though we have written this guide as a resource for our clients, it can also be a valuable tool for anyone who wants to learn more about using and caring for their hair extensions and wigs.
Before you go any further, here are the most important things you need to know about wigs or hair goods.
- As long as you don’t set it on fire, cut the hair or the lace, dye it or soak it in liquid, there’s very little you can do to your wig that can’t be undone. Please don’t take that as a challenge, it’s meant to reassure you that you probably won’t accidentally “break” your wig.
- The only way to get comfortable with your wig is to get your hands dirty. Pick it up. Handle it. Comb it. Practice putting it on and taking it off until you can do it without thinking. Read this guide before you do any of those things, but the only way to learn is to do it.
- You might, at some point, make a mistake when handling or styling your wig. See point 1. Hair, especially human hair, is actually very forgiving. If you try to restyle your wig and it doesn’t come out like you expected, try again.
- Never forget that we are here to help. We will happily answer your questions, offer advice, set up a video call or chat with us through any trouble you might be having. We’ll also happily clean and restyle your wig for you any time through our Cleaning and Maintenance Service. We want you to feel comfortable, happy and confident, so be sure to reach out if you need help.
Pre-Delivery: Basic Supplies and Tools Be sure you have a clean, dry place to keep the item and a head block to store it on. While you can use a styrofoam head, we recommend a canvas block in your head size, as it will help the wig and lace front keep it shape and provide a sturdy support for styling. You can also purchase canvas blocks from several other online retailers.
You can simply keep the wig (on a head block) on a shelf or in a wig case or even in a large cardboard box. It should be in a location free from direct sunlight, dust and environmental moisture, as well as temperature extremes. It’s best if the wig is not stored in an airtight container - if using a box or bin, be sure a small amount of air can circulate through.
From time to time, you're going to need to do some very basic maintenance on your wig and or extensions. It will only require a few tools to keep your wig or extension wefts in tip top shape. We offer a Basic & Luxe Wig Care maintenance with all of these items in our online store - they can also be purchased at many drugstores or beauty supply stores.
Once You Receive Your Items :
Try to unpack your wig or bundles as soon as possible. While it won't hurt the piece to remain packed up, getting it out of the packing materials and onto one's head as soon as possible is the best for preserving the style and keeping the lace edges in tip top shape. It’s a good idea to keep the box your item is shipped in in case you ever need to send it back to us. It's possible that your wig or hair extensions will have gotten a bit compressed or disheveled during transit. We wrap the pieces carefully and securely in tissue paper, but the carriers and package handlers aren't always as careful as we'd like. It is generally quite easy to unwrap your pieces and quickly fluff them back to shape with a bit of judicious finger combing. It's best if you can try the pieces on soon after receiving them. That way we can take care of any issues or adjustments right away, or offer advice for using the pieces. Remember, a custom product might require a bit of fine tuning or adjusting, and we're here to help with that final stage.
Your wig /Frontal or closure will likely arrive with the lace front a bit on the long side and will need to have a bit of the excess cut away. Please do not trim the lace until you have tried the pieces on - in the event we need to add any hair to your wig or beard, it's best to have the extra lace available. See the section on Trimming The Wig Lace before doing any cutting.
**The lace margin on this wig is uncut - when worn, this transparent mesh will disappear against the skin. It can and should be trimmed once the wig has been tried on and found satisfactory but always leave at least ⅜” of lace past the knots, and more if possible!
Perhaps the most important advice we have for you at this point in the process is leave yourself plenty of time to practice putting your wig on. You need to get comfortable handling it and wearing it and you need to do a few trial runs to make sure you’ve worked out any kinks.
Trying On Your Wig
How to do it and What You’ll Need Before putting on your wig, make sure your own hair is secured off your forehead. You don’t want your own hair to slip down and get under your wig lace. If you have long hair: it needs to be pinned up on your head in a secure, flat and compact manner or cornrowed essentially giving your head a flat surface.
You’ll need to wear a wig cap over your prepped hair to keep it in place securely, keep stray hairs in place and to help anchor your wig to your head.
IMPORTANT TIP: If your own hair is very short, a wig cap is not necessary.
When wearing a wig cap, the band of the cap should always be behind your own hairline at the front, so that it doesn't show under the lace front. In most cases, the wig cap should be similar in color to your own hair. Wearing a wig cap that is a different color than your own hair will make a high contrast line that may show through your wig.
Once your own hair is secured off your face, it’s time to try your wig on!
Put your wig on in front of a mirror to ensure the wig is correctly positioned on your head. Because your wig is made to fit your head and hairline, there is definitely a “right” way for it to be positioned.
Signs the piece is not positioned correctly will include:
- significant asymmetry of the hairline
- bad fit (ie, the wig doesn’t cover your own hair)
- poor coverage of your own hairline
- significant gaping of the lace
- uneven placement of the sideburns
- or just a general sense that something is “off
If any of these occur, adjust the position of the wig on your head. In most cases, the wig’s hairline will be just slightly in front of your own when placed correctly. If you don’t have a hairline or the wig’s hairline is stylistically intended to be different from yours, you’ll have to rely more on the wig’s position relative to your ears.
How to tell your wig is in the right position:
- It covers your own hair and hairline
- The wig sits correctly around your ears - it’s neither touching them nor is there a huge gap
- The temples are level when you look at the wig straight on. Be prepared for the possibility that you'll need to do a bit of combing, fluffing or manipulating of your wig once you put it on. You may discover that you want to adjust the height or placement of the hairstyle, coax some hair back from your face, or adjust the way the baby hairs lays around your face. This important step is the final piece of the process, and the one that really makes the wig yours. If you have any questions about this, feel free to send over some photos of the pieces on you, and we'll help. We can also set up a video fitting chat with you if you have questions and you aren’t sure how to proceed.
It is possible at this stage that you will put the wig on and discover some small adjustment needs to be made to the fit, style or hairline. This isn’t common but it can happen with any custom item being produced long distance - the first step will be to send us photos of the wig or beard on you from the front, side and back. That will let us advise you on what needs to happen next - often, we are able to talk you through a minor adjustment. Occasionally, we will need to have the wig sent in so we can make a correction, but we need to see photos in order to determine what the trouble is. The important thing is that you let us know so we can help.
Trying on Your Wig:
You need to remove the item from the box as soon as it arrives and plan a time to try it on. Plan to work in front of a mirror so you can see if the pieces are placed correctly.
Trimming the Wig Lace:
Once you are pleased with the wig's fit and position, then you can trim the lace edge back but we strongly advise leaving at least 3/8" wherever possible*. This will greatly preserve the shape and lifespan of your wig and make it easier for you to discreetly glue or tape the edge in place. Use sharp scissors and cut in tiny increments. Remember, you can always cut more off later, but you can’t put it back on! *There may be a few spots on your hairline where you need to trim the lace a touch shorter (for example, if you have a shallow hairline, you may find you have to trim the areas around your temple a bit shorter to keep the lace from covering part of your eyebrow). Be judicious with this, and if you have any questions, ask us. There’s no one size fits all answer to this, since every single head and hairline is unique. Important
Tip: It might seem like cutting the lace back as close to the knots as possible will hide the lace, but it will in fact make the edge harder to hide and harder to attach - it will also greatly increase the likelihood of hair loss along the knotted edge. If you have any questions or concerns about trimming your lace, please don't hesitate to let us know, and we'll help you figure out the best method and margin.
A Note About Hiding The Lace Edge:
It sounds counter-intuitive, but the best way to make your lace margins "disappear" is not to try and hide them with makeup or cut them too short. It's far easier for the lace to blend in against the skin if the edge is clean and intact - careful positioning and anchoring of the edges will be much more discreet. Some people add some makeup on the lace to match their exact skin tone and make it less noticeable . Adding makeup or foundation on the lace will be prone to makeup build up and can also make the hairline more detectable when going to re-apply the wig.
We’re sometimes asked if one should roll the lace edge under to hide it. Please don’t do this. Not only is it not effective (it will give your hairline a bumpy, uneven and fake appearance), it will damage the lace. The best way to handle your lace is to put the piece on correctly, glue or tape down the margins as needed and then forget about it - if you pretend it’s not there, no one else is going to look for it, either.
Securing the Wig and Gluing or Taping the Wig Lace in Place :
If you have tried on your wig, and you’re satisfied with the fit, hairline and style, and you’ve carefully trimmed the lace front as needed, you’re ready to put it on for real! What does that mean? Like many things relating to wigs, the answer is “It depends”. There are many variables at play when it comes to wearing wigs - the wig’s hairstyle, your face shape, how long you’ll be wearing the wig, etc.
Most people will find that their wig lace will have a “flap” at the temples, in front of the ears. If this is the case with your wig, you’ll need to use glue or tape to secure those “flaps” down. Doing this will make your lace front nearly invisible and will help keep it in place.
IMPORTANT TIP: While gluing or taping your wig in place at the temples will provide a small amount of security to keep the wig on, don’t rely on it as your sole means of keeping your wig on until you’ve done a few test runs. You may be one of the lucky wig wearers who discovers they don’t need to use any glue or tape because their wig’s hairstyle covers the temples and edges completely. If that is true for you, and if it’s also true that your wig doesn’t move around on your head, then you can likely just put your wig on and go. Consider putting a bit of glue or a piece of tape on the temples of your wig lace if you’re going to be in windy situations or if you’re going to be vigorously active - you don’t want to chase your wig down the street.
A Few Things to Keep in Mind About Wearing your Wig:
- There’s no one-size-fits all answer to most questions about using and wearing your wig .Every face and head is unique and every wig or beard is unique. We can offer general advice, but be prepared to do a few trial runs once you have your pieces to see what will work best for you, in your specific situations. If you have questions, we are here to help!
- A glue or tape that works great for your friend might not work at all for you. Likewise, a glue that works great for you indoors might not work well outdoors or in the summer. If you can, try to test out your products and your application in all the environments you’re likely to be in.
- Practice! Don’t wait until the day of your event to put on your wig or beard for the first time!
What Kind of Glue or Tape?
We do not recommend a single brand or type of glue or tape. We would love to be able to tell our clients “Buy product A, it’s a sure thing” - it would make your life and ours much easier. However, every person’s skin is unique and every wig is unique - there is simply no way to suggest a product that would work for everyone, or even work for one person in every situation. What we CAN suggest is that you start with a good quality double stick “toupee” tape first or any waterproof hair adhesive . If you can find a tape that works for you, it will save you time cleaning adhesive out of your wigs lace and it will save your skin a bit of wear and tear. You can even stick the tape to your pieces ahead of time, and simply peel off the backing right before you apply! Tape comes in strips or rolls - both can be trimmed to the size and shape you need (before you peel the backing off!). You might find you need to try a few brands before you find the one that works for you. In general, avoid the heavy duty tapes that are rated for a week or more of continuous wearing. These are serious tapes and they can damage both your skin and your lace if used incorrectly. If tape doesn’t work for you or if the idea of using tape doesn’t appeal, you can try a liquid adhesive. Spirit gum is the most basic of these, and it’s the one we suggest you start with. It’s cheap, it’s relatively easy to find and use and it works for a decent range of people. If you use any liquid adhesive, be sure to start with clean, dry skin (no after shave, moisturizer or makeup in the spot you plan to glue!) and remember that you need to let it get tacky on your skin before you apply your pieces. Many people find spirit gum irritates their skin or just doesn’t hold well over the course of a day. If this is true for you, then there are many other excellent adhesives on the market, geared towards a variety of skin types and usages. The only way to know for sure what will work for you is to try out some products
Be sure the product you are using is intended for use on both skin and fine wig lace. In general, gummier adhesives like Pros-Aide2 and ghost bond glue are much harder to clean out of wig lace, and if used for this purpose, must be cleaned out immediately after wearing. Always check with the product manufacturer if you have questions about using the product or if you aren’t sure about its intended use.
Using the Glue or Tape:
We aren’t going to offer a detailed breakdown of using glue or tape to put your wig on in this guide because there are just too many variables to cover in this basic guide. Instead, here are a few things you need to keep in mind, no matter what kind of adhesive you use
- Your skin needs to be clean, dry and free of any lotions, aftershaves or makeup in the places you intend to put glue or tape.
- Your entire wig lace needs to be free of any previous adhesives or makeup.
- It’s imperative that you make sure your wig or beard is in place correctly before starting to glue or tape.
- Generally, you won’t need to put glue or tape on your forehead to hold the lace in place - sticking it down firmly and correctly at the temples will keep the rest of the lace front in place and makes for the most discreet appearance.
- More glue or tape is just that - more glue or tape. It won’t necessarily ensure a better hold but it will definitely ensure a bigger mess. Using a product that works for you and your skin, applying it correctly and strategically will have a much better outcome than overusing a product.
- No matter what you use to secure your wigs lace, you must remove any product or residue from both the lace and your skin after every single wearing. Your product manufacturer will be able to provide information on the correct method and solvents to remove adhesive from both the lace and your skin.
Cleaning Glue Out of Lace :
While you should ultimately defer to the advice and information provided by the manufacturer of the product you are using, many adhesives are alcohol-soluble, and can be removed from lace using 90% isopropyl alcohol.
- Do not use alcohol to remove adhesive from your skin. It’s too harsh. Use the remover/cleaner your product manufacturer recommends. For most adhesives, something like Ben Nye’s Bond Off or Spirit Gum remover will clean the skin, but always check with the product manufacturer to see if they have a specific recommendation first!
- While your skin needs something gentler than alcohol, you do not want to use a product with any oil or emollient in it on your lace. The following is our general method for cleaning spirit gum and similar alcohol-soluble adhesives out of lace. Be sure to check with the manufacturer of your adhesive before using any product or solvent with it!
Caring and Handling of your wig
- Work in a well-ventilated space. Fill a shallow dish with rubbing alcohol. This should be a container you do not intend to use for other purposes.
- Lay your piece on an old towel or rag, with the lace edge touching the towel
- Use a soft rag, shoe polish dauber or very soft toothbrush to very gently apply some of the alcohol to the lace. If you are cleaning your piece immediately after wearing, this step may be enough to dissolve the adhesive.
- Do not scrub or abrade the lace! You may very gently use the tools mentioned above to try and work the adhesive loose, but this should be done with the least amount of force. Let the alcohol do the work!
- It may take a few passes for the glue to dissolve. The towel or rag will soak up the alcohol and the liquified glue and may become sticky - if that happens move to a dry spot and continue. 6. Once the adhesive is dissolved, move on to the next section of lace. If you are proactive and clean your pieces immediately after you wear them, this step will take mere minutes and almost no effort. The longer the adhesive sits on the piece, the harder it will be to clean out. The harder it is to clean, the more wear and tear you will put on the lace. Never soak your pieces to clean them. If you have a truly stubborn patch of adhesive, you can dip the edge of the lace into the dish of alcohol for a moment before blotting it on the towel. It may be necessary to do this a few times to loosen old adhesive. Try to keep the knots and hair out of the alcohol entirely.
If your pieces are made from human hair, they will be subject to all of the same factors that affect your own hair - moisture, humidity, sunlight, etc. This just means you'll want to avoid storing your wig in humid conditions or direct sunlight, and that a sudden downpour might cause your wig to wilt. If your wig is made from synthetic hair, it's still best to store them in a dry, dimly lit place but they won't be as affected by environmental moisture, and a sudden rainstorm won't wilt them as dramatically.
If your wig is longer than 1 inch, you'll need to spot comb them between wearings to prevent tangles from causing damage. Once the wig is blocked carefully on the canvas head, you need only take a few quick passes with the wide toothed plastic comb to take care of tangles before they become rats. The extremities of the wig are the worst areas for tangles because they rub against the neck and collar - these areas need attention after every use, though the rest of your wig may be fine. TIP: A small tangle can very quickly grow to a snarled mess that is impossible to fix. If you are nervous about combing out your piece and “ruining” the style, let us know - we’ll talk you through it or get into a Wig maintenance with us .
A major area to keep an eye on is the top of your wig, especially if you wear a hat. It's easy for this area to flatten and develop an unintentional parting until one day you look in the mirror and see a “bald” spot. Not to worry, a quick combing will keep this from happening, or put it to rights if it's already begun to "creep".
Makeup will stain the lace and the hair, so be careful not to apply blush, foundation or powder to areas where the lace will touch the skin. If you do end up with makeup on the lace, it's best to clean the lace as soon as you take it off with rubbing alcohol to minimize staining or build up.
Your wig probably won’t need a full shampoo very often, as the hair itself won’t generally get dirty and it isn’t subject to the same amount of scalp oil that your own hair is. The less you have to wash your wig or beard, the better, as it will be less wear and tear on the wig and less work for you
For stains on the hair itself, try to wipe them off first with a damp washcloth or soft rag. If you have a very stubborn stain, apply a tiny bit of shampoo on the area of soil, and let it sit for a few moments, before rinsing that spot. Important Tip: Never soak or submerge your wig to clean them. Hair swells when wet, and if the strand becomes heavily saturated, the knots will begin to loosen and your piece will lose hair.
Your wig might produce a very small amount of shed hairs when it is new. This should never be more than a small number, and it is almost entirely due to a few stray hairs that get caught up in the knots during the tying process. Over time, hair might occasionally break or a knot may loosen, but with proper care and handling, the loss of hair from your piece should be minimal. If you ever experience hair loss on a significant scale, please let us know so we can advise you on how to repair and protect the piece.
* Please note that bleaching the knots to give the wig a more natural appearance may be subject to more shedding due to the processing of the knots on the lace . When you bleach the knots of the lace it weekends the strands of hair.
When you send a wig in for our maintenance service, we check for hair loss, and fill in any areas that seem to have experienced routine shedding. Please note that failure to clean glue off of knots and lace, use of incorrect products or solvents, or excessive pulling, tugging or back combing of the hair, or not keeping tIt's alright to use some styling products on your wig, but be mindful of overuse.
In general, it’s best to avoid hairspray, glitter spray or oil based pomades. More product is simply more build up, not greater hold. If your wig is losing style quickly, let us know and we can make some suggestions for keeping the style in place longer. It's best to refrain from using excessive heat styling tools on either human or synthetic hair, even if the fibers are rated for it.
Some synthetics cannot tolerate any heat tool styling at all. If you plan to use heat tools to style your wigs, be sure to check in with us first. Remember that the hair on your wig doesn't grow, so repeated application of high heat to the ends will slowly dry them out and damage them, ultimately leading to breakage. Finally, and most importantly, if you have any concerns or questions about your wig or extensions, please let us know. We want to make sure your piece works for you and we want to help you keep it in good condition.