Whether you’re a new wig wearer or a long-term wig enthusiast, one of the main questions that most wig wearers are curious to know is exactly how your wig has been made. We offer ladies wigs from UK stockists, but not all of our wigs are manufactured in the UK. If you’d like to know more about the process of how your wigs are made, then we’ve done all the hard work and the research for you. Here’s everything you need to know about how a specialist wigmaker would produce a homemade, human hair wig:
Working with Hair
If the wig is made from human hair then it’s important to ensure that all of the hairs are lying in the same direction. If the hairs aren’t flat and smooth then this will have a negative impact on the finished shape of the wig, and will also make it much more difficult to style. To achieve this, each hair is hand sorted to determine whether it is ‘root up’ or ‘root down’ until you have a bunch of organized hairs.
Once the hairs have been organized, each hair should be inspected and then gently washed, disinfected, and then dried in an oven that has been set at 176°-212°F(80°-100°C).Depending on the required finish hair colour and effect of the wig, at this point the hair will be sorted by colour. Then it is possible for the wig maker to begin preparing and working with the hair.
Making the Wig
The wig is made on a form which will correspond to the size of the wig that is being made: once a wig has been made to size, it is relatively difficult and time consuming to adjust the size of its base form. The edge of the wig’s foundation is cut from fine-mesh silk netting that matches the desired hair color. From this point hair will begin to be stitched into the weft of this mesh, and it is stitched in place in a specific pattern: the front edges of the wig are generally stitched in place first before working up to the crown of the wig. Each hair is knotted into place to avoid damaging it, and to ensure the wig is as secure and as consistent as possible. A full wig requires 30,000 to 40,000 knots, which take a total of about 40 hours of tying. When the wig is fully ventilated (which is the technical term for a completed wig that has all of the knots attached), it is removed from the wooden working block and then mounted wrong-side-out on a soft block made of canvas stuffed with sawdust. A final row of knotting is done around the edge for extra security. The inside surface of the wig is pressed with a heated iron to secure the knots in place, and to ensure that the wig can be washed and styled just like your own natural hair.
Styling the Wig
Once the wig has been made it must be styled before it can be sent either to the shop or directly to the customer that has requested it. In order to be styled, the finished wig will be pinned to a soft block before it is dampened and combed through with a wet comb. If the wig needs to be left straight then the hair will be heat treated at this point. If the finished effect is curled then these will be formed either as pincurls or on rollers. The wig will then be covered and placed into an oven until the curls have set, and then the wig is ready to go. This whole process takes between 4-8 weeks, and should go some way to explaining why human hair wigs are considered to be so expensive.
By understanding what work goes into creating a hand tied human hair wig in this way, it makes it much easier to appreciate and understand the skill and workmanship that goes into each wig you wear. Your wigs are a piece of art, and they should truly be appreciated. The right hand tied wig will perfectly replicate your natural hair, meaning that noone will ever need to know you’re wearing a wig unless you choose to tell them: it’s like an improved version of your own hair, that you’ll love so much you won’t want to take it off!