In this article, I will share with you the tips and tricks regarding how to make a wig smaller.
According to my hairstylist, the average cap size fits 95% of all wearers, if that’s true, then I am one of the sad 5%. So learning how to make a wig smaller in my early wig-wearing days helped immensely.
Over the years, I’ve tried many methods to make my wigs smaller and after asking for my hairstylist’s opinion, today I will share with you the top three ways that worked perfectly for me.
Sounds good? Keep reading!
Method 1: Use Adjustment Straps
Step 1: Begin by turning your wig inside out. The straps should be located either on both the right and left sides of the wig cap or at the back towards the nape. They usually resemble bra straps, so they’re easy to identify once you know what you’re looking for.
Step 2: Adjust each strap individually. Hold the strap towards the center and pull the loose end to make it tighter. Repeat on the other side.
Step 3: Put the wig on and see how it fits. Is it tight enough that it’s going to remain in place and not move around? Is it too tight that it no longer feels comfortable?
Step 4: Repeat Steps 2 and 3 if necessary, If your wig still feels loose, tighten the straps slightly and try it on again. You want to keep adjusting the straps until your wig fits snuggly but feels comfortable.
It can take some trial and error, but you will have a perfectly fitting wig after a few attempts. Just note that these straps can loosen over time. To ensure they remain in the correct setting, sew the end of each strap to the wig to prevent it from coming loose.
Method 2: Remove Wefts
Adjusting the straps can help the wig stay securely on your head. But what happens when it’s loose and baggy elsewhere? Often, an ill-fitting wig won’t sit flat on the back of our head, almost as if there’s too much wig in certain places, and it bunches up. Wefts can help in these cases.
Wefts are the horizontal lines of hair stitched into the wig. By removing a couple of wefts, you can shrink a wig and eliminate the bunching. Afterward, wigs should feel more comfortable, be positioned better, and look more natural on the wearer’s head shape.
This method can take a bit of time and a steady hand, but the result is worth the effort.
Step 1: To remove some of the wefts, you’ll need a pair of scissors and a needle and tread. First, try to find a thread that closely matches the color inside your wig’s crown.
Step 2: While wearing the wig, feel where the bunching is. Then, pinch the excess material between your fingers. Keep hold of this material and remove the wig.
Step 3: Turn the wig inside out and count the number of wefts you’re holding between your pinched fingers.
Step 4: This is a crucial step. If you’ve counted four wefts, consider removing just two or three. You don’t want to remove too many wefts initially and be left with a wig that’s too small. You always have the option to take out more wefts if necessary.
Step 5: To make things easier, place your wig inside out on a wig stand. If you don’t have a proper stand, improvise using a vase, a mop head (after covering it with a plastic bag), or even just your knee.
Anything that allows you to stretch the wig and leave you both hands-free is what you’re after.
Step 6: The idea is to remove wefts from the top, just below the main crown. But you also need to begin cutting from the center. Then, counting up from each side, locate the central elastic strip — the strip of material running vertically from the wig’s crown that holds the wefts in place.
Step 7: On the central strip and beginning from the crown downwards, count the number of wefts you want to remove.
If you’re removing four, take your scissors and cut the central strip just below the fourth horizontal line of hair. Take care to only cut through the strip and not the hair itself.
Step 8: Moving to the next elastic strip on the left, count down one less weft than you’re removing. If you cut below number four on the central strip, for instance, count just three down. Again, cut the strip just below the weft.
Step 9: On the next elastic strip to the left, count one less weft down again. In my example, cut below the second weft on this strip. Next, move down the strips on the left side until you have cut below the first weft.
Step 10: Repeat this process on the right side of the wig, moving down from the central elastic strip, counting one less weft each time, and cut below it.
Step 11: Now that the strips are cut part way down, you also need to cut them at the top. Take each one and snip just below where they attach at the crown.
Step 12: You’ll notice that the wefts are still attached in places, so you want to detach them completely. Lift the lowest weft you’re removing on the central strip and cut where it’s still attached towards the strips to the left and right. Repeat on the next weft up.
Step 13: Continue doing this until you’ve released the top weft. You should now have a V-shaped section of wefts that can be lifted out and removed entirely from the wig. Tuck any stray hairs back in.
Step 14: It’s now time to sew everything back together. Align the elastic strips with the crown. Beginning on the right, take your needle and thread and make two or three stitches to attach the strip to the crown—tie off using a knot to secure the stitch.
Move towards the left and repeat the sewing process until you’ve sewn the final elastic strip to the crown.
And you’re done! Although this method may seem daunting, it’s a simple way to make your wig smaller and fit much better. If you’re a little worried about giving it a go on your favorite wig, try removing a couple of wefts from an old one first.
Method 3: Tuck and Sew
If your wig bunches but you’re reluctant to remove wefts permanently, you could try the tuck and sew method. Your wig will be smaller, but the amount of hair remains the same. Because of this, the result may not look as natural as when you remove wefts.
However, it’s a very quick and easy method to make a wig smaller.
Step 1: After turning your wig inside out, locate the area you want to make smaller. Then, bring two wefts together along the elastic strap by making a tuck or fold.
Step 2: Make two or three stitches through the strap and tie them off with a knot to hold the tuck together.
Step 3: Repeat steps 1 and 2 as needed. For example, if your wig bunches at the back, making tucks on the three central elastic strips may be sufficient. You may also want to tuck under more than one weft on a strip.
Any stitches you make can be easily removed if you make a mistake or make too many tucks. Try the wig on regularly to check the progress and ensure you’re altering the right area.
Here are the answers to your most pressing questions about making wigs smaller.
Can You Shrink a Wig?
Believe it or not, it is possible to shrink a wig much like you would shrink some jeans or a tee-shirt. Some wigs will shrink a little bit in warm water, depending on the materials in the cap. Other wigs will not shrink.
For the most part, though, the best way to shrink a wig is by following the tightening methods we’ve detailed above.
How Can I Make My Wig Bigger?
If you’ve bought a new wig and it’s too small for you, you may need to stretch the cap to achieve a good fit. To make a wig bigger, you need to loosen the cap’s adjustment straps. Make sure these are at the loosest setting and try the wig again.
If it’s too loose, tighten the straps in increments to try the wig after each adjustment until you get the right fit.
What Do You Do if a Wig is Too Big?
If a wig is too big, you will need to tighten it before use. There are three basic methods of making a wig smaller: tightening the adjustment straps, removing wefts, or the tuck and sew method. There is a complete guide to each method above.
Is it better to have a wig too big or too small?
It’s better to have a wig too big than small, for a wig that’s too small, it’s going to be very tight and uncomfortable. Wearing a wig that is too small may affect the blood flow and cause headaches, hair loss, or even damage your hairline. While wearing a wig that is too big may result in an unnatural look but nothing much like health issues.
The best thing is to have a wig that is not too big or small.
Making a Wig Smaller is a DIY Job
If you have a smaller-than-average head as I do, or your wig is slightly too large and needs adjusting to make it fit better, hopefully, this guide helps. These methods can help you turn an ill-fitting wig into one that suits you like a glove (or hat!).
Leave a comment below and let me know how your adjustments went or if you’ve used other methods to make your wigs smaller.