Today’s wig industry is nothing like it was even one decade ago.  There are so many colorful wigs and styles that owners can find a wig to meet almost any need, and there is very little need to learn how to style a wig because of this.  The synthetic fibers used in the wig industry are designed to hold certain shapes from a full curl to perfectly straight.  This makes it very simple for customers who want to vary their look of their wigs depending on their mood and personal look for the day.  Sourcing Nova has again compiled considerable research for you and your customer base for those who perhaps like a certain wig they own but are interested in varying their look of the wig by styling it some.

Decide on the wig hairstyle

It is always a good idea to have an idea of wig styles you want beforehand.  There are a few considerations you need to have in mind –

·         What is the best base wig

·         How long and thick should the hair be

·         What cut and shape

·         Cap style

·         Lace or hard front


Garbage in; garbage out

You get what you pay for when buying a wig.  Quality, length and thickness of the wig hair affects the cost of the wig.  It is best for your customer base to spend the extra money on the better wigs.  They will be happier in the long run with their decisions and making their purchase from you.  This, of course, means you will need to have the better stock on hand for your customers.  Sourcing Nova can help you find the best wigs and wig hairstyles available.

Also, as a wig seller, you should be able to field any questions from your customer base, have plenty of high quality photos, an excellent portfolio of options and a complete color spectrum of wig choices.    There is a delicate balance between carrying what a customer would like and having unsellable inventory.  This is why Sourcing Nova put together a guide for the best wigs available on the market today.


The tools and workspace

Anytime a customer wants to style a wig, it is always best to have everything they need laid out and within easy reach before starting.  There should also be a substantial workspace and most importantly, plenty of time to practice how to style the wig.

The proper tools and workspace will ensure the customer will be able to keep their wigs looking great and minimize frustration associated when one part of the process is lacking.  Your customers will not need everything listed.  It is better to have more than is necessary than to lack at any time.  Here are the tools that Sourcing Nova recommends:

·         Wig combs – wide tooth is absolute; fine and medium tooth are optional

·         Wig brush – make sure the brush is wig appropriate

·         Irons – Curling, flat, crimping

·         Wig shampoo and conditioner for synthetic hair

·         Hair scissors

·         Ample towels

·         Wig stand

·         Wig head

·         Multiple pins

·         Multiple hair clips

·         Styling gel

·         Heavy duty hair spray

·         Blow dryer

A word about wig heads and stands

Customers who plan on styling wigs outside of the wig’s basic look will need to have a quality wig head and stand.

It is best to get a wig head that matches the customer’s own head.  This way the wig owner will have a better concept of how the wig will rest on their head.  Too small, and the style and any trimming done will result in poor proportions when the wig is worn.

The wig head is only as good as the wig stand used to hold the wig.  A solid wig stand holds the wig straight and still during the styling process.  Some wig stands will come with a level.  The level is not necessary but a good idea.  Both the wig head and stand are available for less than $100.00 for both – an investment well made for a customer’s wig investments.

Make sure the customer remembers what Sourcing Nova has said – Garbage in; garbage out.  You get what you pay for.


The Sourcing Nova General Steps On How To Style Wigs

These steps are for styling any wig – natural or synthetic hair.

  • Step One

Wash the wig thoroughly.  Customers should have a full understanding on how to wash their wigs.  Sourcing Nova’s How to Wash a Wig: Revised for 2021 walks the customer through the entire process.  It is a strong recommendation to wash the wig the day before the customer plans on styling their wig.

Make sure the customer uses nothing but wig shampoo.


  • Step Two

Now that the wig is washed completely and spritzed with a light coating of wig conditioner, it is time to comb out the wig and remove the tangles.

Start with a wig brush for the first few passes.  The initial brushing should remove the larger knots and tangles.


Step Three

Dry the wig according to the steps in Sourcing Nova’s guide to washing a wig.


A word on brush strokes

The correct stroke matters when brushing and combing out tangles.  Sourcing Nova recommends doing the following:

Start slowly towards the bottom of the strands.  Comb up from there in small increments until reaching the knots at the top.
Use short strokes for wigs with curls or waves.
Use long strokes for wigs with straight hair.
Tiny curls can be removed with a wide tooth hair pic.


The wig is now ready to style.


Set the wig up for the process

Place the completely dried wig onto the wig head and wig stand.  You will be able to have a complete 360 degrees view using these two tools.  This is necessary for the best style.

Next, the customer needs to decide what the final look will be and set the wig hairs up appropriately.  This could mean:

Trimming the bangs – more on this later
Putting the wig into ponytails or braids
Curling the hair

How to style a synthetic hair wig

The synthetic hair wig styling process is very simple because many of the wigs come from the manufacturer with a preset style.  This means the wig can often be worn immediately upon receiving the wig from you, although washing the wig at least one time before wearing it is recommended.

Today’s pre-styled synthetic wig is anything but cheap.  The quality of the wig rivals that of human hair in many ways.  Synthetic wigs can also return to their factory style after washing.  This means the customer can experiment with various looks and if not satisfied, wash the wig, and start over.

A synthetic wig does not absolutely require any styling, but a customer who wants to change things up a little bit can do so with a few easy steps.

Lastly, be sure the customer has a synthetic hair wig that is heat tolerant if there is a desire to curl, crimp or straighten with a tool.  Even those wigs designed to be heat tolerant cannot take the full heat of a curling iron, crimper, straightener or blow dryer set at its highest heat.  Keep these tools set at the lowest possible setting anytime the customer is styling a synthetic hair wig.


Tools to have on hand

Above, Sourcing Nova discussed all of the general tools necessary for styling.  Here are the basics for styling a synthetic wig:

·         Wide tooth comb

·         Towels

·         Wig shampoo and conditioner

·         Pins

·         Wig head and stand

·         Blow dryer (optional)

·         Spritz bottle with water

Follow the first few Styling General Steps Sourcing Nova shared previously.  There are two options available for styling a synthetic hair wig.


How to style a synthetic short hair wig

The customer can tease the hair at the knots with gentle rubbing.  This will generate some height off the top of the cap and give volume like a natural hair look.  A spritz of water will help this process.  If the customer is satisfied with the look, use some wig shaping gel, hair spray or other product to hold the hair in place.

The hair can also be combed down for a more traditional look with the bangs resting on the forehead.  Customers wanting to give the bangs a bit of lift can curl them under with a curling iron and hold in place with gel, hair spray or other product as above.

Curly or ringlet wigs only need a shake, lift and separated curls.  Brush very gently, or use a pic with curly and ringlet wigs.


How to style a synthetic long hair wig

The customer should start with a part or parts in various places across the wig.  A spritz of water and wide tooth comb will make it easier to find and keep the parts even.

Once parted, use gel, hair spray or other product to hold the look.


How to style a human hair wig

There is an absolute difference between human and synthetic hair wigs, although that line grows smaller and smaller as the technology increases.  Your customers who spend the money on a human hair wig need to know the best possible techniques for proper styling.  Here is what Sourcing Nova recommends.


  • Step One

Wash the wig according to the Sourcing Nova instructions mentioned previously, or visit the link again.


  • Step Two

Place the wig on the wig head and stand.  Pin the wig down.


  • Step Three

Trim any lace edge if not previously trimmed.  Trim less than you believe you will need.


  • Step Four

Use a wig comb, and part the hair in chosen locations.


  • Step Five

Style the hair according to the customer’s particular desires.


Completely restyling human hair wigs

Customers who want to restyle the wig completely in some way may be better served to take the wig to a professional stylist at a salon.  Those who want to do it on their own should do the following:

·         Start with the wig slightly damp.  A spritz of water is perfect.

·         Put the wig on the wig head and stand.

·         Curl the wig hairs with curling iron and/or rollers.

·         Blow dry the curls with a hair dryer on medium setting.

·         Remove curls when hair is completely dry.

·         Spritz with quality hair spray.


How to style a lace front wig

Lace front wigs can be styled similarly to human hair wigs.  Follow the same steps for a lace front wig as the customer would for a human hair wig.


How to style a cosplay wig

Cosplay is the art of dressing up as various comic book, cartoon and anime characters.  The hair in particular often stands up in very large spikes and in a variety of directions.  The hair, in fact, is one of the key elements of the overall cosplay look.  This means for the cosplayer, learning how to style a cosplay wig is important, particularly if participation in competitions is a goal.

The better wigs a customer can purchase for cosplay can be extremely expensive, and there is a huge selection of cosplay style wigs available.  The enormous investment means many will elect to design and learn how to style their own wigs.  It is a good idea, therefore, to have a variety of Halloween wigs and costume wigs available for your customer base or at minimum, give your customers an option to order them through your e-commerce site.


A word about Halloween wigs

Halloween wigs are in great demand, but these only sell well around the Halloween season.  There is little to no demand outside of the month of October.  It is a much better solution to supply your customers with finished wigs rather than learning how to style a wig for Halloween.  This will provide you a better profit margin and a better product variety.  Sourcing Nova can help you with this decision.


Here are the steps to style wig for cosplay.

  • Step One

Place the wig on the wig head and stand.


  • Step Two

Pin down the wig with hair pins.


  • Step Three

Separate the hair with a wig comb into the specific amounts of hair necessary.  It is best to have pictures of the specific cosplay character so the hair will be accurate.


  • Step Four

Since a cosplay wig often has large spikes and hair in various directions, it is important to use a heavy spiking gel or hairspray designed specifically for wigs.


How to cut a wig as part of styling

It is acceptable to cut a wig as part of the styling process.  Do remember: Cutting a wig is not like cutting your own, natural hair.  Wig hair will not grow back!  It is a better idea, if you are not comfortable with cutting the wig hair, to wear your wig to a stylist and have them trim it on your behalf.

Fortunately, your customers can purchase some wefts, smaller groups of hair, to practice.  The customer can attach the wefts to the wig and wig head or use them on their own head.

There are bang clips that can match wigs and wefts for the sides in the case of a poorly cut wig.


Cutting techniques

There are several different cuts a stylist uses.  Most do not realize this because the stylist is working behind their back making the cuts.  Here are a few different techniques you can employ when it comes to cutting wig hair as the customer styles the wig.

Naturally cut hair will not be 100 percent the same length across the entire head.  This means the customer can vary their cutting with a few different techniques:

·         Move the scissors up and down during cutting

·         Use a razor – cutting diagonal cuts

·         Cut the wig roughly and feather later


Standard home scissors are not sharp enough for cutting hair – synthetic or natural.  It is best to use wig scissors.

When it comes to cutting bangs, it is always best to cut as little as possible.  If the customer is not 100 percent certain how much of the bangs to trim, it is better to trim none and style instead with curls or a part.


The Special Occasion Hairstyles

There are some times when wearing a wig means more than simply styling enough for the day.  A special night on the town or date means an updo may be necessary.  Sourcing Nova has the best solution for updos as well.

Those who style their own hair for special occasions know one very important thing –

It is hard to style your own hair perfectly.

Consider: Your customer can handle the front and the sides fairly well.  The back of the head takes time and practice to style and style well.  Those who are in a hurry or are not experienced in updos will likely be more frustrated than anything.

Enter the wig.

Wigs are the perfect solution for those customers who need a look for a special occasion.  An updo can be done in a fraction of the time and practice.  Best of all, this can be done well ahead of time, days in fact, before the actual event.


Considerations for an updo

What is the customer’s goal with the updo?  Make sure the customer considers the following:

·         Can the wig be enhanced with extensions, additions, buns or other hair accessories?

·         Is the wig hair going to be up or down?

·         Curly or straight?

·         Is this a special event that would deserve a new wig?

The customer has plenty of options.  You may want to have plenty of extra options in your e-commerce location for the customer as well.


Special Occasion Styles

Long and elegant

The basic, low key style has recently been seen with various Hollywood mainstays following this particular trend.

This means old style long hair is coming back after the bob cuts were so popular for so many years.  This means a customer can have a straight hair wig for the regular, daily wear and for special occasions.


Long and wavy

Straight hair may be fine for some, but those who want something with a bit of flair means waves are the perfect solution.  Best of all, this is a very simple, easy to do style.

Those synthetic hair wigs that are heat resistant are perfect for this.  Synthetic hair wigs can easily have these features as well.


Long, loose and accessorized

Hair clips are always a pleasant way to make a wig look great.  It adds color and shine to what could be a very bland look.  Simple and elegant clips make the wig hair look great for a wedding, banquet or other special event.

Hair clips are practical, too.  Clips keep hair from blowing into the customer’s face in the case of an outdoor activity.


Bangs and Up/Down Style

If the customer is not 100 percent certain which way to go with the wig hair, a 50/50 look is a great compromise.  Part updo with part long locks.

These styles look good on almost any person who wants to wear a wig and with different hair lengths.


Loose Braids

Braids are quick and easy.  A simple side braid or braid down the back makes a wig wearer stand out in a big way.

Make sure the customer understands – the braid should be loose and done before wearing.  Braiding hair too tighly will result in the hair being pulled out of the top of the wig cap.


The ultimate updo

Hair pulled up and off of the back of the neck is de rigeur for a special event.  Be it a French twist or ballerina bun, the off the neck look is something extra special.

Some with natural hair may not have the length they want to create an off the neck updo, but this is where your wig collection comes to the aid of the customer.


Here are the steps for the Sourcing Nova updo style.

  • Step One

Follow the washing steps Sourcing Nova has covered many times over.


  • Step Two

Mount the wig on the wig head and standard.


  • Step Threee

Separate the wig hair into thirds: one on each side and one in the backcomb.


  • Step Four

Wrap the back third as a ponytail or bun.


  • Step Five

Take each of the sections on the side, tuck over the bun and around the bottom.


  • Step Six

Let a few tendrils hang loosely on the side, spritz with hairspray and admire the work.


Final thoughts

Sourcing Nova has worked hard to find the information to make this guide on how to style a wig as thorough as we could.  Do you have anything to add that we missed?  Is there anything about a wig you would like us to cover for you and your customers?  Let us know.  We love to have comments from our customer base!