How to Put On a Wig — it’s easy!

in Jan 2, 2018

If you’re new to wigs and are concerned with the difficulty of wearing one, there’s actually no need to worry—it’s easy! In fact, virtually all wigs come to you pre-styled. It literally takes but a couple of minutes to get them completely ready to wear. With just a few shakes and light fluffing, you can put your new wig on, step outside, and no one will be able to tell you just put on a wig a few minutes ago.

Before you even open the package you receive your wig in, it’s important to keep in mind that wigs are often sent in specialized packaging that is designed to help protect and preserve your wig. Because of this, you should take special care in opening the box so as not to ruin the box. This will allow you to save your box to use for storing your wig in between wearing it. Regardless of whether you plan on using the box to store your wig or if you plan on using a mannequin head to preserve the head-shaped form of your wig between use, you’ll still want to use special care when opening your wig packaging to avoid accidentally cutting or ripping the actual wig.

It’s helpful for you to know that there are several different methods for which professional wig makers pack their products. For example, don’t be surprised or think you received the wrong wig if you open the box and discover it to be inside out. This is actually completely normal. Wigs are often packaged inside out simply to ensure the original integrity of the wig. Packaging the wig inside out helps maintain the open and airy style of the wig. You may also receive your wig tucked, folded, upside down, or placed on its side. All of these packaging methods are done intentionally and according to the particular style of the specific wig you ordered.

After you have carefully extracted your wig from its packaging, cup your hands underneath, inside the wig. This will allow for a delicate touch while still maintaining full control of movement. (Professional wigs are designed to stand up to everyday wear, so you don’t have to worry about breaking, ripping, or ruining just from regular handling.) With your hands cupped together inside the wig, you will now gently to semi-vigorously shake your wig. This will succeed in letting out the fibers, loosening the weave and hairs to give them more natural looking volume.

Now, if you have purchased a wig that features natural looking curls or ringlets, you will likely need to use your fingers. Gently run your fingers through the wig’s hairs to restore any curling that may have been lost while in its original packaging. When possible, always try to use your fingers first to do this since that’s the gentlest approach. However, if you run into some stubborn curls and ringlets, you can confidently use a pic comb to release those beautiful curls.

If your wig features a straight hairstyle instead, it will likely work best to use an actual wig brush. These specific brushes are specially designed to provide the gentle yet effective combing needed to achieve the volume and flow you want. In fact, it’s important to note that you should never use a regular hairbrush on your wig. These all too often prove to be too harsh on wig hair, and will often pull out your wig hair or result in unseemly, permanent split ends. Even after the initial treatment of your brand new wig, you will likely find you need to comb and style your wig regularly to keep up with the latest fashion trends as well as different events and activities you like to participate in. This means you would benefit from a fun variety of tools specially designed to provide the highest quality care possible for your wig.

As you can continue to fluff or carefully comb your wig with either your fingers, a pic comb, or a special wig brush, you will start to see your wig come to life, obviously looking luxuriously fuller, sporting the brilliant color and volume that exactly matches the pictures of the wig your ordered online. It may require a little patience the first time, but it will definitely be completely worth the effort.

After you have finished prepping your wig, you will then need to prep any of your own hair before putting on your wig. If you have short hair, you’ll simply need to brush it back away from your face. This will prevent your own hair from showing past the hairline of your wig. For those of you with long hair, you should pin it up. Do this by making flat pin curls with sections of your hair. Keep these sections of pinned hair evenly distributed across your entire head. Doing this will help prevent noticeable bumps or lumps underneath your wig, which would push up your wig and look awkward and obvious. This process might take just a couple attempts, but people have found it helpful and even fun to practice with a good friend, who can be there to help and let you know if you need to rework any of your pinning. In fact, some support groups also have wig parties, where everyone comes to try out, style, and learn best practices to get the most from their wigs. Don’t know of such a group? Start your  own. Regardless, after just a couple practices, you’ll be able to do it quickly and easily by yourself from then on.

If you have very little or no hair at all, you can obviously skip the above steps. However, it is highly recommended that you get a professional wig liner to wear in concert with your wig. Official wig liners do an excellent job of helping to help keep your wig in place. They can also help prevent irritation resulting from direct contact of the wig with your scalp. However, the best wigs will feature improved scalp comfort via high-quality fibers and materials. With that in mind, you may consider getting a wig liner regardless of the length of your hair since they’re so consistently effective at helping you keep your wig in the exact positioning you desire.

You can get excited now, because it’s time to actually put on your wig! All you need to do is repeat the following super simple instructions in order to look your absolute best in your new wig.

  1. Grasp the wig by the nape, usually where the label is located, with both hands. Then, tilt your head forward a little since your wig will be gliding onto your head from front to back.
  2. Next, place the front of your wig just above your eyebrows. Then, slip the wig on just like you would a bathing cap or similarly styled hat.
  3. You’ll then slowly push the front of your wig back until it rests comfortably just below your natural hairline. Remember, the point of quality wigs is to not look like wigs, so you don’t want to give yourself away by exposing your own hair beneath your wig. You will then use the ear tabs on your wig to center the wig. Simply position the ear tabs on your wig on both sides in front of your ears. Of course, for the most natural look, you should never actually cover your ears with your wig.
  4. After you have properly centered your wig and it’s completely comfortable, all you need to do then is tuck in any of your own hairs that might be peeking out from under your wig.

Some wigs feature an elastic band to ensure the best fit possible. But your wig may come with adjustable Velcro tabs instead. These are usually located in the back of the wig.  Use the Velcro tabs to adjust the perimeter of the wig to about half an inch on each side for optimal comfort. The size adjustment process will be different if you have a lace front wig. These are intended to reveal the front hairline, and you will need to practice extra care when adjusting since the ultra-fine monofilament fabric at the front of the wig cap is delicate. To put on a lace front wig, you will need to place the front of the wig above your eyebrows similar to how you would with other types of wigs, but avoid bending or folding at the front hairline. When the wig cap completely covers your head, it’s important to then avoid stretching the lace monofilament in the front hairline while you take care of final adjustments.

You’ve now successfully put your wig on! You can now look into different styling techniques. As with the comb you use, make sure to only use products specially designed for wigs. Products intended for natural hair can be highly damaging to wigs. After you find wig hair styling products, you can experiment with different looks to easily match your outfits and occasions.


Still not confident putting on a wig? Read our full expert's guide to Putting on a Wig.

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