I’ve been wearing extensions since I was 13-years-old. Yes, you read that correctly. However, one would be surprised to learn that in my 15 years of exploration, I’ve made it a point to stay far away from wigs. The reasons are many: I have a sharp widow’s peak, my hairline is extremely low, and I’ve simply seen too many wigs that look more like hats — y’all know what I’m talking about. And while the TikTok girls may have mastered bald cap and baby hair methods, I’ve quickly learned that that’s not in my skillset.
But it was something about my perusal of Upgrade Boutique’s Instagram page that made me reconsider. The wigs looked like they were legit coming from the scalp, the colors were masterful, and the layers were perfectly-framed to the ladies’ faces. Suddenly I began to think: “Could I be a wig girl?” Upon further research, I found that there was a reason that seemingly each and every unit from the brand looked magical. When you visit the website and order the wig, you enter a world of full customization. First, you select the type of wig — full lace, lace closure, u-part or lace frontal. Next, you select from six different textures. Then, you choose the length and cap size.
What comes next is what gives the wigs the true razzle dazzle, and the natural look that all wig wearers aspire to. To bring your selection to a close, you choose one expert from a directory of incredible hairstylists who will create your unit, customizing it to your hairline, and layering however you need if requested.
Basically, you do none of work — and that’s something I can get behind. So I did. I chose celebrity stylist Weezy Thomas to make a middle-part lace closure wig with blonde highlights and needless to say, I’ve been converted to one of the wig girlies. You can join the squad, too! Ahead, Britney Winters, Upgrade Boutique Founder + CEO gives the first steps to wigs for beginners.
ESSENCE: First, what’s the difference between a frontal and a lace closure wig?
BW: Lace closure and frontal wigs are both constructed with lace material at the top to give the illusion of scalp and wefted tracks at the back. The lace frontal has lace that goes from ear to ear and measures 13” x 4” or 13” x 6” . A lace closure is different from a frontal because it’s a smaller, horseshoe shaped piece of lace. A lace frontal wig will provide more styling versatility, but a lace closure wig is more appropriate for those who wish to maintain an exact style or prefer less maintenance.
ESSENCE: What’s a great beginner wig?
BW: The Upgrade 5×5 HD closure wig is a great beginner friendly way to start wearing wigs. You can choose to wear the wig glueless or use a temporary hold like a gel or a glue to tack it down so you can whip your hair back and forth!
ESSENCE: What should someone new to wigs look for in a unit?
BW: For a first time wig buyer, the one thing you want to make sure you do is, get the correct size! To know what size you are, all you have to do is measure your head with a measuring tape. People fall within 21-24 head circumference, and that will determine if you need a small, medium, or large cap. The hair quality and type of lace are also very important. HD lace is the best lace available because it’s very fine and thin, and provides the most natural look. From there it’s a matter of picking a style and length you want to try out. When working with upgrade units, know you are automatically starting off with the best hair and lace quality! So with that assured, have fun, step out the box and go with a style to bring out that inner Beyonce!
ESSENCE: What are some dummy-proof styling/application tips for someone new to wigs?
BW: While having your wig installed, less is more. Simply spray one layer of Got2B Glued Blasting Freeze Spray across your hairline, and then tie it down with a scarf or elastic band for about 10 to 15 minutes and it’ll make your lace look fresher and more natural.
ESSENCE: How is Upgrade Boutique making it easier for new wig wearers?
BW: Upgrade Boutique is the solution to simplifying beauty routines because we’ve taken the standard, clunky, multi-step process to purchase a custom wig (which was previously only achievable partially online and partially offline) and created a seamless, digital process.
Upgrade wigs are high quality at an accessible price point for consumers. It is a luxury experience changing the way women shop for custom hair. Consumers are connected with stylists and are able to work with them to create a personalized, quality wig and extensions (choosing the color, cut, design, length and fitting). Consumers are provided with step by step updates of the customization process. Then they are able to approve the wig or provide feedback on what they would like the stylist to change before it is shipped to them. This process minimizes time consuming steps that go into purchasing customized wigs.