How I Fooled Everyone Into Thinking My Synthetic Wig Was My Natural Hair
This article originally appeared on xoJane.com
After I took out my Marley twists, my natural hair needed some TLC. I didn’t want to jump right into my next protective style (that I was dying to do since I was about to go on vacation in a few weeks), but then again, I didn’t want to spend hundreds on a human-hair wig for such a short period of time while I was waiting for my voyage.
My next option was to go the synthetic route. I wasn’t about to commit to a new weave for just two weeks; I needed something quick and cute.
Not only did this wig get me through the waiting period before my trip, but it also gave my natural hair a break, it wasn’t time consuming as extensions, and it was very inexpensive.
When I took out the twists, I noticed how much my hair grew (yes!) but I also noticed how dry my hair was (boo). I always take care of my natural hair; no matter how laid my weave is, how fly my wigs are, or how many compliments I get on my extensions, if my real hair is not healthy or taken care of, none of that matters at the end.
After using hair mayonnaise and a protein pack, it was time to cornrow my hair. I did six big rows, leaving the edges out: hair at my temples and hair at the front of my head. I did a twist out on the hair I left out, sealing with Jamaican castor oil. I let it set while working on the synthetic wig.
The wig I chose to wear is by Comfy Lace in the style "Daria" and the color FT4/30, a mixture of light and dark brown synthetic strands. Most synthetic wigs tend to look unrealistic, plastic and shiny so I preferred to wear a curly pattern as opposed to straight hair because it looks more natural on me and it would be harder for people to detect that it's fake.
She cost about $40 at my local beauty supply store in Brooklyn.
There are many different kinds of wigs out there. While a full lace human hair wig can be parted any which way, synthetic wigs don’t work that way. Most synthetic wigs don’t come with a part, making it look fake and detectable. But this wig has a “deep part,” which I was down for.
The “deep part” is a part the manufacture adds to a synthetic wig unit to give it a more natural look. There really is nothing else to do with the wig though--what you see is what you get. In other words, you will not be able to have a middle part one day or a part on the left for the weekend. But since this wig already had a pre-made part, I was able to manipulate the manufacturer's version of natural-looking into my version natural-looking.
With about 30 minutes and a little creativity, I was able to make it look like it was growing out of my head!
How to Pull This Off
• Hair-sewing thread and needle
The wig should have mesh lining around the perimeter. I carefully took scissors to cut this off right at the wig’s hairline.
I then used tweezers to carefully pluck out random pieces of hair at the pre-made part.
Two rules to follow when tweezing a new part:
• Don’t take out too much hair because it will look like the Red Sea and you will look like you are balding.
• Don’t make a completely straight part because that will make it look too perfect and unnatural.
Once the part was tweezed to my liking, I wanted the color of the part to match the color of the skin at my scalp. This new part was visibly white! There was no way I could wear it as is and not have someone wonder why there was a white line at the left side of my head.
How was I going to get the color right? Makeup! This is really easy to do.
First, I tried using my own almond-colored foundation, but it still came out white since my foundation is pretty light. I thought, instead, I had to use a darker foundation that will overpower the white on this synthetic unit. Since my own foundation did not make a difference in how the color appeared, I opted to use my mother’s foundation since she is a fewer shades darker than me.
Simply take a few drops of the color you wish to use. You may need to play around with different colors to find the best match for you.
Next, using your fingers or a makeup brush, evenly blend the foundation onto the new part that you made. My mother’s dark foundation was perfect to mix with the white on the unit.
Now my new part was a nice brown color (like me!) The mesh part that's still underneath the wig that gives the illusion of it being natural is really hard and textured, so I had to do this twice for the color to take.
Lastly, I did not like the original curl pattern of this wig because it was too perfect and just laid there. There was no shape to it and it needed some LIFE. I needed BIG. I needed DIVA. I needed DIANA.
To accomplish the big curls, all I needed were my hands--I separated the curls with my fingers.
The more I played around with it, it became shorter in length but it had a lot more volume and body. I also cut a few pieces of hair at the right side to create a side sweep bang.
This wig has three combs in the unit, as well as an adjustable strap, which I found to be very helpful because I was able to tighten and secure it to my liking.
But to further make sure that this wig wasn’t going to embarrass me, I used a needle and hair thread to secure it instead of what most girls use, bobby pins.
To achieve this, I sewed the unit onto my cornrowed hair at the nape of my neck, the right and left sides of my head, near the part, and the middle of the back of my head. I didn’t take the time and sew it like a traditional weave, but on about five sections of my head was just enough that if I, or that nosy someone (or that freaky someone) were to tug on it, it wouldn’t move.
My number-one trick that had strangers on the street and members of my own family asking me if this was my real hair: I placed the wig behind my natural hairline.
Earlier, I noted that when I was cornrowing my hair, I left some out at the edges. With that, I did a twist out then sealed it with Jamaican castor oil (my fave!). Now that the wig was on my head and secured behind my hairline, I simply unraveled those pieces I had set. Since my natural hair is a kinky texture (and not curly like this unit), the twist-out left a nice curl pattern, allowing me to blend my own hair with the fake hair flawlessly.
By doing this, I could pull my hair back without any part of the wig showing and better yet, if/when there was a gust of wind, all anyone would see was my natural hairline and my wig blowing like I was Beyoncé in
Keep in Mind...
When I wear a synthetic wig, I usually do not like to sleep with it because the fibers of the wig can easily lose its shape. I want it to last longer. So before I go to bed, I take it off and do a twist out as so I can have some fresh curls in my hair the next day, and when I put on the unit, I sew it on at the same exact places mentioned above.
She wasn’t expensive, but she was mine, and I would like to use her as long as she’ll have me. So off she goes when it comes time to go night-night so the curly pattern can stay in tact. But if you don’t feel like doing this because it is too much work, or too much stress, or you’re with your boo thang, at the end of the day it’s your unit, your head, your life.
I can tell you that it will be worth it, because now instead of just having her last me two weeks, I can have further use for her in the future and in between protective styles as my natural hair continues to grow.
The Finished Result!
This unit did its thang for me! Werk diva!