How to install a Lace Front Wig

I have been natural for about 5 years and last year I decided to change up my protective styling game. I already had my hair extensions business up and running so my next move was to add wigs to my store. I needed to learn how to properly install lace front wigs for myself and my customers. So after hours of watching tutorials on YouTube, I am confident on how to install a lace front wig. Now personally I don't use glue because like to take my wig off at night but I have experimented with installing my wigs with glue for a secure hold that lasts. 

Wigs are super popular now because they are really easy to do. It’s a great option for doing your hair in a complete look without too much work, and you really can do it at home. Here are some tips on how to complete this process. The first step, of course, is to buy the wig — which we covered here — but once you have your unit in hand, here are all the products (and some helpful advice) that you’ll need to successfully install it.

Prep your Wig

When you get your wig, it’s likely that the knots on the lace where the hair is connected will be black – which can make it obvious that the lace of the wig is not your own scalp – so the first thing many people do is bleach these knots. You will need hair bleach and developer. "When you’re bleaching it, you’re making it almost see through so you don’t see the little bitty knots,” says A’lea Malcolm-Young, who reviews wigs on TikTok for her more than 400,000 followers. “That way it looks like it’s coming straight from your head.” To do this, Malcolm-Young says she mixes BW bleaching powder and 30-volume developer into a thick paste, “because you don’t want it to seep through your wig,” and then turns her wig inside out and applies it with a brush. YouTuber Mikaela White, also known as Pisces Finest, uses a similar process and says to “leave it on for about 20 minutes, rinse it off, and then wash it off using a purple shampoo like Shimmer Lights, which basically tones the knots so that they’re not orange and actually turn into a blonde color.” After that you can use a good moisturizing shampoo and conditioner on your wig. I recommend Tresemme Moisture Rich Shampoo and Conditioner

Customizing the lace

Now that you have bleached the knots, you can customize the lace to your skin tone. Some people use makeup for this step, but I would recommend lace sprays more than makeup because makeup tends to get really cakey and is just a whole mess. Ebin New York Aerosol Tinted Lace Spray is an good choice.

Plucking the Wig

Plucking the hairline of the wig is essential to getting a natural-looking hairline and can be done with regular ol’ tweezers. Everyone that I watched do this said a very tedious step but really important. You want to remove some strands of hair so that you break up any line of demarcation across the front. You don’t want anything to have a harsh line across the front of your hair. Place the wig on a wig head with t-pins and then move along the hairline plucking one to two strands at a time. When you’re plucking your wig, make sure that you don’t stay in one section and take your time. What I do is alternate my hand across the wig, making sure that I’m plucking from different sections every single time I pull.

Installing the wig

Once your wig is prepped, it’s time to start the install process. First, secure your own freshly washed hair. You can do this by braiding, twisting, or ponytailing your natural hair and then putting on a wig cap. I recommends getting a wig cap that matches your skin tone, or adding makeup or lace tint so that underneath your wig will look like your scalp, which is always the goal – you don’t want your wig to look like a wig, you want it to look natural. The cap should cover all of your hair. 

Cleansing the skin

Once the wig cap is on, you want to make sure the area where you’re going to adhere your wig is clean. You can use an alcohol pad and wiping in front of the hairline (the skin, not the hair) to remove any residue from makeup or skincare products that could prevent the adhesive from properly sticking.

Gluing the wig

Now it’s time to start gluing down the wig. There is no shortage of wig glues out there, but you want one that has a strong hold and, since this is going directly on your skin, won’t cause you to break out. A popular wig glue to use for this step is Bold Hold Active. It’s made specifically for active use and White says it really holds up to sweat. Because of the humidity here in Atlanta, it’s really easy for me to sweat, but this lasts all night. To apply the glue start by dotting it on or putting a thin line around the hairline and smoothing it out with a makeup sponge. Then hit it with a blow dryer. It's going to turn clear. You don’t want it to be dry, you just want it to be clear. Once the adhesive is clear, repeat this step and apply a second layer of glue. The more layers of glue you use, the stronger the hold will be. Plus, it’ll be easier for the lace to “melt” into the skin for a more seamless look. You’ll apply a third and final layer of glue in the next step of this process. The next step is to cut the lace.  At this point, the wig should be on your head but not yet touching the glue. Pull your unit forward, and right where that adhesive is — you can see it because it’s going to have like a really high gloss shine to it — pull the lace down and match up where the hairline of the unit is, right on to the edge of where you put the adhesive. With the wig attached, go in with a comb to press down the adhesive. After that, we usually suggest tying down the front of your unit with a scarf for about ten to 15 minutes to get that final curing. And now for the second lace cutting step, one the wig is secured, it’s time to cut away all the excess lace. Take a razor or a pair of scissors, and cut across the front so you have a hairline. This final step of the installation process is key to having a natural-looking hairline. This is when you “melt” the lace. “The adhesive is great at melting the interior but you want to melt away that hairline to look completely undetectable. Take Got2b freeze spray and spray very meticulously across the front, making sure you’re spraying as fine as you can. Spray down the front across the hairline and then press it in with the back of the comb. That will get that line to disappear  completely. Next use a satin scarf to tie down the hair line and apply some heat with either a blow dryer or hooded dryer to really mesh the lace into your skin.

Styling the wig

How much you can style your wig depends on how much the wig you purchased can be manipulated. Regardless of how you plan to style it, a general rule is that you want to press out the hairline and part with a hot comb. This makes the wig appear more natural and realistic. You can take a step further by added baby hairs to the hairline. Whether you wear your wig straight, curly, or whatever use your imagination in styling it to fit your personality and desired look.

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