Honesty hour: We've been known to spend an idle hour — or, uhhh, four — watching cringe-worthy YouTube videos of people losing their wigs while dancing in the mirror or riding a rollercoaster. It's all fun and games... until it actually happens to you, that is.
Personally, that's why I've always been afraid to wear a wig at the workplace or in front of my family. The only few times I've tried to do so, I pinned so many bobby pins into my scalp that it nearly scabbed. Cynthia Alvarez, a celebrity stylist who works with Shakira, Dascha Polanco, and more, could tell that I was intimidated by the 28-inch lace-front that she created just for me. But with her guidance, I felt secure enough to walk out of the house with my bundles flying high (rather than flying off) at the end of our appointment. Check out how she made the wig and how she put it on in the video above.
So how do you get a foolproof finish? First and foremost, you have to choose quality hair. Alvarez used human hair from Indique (a brand loved by Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian), as the softness and luster makes it look more realistic. "Your wig is only as good as the quality of hair you use," she says. For this particular wig, Alvarez opted for a Spandex dome cap that clings to the head — no clips or bands required. And trust me, the band stays on super tight. But for added security, she uses French pins and fastens them right in between a track in the back of the wig and on a braid. "Anchor it up and then down," she instructs. "And just cover it with more hair to conceal."
A good measure of precaution is what Alvarez calls the shake test, which is pretty self-explanatory. With your wig on, shake your head up, down, and to the sides to make sure that it stays on in all scenarios. If you're still not sure of how it'll hold up, you can always add combs to the inside of your wig cap.
Braiding your hair down into comfortable cornrows is also something that she advises, even if you have a straighter texture. Alvarez, who has straight hair herself, often assembles her hair into two plaits in the front before placing her wig on. And if you can avoid adding extensions to your cornrows, that's even better. "You know how you see people with the big humps on top of their head?" Alvarez said. "That's because their braids are so lumpy." Added bonus if you're natural? Cornrows are a protective style that'll help your curls and kinks grow, and you've already got your hair sectioned off so that you can easily oil your scalp every few days. Win-win!
But the most important tip that Alvarez imparted is confidence. "Don't be scared," she says. "And really, you should be treating it as your own hair. Wash it, treat it, condition it regularly."