Deciding on the perfect wig can be a daunting task, especially if it's your first time looking for one. Millions of women wear wigs every day, and they must navigate to find the perfect wig for their needs. Whether you want to look your best every day or for a special occasion, you can learn how to choose the perfect wig. A definite guide to determine your cap size, hair type, and other elements is all you need to look fabulous.
Caps are essential to making wig-wearing comfortable, so it's paramount that you find one that perfectly fits your head.
A wig cap, or cap, is the base of a wig and resembles the structure of a baseball cap—the hair strands are attached to the cap, acting as a shield to protect scalps from being irritated. Take your time when choosing a cap—the cap size and type are vital to making your wig look like natural hair.
There are several different types of cap styles that you can choose from based on preference, needs, and cost, but you’ll have to focus on cap size before choosing a style.
If the cap is too small, it will be uncomfortable or won't fit. But if it's too big, it could shift and make it evident that you're wearing a wig. You’ll have to find out what size you need to make sure the fit is perfect.
But how do you do that?
Most people will fit into an average-sized cap, but others will need a petite or larger size. You’ll have to measure your head to determine which is best for you. To do so, you'll need a fabric measuring tape. If you don’t have one, you can use a piece of string and then measure the string with a ruler.
You can find your cap size by comparing your numbers to charts. After you’re done measuring, be sure you’re comparing the right numbers to the right chart — meaning some charts are only for around the head (or circumference) or ear-to-ear measurements.
Measuring your head requires three steps: around the head, crown of the head, and ear to ear.
- Around the Head — Begin at the front of widow’s peak; stretch the tape measure or string around your head. Be sure to stay above your ears.
- Crown of the Head — Again, from the widow’s peak, stretch the tape measure or string straight to the very back. Stop when you reach the spot where your head meets your neck.
- Ear to Ear — Place one end of the string or tape measure at the front of your ear. Then, pull it over the top of your head to rest in front of the other ear.
Do each of these at least twice to be sure your measurements are accurate. When you feel confident the numbers are correct, you can find your cap size among these standard sizes:
- Child — 19 inches
- Petite — 21 inches
- Petite/average — 21.5 inches
- Average — 22 inches
- Average/Large — 22.5 inches
- Large — 23 inches
Some caps will have straps that will help you adjust your wig—typically, a half-inch smaller or larger. If you fall in between sizes, you should choose the smallest size down so you can be sure your wig is secure.
When in doubt, remember that the cap should fit more snugly rather than loosely.
Depending on what your wig needs are, what you would like to spend, and scalp sensitivity, there are a few cap styles to choose from. These include:
- Hand-tied — Hand-tied wigs offer the most natural appearance because every strand is tied to the cap and gives them the ability to be styled in any direction. They are the softest and most comfortable, making them an excellent option for someone with complete hair loss or a sensitive scalp.
- Lace Front — Lace front caps provide natural hairlines, so they’re ideal for people who like to style their hair away from their face. The strands are tied to the lace front, making it more fragile. These might not be a good choice for people with more active lifestyles.
- Monofilament — Considered one of the most common types, these wig caps give the appearance there is natural hair growing from the scalp at the part. If you need more comfort, double monofilament caps provide another layer of soft material.
- Open Cap — If your budget is a priority, an open cap or open-weft is inexpensive and very durable. They offer more volume due to the teasing at the roots. It's an excellent choice for warmer climates thanks to the air ventilation from the open-weft style.
Human vs. Synthetic
When you’re looking for the perfect wig, you’ll have the choice between human or synthetic. Both human and synthetic wigs have advantages and disadvantages.
More expensive than synthetic, human hair offers the most natural-looking wigs and gives you the ability to change your hairstyle. They do lose the style after washing, but styling tools and products are safe to use on them.
While synthetic wigs retain their shape after washings, they tend to be less realistic. Higher-end synthetic wigs do offer more movement and a more natural appearance. Styling tools will ruin the wig—heat destroys synthetic hairs unless you find heat-resistant options.
They are less expensive but are less durable than human hair wigs. Tangling occurs more easily, too; you’ll have to be more delicate to avoid this.
Understanding face shapes will help you learn how to choose the perfect wig. A definitive guide on face shapes and the most flattering hairstyles can help you feel confident in your new wig:
- Oval — If you have an oval face shape, wigs that are off the face are ideal. Avoid bangs, but for the most part, any hairstyle will flatter your face shape.
- Round — Any style that adds weight to the top of the head is ideal for round faces. Pulled-back styles or anything past your chin will also highlight your features.
- Square — Choose a length that is short or medium and anything that offers more height. Layers will soften your face, and you'll look gorgeous with waves or curls.
Knowing what styles flatter your face shape can help you find a flattering wig, but feel free to experiment with other hairstyles to show your personality. As long as you have the correct cap size and the wig type that suits you, you can try out any wigs, like a kinky twist wig.