Sunday, 26 January 2014

A New Lease Of Life For My Old eBay Lace Front Unit

 "Some of you may recall that just over two years ago, I went on my first lace wig purchasing spree! In November 2011 I purchased two units from sellers on eBay, one of which was a full lace yaki textured unit and the other was a silky textured lace front unit. It seems I like buying my wigs in pairs juging by my recent purchases from RPG Show and OWigs!"

Anyway, I wore the heck out of my full lace yaki unit but barely wore the lace front silky unit. In the two years I had her I probably worn the unit like 10 times in total!

On once of these occasions I was wearing the unit for date night but I ended up taking the unit off in the back of a taxi and pulling my own hair into a high bun, shoving that wig into my oversized clutch bag! Yep, I did that and all in front of my partner – no judgement! I just didn’t feel comfortable wearing that lace front.

From the outset, in my mind there were a few issues with the unit:

1. I thought the hair was too silky and didn’t look like it could be ‘My Hair’.
2. The cap was a bit too big and the front didn’t lay flat against the front of my head.
3. The hair on the unit behind the lace front is attached to wefts which are stitched to the flesh-toned wig cap. A small gust of wind could be the cause of huge embarrassment!

Now fast forward about 6 months and it so happens I have gained a new love for this unit.

When I had time off over Christmas I gave the unit some loose curls and realised that I’d totally been sleeping on this unit. It dawned on me that I had never actually styled her apart from running the flat iron through her a few times! I simply bantu knotted her in two sections and kept her in her wig bag...until our next dicey wind avoiding encounter!

I decided that I should make this girl work for her price tag seeing as I am protective heavily using wigs! With my scissors, cotton and thread in hand I set about rectifying the above issues:

This sequence of pictures show the starting point for this unit - post having a few curls added the day before when I realised I could make this unit work. The picture in the bottom left show how large the cap was and had to be held down by hair grips.  I soon fixed that!

The Hair Texture
I realised that although the hair was still silky, she was considerably less shiny than I had remembered. After three or four washes, the lustre of the hair had dulled and I think she looked pretty darnned good! Besides, these days I’m not about pretending that this wig hair is my hair so yeah, I can deal with the silky texture and additional shine if necessary.

Silky textured hair in my experience is so much easier to look after than the yaki textured alternative. With my yaki unit, after every cowash I had to air dry then blow dry her after in order to get her smooth enough to flat-iron. Although my yaki unit lasted for 2 years, it wasn’t 2 years of constant usage. I think that the amount of heat used on the unit definitely aged it to some extent, even though I was using heat protectant.

So, to cut a long story short – I have quickly got over myself and have learned to love the silky texture and the ease of styling associated with it. I think the silkiness also makes the unit less bulky than if she were a yaki texture. Nobody ain’t gonna be thinking this is my hair and really so long as she looks good on my head that’s all I’m bothered about.

It's probably worth noting that every picture in this post of me wearing the unit was taken without flash so you can see that the unit isn't shiny at all anymore, she's still silky though and feels great!

The Cap Fitting
When I purchased the unit and wore her I realised that she was always a little on the large side. I used to remedy this by adding hair grips to the sides of the unit to keep the sides and front down. I only wore her a few times so this approach was worked for me. 

I decided to make the unit fit better by adopting the elastic band method. It worked a treat! I measured a piece of black dressmakers elastic against that used for my eBay full lace unit and then placed this along the back of my head to make sure that the elastic wasn’t too tight. Once I was happy with the size I stitched the elastic just behind the ear tabs. I also stictched the corners of the nape section to the adjustable straps so there wasn't a flap/gap.

This picture shows the unit before I worked some magic on her.  The picture showing my hand at the nape of the unit is where I later stitched the nape to the adjustable straps so that gap disappeared.
A very simple yet effective process which keep that hairline FLAT! I am now 100% comfortable with how the wig fits. Over the Christmas break you couldn’t get me out of that unit!

The Visible Wefts
I took a long hard look at the unit and realised that the only part of the unit which could be an issue so far as visible wefts are concerned is the crown of the unit. With careful brushing this is easily covered and I reckon that spritzing with hairspray will save me from any potential embarrassment. I may look into the possibility of dying the cap darker so the wefts are less noticeable.

I've pulled the hair apart at the back of the unit to show the tracks.  Don't worry, it doesn't look like this when it's on my head  :)

This one remains a work in progress I guess, but I can live with that.   For now I wear a black cap underneath the unit and make sure that I check that the wefts aren't showing throughout the day!

I may stitch in some of the Brazilian weave that I have in a bag somewhere!

Styling The Unit 
After I had addressed the three issues above, the next task was to get the hair to fit me better. As I mentioned above, I really wasn’t styling the unit properly beforehand. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that I wasn’t really styling the unit at all!!!

I started off the re-styling process by giving the unit a thorough brushing with my RPG Show wig brush. I love how this brush glides through the wigs. I also find that the Tangle Teezer works perfectly at removing tangles from units and smoothing the hair. After brushing the hair in two sections, I loosely twisted each section.

This picture shows how nice the texture of the hair is after a good brushing. No product was applied to the unit.  You can see in the bottom left photo how the sides lay down and my wig cap is no longer on show to all and sundry, just my fluffy new growth as I wear the unit slightly back on the sides with no hair left out for blending - I'm 100% protective styling. 
Next I set about a plan to cut some face framing layers into the front of the unit. I had already made an attempt to cut some layers into the front of the unit when I first purchased it but truth be told, I didn’t know what I was doing or the look I wanted to achieve so needless to say the layers were not great as I didn't cut much hair off to avoid ruining the unit!

After watching a shed load of YouTube videos I realised that cutting the layers with scissors using a downward dragging motion would create the soft layers I wanted to achieve. I took a section of hair from the front and clipped the rest back. I then started cutting away hair to create soft layers starting from the level of my mouth going downwards. I then brushed down the area I had clipped up and lightly repeated the process on the top level of hair. I then repeated the process on the opposite side and I was done with the cutting!

This is what the hair looked like after the subtle layers had been cut in.

 Quick. Simple. Effective!!!

I brushed the hair again thoroughly, checking the sides for evenness of length before I introduced some soft large curls to the hair using my large barrel curling tongs from Boots.

My trusty Carbide scissors and my Boots Style Solutions 32mm Jumbo curling tongs

I curled the hair by using the tongs as if they were a curling wand, so not using the clamp and just winding the hair around the heated barrel starting midway down the length of the hair.

Despite my lack of practice curling my hair like this, the curls came out beautifully and boy does this unit hold a curl! My boyfriend brought me a curling wand for Christmas which I used on Christmas day to create lots of small waves and I kid you not, two weeks later those same curls are still in the unit – which I have brushed twice with my wig brush and worn about four or five times since! I have the hair stored either on a mannequin head or hanging upside down on a clothes hook by the elastic! Ghetto I know, but I don’t care it does the job.

I also lightly tweezed the centre parting of the unit which has improved the overall look of this unit. I don’t think I am a big fan of adding concealer to the parting because it looks a bit odd if you overdo it, but lightly plucking and a light handed sweep of concealer (skintone, not scalp toned) gave me good results and I can still change the direction of the part with ease and without it looking weird.

I’m really pleased that I stumbled across this forgotten gem of a unit.

The tips and tricks I have learnt whilst researching for my recent purchases from OWigs and RPG Show have helped me breathe life into this unit.

I love wearing her now and feel that I will be able to get my monies worth out of this purchase, even though its two years down the line!

I took this picture yesterday two days after washing and deep conditioning the unit.  It looks and feels better than new! 

I think I'll be wearing this unit again next week. I really want a full lace unit just like this for the summer but with an ombre effect so I have started the hunt for one already.

Ciao 4 Now



  1. This has to me the most thorough wig post that I've ever read! This looks beautiful on you chica!

    KLP | SavingOurStrands

  2. Looks great! Thanks for posting.

  3. Looks fantastic! I need one of these in between having these crochet braids! Stunning! x

  4. @KLP

    Hahaha!!!! I do like to be thorough :)

    Thanks so much, I really do like it a lot now!! It's great what a pair of scissors and some elastic can do!!!

  5. @Carissa M

    Thanks sis x

    If you decide to get a unit it will look amazing on you!!!


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