Whether wigs are worn entirely for asethic appeal or to hide permanent or temporary hair loss, African American women will find several different types of options when shopping for a wig. Prior to purchasing, it is important for women to fully understand their options so they choose the best possible wig to fit their needs.
Shopping for Wigs
When shopping for wigs for African American women, there are several things to keep in mind. If possible, always closely examine the wig and feel it's texture, because the owner should always like how their wig looks and feels. This is far more important than the actual brand of the wig.
Where to Buy
There are many places to buy wigs both online and in traditional brick and mortar stores. Look for local wig shops or beauty supply stores to find wigs or visit a reputable online dealer. Websites such as Wigs.com and E-wigs.com, offer a wide selection of quality wigs. However, when purchasing a wig online it is important to only buy wigs with a full return policy. If you can't closely examine and feel the wig beforehand it is important to make sure the wig you buy has a full return policy. Ideas for shopping also include:
- Especially Yours: This online store, specializing in hair and fashion items for black women, offers a wide selection of synthetic and human hair wigs in different sizes, colors, and lengths.
- Ebony Line: This retailer offers a huge range of wig, hairpiece, and extension products for black women. You can also purchase wig care and other beauty items here.
- Vogue Wigs: This wig retailer has a section with modern wigs for African American women with long, medium, and short styles in various textures.
There are numerous brands of wigs available for purchase. While the individual look and feel of the wig you purchase is more important than the brand itself, knowing about the brand that makes your wig is important, too. Brands that manufacture wigs for black women include:
- Vivica Fox Wigs: This company, previously known as Beverly Johnson, carries human and synthetic wigs as well as handmade wigs, lacefront wigs and extensions.
- Sassy Secret: This brand offers handmade human hair and synthetic wigs. They specilialize in lace wigs and offer free instructions and wig caps with your order.
- Motown Tress: Considered a top leader in black women's wigs, Motown Tress offers over 400 wig styles in 200 colors. They focus on fashion and technology in both their synthetic and human hair wigs.
- Outre: The Outre wig brand manufactures many different collections, including the premium long-lasting Duvessa collection and the Sol human hair mix textured line.
- It's a Wig: This popular wig brand offers styles that range from natural and curly to funky club looks to more mature and sleek looks. Different lace styles are available, as well as half wigs.
- Zara Wigs: This high-quality wig brand makes handmade wigs in many styles, using French or Swiss lace and remy hair. While they offer wigs for any woman, many styles in their Luxe and Relaxed collection are preferred by black women.
Synthetic Vs. Human Hair Wigs
When an African American woman chooses to purchase and wear a wig she must first decide if the wig should be made of synthetic fibers or natural hair. For any person intending to wear a wig on a daily basis, it's important to compare and contrast the pros and cons of these two types of wigs before making a purchase. Some may prefer the look of one over the other, but no matter what type is chosen, the wearer should be aware of how to care for their wig so it will last.
When buying a human hair wig, the wearer must first decide what ethnicity of hair they want for their wig. African American women don't necessarily need to buy wigs made with African American hair. Many wigs are made of real Caucasian or Hispanic hair and can be simple to style and maintain.
Buyers should be aware that a human hair wig is more expensive than a synthetic hair wig. Caring for a human hair wig is very similar to caring for normal human hair. These wigs can withstand brushing, blow drying and heat styling without any problems. No matter what ethnicity of hair is used, wigs should always be washed in luke-warm water with a gentle shampoo and a thick, nourishing condiitioner.
There are also benefits to buying a wig made of synthetic hair. When synthetic hair is used for wig-making purposes, it is made in all textures, colors, and styles. It can easily be matched with a woma's natural hair. These wigs can be much easier to style, because these synthetic fibres that make up these wigs aren't as coarse, dry or brittle as actual African American hair.
Synthetic hair wigs are typically much more affordable than human hair wigs. The main issue with owning a wig made of synthetic fibers is that it cannot be restyled using any sort of heated hair appliance. Heat can cause the wig fibers to melt and possibly become damaged beyond repair. Also, synthetic hair wigs typically don't last as long as human hair wigs, and usually need to be replaced within a year.
Understanding Yaki Wigs
Yaki wigs are some of the most popular types of wigs for African American women. Yaki is a hair texture that is created to look and feel like African American hair that has been processed by relaxers. Yaki hair can either be synthetic or human hair, but it is the processing to create specific textures that make these wigs unique. There are four primary types of yaki wigs.
Straight Yaki (or Silky Yaki)
Silky yaki wigs are the lightest types of yaki. It makes the hair look relaxed and flat ironed straight. The unique aspect of straight yaki wigs is that when you look closely at the wigs you can see ripples in the hair, similar to the way real African American hair would look if it had been conditioned and straightened.
Regular yaki wigs, also know as yaki or relaxed yaki wigs, are the most popular types. Regular yaki wigs are designed to look like Afircan American hair that has been relaxed. This type of wig is not as straight, smooth or silky as the straight yaki wig because relaxed Afircan American hair still remains coarse after being relaxed.
Kinky yaki wigs are designed to look like natural African American hair. These wigs are typically thick and kinky in nature and look similar to black hair that has been blow dried straight, but not straightened or relaxed.
The coarse yaki wig is made to look like coarse, kinky African American hair that has not been through any processing. Typically you can either purchase wavy coarse yaki wigs or curly coarse yaki wigs, depending on how tight of curls are preferred.
Half wigs, or falls, are popular with many African American women, and are typically used to make a woman's hair appear longer or fuller. These wigs only cover half of the hair, with the rest of the natural hair left exposed. Some half wigs are clipped into the hair, while others are placed on top of the hair in a headband form.
Choose Your Look
There are many different styles and types wigs available for African American women. The most important thing to remember is that the wig should look and feel the way the woman wearing the wig wants it to. African American wigs can be used for several purposes, and whether they're for covering an area on the head where hair loss is occurring or if they are being used to help a person change their look, a high-quality wig can make all the difference.