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How to Buy a Wig

Black woman wearing a shoulder length wig and a white top
Ashro customer wearing a wig

You’ve decided to buy a wig and you’re excited. You’ve done hours of research on  colors, styles and textures. Your wig-wearing friends have answered a million of  your questions. 

You’re almost ready, but before you go online or venture into a bonafide wig shop, there are a few things to consider. Let’s figure out how to buy a wig.

First, decide between a synthetic or human hair wig. Let your budget be your guide,  because great wigs come in a variety of prices. Fit is also key. Ask yourself, what size wig should I get?

Wigs that are too small or too large, or aren’t correct for the various face shapes are a dead giveaway. The goal is for your wig to look as much like your natural hair as possible. Let’s first cover some of the most common types of wigs worn by African-Americans:

What are the Different Types of Wigs?

U-Part Wig

This wig has an opening that lets you blend in your natural hair to complete the look. This type works best if the wig and your hair is nearly an identical match.

Full Lace Wig

The hands-down champion choice for wig wearers. But you will need to use a wig glue to complete the look. Please be delicate with your edges when using adhesives to install a lace wig. 

Lace Front Wig

Another fan favorite. A lace front wig will last longer, but styling is limited. Again, be
 delicate with your hairline when installing. Wig styles also shape each person’s face differently. A poor choice in a style can waste your hard earned dollars and ruin your efforts.

Lace Front Wig
Lace Front Wig

What is the Best Wig for My Face Type?

Even if you love that new wig your friend is rocking, it doesn’t mean that wig is for you.  Let’s talk about face shapes and the best type of wig for all of us.

Ashro customer wearing a wig

Heart-shaped Faces

If you have a wide forehead that rounds down to a narrow chin, you are a heart shape. This means you can play with bangs and longer length wigs to find the perfect balance for your face.

Round AND Square-shaped Faces

Is your face wider at your cheeks? Rounder faces are balanced out by longer, layered wig styles. When it comes to parts, try styles that are slightly off center, and don’t be afraid of tapered short lace front styles.

For square-shaped beauties, the same rules apply as with rounded faces. Add length and volume around the face. Bangs can also add softness to your finished look.

Oval-shaped Faces

Oval shaped faces have the gift of versatility. Any style of wig, long or short can be sized and shaped to create an amazing natural look.

What Size Wig Should I Get?

Finding the right size wig for your head can be a challenge. To find your size, you’ll need to measure around your head, behind the ears and around the nape of your neck. If you’re able to, stop by a beauty supply store or wig shop to have a professional measure you.

Standard Wig Sizes

An African-American woman with a tape measure over the crown of her head, measuring ear to ear.
A black woman with a tape measure, measuring from her forehead to over the top of her head to the back of her neck.
A black woman with a tape measure at the natural hairline of her head, measuring around her head.

Head Size: Large to XL

Circumference: 23.5-24 inches
Front to back: 15-inches
Ear to ear: 13-inchesame, but if you must do it on your own, refer to the many size guides that exist online to make sure you are taking the right measurements.

Head Size: Medium to Large

Circumference: 22 – 22.5 inches
Front to back: 14 -14.75 inches
Ear to ear: 12 – 12.5 inches but if you must do it on your own, refer to the many size guides that exist online to make sure you are taking the right measurements.

Head Size: Small to Medium

Circumference: 21-21.5 inches
Front to back: 13.5 – 13.75 inches
Ear to ear: 11.5 – 11.75 inches

Head Size: Extra Small to Small

Circumference: 20.5 – 21 inches
Front to back: 13.25 – 13.5 inches
Ear to ear: 11.5-inches

Not everyone’s head is the same, but if you must do it on your own, refer to the many size guides that exist online to make sure you are taking the right measurements.

What Does Wig Density Mean?

For African-American hair wig thickness, the standard density for wig hair is 150, which is considered medium density. 130 is considered light density, so a rule of thumb for the most natural appearance, is to stay within a range of 130-150.  

Depending on your style and level of glamour, a range of 180-200 density will add more fullness and high volume. If you’re going for big and bold hair, this is the range for you.  Go for it!

High Density Wig
High Density Wig Photo provided by @kerreberryhmua @besidesthebrush
High Density Wig
High Density Wig Photo provided by @kerreberryhmua @besidesthebrush

The Importance of a Wig Cap

Many people think that a weft, or wig cap is just the attachment between your wig and your cornrows. It is, however, the foundation for any natural-looking wig. The wrong weft  construction will make your wig look like a wig, instead of a naturally-styled head of hair.

Wig Cap Construction
Wig Cap Construction

Main Types of Wefts or Wig Caps

Traditional Wefts

With a traditional weft cap, multiple layers of hair go in the same direction. These wigs can’t be restyled and wearers should only choose styles that do not show the scalp.

Open Cap Wefts

Open weft caps are lighter, cooler and most popular with those power wigs wearers who wigs for long periods of time. Open wefts are usually attached with clips or adjustable straps.

Lace Caps

Lace caps let users style the wig away from the front of their face, showing off a realistic looking hairline. While this is the most expensive wig type, the natural-looking scalp and gorgeous edges are worth every penny.

So there you have it. You’re now armed with our best tips for matching your lovely face to the wig of your dreams. Be sure to peruse our Ashro blog for other wig-related 
articles to help you make the best choice. Happy wig hunting!

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