From a customer e-mail:
My question is this: Can you recommend a low volume wig? I’m looking at Emotion by Ellen Wille, but am afraid the cap will be too small. I’m also looking at Carrie by Jon Renau; my reservation with that piece is that it looks like a ton of hair.
It’s often surprising for a lot of long-time wig wearers to hear that there is a HUGE segment of the wig wearing community that actually prefers low-density wigs. It’s true! These folks are not a minority!
You’ll see this most regularly in folks who are very slight (people for whom a lot of hair may be overwhelming), or people who have experienced gradual long-term hair thinning (people who are not used to seeing themselves with a lot of hair and may even find it kind of jarring).
The way I typically handle this inquiry is thus:
I advise the client to avoid permateased wigs like the plague. I personally really like permatease, but I tend to be a volume kind of gal. This is not their taste level, so they should probably skip them.
I also ask them if they’ve ever worn 100% hand-tied wig before. The reason I ask: these tend to “deflate” with a little bit of wear. The hair pivots naturally at its base where its tied. Gravity moves that process along and before you know it – boom! – the wig is substantially flatter in volume than when you started. This is a big reason why so many of these wigs come with more hair than necessary. Another reason is to account for shedding that naturally occurs as the knots loosen with wear.
Another thing to steer towards: straight texture. Wigs with a poker-straight hair texture WILL ALWAYS appear to have less density than a wig with a curl or wave added to it. There is also a dark side to this that you should be aware of. A little bouncy / curly texture can hide a multitude of sins. If there are any flaws at all in your wig, they will almost always show up in a straight textured style because they hang very close to the body and are very sleek. Straight wigs also need more combing, so they break down faster . . . and wefts are generally more visible in the back of poker-straight wigs, especially in non-rooted light blonde colors. If your heart is set on getting a poker-straight, non-rooted platinum style because you love the color and the density is just right, you may want to spring for the 100% hand-tied cap specifically to avoid this. Wig wear is usually FULL of compromises like this.
My thinking on the matter is that basically any hand-tied wig will work as long as it fits you well. This is especially the case after you wear it for a little while. However, if you need to thin it, that is a MUCH preferable situation in my opinion than being stuck with a wig that is too thin right off the bat.
A wig that is too thick gives you the inexpensive DIY option to thin it with thinning shears. A wig that is too thin leaves you no inexpensive options!