I’m not going to mince words here:
Minor variations in style, density, and color SHOULD BE EXPECTED.
The manufacturers allow up to a 10 – 15% margin of difference between two wigs of a single style and color.
From a customer e-mail:
I order mostly two or three main styles that work for me. What I have found lately, is the same wig comes but is significantly different from the original one I received about a year prior. The new ones seem to have at least 1/3 amount less hair making the style actually way different looking and hard to work with.
Is this a trend to make wigs less dense per customer desires or is it a manufacturing savings and quality control issue? It is frustrating to need to exchange or return the wigs when I’m still not sure if a better quality one will arrive.
I understand there is always some discrepancy as the wigs are hand cut but this seems to be a change in the amount of hair used to make the wig. Are you finding this to be true as you order many of the same wigs from the manufacturer?
This is a very real concern for a lot of wig wearers, myself included. It is also a relatively complicated thing to answer.
Let’s start off by saying that minor inconsistencies in the style, cut, density, and color will always exist between wigs (specifically, the exact same style of wig from the exact same brand in the exact same color).
Examples include (but are not limited to):
- Bangs or layering that are a little longer (or shorter) on one wig compared to the other. The wigs are still cut and styled by hand, so you can almost guarantee that a different person is cutting it every time you order a wig.
- Highlights that are in slightly different places or in slightly different concentration from one wig to the next. This is typically seen in wefted wigs, but you can occasionally find it in monotops too. In wefted wigs, this is because the caps are 100% machine-made, so the way that the colors lay might be a little different from wig to wig based on the machine that laid out the wefting of the cap and the factory it was made in. (Manufacturers seldom own their own factories; instead they hire multiple factories on contract to produce the wigs on their behalf.) In mono top wigs, this can basically be chalked up to the fact that a person sat in a factory and individually stitched and tied every strand of hair into the top of that wig. Each person has a different technique, and because you can almost certainly assume you’ll never get a wig from the same worker in the same factory twice, minor variations will always occur.
- Coloration that varies from one wig to another in other ways.This is actually fairly common. Unlike your biohair, wigs are batch processed in large volume. To accomplish this, wig manufacturers use multiple factories, all with different wig craftsmen (or women!), who all have different techniques for dying and blending the various colors. Even in machine made wigs, each color is still blended by hand before being made into the wefts sewn into the wig. This leads to minor differences from one wig to another in the same color. This can be even more pronounced in wigs with hand-tied features. These wigs are often done by one person per wig, working on one at a time. That individual’s technique (it is an actual skilled trade, with a 14+ month apprenticeship) often dictates how the various colors will be laid out in the wig.
- Density that is different from one wig to another. Some factories will just make them a little thicker. Honestly, though, the trend lately has been towards LESS DENSE wigs. Part of this is an aesthetic thing: many medical clients dislike wigs with too much body or hair and thin them when they get them home. Demand dictates fashion and the manufacturers are very happy to oblige. The other part of this is purely economical: the cost of manufacturing these items is going UP, while the consumer is highly reluctant to buy the product if the price goes up even one penny. Another way to keep the prices static in the face of raising manufacturing costs and inflation is to cut material costs.