Plucked wigs are revered for their natural appearance. The hairline is thinned to resemble a natural hairline. This is because on a human skull there is less hair density on the scalp.
Unplucked wigs do not have this quality and as such, can appear very fake. By plucking the wig and hairpiece, you can thin out the hair as you desire.
You can purchase wigs that are pre-plucked which will save you a lot of work. However, if you have not bought a pre-plucked wig, this article is here to help you do it yourself.
What will you need?
It is helpful to have a mannequin for wig plucking. This will provide a base and structure for the wig to fall around, mimicking the way the wig will fall when placed on your own head.
If you do not have a mannequin, you can complete this whole process with the wig sitting on your head. Some people have this as their preferred method because it allows them to see exactly how the wig will lie and look.
You will also need a wig (obviously). Ideally, your wig will have straps to adjust the fit, and combs to ensure they are attached securely to your head.
You will need a mousse to add texture and tackiness to the wig hairs. This will make it much easier to pluck out individual hairs with more accuracy. Coconut oil is also beneficial to have on hand.
You will need tweezers to pluck out the wig hairs. Try to find a good quality pair as this will improve the accuracy and make your life easier.
How to pluck a wig
Your first step will be to bleach the wig knots if you have not done this already. We have a whole article that goes into detail on how to do this, which can be found here. If your wig has combs in the center remove them to help the wig lay flat.
Pop the wig on the mannequin head. Find the baby hairs near the forehead area and cut these off, to begin with.
Add some mousse to the hair around your hairline, and push it back out of the way. Dry the hair completely with a hairdryer set to a low temperature.
Add some coconut oil to the hair to smooth it down. Stretch the hair at the front of the wig to the back of the mannequin head and hold it there. This will allow you to notice areas of more and less density on the wig.
Starting at the front of the wig’s hairline, pull out any knots that bleached poorly.
Separate the hairs out and then return your attention to the hairline. Move along the hairline, tweezing out hairs to replicate the shape of your own natural hairline.
Try to move along the width without spending too much time tweezing any one area. This will reduce the likelihood of bald spots being created.
Move backward in small sections, towards the crown of the head. Pluck some hairs out of these sections to create a gradual, almost ombre effect with the layering of the hair.
As a general rule, 4-5 layers of hair deep is a good estimate for wig plucking. If you wish to have more baby hairs, you can go a few layers deeper.
As you pluck hairs out and thin the front sections of the wig, it should take on a much more natural appearance.
Once you are happy with this, try to recreate some baby hairs using the remaining strands at the front of the wig. These will be much more natural looking than the original baby hairs and will create a seamless transition from your face to hair.
How to pluck a lace frontal
A lace frontal is a hairpiece that sits near the front of your scalp and mimics the look of your front-facing hairline. They tend to be approximately 13 inches long and between 4 and 6 inches wide.
The first step is to tie your hair into a high ponytail and take a picture of your natural hairline. This will serve as your guide for when you are plucking the lace frontal.
Attach the lace frontal to your mannequin head and secure using combs or hairpins. Pull the hair into a high ponytail. Compare the hairline of the mannequin to the picture you took of your own.
Part the lace frontal hair in the same way as your natural hair falls.
Clip away some excess hair and then pluck whatever is left. Work backward along the hairpiece to graduate the density of the hair on your lace frontal.
Work in sections, plucking a little hair out at a time. Take a step back and evaluate the quality of your work. Compare it often to your reference photos to ensure you create something that you are happy with.
What are the pros and cons of pre-plucked wigs?
Pre-plucked wigs require less work and tend to be more ready to wear. They appear much more natural and are commonly preferred by most amateur wig wearers.
The downsides of these wigs are that the hairline is thinner due to the plucking process. This will cause the hair in these areas to fall out much more rapidly and the wig may deteriorate in quality faster. However, if you are planning on plucking your wig at home anyway, this is unlikely to make much of a difference.
The lace on pre-plucked wigs will be more visible. This means that they are less suitable for wearing over your natural hair as you will clearly notice the discrepancies between the hairlines.
What can I use if I don’t have tweezers?
If you do not have tweezers to hand, there are other options available to you. The first and most accessible is by using your fingernails and clamping tightly.
If you cannot get enough grip like this, add a piece of wet kitchen towel between your fingers to give some extra grip.