If you are transitioning from male to female, you have probably considered getting a wig. Whether you have short hair or have male pattern baldness, a wig can be an important part of creating an authentic feminine look and make you immediately feel better about your appearance.
Unfortunately, it’s really hard to find good information on wigs for trans folks, and it can feel overwhelming, especially if you’ve never had any exposure or experience with them before.
I wore a wig for the first year of my transition, and I still occasionally wear one to this day. They’re great if you know what to look for, and can be a fun way to try a new color or hairstyle without any regrets!
There are lots of good options for wigs that won’t break the bank; but like most things, you get what you pay for, and I think its worth spending a bit more on a good quality wig since your hair is such an important part of your appearance.
Tip 1: Get a Lace Wig
First things first, you need to decide what kind of wig to buy. Their all different kinds, but I recommend a lace wig, either front or full lace. These will give you the most realistic look, and can be left on for days at a time with only minimal touch up – you can even shower and swim in them if you like!
A lace wig is one where the hair is tied onto a very thin mesh or tulle fabric (called a lace). The hairs at the edge of the lace are usually hand tied and plucked to give you a realistic looking hairline. A front-lace wig only has lace at the front and is meant to be worn down, while a full lace wig will have lace all around the circumference and can be styled and worn anyway you choose.
The downside of lace wigs is that they’re more expensive than other types, and they take a bit longer to apply. In order for the lace to adhere to your skin, you need to use a wig glue and apply it all around the edge of the wig. This can take some time, but the upside is you can then wear the wig for an extended period, and even sleep in it if you like!
There are two front-lace wigs on Amazon that I’ve tried and recommend, a 12” and a 22”. Both are relatively low-cot and worth giving a try if you want to see how it looks.
After you get your lace wig, you’ll need to trim the lace to match your desired hairline.
Last note: if you can, get a lace that matches your skin tone. It can be hard to blend a darker lace into your makeup if you have lighter skin.
Tip 2: Pay More for a Human Hair Wig
Cheaper wigs are usually made of synthetic fibers, and are hard to make look realistic. If you’re interested in looking your best, nothing is better than a real human hair wig:
- They last longer than synthetics.
- They’re easier to wash and style since you can use any normal hair product and heat.
- They feel better.
The downside is cost; human hair wigs can be more expensive than synthetics (but still quite reasonable). Some people prefer virgin hair wigs (meaning they’ve never been dyed or treated) but those are really expensive and don’t provide much benefit. A Remy hair wig still has the cuticle attached and is collected in bunches, so the hair all runs in one direction and looks shiny and natural.
If you’re looking for a good source of full or front-lace human hair wigs, I recommend LaceWigsBuy – they have a pretty wide selection in stock (and a hug selection custom made to order) with fast shipping.
Tip 3: Get a Shorter Wig
As appealing as long flowing locks might seem, long hair can be frustrating. If you’ve never had long hair before, I recommend going with a 12” or 14” wig first. You’ll need to learn how to handle, wash and style your hair (its a lot!) and it can be overwhelming if you’re trying to figure it out with almost 2 feet of hair.
A 12” wig will go down to your shoulders and you can still put up in a pony-tail or behind your ears.
Some Final Tips
A few other things I learned wearing a wig.
- When you first get your wig (or put it on after storing it) you’ll want to make sure it lays down on the top of your head. Use a hot comb for a few minutes to help the hair lay down, avoiding that ‘poofy’ unkempt look.
- Be liberal with hair and anti-friz spray. Wigs can collect static and be hard to get ‘down’ than your natural hair, and again, you want to avoid the poofy look.
- If you want an extra realistic hairline, don’t be afraid to pluck some of the hairs in the lace so the pattern is more realistic. Especially with cheaper wigs that have been made by machine, the hair is in exact rows which doesn’t look natural (but you can only tell if you look really closely).
- Don’t be afraid to trim around the ears, especially if you have a smaller forehead. Most wigs are made to standard sizes, and can hang over your ears if you don’t trim them up (or make your ears stick out).
I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other wig questions in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!