One thing that you’re sure to notice when you go wig shopping is the fact that wigs often come in a standard size. There’s no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to wigs. On top of that, custom wigs can be very costly. So, if you get your wig home only to realize that it’s too large for your head, you may need to adjust it yourself. This guide will introduce several techniques you can use to make your wig smaller and fit tighter. We’ll share both easy and advanced methods- choose the one that best fits your level of experience.
Before you Start
Before you start adjusting your wig, you’ll need to take some preparatory steps, which require you to break out your measuring tape. This section will tell you how to prepare for the wig adjustment process.
Measure your Head
- You’ll begin by measuring your head. You will need a soft measuring tape and a nylon wig cap for this step. Follow the below steps to do it:
- Flatten your hair how you normally would for wig-wearing. Most people braid their hair down while others slick it down or tie it back into a bun.
- Put on a wig cap if you usually do when you wear wigs. Pull it over your head and ensure that the front of it is pulled down about a half inch behind your natural hairline.
- Measure your head’s circumference (around your hairline and behind your ears) and from ear to ear (across your crown). If you want to see a diagram of where to place the tape, along with some tips on where to place the tape for the correct measurement, read our guide on how to measure your head for a wig.
- Take note of all of your head measurements and move on to the next step.
Determine How Much You Need to Reduce Your Wig’s Size
Most wigs come with a slip of paper with its measurements. If you don’t have access to your wig’s measurements, you can measure it yourself and use bobby pins to hold the measuring tape in place and get an accurate measurement.
If you want to find out how much you need to reduce your wig’s size, just subtract your head measurements from the measurements of the wig.
For instance, if your head’s circumference is 22 inches and your wig is 23 inches, you’ll subtract 22 from 23, and you’ll get 1 inch. That’s how much you’ll need to remove to get the right fit. The same goes for the ear to ear measurement.
Easy Ways to Make a Wig Fit Tighter
Now that you know how much bigger your wig is than your head, it’s time to do something about it. If you’re looking for a quick, straightforward fix, this is where you need to be. We’re going to share some easy ways to make your wig fit tighter.
Wig Cap and Combs
Your wig cap does more than flatten and protect your natural hair. It can be used to make your wig fit tighter. Put on your wig cap - ensure that it fits snugly and won’t move around. Then put on your wig and secure the wig combs around the perimeter of the wig cap. Doing so will give you a more snug and secure fit. This is a quick fix for people who don’t want to go through the trouble of deconstructing their wig and resizing it.
Note: If your wig doesn’t have any combs, you can sew them onto the wig’s interior.
Adjust Elastic Straps
Elastic bands are a great addition to any wig; they allow you to adjust your unit’s size up to 1 inch. Most elastic straps come with an adjustment mechanism for quick tightening, but if your elastic strap doesn’t, you can take the following steps to adjust it:
- Put your wig on over your wig cap.
- Reach under the wig near the nape of your neck to reveal the elastic strap. You may need to fold your wig upward to access it.
- Use your fingers to gather up the elastic strap into a loop. The tightness of the loop will depend on how large your wig is compared to your head size. The loop will be small if your wig is not much bigger than your head and bigger if your wig is a lot bigger than your head. After you make the loop, hold it in place and ensure that the wig fits as securely as you’d like. Make sure that the wig is not too tight, or else you could end up with a headache.
- Put a bobby pin on the elastic strap to keep it from going back to its previous state.
- Grab a needle and thread and sew the elastic strap where both sides join at the base of the loop.
Use Adjustable Bands
An adjustable strap is a stretchy strap with an adjustment mechanism. It is attached to each side of a wig and sits near the nape of your neck while your wig is on. The strap may feature one of three adjustment types:
Elastic - Elastic adjustable bands are very much like bra straps, but they’re a bit easier to adjust. For elastic adjustable bands, you’ll just pull the end of the strap (which hangs freely) to tighten and pull the other end (which is attached to the wig) to make it looser.
Velcro - Velcro adjustable bands are another type of band you’ll find on wigs. For velcro bands, you’ll just detach the velcro portion and then reattach it. The more inward you reattach the velcro, the tighter your wig will fit.
Hook - Hooked adjustable bands are similar to bra closures, where there are multiple hooks at different points along the strap. To use a band with hooks, simply unhook the band and reattach it on a different hook.
If your wig does not come with an adjustable strap, don’t worry. You can either sew it to your wig by yourself or ask the seller to add it to your wig.
Use Wig Fix
If you are wearing a glueless wig, the wig fix may help your wig fit better. It’s a silicone headband that provides traction to keep your wig from falling off. It will also add a bit more width to your head’s circumference so that your wig will fit a bit tighter.Note: The wig fix does have its limits. It won’t correct the problem every time, especially when your wig is much too large for your head. But, although the wig fix is designed for glueless wigs, you can still wear it with non-glueless wigs for a better fit.
Advanced Ways to Make Your Wig Fit Tighter
The methods mentioned above may be helpful for situations when your wig is only slightly loose. If you try them and still find that your wig size is not right, you may have to try more advanced methods. We’ll address those here.
Adjust The Circumference Of Your Wig
A wig’s circumference largely determines the size of a wig, and adjusting it will result in a substantial change to your wig’s size. Keep reading for three methods you can use at home to adjust the circumference of your wig.
Method 1: Cut The Elastic Straps
Depending on how loose your wig is, you can cut a portion of your elastic strap(s) off and then sew it back together to make it shorter. If your wig has two straps in the back, cut the same amount off on each side. For instance, if your wig is 2 inches too big, you’ll need to cut one inch off one strap and one inch off the other.
You can even cut all the elastic straps off and then sew the wig’s edges together if necessary.
Method 2: Cut Part of the Wig Off
Another thing you can do is cut part of your wig off, specifically the part of the wig that falls at your nape. This will shorten the wig cap, decreasing its circumference. The amount you will cut off depends on how large your wig is compared to your head. Be sure not to cut through any of your hair wefts, as this will damage the wig.
Method 3: Make Small Tucks
If cutting your wig seems too invasive, that’s understandable. A great permanent alternative to this is to tuck your wig strategically and sew it so that it appears flat. As you can see in the image below, your tucks will look like the bottom squiggly line.
Here’s how to best accomplish this:
- Put the wig on your head.
- Pinch your wig near the nape of your neck so that the wig fits comfortably yet securely.
- Take your wig off while you’re still pinching that portion in the back.
- Turn the wig inside out (don’t stop pinching).
- With a white makeup pencil, mark the two areas that touch when you pinch the wig.
- Use a needle and thread to sew the wig together where you pinched it. Make sure the tuck is flat before sewing.
Fixes for a Baggy Crown
There are times when a wig is too large around the entire head, and not just the perimeter. In this case, you have two method to make your wig smaller
- Method one: cut some wefts out of your wig
- Method two: stich up fins inside of your wig cap
Cut Some Wefts out of Your Wig and Then Sew it Back Together
The hair wefts on a wig get shorter as you move from the crown area to the hair at the nape. So, you’ll need to cut the wefts at the crown area. Here are some instructions to follow:
Before you get started, we’d like to advise you that we don’t recommend cutting your hair wefts. Doing so will cause them to fray and shed over time.
Determine how many wefts need to be cut.
Put on your wig and pinch the wig near the crown with your thumb and forefinger. While you’re still pinching the wig, take the unit off of your head and turn it inside out. Count the wefts between your thumb and forefinger - this is how many wefts will need to be cut.
Cut the wefts off.
Put your wig on a canvas or styrofoam mannequin head or your knee. Locate the middle portion of the wig (at the crown) and cut right below the number of wefts you need to remove. If you need to remove three wefts, you’ll count three wefts and then cut right below that third weft. Then cut above the first of the three wefts. Don’t cut the hair or the wefts themselves - cut the fabric that’s holding the wefts (the wig cap). Continue cutting until the wefts have been removed.
Sew the wig back together.
Using a curved needle and thread, close the gap. Sew under the wefts - not through them. Be careful not to sew the wefts too tightly, as it’s essential to leave room for error.
Stich up Fins inside of Your Wig Cap
You can also sew up more than one area in the crown of your head to ensure that your wig cap will lie as flat as possible. So, if you intend to sew up 3 cm of the cap, you can sew up three 1cm areas for a flatter effect.
Don’t Cut Through the Wefts
Another method that people use to size down their wig is to sew the wig cap at the crown and then cut right through the lace and wefts. We don’t recommend this method because it can seriously damage your wig. If you want to stitch up the excess lace to make the wig smaller, you can do that - just don’t cut the wefts in half.
It is Your Turn
There you have it - several ways to make your wig smaller. If you’re new to altering wigs, we recommend trying the easy methods. But if you’re up for it, you can try out more advanced techniques. It is always a good approach to practice these methods on an old wig first. Now let’s hear from you! Are you having trouble finding a petite wig to fit your small head? How do you make an average size wig fit tighter? Share your experience with us below in the comments!