Lace front wigs can drastically improve the look of a cosplay. They have a more natural hairline that gives even the craziest anime hairstyles a more seamless look. However, to achieve the most with your lace front wig, you have to make sure you prepare the wig and wear it properly.
As a general rule, the lace on lace front wigs should be clipped about ⅛ of an inch from the hairline. They should be attached to your head using spirit gum or tape adhesive so that the wig doesn’t slip out of place and create an unnatural look.
For an even more seamless transition from your face to the wig, you can also use concealer or foundation to cover up any exposed lace on the front and the part of the wig. Lace can also be used to create realistic-looking facial hair, sideburns, or a fancy hairline (like a widow’s peak).
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What is a lace front wig?
A lace front wig is simply a wig where the front section has been sewed to a piece of lace to create a realistic hairline. They typically need to be hand sewn one fiber at a time, making them more expensive and high-end than typical wigs.
Full lace wigs exist as well. However, there is a high amount of labor that goes into them, making them much more expensive. They are typically not practical wigs for cosplayers who will only be wearing the wig a few times a year, and instead are intended for everyday use.
The benefits of lace front wigs
The biggest benefit of lace front wigs is their ability to create a seamless hairline. Most cosplay wigs will have an exposed wig cap that is hidden by a thick layer of bangs. This works well for many characters. However, you’d have to find a way to cover the wig cap to cosplay anyone with pulled-back hair or an exposed hairline.
There are ways of gluing strands of hair onto a wig to create a fake hairline, but none of them will look as natural as using a lace front wig.
The other minor benefit of lace front wigs is that they are a little more breezy. Wigs are known for making your head feel hot and sweaty, but lace front wigs have a more open structure. So, your forehead will feel a little bit less suffocated when wearing one of these.
The disadvantages of lace front wigs
The biggest disadvantage of lace front wigs is their price. They are typically much more expensive than other wigs, so it’s easy to get priced out if it’s not in your budget. If you want to add a hairline without a lace front wig, I recommend checking out this tutorial by Arda Wigs.
How to prepare your lace front wig
When you first get a new lace front wig, you might be surprised to see that there is still lace attached to the front. This is because everyone’s hairline is different. You may need to sew in extra strands of hair to make the wig work for your face. You can also use the extra lace to create a more interesting hairline.
That being said, most people will only have to carefully cut that extra lace off the front.
Before you cut anything, try on the wig to make sure the hairline looks natural or as desired. If you want to add sideburns or a widow’s peak, now is the time to do it! You can also use extra pieces of lace to create a natural-looking beard and mustache or add lace to the back of the wig for updo hairstyles. For more information on how to sew lace front wefts, check out this tutorial.
If the hairline is as desired, then you’re ready to cut. Get a pair of sharp hair shears or scissors. Make sure they are small enough that you can control cutting around tight curves. Now, carefully cut the lace off of the wig. Leave about ⅛-¼ of an inch of lace outside the hairline so that you are not cutting the actual wig fibers. Make sure to cut all the way around the hairline, including the tabs of lace by the ears.
How to wear a lace front wig
Now that you’ve cut the extra lace off of your wig, it’s time to try it on. If you already know how to wear a wig, there is very little difference for lace fronts. However, you will probably want to add an adhesive to the front of the wig, and it will look more natural if you blend the lace hairline with makeup.
To wear a lace front wig:
- Wear a wig cap. Wearing a wig cap will give the clips in your wig something to hold onto. It will also keep your hair in place and make it less likely the wig will slip.
- Put on your wig like usual. I like to start with the wig at the nape of my neck and then line up the hairline to look natural.
- Pull back the wig, then use wig tape or spirit gum or wig glue. Pull the wig back just a little to expose your forehead where the wig will sit. Place whatever adhesive you choose over the entire hairline (including near the ears) so that the wig will not slip. If you’re using spirit gum make sure to use remover on the wig after taking it off to avoid any sticky residue.
- Press the front of the wig onto the adhesive. Hold it in place for about 30 seconds so the adhesive has time to take effect. If any wig fibers are stuck under the front edge of the wig, use a comb to gently brush them back into place.
- Use bobby pins for a more secure fit. Since I have a small head, I also add bobby pins around the edges of the wig to make sure it stays in place.
- Blend in the exposed lace with concealer and foundation. Now that your wig is on and secure, blend the lace into your face using makeup. If you have a part in your wig, you can also use concealer or foundation along the part line to create the illusion of skiing and make it look more natural.