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How to Secure a Wig - Part 1 Adhesives

The second biggest challenge for me when it came to wearing a wig for the first time was securing it. After spending months finding a wig that I felt comfortable enough wearing, I had to figure out how to secure it. I’ve mentioned in past post that, in my area, we don’t have wig stores that teach people how to wear wigs. I had to figure it out on my own. My instinct was to wear a cap and secure it with bobby pins, but that was not comfortable for me. I was never able to secure the wig enough to keep it from moving during the day, the cap would roll up and squeeze my head and my natural hair would fall out and show on the sides. This was almost enough to make me quit wearing wigs, but I was determined and I kept trying different methods until I found the one that worked best for me. And that is what I suggest all new wig wearers do.

You will never be comfortable wearing wigs if you don’t find a way to secure it in a comfortable fashion.

Before you consider different techniques for securing your wigs, first consider the wig you are looking to secure. Make sure you measure your head and purchase the correct cap size. Keep in mind, some wigs come with cap sizes petite, average or large but many only come in size average. Just about every wig you purchase will have adjustable pull straps included in the construction. The straps are located at the nape of the piece and the straps can be loosened or tightened to fit the circumference of your head. Some wig caps come with non-slip poly strip sections on them and others have combs or an elastic band sewn in the cap. These features, however, are not always enough to keep the wig from moving and other securing techniques are needed. Additionally, a person who is bald may need to use a method to secure their wig that is different from a person who has hair.

Techniques for securing wigs include clips or bobby pins, baby powder and oil, a wig cap, or using glue or tape.

If you have hair on your head, you will want to try a wig cap or band. If you don’t have hair, you can use wig tape or glue. In today’s post, we are going to go over wig adhesives for individuals who are bald.

Wig adhesives consist of double-sided tape and glue.

Double-sided tape adheres to your head on one side and to the wig cap on the other side. Wig tape is a very secure way to keep a wig on. From rolls to pre-cut strips, wig tape comes in various forms. I suggest trying different types to see which one works best for you.

To use the wig tape, cleanse your scalp, apply some skin protectant, and allow to dry completely. If using roll tape - cut the tape into several strips, peel the back away from one side of the paper, and place each strip along the perimeter of your hairline (starting from the front and moving towards the nape). Pull the paper from the other side of the tape, put the wig on your head and use your hands to apply pressure on your wig so it sticks to the tape. Keep in mind that wigs with polyurethane tabs are placed in the wig cap specifically to use wig tape, guaranteeing a stronger grip. Wig tape secures you wig for a long period of time – some up to 20 days – but can make a wig feel hotter because there is no “space” between the wig cap and your scalp.

Wig glue is another way to secure your wig for a long period of time. Wig glue can come in a roll-on form or a tube. The glue is clear, invisible and it doesn’t stain. To use wig glue, clean your scalp and roll-on a thin layer of wig glue. Depending on the type of glue you use, you may need to allow the glue to dry before placing the wig. Always read the package instructions to see exactly how to apply that brand of glue. Place the wig hairline first and press down going towards the nape. Wait for at least ten minutes before styling the wig to ensure it is completely dry. Like wig tape, wig glue secures the wig directly to your scalp and doesn’t leave much extra “room” for air to move, so attaching a wig with glue can make it feel hotter.

Regardless of whether you are using wig tape or wig glue, there are other factors you need to consider. Some tapes and glue have a light tact, are easy to remove, and leave little residue. Others have high tack and leave a heavy residue. I suggest trying several kinds to see what works best for you. I find that I don’t like my wigs to move at all because they itch when they move, so I use high tack glue that leaves a residue. Since the glue is water soluble, the residue is easy to wash off.

Each product will have its own unique set of instructions on how to use it and you should always follow those instructions.

The instructions should tell how where to apply the glue or tape. Some will have you apply them on the polyurethane strips and others will have you apply them on the skin. The instructions will also tell you how to remove the wig and adhesive when you are ready to take it off. Most tape and glue are water soluble and easy to remove. Others require using a particular product, such as a dual action shampoo or other products such as Ghost Buster, to remove the adhesive. You also want to know if the product holds up if you workout or are in hot climates. Water soluble products will not hold up as well if you are sweating but there are products available that you can use if you are wearing a wig and sweating a lot. And sometimes the best way to find out which products works the best for you is just to try different kinds for several days each and in different circumstances and environments.

by Penny Jane Love

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