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This isn't intended to be a complete guide on how to put curls into a straight wig - I'm learning slowly about wig styling and hopefully what I've learned will help others be creative with their wigs. =)

Hardware to use:
  • Blowdryer or other controllable low-heat device - Your blowdryer will stay on low during this process. You can ramp it up a bit to high, but take care that you're not 'melting' the fiber with the heat, as blowdryers get very hot very fast
  • Old brush type curlers - Curlers with a cylindrical metal/plastic mesh on the outside and a brush on the inside. You will remove the brush from the center of the curler. Just trust me on this one, brush in curler = tears.
  • Wig Pins or very long sewing/quilting pins - You will pin the curlers to the wig with these.


Hardware to stay away from:
  • Curling Iron - The heating and subsequent cooling process is what causes the plastic to stay bent. You would be doing a rather tedious dance of plugging in and unplugging an iron to do this.
  • Steamers to set curls - Eh, this is personal preference. Your wig *will* end up wet when you steam to set a curl, and I like to monitor the plastic heat by feeling the fiber. I prefer that fiber to not be wet.
  • Caruso-type steam curlers - I had these around and because you put a plastic cover over them to seal in the heat, you can't monitor or control the heat well. They work pretty well on my hair though =)
  • Wig brushes - Not sure if this is a myth or not, stay tuned.

I've started with a femme fatale style wig: , a straight style with slight waves and curls at the end. It's a somewhat short wig, and it's not so curly or long that it's difficult to work with.

To start, let's think of this as *plastic bending* rather than hair curling. Synthetic wigs are basically extruded plastic, and to put curl in it, you basically have to bend it.

I'm going to assume that you have a wig in front of you pinned to a wig head and put onto some steady surface (like putting the head on a pole). Also, I'm going to assume you have a metal bristled wig brush, or that your wig doesn't need brushing out.





I started by curling the wig around a variety of rollers in different shapes and sizes. I wanted to get used to rolling, I don't usually put my natural hair in rollers. As you can see I could have done a bit better, but most of them had good tension on the roller. I rolled all of them very tightly and secured them with pins to the head so they wouldn't droop or move. Hopefully your rollers will look smoother than mine did. =)

Once I had the rollers in (which was my big learning experience!), I applied a low heat (and when I say low, I'm serious! - after a few times you'll get a knack for how much heat is too much) hairdryer to the wig. Thankfully, I didn't melt it. I went until the wig plastic hairs felt hot, but not sticky hot.




I removed the curlers downward, so I got lovely ringlets as above. In theory, you could just spray this and go, if this was the style you wanted. But, I wanted to play a bit.




I ran my fingers through it a bit and gingerly tried regular 'drugstore' hairspray on it. I was thrilled the wig didn't melt, so I concluded that usually you can use normal hairspray on it with no ill effects (note: Lots of people do this with no ill effects, I've heard positives and negatives though. If you can find cheap *wig* hairspray, that would probably work and be pretty totally safe for your wig) . I put a couple of braids in and voila, wavy curls.

I have no clue if the curls will come out when you wash it, or if you would have to use heat to straighten it or make it curl in another direction. I'll figure that out at another time. =)


This is just a log of my experiences - your own experience may vary. I always assume that you are very experienced and I'm a n00b, but I write as if I'm confidently talking to you. It doesn't mean that I know everything. =) Be gentle with your wig and always have fun! =)









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