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Why Are Ear Tabs Important?

While wearing a wig, you probably don’t ever think about the ear tabs in the cap. After all, why would you? If the wig fits right, you shouldn’t even feel the ear tabs. In the world outside of wigs, people likely don’t even know what an ear tab is. These little tabs may be unsung heroes, but they are so vital to a properly fitting wig. 

Ear Tabs on Wigs

There are several types of ear tabs: closed, open, velvet-lined, and silicon-lined. Each ear tab serves its own purpose to make the wearer comfortable. For example, open ear tabs allow the arms of your glasses to attach to your wig & prevents painful pressure point headaches - read more about Wearing Wigs With Glasses here!). Additionally, velvet-lined tabs, meanwhile, prevent itching at temples. You know the feeling of an irritating clothing tag on a shirt? I bet that tag would feel much better if it was velvet-lined!

These covert functions are great, but still secondary to the main purpose for ear tabs. Ear tabs are included to guide the placement on your wig on your head. To put it simply, if each ear tab is in the same place on either side of your head, or level, then your wig is probably on properly. 

Ear tabs on wigs

Likewise, ear tabs offer an aesthetic function. Wigs are cut to mimic and follow a natural hairline. The tabs actually come down and sit in front of the ears, providing the sideburn sections of hair. This helps keep your wig looking natural and realistic. 

Construction-wise, ear tabs have pieces of metal or plastic inside them. These keep the tabs laying flat against the head. Not only is this more comfortable, but it looks better. Tabs that are winging up away from your head don’t look realistic. Wings are great for eyeliner but are an obvious sign of a wig. When putting on your wig, check the positioning of your ear tabs.

Since ear tabs can contain metal, wig wearers worry about going through security. A common question we receive at Wigs.com is, “Will my metal ear tabs set off the x-ray machines at the airport?” No, they should not. If your wig is made of high-quality material, such as everything sold on Wigs.com, you shouldn’t have to worry. In general, wearing a wig to the airport should be easy. If you’d like some information about traveling with wigs, check out our blog Wearing Wigs at the Airport.

Additionally, many of our clients have asked if they will have to remove their wig if it contains metal ear tabs for MRI scans and other health scans. Such a decision is up to the technician. It’s important to let them know you’re wearing a piece before testing begins.

Types of Ear Tabs 

Ear tabs can make a world of difference in your wig wearing experience. You may find you prefer a certain type to another. If you wear glasses, check out Flirt by Gabor. This synthetic wig has the open ear tabs you need. 

If you have a sensitive scalp and want to try out something new, Heidi by Jon Renau should be your next wig. This mono top wig includes bendable velvet-lined ear tabs that allow for the perfect fit. See the video below for visual examples of ear tabs.


Hi Laura,

The stays in the velvet ear tabs may be metal or plastic. We do not recommend to wear your wigs, hair toppers, or extensions during a CT Scan as these materials can vary from piece to piece.

Best Regards,
The Wig Experts

The Wig Experts

The ear tabs on almost 99% of the wigs I have bought (J Renau, Estetica, Envy) do not sit right and tend to press on the tops of my ears. I find it far more comfortable to carefully snip them out. The wig looks great, fits better for me, and I can wear them all day with no pain.


My wig has velvet covered ear tabs. I need to know if the tabs are metal. I am having a CT Scan soon and need to know if I have to remove my wig for the procedure.

Laura Olsen

Most ear tabs do not have much of hair length, synthetic or otherwise, for sideburns, in men’s wigs. People need that option, particularly, if one wears spectacles.

IMO, IT IS A DESIGN FLAW in men’s wigs.

I got some hair extensions of the same colour as the wig & fixed it in myself.

Extensions again, are not available easily in short lengths. One has to get a long one & trim it

R Iyer

This is so helpful! As a cancer survivor I have been trying to figure out how to wear wigs, and this is first article that explains the purpose and correct position of ear tabs. THANKS !


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