Getting Wiggy With It
Why Wigs are the Way Forward - Sue Omar, freelance beauty and style contributor to Elle, Stylist and the Debrief explains how to slay a lace-front wig like a pro…
If you know your way around the ‘gram, then you’ll know that lace-front wigs are totally on trend right now. As an avid weave wearer, I’ve become accustom to relying on my natural hair to quite literally cover my tracks. That’s why I’ve decided to give my stressed tresses a time-out and have my very own ASC custom unit made. When browsing on the site, I was spoilt for choice, thanks to the plethora of products available. A few clicks later, and my shopping basket was stocked-up with three beautiful bundles of straight human hair and a pre-plucked 360-lace frontal that gave me all the feels. Here’s what went down when I popped into Radiant London Salon to get my wig made, installed and slayed.
Unlike classic closures, 360 frontals are designed with lace that covers the entire parameter of the crown, for the ultimate styling flexibility. Wigs made with 360 frontals should look and behave as close as possible to real hair, allowing you to wear your hair in a multitude of styles without revealing any tracks.
As one of the latest innovations in hair extensions, not all hairdressers are qualified in customising and installing 360 lace frontals simply because they are so delicate and require a specific skill. After doing some research on hairdressers that offer this service, I decided to book in with Tracey Campbell at Radiant London Salon as I was confident that she had the expertise to create the exact wig that I had in mind. During my consultation with Tracey, we looked at different celebrity styles for inspiration and to help me decide on the exact look I wanted to go for.
Step 1 – Customising the colour of the lace: Before starting to sew-down the hair onto the wig cap, Tracey bleached the knots of the lace frontal to achieve a more natural-looking hair-line and base. She explained that it’s especially important that the knots are bleached on a 360 frontal as it will create the illusion that the hair has grown from my own scalp. The 360 frontal that I purchased has 13 x 4 parting space, so colour correcting the lace will give me the freedom to part my crown, without any indication that I’m wearing a wig. After applying the bleach to frontal, Tracey let the product penetrate for about ten minutes before rinsing it off.
Step 2 - The wig construction process: Next, Tracey began to sew the 360 lace frontal down onto the wig cap using a needle and thread. The frontal is sewn onto the parameters of the wig-cap so that it can mimic my natural hair-line. Next, the longest bundle of hair in 22 inches is sew-in just above the frontal, at the bottom if the wig.
Step 3 – Layering the tracks: Tracey continued to sew-down the remaining bundles in 20 inches onto the wig-cap, working her way upwards as she stiches. As she reached the top of the crown, Tracey began to carefully layer the tracks to create a flat closure at the top of the wig.
Step 4 - Braiding the base: For the wig to lay flat, my hair needed to braided down into a neat pattern. Tracey’s assistant stylist parted my natural hair horizontally and braided my hair upwards from the bottom, and down from the top of my tresses. The braids in the middle were then secured down with thread, to ensure that my braids were as uniform as possible for smooth wig application.
Step 5 – Wig application and customisation: Now that the wig had been constructed and my hair had been all braided up, it was time for Tracey to apply the wig and customise the lace. To keep the wig secure and in place, Tracey recommended that we go for the elastic band method. Using an elastic band is a popular method as it allows the wig mould to the shape of your mane for the most comfortable fit. Once the wig was applied to my head, Tracey stretched the lace at the front of the wig to create a fit that was tight yet still comfortable. She then cut off the excess lace at the bottom of the wig and marked out where she would sew the elastic band onto.
Step 6 – The glue down: Once the elastic band had been fastened onto the inside of the wig, Tracey re-applied the wig and snipped off the lace at the front of the wig. She then spritzed Schwarzkopf got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Spray onto the ear-tabs on the wig to keep them in position for a more true-to-life look.
Step 7 - Setting and styling the wig: To finish-up, Tracey used a fine-tooth comb to part my wig to the side and applied lathered-up styling mousse to help smooth down the top of my mane. For a lasting look, Tracey then wrapped my wig in a netted scarf and sat me under the heat dryer to set the style in place.
The grand finale…Tracey removed me from under the dryer and styled my wig with a curler to add some more volume and full-bodied, bouncy waves. To conceal the lace at the front of the wig, she then used styling gel to slick my baby hairs down which made the hair-line look almost as real as my own.
I’m absolutely in love with my custom-made wig and the hair feels so soft to touch. Stay tuned into the ASC blog to find out how I maintain and care for my wig in an upcoming post.