Hair Care

How to Make Your Cheap Wigs Look Expensive

By Choya Randolph

So you’re scrolling through Instagram and you stumble across a video of someone wearing a wig that you must have. Scratch that, NEED to have. Lucky for you, it’s a promoted ad meaning you don’t have to DM a stranger who used the right hashtags to be on your Explore page. You go directly to the website to buy this wig, a wig that you just know would look perfect on you. But wait, it’s $300?! You play around with lengths and colors and coupons to try to get this wig at a price that you can afford. You realize you’ll still have to drop a bag for this dream wig of yours. So now you’re stuck, feeling like a bald-headed peasant. 

You check other websites for a similar hair style and it’s still out of your price range. You go to the beauty supply store to probably buy some more gel because you will be wearing your natural hair out and not the beautiful wig you can’t afford. But wait, you see a wig that looks similar to your dream wig. And what’s that? It’s under $50? For a cheap wig like that, it’s definitely going to lack in quality and you want your off-brand dream wig to look expensive. Well, there are some affordable hacks to turn your bargain wig into a boujee one.

For many of us, we imagine cheap wigs to be tracks sewn onto a cheap wig cap. Believe it or not, you can buy a cheap lace front wig. You probably can’t tell it’s a lace front because there are just too many hairs covering the lace. Pluck it. Maybe your wig has a side part or middle part either way, pluck it because it probably looks unrealistic. When plucking your cheap wig, make sure you do this on a mannequin head. You want to be gentle when plucking and pluck one hair at a time until you start to see a realistic hairline and/or part. It is better to under-pluck than over-pluck. People will notice the overexposed lace. Plucking does take time. If you’re feeling impatient remember that you can’t afford an expensive wig so you shouldn’t complain.

Now that you’ve plucked your wig and maybe even laid down some edge hairs, your wig has gone to the next level. There’s just one thing about lace fronts, you can see the knotted root of every hair strand. It’s time to bust out the bleach. Bleaching the knots on your wig is the best way to get your lace to serve scalp. Buying bleach is extra money but this is still cheaper than buying an expensive wig. Follow the directions of the bleach and apply it to the lace. Be careful when applying the bleach. You don’t want it to get on the hair or seep through the lace. You’ll end up with blonde roots and that’s probably not what you want. 

Now that the knots are bleached, the wig should definitely be serving scalp. But maybe it’s still not the exact style you want. Maybe it needs some straightening here and there to give it that “jenny say quan.” When it comes to cheap cheap wigs, they are so synthetic that if you were to apply heat, it will literally burn. However, many cheap wigs these days have upgraded to being able to handle heat. Check the packaging the wig came in. It should tell you the maximum heat the wig can handle. Here’s your chance to flat iron or curl where you please, of course at a certain temperature.

After following all these steps, your cheap wig should look like it costs $300. Here’s the thing about cheap wigs, they have a shorter life than expensive wigs. After a few wears, your wig may betray you by looking cheap again. After plucking, bleaching and flat ironing, you definitely want your cheap wig to last you a long time. Simply give your wig a little more TLC. Be careful when gluing it down and removing it. Be gentle when combing through the wig to avoid it getting those synthetic wig tangles. Keep your wig on a mannequin so it retains its style. Also, go for natural hair colors when buying your cheap wig. It will give your wig’s expiration date a boost. Darker hair colors disguise damage better than bright unnatural hair colors. Plus, if you buy a bright pink wig, people are going to know it’s a wig. But if you buy a 1b wig, they may never know. But if a pink wig is what your heart is set on, go for it sis! Just make sure you don’t sleep on those cheap wigs at your beauty supply store. They’re not all for grandmas. 

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