I have thick hair. At least this has been the comment of every dermatologist, doctor, hair stylist and idle-runner-of-their-hands-through-my-hair-er I’ve ever run into. I’m not telling you this to brag. It actually poses a problem when wearing a wig. The more hair you have the more unnaturally the wig will lay on your head. Enter the wig liner.
Wig liners are often mistakenly referred to as wig caps or more confusingly, wig cap liners. I usually buy my wig liners under the name of wig cap, but there is a difference. As wigs have become more widespread, wigs tend to come with their own built in “cap” of lace and elastic. This is not the same as the “wig caps” mentioned in this blog, which are more correctly refereed to as liners because they line the area between your hair and the wig. There are also different types of wig caps and liners. Lace front, partials, wefted. Needless to say it can get pretty overwhelming.
Some wig liners are very much like the ones pictured below but they are open in the back (like a really wide headband) which you simply tuck into itself. The simpler variety are what I use and have pictured below. I don’t normally use them as my hair has gotten used to being tucked neatly into my wig’s built in caps (more on this later.) For most people, wearing a wig without a cap or liner is not an option. This can be due to head sweating, wig slippage, or sensitivity to the wig itself. Also some wigs are sensitive to natural hair oils and sweat, exposure can ruin them. For these wigs a liner is absolutely necessary. To give you an overview of wig liner usage I went ahead and purchased a mesh style wig liner.
Mesh style liners prevent slippage more due to the netting and also beacause they can be used in conjunction with wig clips, Nylon style liners are a better choice for people who have no hair, as they provide more protection from the rubbing of the wig against the scalp. Mesh liners are a bit easier to wrap around more voluminous hair but if you have thinner hair a Nylon liner will give you a smoother finish. It’s all a matter of preference.
Both nylon and mesh are wretchedly prone to ripping and tearing. (See Exhibit A) Which means it’s a good thing that they can be purchased online for about a buck each including shipping, or less than $2 for 2 if you catch eBay on a good day. Mind you – I don’t mind waiting 2-4 weeks for products from HK or other such places. You’ll end up paying double or triple for the same product here in the States or some other non-mass-producing country.
Of course, to prevent tearing you could always be careful about putting on your wig cap but this is easier said than done.
There are multiple ways to put on a wig cap. The most common involves the following steps:
1. Put your hair in a ponytail (or two if you have thick hair).
2. Fold the ponytails up and against your scalp. Pin them down with bobby pins if necessary
3. Stretch the wig cap from the nape of your neck UPWARDS until the wig cap is secured to your head. It is not necessary to stretch it all the way over your hairline and you WILL have plenty of stray hairs at this step.
4. GENTLY tuck in bangs, flyaway bits of the ponytail and any stray wisps around your hairline. When using this method I only trouble myself with the hairline; I don’t mind wisps of hair in other places as the wig will obscure them.
This is the accepted, cumbersome way of putting on a wig cap. I don’t usually use this method unless I am wearing a very short wig that requires a super-neat tuck. What do I do?
1. First, I brush my hair back. I pin any bangs that refuse to stay put but I do not use ponytails or more than 1-2 bobby pins at the most.
2 I stretch the wig cap over the top of my head as in Exhibit B.
3. I then proceed to divide the hair not inside the cap into two or three sections, I fold each section up and tuck them under the wig cap. I use my hands to spread the sections evenly underneath the cap until each section has been tucked in.
4. Revel in how sexy I look.
If any hairs are too short to be folded the traditional method would have demanded my pinning them in – but i’m far too lazy for that. With this method I find that I achieve my goal in wig-cap usage: a clean hairline. The second goal of wig cap usage is making sure your head looks the least lumpy possible. This is achieved by a mixture of practice and patience: you have to take your time in tucking in the stray strands of hair. Don’t be afraid to reach in there and gently massage your hair so that it settles into a more natural position. When you’re done with either of the above methods you should have something like this.
Thus ends this post. Don’t worry, next up is my wig review. Hope to see you there!