Have you been on Instagram lately? Lace Front wigs are becoming the go-to protective style. Lace front wigs are the best protective style as you are not touching the hair causing slight damage and allowing the hair to grow. Instead of putting heat and color onto your hair, you can do so on the wig getting the look you desire. Everyone and their mother has been faithfully wearing lace front wigs throughout the year in an effort to grow their natural hair. This has become the new trend with phrases like “What frontal?” used to describe how natural lace fronts can look on your hair to where they are barely recognizable as a wig. Celebrities have supported this movement over the years as regularly wear lace front wigs for excessive style changes and starting new hair trends.
Although these wigs are great protective styles, consider this important point. Looks can be deceiving and don’t count on the before picture to accurately show the after. We’ve seen horror stories on how edges, the front of the hair and the back suffer from severe breakage and bald spots. And with this, the consumer is very quick to say they had a bad wig experience and how they will never wear lace front wigs again, but was it really the lace front wig that caused the damage? We can’t be so generic with a response as there are multiple factors which have caused lace fronts to damage the hair. It is our duty to properly name the causes as to why your hair has broken off and to encourage you that lace fronts can be worn with proper tools and steps in place.
The first and major reason people suffer breakage from lace front wigs are due to the products you are using on your edges, basically, your edge control. If you look at any Black girl’s hair product bin, one or more edge controls can be found. This is the essential product to any girl’s look with edges laid to the gods. Even on natural hair, edges are laid with the curly texture, but the importance of laid edges is vital to the naturalness of how your lace front wig can look. Blending the edges with the hairline and the plucked hairline of the wig can make or break the look of the wig. For that, the best edge control is brought and applied daily to ensure the continued slick. What’s ironic is just as we are conscious about what is in the products we use for shampoo and conditioner, that is overlooked for edge control. We care more about how well that product works rather than what is inside of it.
Not only are the ingredients the problem, but also the constant application of the product. With the slick of the edges, they are serving as coverage over our edges and are blocking out heat to escape from our scalp. When you don’t wash the edge control off and apply it daily, that’s gump surrounding your edges making your hair extremely unhealthy. So, let’s add unsafe ingredients, product trapped inside your scalp and excessive use of the product. What do you expect that to do to those edges? Exactly.
The second reason for breakage is due to hair pulling. I know you’re asking how your hair is being pulled when you’re wearing a lace front wig, but it is very possible and it is happening. Just as you can suffer from hair loss with extreme hair pulling due to tension on the scalp, it can happen under your lace front. We know you love going to a specific person who braids your hair tightly and can grab every section of your hair, but think of what they are really doing to your hair. That tightness and constant wearing of cornrows under your lace front continually is causing major tension to your hair and resulting in your hair breaking off. The only difference is you’ll notice it sooner than later without the lace front. The wig only serves as a later disappointment because the necessary steps of a proper protective style were ignored for durability.
Our last reason is something people don’t realize and confuse for glue. We love to place the blame on glue for breakage, but glue can be a minor problem if installed correctly and not placed directly on the hair thanks to wig caps. Rubbing. Constant rubbing of the edges of the wig liner creates a bigger problem that most aren’t aware of. When the lace front wig constantly shifts, it is creating friction that can result in excessive heat to the edges of your hair. Because you’re not releasing that heat, this can result in breakage. Just think about the times it is hot in your office, wearing the wig to the gym to work out, or you eating spicy food, which causes excessive sweat. Because there is no way to cool that heat down, the wig rubs further. It becomes uncomfortable and you’ll start to notice what it is doing to your hair.
Take these reasons in. I know that it has created further thought in your mind. You’re thinking of all the things you did wrong and blamed it on the wig. You’re also thinking you didn’t know it would be this much work just to look like the natural wigs on Instagram. They didn’t tell you these factors could be dangerous to your real hair. Before you start to freak out, these factors are controllable. Start by using a healthier edge control. Check to see what ingredients can be harmful your edges and find products that do the same trick, but still protects your hair. Also, be sure that your hair isn’t pulled extremely tight. Let your braider know, “Hey, this hurts! This will pull out my hair!” If she says this is normal, know your comfortability. If you think it hurts and will pull your hair out, that’s reason enough to take it out.
Lastly, stay out of hot environments when wearing a wig. Don’t work out in your wig. Don’t wear your wig to the beach in the summer. Keep your hair dry so that it doesn’t cause friction with your edges. Your wig and your edges will thank you.