foam head on a wig stand

Styling Tools: Foam Head and Wig Stand

Before you cut, brush or style your wig, put it on a wig head and make sure it has a firm stand. You don’t want your wig head to tilt to the side or fall over and ruin your work!

Foam heads (made of polystyrene foam) are affordable and available in different sizes. To determine the perfect size, measure your head circumference (with your hair put up under a wig cap). If your wig head is too small, your wig may end up being cut too short. Foam heads should have a hole in the bottom to mount them on a wig stand. You can buy them for $5–10 at a beauty supply store, costuming store or on amazon.

3 foam heads
Foam heads in different sizes
ponytail wig on wig stand
“Stubbed” Belldandy wig (WIP) on a wig stand

Secure the wig with large sewing pins in the top and on the temples so that it can’t shift or slide off the wig head. A firm stand and thoroughly pinned down wig are especially important when you style long and heavy wigs or ponytails and updos, like this Belldandy wig that I “stubbed” for my book about ponytail styles. Secure the wig with pins along the edge to keep it from shifting and shrinking while you style it.

Wig stands are a must-have to keep your wig from tipping. There’s a wig stand for every need and budget, take a look at my arsenal:

wig clamp
Wig clamp attached to a table top

Wig clamp – buy at the wig or beauty supply store or ebay/amazon for about $10. These can be fixed to the table top and are used for hairdressing training. You can rotate and tilt the plug if needed. Most foam heads will fit snugly, if they don’t you can wrap the plug with a scrap piece of foam and tape.

tripod wig stand
Adjustable tripod wig stand

Adjustable tripod – buy at the beauty supply store or ebay/amazon for as little as $20 (professional ones may cost 5-10x the amount but you really don’t need to go overboard here). This kind of stand provides the most support and flexibility, especially for long wigs. The top part is the same as the wig clamp.

collapsible plastic wig stand
Collapsible plastic wig stand

Collapsible plastic wig stand – buy online for around $5. Great for cons or display, but not much use for styling.

DIY wig stand
DIY wig stand made of wood

DIY wig stand – mine is made of a scrap piece of wood and a wooden dowel (25-30mm diameter) fixed with a long screw.

bottle wig stand
Wig head propped on a bottle for display

Make-shift wig stands – if you don’t want to buy or make a dedicated wig stand, you can repurpose a camera tripod or a mannequin stand instead. Or prop a broomstick in a sunshade stand or a sand-filled bucket.

For short wigs, use an empty glass bottle or large soda bottle and fill it with water for added weight. I use bottles as cheap wig stands for hot-water straightening / curling and dyeing.

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