What makes a wig look fake? AND how to make your wig look more natural

August 15th, 2023

1. Shiny, synthetic fibers:

Some synthetic wigs may have an unnatural shine, making them look obviously unnatural. Human hair has a more natural luster, so overly shiny wigs can be a giveaway. 

If your wig looks shiny or artificial, use dry shampoo to reduce shine. Also, hair that is one dimensional in color or super straight can take on a more shiny sheen, try towseling or fluffing up the hair. 

2. Unnatural hairline:

 A poorly constructed or unrealistic hairline is a dead giveaway that someone is wearing a wig. 
Lace front wigs are the most natural looking hairline for wigs. If your wig does not have a lace front, bangs or a fringe, baby hairs and/or varying lengths of hair along the hairline will camouflage a hairline that does not have a lace front.

3. Incorrect color or texture:

If the wig's color or texture doesn't match the wearer's natural hair or appears too uniform, it can make the wig look fake. Real hair often has subtle variations in color and texture. 
We call this “Barbie Hair” when the wig looks “too perfect!” Choose a color that compliments your skin tone. Colors that have dimension (especially rooted colors) and hair that has texture via layers, waves or curls will look more natural. We encourage you to play with your style until you feel it looks natural and like “you.” Don’t be afraid to use styling products to achieve your style goals. 

4. Ill-fitting:

 A wig that doesn't fit properly can appear fake, especially if it sits too high on the head or doesn't blend well with the wearer's hairline. Nor is a wig that doesn't fit properly feel comfortable.
Before buying a wig, Measure your head. Wigs come in varying sizes, knowing what will fit you will also save you time and money. 
Properly putting on your wig is another way to ensure your wig looks natural. It should sit perfectly on your hairline, ear tabs should be in proper positions, use the adjustable straps if you need it slightly tighter or looser. Need more help, read this tutorial: How to put on a wig
Wigs.com expert measuring a client's head for wig sizing.

5. Visible wig cap or wefts:

 If the wig cap is visible or the wefts are exposed, it can be a clear indication that someone is wearing a wig. 
 Hand-tied wigs always look the most natural, but not all wigs are available in this cap construction. Some wigs also need a different type of cap construction to achieve the style and some women prefer an open cap because they like the fit or feel it is more cool during warmer months. In order to ensure your wig cap isn't visible to others, use styling techniques and products to camouflage any part of the cap that is noticeable.  
 Featured: STAY THE NIGHT by Raquel Welch in RL19/23
STAY THE NIGHT by Raquel Welch in RL19/23

6. Lack of movement:

Natural hair has movement and body can look stiff and unnatural, lacking the flow and bounce of real hair. 

It is imperative to comb your wig throughout the day! Doing this will help you avoid your wig looking like a helmet by the end of the day.  
REEVES by Estetica in CHROMERT1B

7. Unflattering style:

Wigs that have an outdated or overly styled appearance might look fake, as most people prefer modern, natural-looking hairstyles. 

Consider your head size and face shape, color, and texture when buying your wig. Conceptualize how the wig will look on your versus the model shown. Still not sure? Book a complimentary virtual consultation with one of our Experts!

8. Poor maintenance:

Nothing will make your wig look fake faster than not properly caring for it! Wigs require proper care and maintenance to look their best. Neglecting the wig can lead to tangling, frizz, and an overall fake appearance.

You should wash your wig every 6-8 wears. Using specially formulated care products for alternative hair fibers will ensure you get the most life out of your wigs and hair toppers.
Beautimark care styling products

9. Lack of scalp visibility:

In natural hair, you can often see the scalp through the strands, but many wigs have hair that appears too dense, hiding the scalp, and making it look fake.
Some women like more volume on the crown of their head, featuring a more layered style. If you aren’t striving for this look, choosing a wig with a monofilament top or mono-part will give the illusion of a scalp, which is important when you part your wig or hair topper. A hand tied top will also make the hairs look like they are growing out of your scalp. Also, if your wig comes with a zig zag part, you must brush it out–this is another tell-tell sign that you are wearing a wig. 

10. Replace your wig regularly:

The sad reality is that wigs don’t last forever. Just like anything you wear regularly or on a daily basis, it’s going to wear out. You will know when your wig is nearing the end of its life, it will start to look artificial. 

With proper care & maintenance, synthetic wigs will last 3-6 months. Human hair wigs will last approximately 9-12 months. You can steam your synthetic wigs if they start to frizz or fray, you can heat style your heat friendly synthetic wig to smooth out the frizz, and you can deep condition your human hair to keep it looking healthy–but sadly no wig lasts forever. Some wig wearers are disappointed because wigs are not inexpensive, but the cost is associated with the labor and materials, not the expected lifetime.  
MAKAYLA by Kim Kimble in MC4/35SS
To ensure a wig looks natural, it's essential to invest in a high-quality wig made from real human hair or high-grade synthetic fibers. Additionally, customizing the wig to suit your features, having it professionally styled, and taking good care of it will contribute to a more natural and realistic appearance.