Recently, my mother purchased her first wig. It was the ideal style, length, and shade for her. Still, when she put it on, it just didn’t look right. There was just too much hair. It was overwhelming for her face. Still, she wanted to make it work, so she kept it for a few days to mull it over. Eventually, she gave up on the wig and returned it.
Although the return was hassle-free (thank you, Wigs.com easy return policy!), it was unnecessary. She could have kept the wig and thinned it out. She was new to the entire process, though, and didn’t know it was an option.
When it comes to wigs, more hair is better. After all, the customer can always trim away hair, but they can’t add on hair. Unfortunately, too much hair can cause that stereotypical “wiggy” look that my mother experienced.
Of course, some people have to thin out their biological hair. Thanks to my incredibly fine hair, I have no idea what that is like. I have thinned out a wig or two, though. If you need to thin out a wig, you have two choices: a professional or DIY. A professional hairstylist will already know what to do. As mentioned before, it is a common request they get from those with thick manes. A stylist with experience with wigs is great, of course, but any hairstylist can handle the job.
How To Thin Out Wig Hair
Now, if you like to DIY or maybe you are balling on a budget and are looking for a cheaper option, you can thin out your wig yourself. Full disclosure: If this is your first time ever taking scissors to any type of hair, maybe this isn’t the best choice for you. If you are confident in your abilities, we can give you some helpful advice. That being said, you should do this at your own risk and with an inexpensive wig.
Most importantly, you need a pair of thinning shears. An ordinary pair of kitchen shears will not cut it. Thinning scissors are inexpensive and can be bought online or at a local beauty store. They look like ordinary scissors, but one blade is notched, like a comb.
When you’re ready to begin, place your wig on a wig stand or head form. With a comb, section off the hair into even parts. It’s easier to manage this way. You will want to start at the top of the hair, not the bottom. When thinning out, you will want to stick with the middle of the hair, not the outer layers. Additionally, if you cut too close to the root, you’ll get short stubby hairs that stick straight up.
Place a ¼ inch section of hair in the scissors. The smooth side of the scissors should be at the top while the notches are below. Make a small cut and pull up; here, some hair will come out with your scissors. Slowly repeat this process throughout the wig, regularly checking your progress. When thinning, it's easy to get carried away and end up with more hair on the floor than on your wig!
The goal is to have a nicely blended cut. Blunt obvious lines will look choppy. If you encounter a layer looking too blunt, twist up the hair and cut it at a 45-degree angle to achieve a wispy look.
Periodically, try the wig on and see how the hair density looks on you. Remember, you can always cut more hair off, but you can’t add more hair on. Take your time! If you are ever in doubt, schedule an appointment with your hairstylist.
Do you thin out your own wigs? Tell us about it in the comments!