The Ultimate First-Time Wig Buyers Guide: How to Choose and Wear Your First Wig

in Mar 23, 2018

Jon Reneau Wig

The 5 Factors to Buying the Right Wig So That You Love the Way You Look and Feel

Are you buying a wig for the first time? It can seem a little daunting. But, did you know...

Millions of people wear wigs every day—you’re definitely not alone. It’s quite possible that even your neighbors and colleagues wear wigs and you have no idea! That’s because today’s wigs look more natural and beautiful than ever before.

In fact, today’s top celebrities not only wear wigs on the red carpet and in movies, but also in everyday life, too. And even if this isn’t your first wig, you may learn some new tips that will assist you in choosing your next wig.

Here are the 5 factors that go into finding the perfect wig to achieve a more beautiful you:

Let’s dive in!

Hairstyle: What Style Wig Should I Choose?

We get it...there are hundreds (in not thousands) of different wig styles to choose from.

And if it’s going to be your first time wearing a wig, you might feel a little timid about the whole experience, but rest assured, there’s no need to be scared!

Wigs have improved significantly over the years and now offer the exact look you desire, seamlessly integrating with your scalp and facial features.

For your first wig, you should consider wearing something that more closely matches your current or previous hairstyle.

Staying with what you’re familiar with will make the ongoing maintenance and styling of your hair easier.

Many wigs can be styled to look differently, so you can always look into taking your wig to a salon that specializes in wig care or doing it yourself at a later time.



There are 3 main lengths to choose from:

Short wigs

Petite Mariska - Jon Reneau SmartLace

Shown: Petite Mariska - Jon Reneau SmartLace


Medium length wigs

Julianne - Jon Reneau SmartLace

Shown: Julianne - Jon Reneau SmartLace


Long wigs

Harper - Henry Margu

Shown: Harper - Henry Margu

Short wigs are admittedly better for more humid areas or if you feel that your body is always hot. The longer the wig (just like the longer your hair) the more heat will be trapped and the warmer you might feel throughout the day. Also, short wigs are a bit easier to maintain, dry faster, are quicker to style, and can cost less.

But the choice is yours, don’t let money get in the way of achieving the look you want.



Once you know your desired length, you have a few choices for your desired texture:

Straight: Straight and flat.

 Codi - Rene' of Paris Wigs

Shown: Codi - Rene' of Paris Wigs


Wavy: Flowing and bouncy, but not curled.

 Raquel Welch Breeze | Synthetic Wig (Traditional Cap)

Shown: Breeze - Raquel Welsh


Curly: Heat-Friendly and pops back like a slinky.

 Raquel Welch Always | Heat Friendly Synthetic Wig (Traditional Cap)

Shown: Always - Raquel Welch Heat-Friendly

What Shape Is Your Face?

When selecting your wig style, it’s not your personal preference that should be the main consideration.

Instead, you should carefully consider what type of wig style looks best with your face shape.

Even though you may prefer a certain wig style, the most important thing to keep in mind is which wig will best flatter the shape of your head and face.

This will help you determine the length, texture, and overall style of wig to choose.

Here are the different face shapes and the styles that look best with each one:

What Hairstyle suits your face shape?

  Image credit:


Oval-Shaped Face

If your face is balanced and evenly proportioned, you can wear almost any style. Off the face wigs will serve you best.

You should avoid wigs that feature heavy bangs or significant forward direction, which can create the perception of more weight in your face.

Round-Shaped Face

Your best choices are styles that succeed in adding fullness as well as height at the crown of your head.

These wig styles include off-center parts.

You would do well to wear shorter wigs that feature a swept-back direction or those with lengths that go past your chin.

You should avoid chin-length hair with a rounded line that closely matches your face's circular shape, center parts, very short cropped styles and fullness at the sides of the ears.

If you wear a rounded wig that doesn’t go past your chin, it will probably make the widest part of your face look fuller and wider.


Square-Shaped Face

Your best choices for this shape of face include wigs that are short to medium in length. You should look especially beautiful in those with waves or roundness around the face.

Be sure to consider wigs with wispy bangs, off-center parts, and those that provide height at the crown of your head. Layers and wispy looks succeed in softening your naturally square face.

With more height provided by your wig at the crown of your head, you will elongate your symmetrical face shape.  

You’ll look lovely with curls or waves as those will balance your straight and symmetrical features. You should avoid straight bangs with linear lines, center parts, as well as styles that are long and straight.

This includes avoiding straight bobs that end at your jawline.  If your wig does not go below your jawline, then you can also wear a layered bob.


Oblong or Rectangular-Shaped Face

Your best choices include short or medium-length wig styles since these can minimize the length of your face.

For example, you probably shouldn’t choose a wig that goes past your shoulders.

If you want to soften the straight lines of your face, then you should look for wigs with layers. If you want to minimize the geometric appearance of your face, wigs with side parts can help you with that.  

You can shorten the appearance of your longer face with soft and wispy-banged wigs. If you would like to add width to the appearance of your face, then look for wigs that offer fullness at the sides.

You should avoid longer or taller wig styles since these will further elongate the look of your facial features. You should also consider avoiding wigs with center parts.

Heart-Shaped Face

Your best choices are chin-length or longer wig styles, including hair that’s parted to the side, swept forward in layers around the upper part of your face, and even gently wispy bangs.

A chin-length bob may be perfect for you since it creates a balanced look by giving fullness in all the right places.  

Shorter wig styles can suit you. But it should be noted that if you have a very intense heart-shaped face, you’ll do best with a wig style that succeeds in adding weight in the back nape area of your neck.

This will allow you to enjoy beautiful balance between your pronounced cheekbones and narrow chin. You should avoid short, full styles with tapered necklines since these tend to put more attention on the upper part of your face, which can make you look unevenly distributed or top heavy.

If the wig creates the look of too much weight at the crown, it will make your face look longer with an even narrower chin.

Diamond-Shaped Face

With this shape of face, your best choices are actually just about any style you desire since the balanced shape of your face will be flattered by most any wig.

You’re lucky to be able to try a variety of wig styles! It should be noted thought that if your face is more of a dramatic shape and you are more interested in a short wig style, you should consider wigs that provide more weight in the nape area.

Wearing these types will help you maintain a balanced look between your dramatic cheekbones and delicate chin. The only types of wigs you might consider avoiding are those with a lot of hair since they’ll probably hide your wonderful facial features.

Pear-Shaped Face

The best choices for this type of face are wig styles that promote the appearance of width at your forehead and temples.

This will help create the illusion of a more oval face, drawing people’s attention to the upper part of your face.

The wig hair should be styled closer to your head on the sites and at the nape, to minimize the width at the jawline area of your face. You should think about avoiding full and long wig styles that would put more focus on your jawline.

How Your Daily Lifestyle Effects Your Wig Choice

Are you typically at a desk inside for most of the day? Or do you live a very active life that includes sports?

If most of your day is spent inside at a desk, then you may want to select synthetic wigs or heat-friendly synthetic wigs. They are less durable than human hair wigs, but you can take advantage of a smaller price tag since you won’t be demanding as much from your wig.

On the other hand, if you’re typically more active, human hair as well as premium human and Remy hair hybrid wigs will likely serve you better since they are the most durable.

What Look Are You Going For?

Aside from durability, you’ll also want to think about the type of look you’ll most frequently wear. If you work in an office every day, you’ll obviously want to consider a wig that will help you achieve a professional look.

Therefore, consider shorter length wigs. If you want to achieve a look that’s more on the cute side, then consider getting a pre-styled wig that features curls.

This brings up an important consideration: Curling your own wig can be tricky, since you shouldn’t apply high-temperature heat to most wigs because it can actually melt the hairs.

You can buy heat-friendly synthetic wigs, which typically allow you to apply up to 350 degrees of heat while styling. 

But if you think you’ll want cute curls just about every day, then you might as well buy a wig that comes with permanent curls. It’s easy to get caught up in all the sexy, fun, and glamorous wig styles, but you should stick with what will best suit your daily needs.

Once you’ve gotten your first wig for daily wear, you can always come back and look for a wig that you’ll love wearing for costumes or special occasions.

Since it’s completely common for people to frequently dye and restyle their hair, it won’t seem awkward if your hair looks completely different from time to time.

The only thing that will stand out is your luxurious new looks!

If you’re still having difficulty narrowing down your choices, consider starting with the following primary categories of wigs and working your way through the options:

Choosing the Perfect Wig Hair Color

There is no shortage of variation in wig colors, however, finding the exact color to match you or your original hair color can be a very tricky task...

If this is your first wig, you may want to consider remaining closer to your natural hair color. You can always try new, different colors later. It’s also important to keep your natural skin tone in mind when selecting your wig color.

Look for wig colors that will best compliment your natural skin tone, which isn’t necessarily going to be your favorite color of wig.

Variations Between Wig Brands

Finding the right color is the riskiest part of buying a new wig, so be sure to spend a few extra minutes matching up to your desired color.

Each wig brand is likely to have a slightly different color labeling system, which means moving between brands can be a bit tricky.

The most important thing is to remember the exact color name for your favorite styles so that you can get an exact replacement when your old wig inevitably deteriorates.

What Cap Size Do I Need?

The size of the wig can make an even bigger difference than the actual style since it’s directly related to your comfort.

If you get it too small, it won’t fit on your head. If it’s too big, it might be obvious you’re wearing a wig. 95% of wig wearers are actually classified as average size. But, you can easily find wigs that come in petite and large sizes as well.

But, how do you figure out if you’re average size or not?

How to Find Your Wig Cap Size

Wig Cap Size Diagram

If you’re not sure about what size of cap you should choose, you will need to use a tailoring measuring tape to measure the circumference of your head.

Measure from the front of your hairline, behind your ear, to the nape of your neck, to your other ear, and then match the measuring tape back to the other end at the front of your hairline.

Pro Tip: To make sure your measurement is accurate, try measuring at least three times to make sure your number is consistent.

Now, all you need to do is match your measurement to one in the list below.

Standard Circumference Sizes:

  • 19 inches: child
  • 21 inches: petite
  • 21.5 inches: petite/average
  • 22 inches: average
  • 22.5 inches: average/large
  • 23 inches: large

Note: If you use a different wig size chart than the one provided here, be sure the size chart you’re looking at online is for circumference since that’s what you’ll have measured if you used the above tip. For example, some size charts offer ear-to-ear sizes, not circumference.

Wig Straps

What makes wig sizing even more convenient is that most come with some type of strap, commonly Velcro, which allow you to easily adjust the size of your wig for the best fit possible.

They usually allow you to adjust smaller or larger by a half inch.

Therefore, if you’re concerned your wig might be a little too small, you should still get the size that’s recommended according to the circumference of your head since you can adjust the size up.

It’s better to be slightly more snug than too loose.

Wig Cap Construction: What Are My Options?

Many people think that the main difference between wigs is the style. That is a big point of difference, but there’s another very important element to consider—the wig cap construction.

Wig hair is attached to the cap via different methods and constructions. Each has its own advantages you should consider before purchasing.

This is where we see why some wigs are significantly more expensive than others. Don’t automatically reject a wig because it’s a lot more expensive than other options. You will get what you pay for.

You may end up paying more for your wig, but you should also expect a longer life from your wig as well as a more natural look.

Take a look at these primary differences between wig cap constructions for help deciding which type will best serve your personal needs.

100% Hand-Tied Wig


100% hand-tied wig is also known as a hand-knotted wig. This type of wig offers what many consider to be the most natural appearance since the wig hair moves so freely.

You can look forward to freely and naturally moving hair, since every single hair on these types of wigs is tied by hand to the base.

These are the best types for those of you with sensitive scalps or hair loss since they are the softest and most comfortable cap.

You’ll enjoy fantastic versatility when it comes to styling since you’ll be able to comb your hair in virtually any direction.

It features the lightest type of construction method, which makes it ideal for wearing all day every day!

Lace Front Wig

If you’re looking for an incredibly natural hairline, then this is an ideal type for you. Choose this type of wig if you frequently style your hair away from your face.

Every hair is tied by hand to the sheer lace section, but not to the whole cap. The material is also more delicate than other types of wig cap constructions, so you’ll need to be careful when handling. This also means it’s not a good choice if you live a very active lifestyle.

Many of these lace-front wigs come to you ready to wear and cover your head from one temple to the other.

Monofilament Top Wig

The monofilament wig cap makes it look like there is natural hair growing from the scalp at the site of the part.

In this type of wig cap construction, individual hand tying is used for the sheer base but not the entire cap. But, you can wear this wig with ultra confidence since it does such a good job of making it look like natural growth emanating from your scalp where the hair is parted.

Do you want extra comfort?

The double mono layer of extra soft material can do that for you. You can choose from full top, parting, or crown areas.

If you simply can’t decide which wig to buy, you can’t go wrong with a monofilament top wig since it’s considered to be the most popular type of wig.

Open Cap / Wefted Wig

This type of wig construction is the most basic. It gives you instant lift thanks to the pre-teasing at the roots.

If budget is a primary concern, this type of construction will give you the most bang for your buck. And they’re very durable, helping you get even more for your money.

You’re sure to love how cool your scalp feels since this type offers excellent air ventilation from the open-weft construction.

Flexible options include capless and other traditional types.

Hair Wigs: Which Type of Hair is Best?


Synthetic Human Hair
 Cost $$ $$$$
Longevity 1-3 Months 3-6 Months
Color/Highlight? No Yes
Use Heat? Head Defiant Only Yes
Maintenance Low High
Prevent Tangles Difficult Easy


When discussing hair options for wigs, there are only two types to consider: real human hair wigs or synthetic (also known as fibre) hair wigs.

Human hair wigs and synthetic hair wigs both have their own unique advantages and disadvantages, so be sure to review the following tips to help you select what’s best for your personal needs.

Human Hair Wigs

Real hair wigs will help you achieve the most natural look and feel. They offer you great versatility with styling, and you will enjoy excellent durability, which can last you for over a year if you maintain a regular wig care routine.

However, human hair wigs are typically more expensive and they require additional styling, especially after you have washed your wig, because they function similarly to your own real hair.

Premium and Remy Human Hair

This is a specific type of human hair wig that offers the highest quality of any wig.

You’ll enjoy less tangling with this type of wig since the hair cuticles run in the same direction.

These wigs are more expensive since they require more careful collecting and processing techniques, but you will enjoy a higher quality wig.

Synthetic Hair Wigs

These offer both the look and feel akin to human hair. However, there can be significant differences between brands, so make sure it’s made of high-quality materials or it may not look as much like natural hair.

You won’t have as many options when it comes to styling.

For example, you cannot apply heat, which means hair dryers and curling irons are definitely out of the question. However, you can choose from dozens of different pre-styled fiber/synthetic hair wigs, so you can easily find the style you’ll want to wear every day.

These are typically less expensive, but that also means they are less durable than human hair wigs. You can expect them to last anywhere from four to eight months if you maintain proper care throughout.

A big advantage of fiber hair wigs is they require significantly less maintenance—ready to wear as soon as you get it!

Heat-Friendly Synthetic Hair

This is a specific type of fibre hair wig, which grants great versatility when it comes to styling.

You can actually use hot hairstyling tools such as hair dryers and curling irons. However, you should be sure to check the details of your specific tools to make sure they do not exceed 350 degrees. Tangling may occur, so you need to be careful to avoid this.

If you choose this type of wig hair, you’ll have to decide how important heat-treatment styling is to you. Because of the materials necessary to stand up to higher temperatures, these wigs are the least durable, providing two to three months with proper maintenance.

Should I get a Synthetic or Human Hair Wig?

It’s common for people to automatically assume human hair wigs are the best. They are for some, but not necessarily everyone.

Bottom line?

If you are looking for something natural, durable, and stylistically versatile, consider a human hair wig.

However, if you are on a budget and prefer something that is low maintenance, invest in a synthetic hair wig.

How to Maintain Your Wig: Products and Accessories

The Do's and Don'ts of Wig Maintenancen. How to Care For Your Wig

While you’re researching the perfect wig for yourself, don’t forget that wigs require special hair care and styling products.

Wig Care Products

You should avoid using products unless they are specifically intended for use with wig hair.

Be sure to implement a regular wig maintenance routine so that your wig lasts a long time and so that you always look your best.

Wig Shampoo and Wig Conditioner

A common mistake that many new wig owners make is to assume that wigs can handle a regular shampoo or cleansing product. Your wig will be much better of if you purchase a shampoo that is customized to treat the highly processed hair of artificial or natural wigs.

Also, protect your wig by making sure your wig conditioning products are free of toxic parabens!

If you plan on styling your wig often or plan to travel with it, consider looking into an entire wig care kit to ensure all of your products will best complement each other so that you can look great wherever you go.

Wig Brushes and Wig Combs

Another thing to consider is how you will brush and style your wig.

You should always use a wide-tooth comb designed specially for wig brushing. You can use a wire wig brush, but not a regular hair brush. You need to be more gentle then you may have been with your own hair because brushing to hard can pull the fibers out of the wig.

If your wig is a short hairstyle, you can use your fingers to place the hairs back where they belong. For medium length wigs, start at the bottom and work your way up. Long wigs tend to tangle more, so always be careful not to use too much force when brushing and styling them.

Also, you should always have the wig on a wig stand when brushing it.

Love The Way You Look in Your New Wig

Women Smiling with Wig

Whether you are completely new to wigs or want to get even more enjoyment from your next wig, we hope you’ll use this wig buyers guide to learn more about the fun process of discovering the best wig for your needs and desired look.

There’s much more to it than just selecting the color of wig you want, so take advantage of the details provided here to gain a better understanding of what to look for such as cut, cap size, composition, and color.

All in all, you’re going to love the way you look in your new wig, and the more you know about the different options, the easier it will be for you to make the perfect choice.

Don’t forget, after you find the perfect wig, share it with us on Instagram and tag #UltimateLooks in your picture!

We always love to see you smiling.

Happy shopping :)

Next up: How to Put on a Wig

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Joanne Watters
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