How to Wear a Lace Front Wig—Without Damage

Young mixed race woman with black eyeshadow and a blonde wig

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Lace front wigs have recently made a comeback, and part of the reason is because lace fronts are designed to make your hairline look more natural. Unlike wig-cap wigs, the part will look fairly realistic on a lace front. You also have the option to change where your part lies on most lace front wigs, which gives you more versatility over a regular wig. For women looking for styling alternatives, wigs are often a great choice because you can sport any color you like without damaging your hair. Plus, you can go long or short without waiting for growth or touching a pair of shears. Of course, it's all about learning how to wear a front lace wig the right way.

And there is a right way and a very wrong way to wear this type of wig. Done incorrectly, not only will it look bad, it can be detrimental to the health of your own hair and scalp. Actress Countess Vaughn suffered a severe infection, which she attributes to the glue used to secure her wigs. (It also didn't help that she ignored the problem for several months before seeking medical attention.) Learn how to wear a lace front without damage by following these tips.

Secure Your Natural Hair

You can braid longer lengths to your scalp to create a flat surface, or if your hair is short, you can wrap it. Make sure all of your own hair is secured before applying any adhesive—you don't want to mess this part up, because a bad foundation is going to make the rest difficult.

Use the Right Adhesive

When it comes to knowing how to secure a lace front wig, using the proper type of glue is key. Look for one that's specifically formulated to secure lace fronts. This isn't the time to pull out lash glue, or (god forbid) glue designed for craft projects. Before you try a new adhesive for the first time, do a patch test to ensure you're not allergic to the glue you're using. If you plan to swim in your wig, you'll need a waterproof adhesive. You can also use double-sided tape to attach your wig if you know you only plan to wear it for a couple of days.

Take Care of Your Hair

If you only wear your wig a week or so at a time, you can feasibly skip shampooing and conditioning until you remove it. Long-term wear, however, requires routine care so that your natural hair doesn't become dry and brittle. After cleansing your hair and scalp, thoroughly dry your tresses using a hood or bonnet dryer to avoid bacterial growth.

Don't Wear Your Wig for More Than Six Weeks at a Time

While experts generally agree that you should take a break after six weeks, don't hesitate to remove it sooner. In fact, some adhesive types are designed for short-term use only, so the maximum length of time you should wear a lace front wig depends in part on the type of adhesive you use. Don't use a short-term adhesive if you want to wear your wig for several weeks at a time. Once the six week time period is up, however, it's time to remove the wig and give your hair the post-wig attention it needs in the form of thorough cleansing, deep conditioning, and moisturizing.

Practice Gentle Removal Methods

Don't take off your lace wig when you're rushed—patience is key. Use a designated adhesive remover for lace front wigs. Apply enough of it to soften the glue and slowly take the wig off. If you feel any resistance, apply more remover and wait several minutes before trying again. Take your time to avoid damaging your skin and hair.

A Reminder

While knowing how to wear a lace front wig can you feel glamorous and make daily styling a breeze, don't become overly reliant on them. After all, wigs are an accessory; your hair is uniquely yours. Give your tresses the time and attention they deserve, and a wig will continue to be an enhancement, not a replacement, for the real thing.

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