How to Thin a Wig

Wigs can often be too thick and dense when you first purchase one. This is because manufacturers would rather give you more hair than too little for you to customize in a way that suits you. 

In the same way that thick hair doesn’t suit all faces, dense wigs aren’t for everyone and can be difficult to style. Updos with dense wigs can appear chunky or unnatural if there is too much hair to style, which is why many people choose to thin out their locks for a more natural-looking wig. 

Thick wigs are also a lot heavier than thinner ones, making them difficult to wear all day.

Do I need to take my wig to a professional to be thinned?

While taking your wig to be thinned by a professional hairstylist may guarantee a perfect finish, it’s completely possible to do it yourself. Although it can be a little tricky if you’ve never done it before, it’s a great way to save some money!

If you think that you’re a little too heavy-handed with scissors and don’t trust yourself, it may be a smart idea to just buy a replacement wig to save yourself the hassle.

If you’re not 100% confident in thinning your own wig, we recommend taking your new wig to a professional hairstylist to prevent any potential disasters.

How do I thin my wig myself?

If you’ve decided to take the plunge and attempt to thin your own wig at home- go you! To avoid any hair disasters, be sure to follow the instructions below.

Before you start...

Make sure you have a pair of professional-grade hair thinning scissors to hand. The fine teeth on thinning scissors prevent a clean-cut and only trim some of the hair, creating a soft, natural look.

An ordinary pair of kitchen shears will not cut it. Thinning scissors are inexpensive and can be bought online or at a local beauty store. They look like ordinary scissors, but one blade is notched, like a comb.

Hair clips are also useful to have to hand for when you’re splitting your hair into different sections. You may also need a hairbrush too to help to brush out the cut hair.

You’ll also need to figure out whether you want to thin out the entire wig, or just partially. This can be achieved by just layering the ends of your hair.

If you want to thin out the entirety of the hair, use the scissors as close to the root as possible and begin thinning. This avoids any unruly hairs from sticking up vertically.

If your hair is already pretty short, consider beginning with your scissors a couple of inches away from the root. Natural hair typically gets thinner towards the ends. So, for longer hair make multiple chops with your scissors pointing towards the end of the wig. 

Step 1 - Ensure that the wig you plan on thinning is clean and dry. Wet hair works great for trimming hair, but thinning scissors are much easier to use on dry hair. 

Step 2 -  First, divide your hair into equal sections. You’re going to thin your hair one section at a time. To keep track of how much hair you’ve cut off and how much more you need to cut, you should try the wig on your head several times throughout the cutting process, to ensure that you’re still working towards your desired look. 

Step 3 - Make sure that you’re able to easily reach the back of your hair or ask someone to help you. Alternatively, consider using a wig stand if you have one. This will allow you to cut your wig just as if it is on your head, but you’ll be able to reach all angles of it. 

Step 4 - Decide what part of the wig you want to work on first. Then, create a part in the wig to separate the section you want to work on from the rest of the hair. Put the top tooth of your comb against your scalp and then slowly move your comb from the front to the back of your hair to create a parting. To keep the section that you’re not working on right now out of the way, use a clip to secure it on the other side of your head.

Step 5 - Prepare to start cutting. Grab your chosen section of wig hair between your fingers, you’re going to start thinning this piece fairly close to the root in order to thin entire strands at a time. However, please note that your starting point shouldn’t be too close to the root. If your starting point is too high, you will cut a lot of small hair near the scalp. Comb the thinned hair. Comb off the cut hair with a comb, then look at the thinned hair. Continue to repeat this step until you’re satisfied with the overall thickness of your wig. 

Step 6 - Now repeat steps 4-5 until every section of your wig is as thin as you’d like it to be. Make sure that the amount of hair you cut is about the same. The goal is to have a nicely blended cut. Blunt obvious lines will look choppy. If you encounter a layer looking too blunt, twist up the hair and cut it at a 45-degree angle to achieve a wispy look. Finally, comb off the cut hair and dispose of it responsibly. Now try on your newly-thinned wig and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

Thinning a wig that’s too bulky is a great budget-friendly solution for those who can’t justify buying a new hairpiece or those who’d rather not go to the salon.

It’s a simple task that can be attempted by beginners, just be sure to follow the instructions as best as you can.

The right tools can make the whole experience ten times easier. Consider getting your hands on a quality pair of thinning scissors and a wide-tooth comb. 

Here’s a link to some great options

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