Of all of the varieties of wigs, lace wigs are the most realistic. Made from hair that’s individually knotted onto a lace base, a professionally applied lace wig is virtually indistinguishable from natural hair. Because of this quality, lace wigs are favorites of women who have lost their hair for medical reasons, such as chemotherapy, as well as for costume departments of theaters and film studios. Though they’re naturally realistic, you need to follow a few guidelines to make your lace wig look as natural as possible.
Trim the excess lace off your wig before you wear it. Often, this is something that the wig seller will do for you to ensure that it is a good fit. If not, just cut the excess off with sharp fabric scissors, leaving about a 1/4-inch strip of lace.
Have the lace dyed to match your skin tone, which will make the lace virtually undetectable and aid in the realistic look of your wig. To do this at home, use a fabric dye close in tone to your skin, and no darker. Dip a cotton swab into the dye and apply wherever the lace will be visible, such as around your hairline and at the part.
Add an anti-fray product designed for cloth to the edge of the lace if it starts to fray. You can find these products at craft and fabric stores, or you can purchase an anti-fray product like Aleene’s Stop Fraying online.
Use a wide-tooth comb and a vent brush for styling your lace wig, since both of these will reduce the pull on the hair. Go slow when removing tangles to protect your wig.
Wash your lace wig with gentle shampoo designed for color-treated hair, followed by a deep-conditioning treatment. A shampoo or conditioner that offers UV protection is essential if you’ll be wearing your wig on a regular basis.
Hide your hair before you put on your lace wig or you will destroy the illusion. If you have short hair, you can simply pin your hair so that it is all against your skull. Long hair is most manageable it you fashion it into braids that hug your head. However you hide your hair, the goal is to have a relatively smooth surface for your wig to sit on.
Yvette Clark has been working as a freelance writer and writing teacher for over 10 years, specializing in animal, nutrition and lifestyle topics. She holds a Master of Arts in English from the University of Illinois at Chicago.