As a wig e-seller, you have personally seen the sheer number of wigs and wig options available for your customers.  As hard as your job is to develop the business and have quality inventory, it is much more difficult for those customers who are interested in buying a wig or wigs for the first time.  Sourcing Nova has compiled several quality articles for you to share with your customers.  This piece on how to choose a wig is another blog in our wig series.

buying a wig for the first time

One thing that all who buy and sell the best wigs agree on is there are virtually thousands of wigs in hairsyle, shape, shade, texture and length.  These are all important to consider, but there are other factors to take into consideration as well:


•         Frequency – How often will the wig owner use their wig?  Those who use their wigs daily will need a wig of the best possible quality.

•         Styling – Does the wig owner wish to style the wig?  Sourcing Nova has a blog on how to style a wig, and it is worth a read.  It will help you with your customers who wish to style their wigs.

•         Human or synthetic hair – This is a major decision and covered extensively later in this piece.


A word about hair loss

wigs for hair loss


There is a condition, alopecia, hair loss, that affects women of all ages and for a variety of reasons from hereditary to medical side effects – in fact, wigs for chemotherapy patients are a large business.  Hair loss can have a devastating effect on a woman’s emotional and physical health and well being, and a wig can help recoup some of those losses.


As an e-seller, you do not know why a customer buys wigs.  It could be for a new look or because of something severe like alopecia or a chemotherapy treatment patient.  Regardless, it is important for you to have a full understanding of your products, best fits for each customer and know as much as you can about your inventory.


No wig is going to last indefinitely.  So return customers are key to a highly successful business.  Knowing that some of your customers could buy additional wigs that could potentially help return them to a normal and happy life is all the more reason to understand how to choose a quality wig.


Shape of the face – The absolute first step


Selecting a wig is very much like selecting a pair of glasses – the shape needs to match and compliment the wearer’s facial shape.  Each person has a unique face, but the facial shape comes down to one of seven different shapes, each of which is covered in detail below.


Customers looking for the best wigs to buy need to consider facial shape first and then a particular style and look of a wig.  Failing to do so means the wearer is obviously wearing a wig rather than the natural hair look so many are looking for in a wig.


Determining shape of the face

shape of face

The easiest way to determine what facial shape your customer has is to stand in front of a mirror, pull the hair back and observe the facial structure.  Look at the entire face as a whole – do not focus on smaller parts and potential imperfections.


The customer needs to look at the widest point of their face – forehead, cheekbones, jaw etc.  The chin – is it rounded, pointed or perhaps in a cleft?  The ultimate goal is to imagine a continuous line across the entire face starting at one point, circling the face and returning to the starting point.


Once done, the customer needs to compare their shape to the closest of the following seven basic shapes.  No face will fit exactly, but there will be a rough design to match to a wig.


Sourcing Nova has each facial shape, the best wig hairstyles to match and the styles that do not match well.


Diamond-Shaped Face

Diamond-Shaped Face

The basic characteristics of the diamond shape face are high cheekbones, narrower forehead and narrow pointed chin.  The diamond shape is one of the more versatile shapes for wig selection.  Your diamond-shaped customer base are fortunate – their facial balance means almost any style and shape of wig will work well for them.


Of the many wig hairstyle choices available, the best look for a diamond-shaped face is one that has volume for the forehead to add volume to this narrow area.


Better options for this facial shape include the following cuts:


•         Shoulder-length

•         Bobs

•         Tuck behind the ear-to-ear


Each of these styles bring width to the lower portion of the face and chin area.  The customer should look for wigs with layers – each adds volume and movement and a balance between prominent cheekbones and a subdued chin appearance.


Customers preferring a short wig should select a wig with considerable weight around the nape.


Diamond-Shaped faces should not select wigs with lots of hair with height on the top and/or volume as these will detract from the natural facial contours and shape.


Heart-Shaped Face

Heart-Shaped Face

The heart-shaped face starts off with a very wide forehead and tapers down into a narrow chin.  The wide forehead can be very unflattering for some, so it is a good idea to select wig hairstyles that will downplay this feature and enhance other features of the face.


Better options for this facial shape include the following cuts:


•         Chin-length

•         Longer – particularly side parted hairline

•         Bob cuts


Each of these wigs should have volume at the chin along with touches of hair around the forehead.  This means hair in layers around the upper portion of the face and possibly even wisps of bangs to help balance the look on the forehead.  Long wigs that feather gently around the jaw are also solid choices for the heart-shaped face.


Heart-Shaped face customers need to avoid wigs that are short, full styles.  Short and choppy looks are also unflattering and should be skipped for a better choice of wig.


Oblong-Shaped Face

Oblong-Shaped Face

The oblong-shaped face is one of a very long and narrow look and often with a longer neck.  The goal for a wig should be to soften the straight line sides of the face to bring out the face into a more oval look.  Oblong-shaped face customers have a few wig hairstyle options for their appearance.  They can add width, shorten appearance and minimize the geometric shape.


Better options for this facial shape include the following cuts:


•         Soft curls and waves

•         Fringe or half bangs

•         Jaw and shoulder length (short to medium-length)


All of these choices can adjust the look of the oblong-shaped face without detracting from the natural appearance of the wearer.


Any wig that flows past the shoulders, taller looks and wigs that divide in the middle are poor choices as these will exaggerate the oblong look.


Oval-Shaped Face

Oval-Shaped Face

An oval-shaped face is longer than it is wide but not quite as exaggerated as the oblong-shaped face.  There are no areas that are particularly prominent in an oval face which means the oval face is even more versatile than the diamond-shaped face.


The oval-shaped face is not limited to a specific design and shape of any wig hairstyle.  The proportions of the face – forehead, cheekbones, chin and jaw are all equal.  The only limitation of wig choice is one that matches the wearer’s personality, age and purpose for the wig.


Better options for this facial shape include the following cuts:


•         Long

•         Short

•         Straight

•         Curly


The only wigs that a customer should avoid are wigs that are heavy with bangs or are forward leaning.  This look is unflattering because it adds a look of extra weight to the face.


Pear-Shaped Face

Pear-Shaped Face

The pear-shaped face starts with a narrow forehead that expands downward into a wide jaw line and rounded chin.  Of all the facial shapes, the pear-shaped face is the least common.

Wig options that detract from the chin are perfect.


Better options for this facial shape include the following cuts:


•         Styles that give volume to the eyes

•         Full, layered looks

•         Shag hairstyles


The better wigs for pear-shaped faces should also feature bangs or an angled fringe.  Looks that have nicely sized crowns and closely cropped to the face are the best bet.  The eyes should focus on the forehead and temples.


Wig styles to avoid include anything that is full and long.  The focus on these wigs pulls to the jawline and is the opposite of the look that is most desirable.


Round-shaped face

Round-shaped face

The round-shaped face will have a wide hairline and cheekbones.  Customers with round faces often also have shorter neck appearances because of the head shape.  These faces need to be framed with something geometric or lines coupled with anything that gives height.


Better options for this facial shape include the following cuts:


•         Cuts that provide balance to the face

•         Long, layers

•         Of centered parts

•         Short styles with volume on top


Wigs that have long sides to bring a better look to the cheeks along with closely combing hair to the sides and nape work well for round faces.


Wigs that stop at the chin, are rounded with centers or are full on the sides are not good selections for those with round-shaped faces.  Wigs that stop at the chin will increase the look of the face’s width and is not seen as attractive.


Square-shaped face

Square-shaped face

The square-shaped face is going to have both wide hairline and jaw.  Normally, the jaw has a strong feature, the chin is almost perfectly straight and the hair line equally so.  The goal with this facial shape is similar to that of the round shape – give the illusion of length, shape and proportion.


Curly hair wigs of mid-length and longer, wisps of hair encircling the face are perfect for square-shaped face wig customers.


Better options for this facial shape include the following cuts:


•         Choices like for the round shape

•         Feathered looks and bangs

•         Parts that are off-center

•         Height on the crown


The goal of a wig is to break the straight lines with circles and off center parts.  Short and medium-length looks are great – in particular if there is a wavy look to go around the face.


Wigs to avoid are any that are straight lines, parted in the center, long and straight.  This includes bob cuts that stop at the jawline.


Wig style

different wig styles

Before we discuss style, Sourcing Nova is not referring to styling a wig.  This is when the wig owner wants to make some changes to the wig in some ways.  If that is the goal, Sourcing Nova already has a full blog on that very topic.


Instead, Sourcing Nova is going to look at the other elements of style that make up wigs.  Each of these elements is important for you to understand on behalf of your customer.  It is the goal of Sourcing Nova to give you as many tips on wigs as possible.  We want you to be a wig specialist for your customers.  The more questions you can answer, the better the level of trust between you and your customer base.  There are too many different wig styles to count, and there is unlimited flexibility for your customers.  It is an exciting business to be a part of when it comes to style.


Style considerations


There are several factors that go into a wig: length, color, texture and hair (synthetic or human).  There are advantages and disadvantages to each style characteristic.



Those who live in relatively warm climates and humid areas will find short wigs to be ideal as it will keep the wearer’s head cooler.  Short wigs are easier to care for, dry quickly and are often less expensive than other options available.


Short wigs are not limited to age as most people may think.  There are some who feel a short wig is appropriate for only older women, and this is simply not the case.  A short, bob cut wig can give a beautiful look that is both chic and highlights facial features.


Conversely, a longer wig can be fun because it has versatility.  The owner can cut the hair after a time to change a look while keeping the particular wig.


Women who are broader shouldered will do well with longer wigs to draw attention from the shoulders.  Smaller women are better suited to a short wig as long hair can make them look as if they have succumbed to their hair.


What about bangs?  Bangs are popular now, and some women do wear them well.  The facial shape can help determine whether or not bangs are appropriate to the individual.


Choosing the Wig Color


There are as many colors of wigs as there can be, and most have shades that are incredibly subtle.  Also, one manufacturer will have one shade of a color while another manufacturer will have a similar shade – albeit slightly different from the competition.  This means the selection of a wig based on color can be tricky.  Choosing a wig from an online retailer can be that much more difficult.  Never fear; Sourcing Nova has the solutions for you to share with your customers.


Be sure your customer keeps track of the specific shades and colors of wigs they prefer.  Doing so will help you understand your stock and inventory.


Start with the customer skin tone


The skin tone is one of the first things a customer can check when selecting a wig color.  Closely matching skin tone is a good starting point for a wig customer, particularly if they are a first time customer.  Another strong suggestion is to match the wig color to the color of the eyebrows.  Either way will help the customer find a wig they can wear and enjoy.


It is also important to note a wig that matches a skin tone may not be a preferred color.  More on this as you continue reading.


Hues and shades


The color of the wig, should the customer be looking for something close to skin tone, should not be overly dark.  Most first time wig buyers believe a wig’s color will fade over time, and they are partially correct.  Partially.


A quality wig will fade some over time and if so, it is perfectly acceptable to dye it.  It is normally the roots that will fade first, so a quick touch up is in order in that case.


One of the other beautiful elements of wigs is they can be highlighted easily.  All that is necessary is for the wig manufacturer to add some differently colored hair strands into the wig cap.  This usually results in a lovely wig with highlights that can enhance facial features, eyes or other aspects of the face.


Shades of sun-kissed looks are popular as these also create depth of movement.


Over time


As your customer base becomes more and more accustomed to wigs and wearing them, encouraging them to branch out into different and wilder colors and wig hairstyles is a solid idea.  Doing so will help solidify your customer base and keep them happy with excellent inventory.


Wig hair texture


Facial shape, length and color are done and by now should be enough for your customers to have a solid idea of what they are looking for in a wig.  Texture is next.


Texture refers to how the wig will look when worn.  Is it a wavy look, as if blown by a gentle wind?  Perhaps it is a straight look that is sleek and professional?  Either way, the texture of the wig hair plays into the look and style of the wig.


If the customer will be in a professional setting wearing their wig, then something professional is appropriate.  Shorter wigs are best since they do not require a great amount of work.  Conversely, longer wigs with curls and lots of color are great for a fun night or date.


Either choice has its advantages and disadvantages.  Customers who wish to style their wigs should be made aware of heat issues.  Synthetic hair, unless specifically noted, will not stand up to the heat of many curling irons and tools.  The same can be said for trying to straighten synthetic curly hair.


A natural human hair wig, however, has no heat limitations.  Customers can curl or straighten their human hair wigs to meet specific style needs.


Hair density – Thin or thick?


Most wigs are made at a percentage of hair density.  The standard starts at approximately 120 percent or about medium density.  The average human hair density is 120 to 130 percent.  The choice comes down to what the customer is interested in for their wig choice.


•         90 percent – Only good for a natural look.  The hair will fall out rapidly and is not designed for long term.

•         100 – 120 percent – Perfect for those with thin hair and are looking for a natural look.

•         120 – 130 percent – Think of this as ‘normal’ or about where an average person’s hair would be.

•         150 percent – Adds a little extra fullness without seeming to appear as a wig.

•         180 percent – Voluminous.  This is for the customer who wants a true full head of hair.

•         200 percent – This is celebrity level and often found on wigs over 24 inches in length.


The wig itself – Hand tied or lace front

realistic wigs

Sourcing Nova has previously discussed both hand tied and lace front wigs.  Of the two choices, we believe that lace front wigs are the best for your customer base.


In the wig industry, lace refers to a layer of thin, fine mesh that runs across the front of the wig and rests on the edge of the forehead where the hair meets.  At this point, individual hairs are tied into the lace and thus provides the wig wearer with a smooth transition from the edge of the head into the hair line.  The result – the appearance of natural, human hair.


The lace front wig was exceptionally popular with sufferers of alopecia and other hair loss.  Today, lace front wigs are popular with those looking to change their look, choose not to have bangs and to keep hair from in front of their faces.  In fact, lace front wigs are popular with celebrities and movie stars looking for a change from their regular looks.


Many lace front wigs are combined with a monofilament cap for the most natural appearance.  The result is the most natural looking wig available, but this also makes these sort of wigs the most expensive available.  These wigs are also ready to wear out of the box and will cover the head across both temples.


The knots used in wig construction


The customer looking for a wig should have understanding there are more than one type of knot used to tie the hair into the wig cap.


Single knot


The single knot is the most basic.  There is a knot where a small bundle of hair comes back through the wig cap and into a loop on the knot.


Single split knot


The single split knot differs from the single knot uses a single hair to loop into the knot.


Double knot


This is a considerably much more secure knot for the hair because the artisan ties each bundle of hair in two times.


Double split knot


This knot is very much like the single knot although it is much studier because of the multiple hairs involved.


The V-loop


This is when the artisan sews the hair into a ‘V’ or ‘U’ shape under the wig cap.  This creates a knot that is the most secure of all the knots.  The cost of this knot makes the wigs the most expensive of all wig options available for your customers.


The final and most important decision – human or synthetic

synthetic vs human hair wigs

For your customers, this represents the most important decision in how to choose a wig.


There was a time when synthetic hair was seen as inferior to real hair, and the fact was easily noticeable to the untrained eye.  Now, synthetic hair is incredibly lifelike and only a burn test will really tell if the hair is human or synthetic.


Both womens’ human and synthetic hair wigs have their advantages and disadvantages when it comes to several factors: maintenance, longevity and price are the main ones to consider.


Which is the better choice for your customers?  That is a decision they need to make on their own.


Sourcing Nova has compiled the advantages and disadvantages of human and synthetic hair wigs.  We start with the advantages of both.


Womens’ human hair advantages


·         Look – 100 percent natural since made with natural human hairline

·         Versatile – Human hair wigs can quickly and easily be styled in any number of ways

·         Durability – Lasts up to a full year with proper care and maintenance

·         Change – Highlight, darken or lighten with regular hair colors

·         Tangle – Will not tangle easily

·         Heat tolerant – Will take hot irons: curling, flat, waves


Womens’ synthetic hair advantages


·         Look – Most synthetic hair wigs are very close to human hairline

·         Versatile – Several styles and looks available

·         Durability – Needs minimal care

·         Change – Does not need to be styled; wear right out of the box

·         Price – Affordable; own more than one

·         Weather – Weather will not affect the wig


Womens’ human hair disadvantages


·         Cost – Expensive because of the human hairline

·         Maintenance – Regular maintenance and washing necessary

·         Delicate – Gentle brushing and care

·         Styling – Regular styling necessary for upkeep

·         Thermal care – Needs thermal treatment before applying heat


Womens’ synthetic hair disadvantages


·         Heat – Very heat sensitive unless special heat tolerant variety

·         Less durable – Six months is maximum lifespan

·         Color – Cannot be highlighted, only darkened

·         Upkeep – Tangles easily; needs special brush

·         Sheen – Will eventually gain an unnatural shine


Final thoughts


Sourcing Nova has tried to compile all of the information to help your customers know how to choose the best wigs to buy.  Like always, we want to elicit your help.  Do you feel like there is anything we have missed about this topic?  Do you think we have done a decent job?  Any other thoughts?  Please let us know in a comment below.