Wigs and weaves have become so popular in this day in age, you don’t need to have long pockets or celebrity status to be able to join the hair switch-up tribe in order to keep your hair constantly new and fresh.
They say variety is the spice of life, after all. When it comes to hair, changing it up as and when you please has never been easier. Ever wondered how the likes of Kylie Jenner can go from a blonde bob to those long pastel pink ends overnight? Wig. How about Rihanna going from a flipped-out red bob to waist-length jet black locks – wig. Even Naomi Campbell’s envious slick straight, bussdown, middle parted hair that runs all the way down to her hips – you guess it, wig.
Although wigs have grown in popularity the last few years as they become more affordable, more innovative and realistic looking and just generally more accessible, weaves are still the hair protective style of choice for many women.
Too scared to make the plunge because you feel like you don’t have all the answers? GLAMOUR has teamed up with London-based hair salon, Dollhouse, to answer your wigs and weaves related quandaries. With a loyal following and an array of celebrity clients including Victoria’s Secret models Leomie Anderson and Jourdan Dunn, as well as former GLAMOUR cover star Patricia Bright, Dollhouse is one of the most in-demand salons in London. Here, we answer the most-Googled questions about weaves and wigs. Take note…
In this article:
- What is the difference between a wig and a weave?
- What does the process of getting a weave/wig entail?
- How many different types of wigs and weaves can you get?
- What is the difference between partial sew-in, flip over vixen and lace frontal wigs and weaves?
- How long does it take to apply a weave?
- How long does it take to apply a wig?
- How long can you keep your wig/weave in?
- Does getting a wig/weave hurt?
- What are the best products to use on your wig/weave?
- How often should you wash it?
- Can you dye and style weaves as you please?
- Can you take your own weave out or should you go to a salon?
- Can you take out wigs by yourself if they’re glued in, if so how?
- What are some common mistakes that could ruin a lace wig?
- How much should you be spending on a new wig?
What is the difference between a wig and a weave?
A wig is a hairpiece that can be easily worn or removed, typically covering the entire scalp. It can be made of synthetic materials or real human hair. Wigs come in various styles and can be used for various purposes, including fashion, medical reasons, or cultural practices.
On the other hand, a weave refers to a type of hair extension method where natural hair is braided into cornrows, and then extensions (otherwise known as bundles) are sewn into the braids. Weaves are added to the hair to add length, volume, or to create different hairstyles. The added hair can be either real human hair, synthetic or a mix of both. Weaves would usually involve a natural hair leave-out or attachable closure to be sew in separately for a seamless and realistic finish.
What does the process of getting a weave/wig entail?
“The process of getting a bespoke wig or weave involves using bundles and a lace system to construct the wig or weave on the individual’s head. The client’s hair is braided up to allow a flat seamless base, and then bundles are carefully attached using a specialised stitching method to the base.
Wigs require an additional spandex cap in order to make the wig comfortable and removable. Depending on the type of lace system, a temporary hold gel is then used to set the lace frontal system, which can either be a full lace frontal or lace closure.”
How many different types of wigs and weaves can you get?
“There are several different types of weaves on offer. The most popular is the lace frontal wig or weave, lace closure wig or weave, and the natural sew-in, which has further options such as a flip over vixen (two set partings) and a c-part (curved parting).
At Dollhouse, we have a recommended hair vendor, Hairess, who provides luxury virgin hair to purchase for our clients. They offer Peruvian velvet straight, Peruvian body wave, Mongolian exotic curly, and Peruvian bombshell blonde hair. All hair is in bundles and has matching lace frontals and lace closures.”
What is the difference between partial sew-in, flip over vixen and lace frontal wigs and weaves?
Partial Natural Sew In:
“This is when the majority of the hair is braided apart from a small section at the top of head to cover the weave tracks and create a parting. Two to four bundles of weave are then sewn to the braids. This is a great option if you are after a very natural look as your own hairline and scalp is visible. This is a type of weave which works best if you are going to care for the hair which is left out – if not looked after properly, it can cause breakage.”
Flip over vixen:
“Weave tracks are applied to two to four different sections rather than braiding all of your hair back or into one beehive pattern. Your hair is left out around the edges, as well as down the middle of your hair – this gives you more versatility when it comes to styling as you can wear your hair in French braids, up in a high pony/bun, half up half down etc. The vixen weave is best done on hair that’s healthy and full and that’s roughly pony tail length for easy blending.”
Lace frontal wig/weave:
“A lace frontal is best used when you want to recreate the entire front hairline. It sits across the front of the head from ear to ear. This is a really good option if you suffer from hair loss on the hair edges. A frontal can be used when creating a wig but can also be used for a weave. Wearing a frontal gives you the option of being able to wear your wig/weave in a pulled back hairstyle. This is known as a protective style, as none of your natural hair is left out.”
Lace closure wig/weave:
“A closure is typically 4×4 inches and is used to cover the area where the weave gets sewn in, giving the appearance of a natural hairline and scalp area. Like a frontal, it can be used when creating a wig or can be used for a weave. This is also another protective style.”
How long does it take to apply a weave?
“The time it takes to get a weave varies on the style you’re getting and the texture of your natural hair. At Dollhouse, we set aside three hours for each client, although it can take less/more time.”
How long does it take to apply a wig?
“Getting a wig involves the same process of braiding as it does for weaves, but the application part is much quicker as instead of sewing the hair wefts individually into your braids, you can just apply the wig directly and glue the lace to your scalp. You can even choose a frontal wig, which doesn’t require any glue at all and you just pop it on your head. Reducing styling time significantly in comparison to weaves.”
How long can you keep your wig/weave in?
“The amount of time you can keep your weave in depends on your hair type, hair texture and skin type. It also depends on the type of wig/weave you go for. Weaves have a shorter lifespan than wigs of approximately three to four weeks. Wigs can last between three weeks or several years if you keep on top of regular maintenance/reinstalling.”
Does getting a wig/weave hurt?
“The process of getting a wig or weave installed is entirely painless. Braiding your real hair to act as a seamless flat base may involve mild tension, as all universal braiding does.”
What are the best products to use on your wig/weave?
“There are so many products on the market but the products you should use depend on the hair texture you have chosen. For example, for curly hair we recommend L’Oreal Elnett Crème de Mousse Curls Strong Hold 200ml, £6.50, Boots. For straight hair, we recommend
L’Oreal Elnett Heat Protect Straight Hairspray, £6.50, Boots and for a silk straighten and body wave hair, we recommend a good handy holding spray after curling like Moroccanoil Medium Hairspray 330ml, £17.85, Sephora.”
How often should you wash it?
“This is very much down to personal preference but also depends on how many times a week you are wearing it (if it is a wig). If you’re wearing it every day, it may need a weekly wash and condition.
For weaves, this is slightly different as it is recommended to wash it less to avoid loosening the braid base. We recommend getting a good sulphate free shampoo like Maui Moisture Revive and Hydrate+ Shea Butter Shampoo, £8.99, Look Fantastic and a light leave-in conditioner if it needs a bit of revival or detangling such as Ouai Leave-in Conditioner, £10, Cult Beauty or the As I Am Detangling Conditioner 237ml, £9.76, Sephora for curly textured hair.”
Can you dye and style weaves as you please?
“Yes, you can colour and dye luxury human hair extensions. You can also straighten, curl, style, air dry it.” Some synthetic weaves and wigs can be heat styled to a certain temperature, but this will severely affect their durability, follow the instructions in the packaging.
Can you take your own weave out or should you go to a salon?
“You can definitely take out your own weave – it’s not as hard as it may seem. When putting in a weave, the corners are doubled up with thread for security. So, if you just cut that thread, it unravels. It only takes about an hour but, again, this depends on how fast you are.”
Can you take out wigs by yourself if they’re glued in, if so how?
“Yes you can. Of course, there is a certain level of care you should take, as your edges (hair surrounding your hairline) are quite delicate. In order to preserve your hairline and baby hairs, it is best to gently remove the wig by dissolving the wig glue joining the lace to your scalp, using an emollient oil or even Vaseline (Rubbing alcohol would work too, but it’s not as gentle on the scalp). Wipe it over the glued lace and keep pressure on it for a few minutes. Then proceed to use a wet towel to gently wipe out that Vaseline or emollient oil. Repeat this step several times until the lace starts to lift and the glue is completely removed.”
What are some common mistakes that could ruin a lace wig?
“As with any type of hairstyling. Applying wigs flawlessly does require practice. Here are a few things to look out for when perfecting your craft: over-plucking, over-bleaching and over-dyeing, cutting too much lace, using unsuitable products for washing and conditioning, excessive use of heat tools, storage (wig texture will change dramatically if they are not store properly or if they are not clean when put away).”
How much should you be spending on a new wig?
“The answer to this will very much depend from person to person and on personal budget. Prices can range anywhere from £20 for a synthetic but not very realistic looking wig to well over £500 for the best quality 26 inch wavy bundles in the market. The price will also stack up once you request personalised lace and colour treatments etc.
For a first-time lace wig of high quality, good density, shoulder length human hair, I would say it’s sensible to spend around £100-£200. With good care it will last you a long time, and there are salons out there to help with that as well as provide you with re-vamp services. Try The Wig Bar London for info on wig care services. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, try out a synthetic style one first. plsLONDON offer a variety for under £100 which can be washed and heat styled.”
Bookings for weaves and wigs are available at Dollhouse.
For more from Glamour UK Beauty Writer Shei Mamona, follow her on Instagram @sheimamona
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