Well then! I’ve been wanting to write a tutorial, really any tutorial, for a really long time, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. So while I was giving my Cersei wig a bit of sorely needed TLC I figured, why not this? Why not start with a nice and simple tutorial about how to straighten a heat-resistant wig (note: this wig IS heat-resistant, do NOT use this if your wig can’t handle high temperatures).
Here are the tools that I used during this tutorial:
The straightener is really good because I can change the temperature on it, so I kept it on the lowest setting (140°C or 285°F). The brush is also VERY important. While I’m far from an expert on wigs, and I’ve heard a lot of wives tales about using different brushes/combs on wigs, I do know that it is really important to have a separate wig-brush that you only use for your wigs, and that it should be made of steel. I got this brush free with a wig from Cyperous, and it is literally amazing. Having some clips handy will help a lot too, since you will be separating the wig into part for easy access.
Another thing that is very important to have is a wig-head, and while it’s not essential, having a wig-stand will also help immensely. I use the base of my dress-form! Ok so, we have all of our things (and ofc the wig that needs to be straightened! The photo below is actually a photo taken after I was finished, forgot to take a picture before).
The wig I’m gonna use for this tutorial is a Matilda from Arda, it’s a lace-front wig in Platinum Blonde. I have used it for my Cersei cosplay, so while it came from Arda with nice and full curls, I straightened it and then re-styled it, so it had gotten a bit ratty by now. This is what it looked like after I washed it carefully, then let it soak in some fabric conditioner. Not very nice, right?
STEP 1: So to start off, pin the wig to your wig-head, and gently brush it with your fingers. It’s best to use fingers at this point, as any pulling might result in lost hairs. You can’t actually see the pins in this photo, but it’s really not that hard. You take a couple of pins, the bigger head the better, and stick them in around the front and “ears” of the wig-heard.
STEP 2: Then you seperate the hair into parts (I took this photo after I had already straightened a few layers). Always start at the bottom of a wig, and take about three layers of wefts at a time. Urgh, look at the mess this wig is in!
Then grab a piece of hair, an inch or so, and hold onto the bottom.
What you want to do now is quickly and carefully pull the straightener over about half the length of this strand a couple of times. My straightener is turned off here because it was hard to take a photo, so I didn’t want to burn the hair, but obviously it should be on.
And then brush! The hair will become very silky and smooth from the brushing, but be very careful about any snags. If there is a knot, start from the bottom of the strand and work your way up. But if you’ve been thorough with your finger-combing, this part shouldn’t be a problem!
STEP 3: Then grab hold of the strand about half-way up (be careful not to burn yourself, the hair can get VERY hot!).
And repeat the same thing. Run the strand over with the straightener a few times, then brush, and watch as it becomes silky smooth.
STEP 4: Before moving on to the next section, I like to just quickly go over the combined layers with the straightener again.
There! Nice and straight! It really does make a huge difference. I recommend doing this to wigs that also just need a little bit of love and care, they can always be re-styled afterwards!
STEP 5: Rinse and repeat with the rest of the wig. I recommend putting on a good movie because this is gonna take a while… Sometimes it’s easier to straighten the end bits by holding the strand like this:
Slowly… (I think I managed to watch Captain America, animated Thor, Kick-Ass and Iron Man while doing this).
Another tip is to prepare strands, because sometimes you just grab hold of a little bit too much of hair, but it makes two perfect strands and you just know that if you let it go you won’t find it again. Then twirl it! It’ll hold just long enough for you to straighten the first piece.
STEP 6: Phuh! Almost finished! The front and top of any wig can be a bit tricky, since it’s not made up of such straight-forward wefts anymore. The best advice for it that I can give is just straighten the strands straight up, instead of out. It can be a bit tricky, but if you fail the first time you can always just find the strand again and do it again. The front of a lace-front is also tricky, I was a bit unhappy with the parting on the wig, so this gave me an excellent opportunity to fix it a bit.
Separate the hair that’s attached to wefts and to the lace, and grab hold of a strand from the lace (carefully).
Put the straightener very close to the lace (again, very carefully), then pull the straightener straight up, and brush. Then straighten the ends of the strands, and brush again. The heat from the straightener means you form the way the hair falls.
STEP 7: FINISHED!
And just to show you what a difference this technique does to wig-fibers, check out this comparison of the ends. To your left: frazzled ends, to your right: smooth. This is why this is good technique to use on wigs just to give them back some life.
I really hope that you all enjoyed this tutorial, and that it was helpful for someone! I’m by no means an expert on wigs, and please please please make sure that your wig is heat-resistant before you use any heating equipment on it! If in doubt, try on a small strand of neck-hair. Also, it’s quite easy to burn yourself, so do not touch the wig-strand right after running the straightener over it, use the brush, NOT your fingers! If you have any questions I’d be happy to help, just drop me a line!