How to Highlight a Human Hair Wig: Tips and Techniques
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How to Highlight a Human Hair Wig: Tips and Techniques

Human hair wigs have become a versatile and transformative accessory in the world of beauty and fashion. Whether you're using them to change up your look or to regain your confidence during challenging times, these wigs offer a unique blend of convenience and style. However, while a high-quality human hair wig can offer a remarkable base, the magic often lies in the details. One such detail is highlighting.

Highlighting is the art of adding dimension, depth, and a touch of personal flair to your human hair wig. It's the secret ingredient that can turn a good wig into a great one, elevating your appearance with a natural and stylish allure. By strategically lightening specific sections of your wig, you can achieve a look that mirrors the subtle variations of natural hair, creating a vibrant and lifelike finish.

In this article, we'll walk you through the process of highlighting a human hair wig with precision and ease. Whether you're new to wig styling or a seasoned pro looking for fresh techniques, our step-by-step guidance will empower you to enhance your wig's aesthetic appeal, all while avoiding the salon chair. So, let's embark on this journey to discover the transformative potential of wig highlights.
highlight wig

Before Highlighting: Ensure Your Wigs Are Human Hair

Before delving into the exciting world of wig highlighting, it's crucial to verify that your wigs are made from 100% human hair. This is a fundamental step in achieving the best results with highlighting. 

It's important to note that highlighting synthetic wigs can lead to irreparable damage. The synthetic fibers in these wigs do not react well to hair coloring products and high heat, often resulting in melting or discoloration. Human hair wigs are crafted from genuine hair strands, which provide a remarkably natural appearance. Unlike synthetic wigs, they can be styled, curled, and straightened just like your own hair, giving you styling freedom with your look.

In the following sections, we'll guide you through the process of highlighting human hair wigs, helping you achieve a natural and stylish look.
highlight bob wig

Preparing Your Wig

Before you embark on the exciting journey of wig highlighting a wig, it's crucial to prepare your human hair wig properly. This preparation phase is essential as it lays the foundation for a successful highlighting process. Here, we'll delve into the significance of preparation, outline the materials and tools you'll need, and provide step-by-step instructions for washing and conditioning your wig to ensure a clean canvas for highlighting.

Importance of Preparation:

  1. Clean Slate for Color: Washing your wig before highlighting removes any dirt, oils, or residue that may have accumulated. This ensures that the hair is in its purest state, ready to absorb the highlights evenly and vibrantly.
  2. Enhanced Adhesion: Clean hair allows the highlighting products to adhere better, ensuring the color is applied precisely to the desired areas.
  3. Even Results: Properly conditioned hair ensures that the highlights blend seamlessly with the base color, creating a natural and harmonious look.

Materials and Tools Needed:

Before you begin, gather the following materials and tools:

  1. Wig Stand: A wig stand or mannequin head with a clamp will hold the wig securely in place, making it easier to work on.
  2. Hair Clips: These are essential for sectioning the wig's hair during the highlighting process.
  3. Wig Comb or Brush: A wide-toothed comb or wig brush will help detangle and smooth out the wig hair.
  4. Mild Shampoo: Choose a gentle, sulfate-free shampoo to clean the wig without stripping its natural oils.
  5. Conditioner: Use a high-quality wig conditioner to keep the hair soft and manageable.
  6. Large Bowl or Sink: You'll need a container to soak the wig during the washing process.
  7. Towel: Have a clean, absorbent towel on hand for drying the wig after washing.
  8. Plastic Wrap or Shower Cap: You'll use this to cover the wig while it soaks with conditioner.

Step-by-Step Washing and Conditioning:

  1. Detangle Gently: Start by gently detangling the wig with a wig comb or brush to remove any knots or tangles.
  2. Prepare Soapy Water: Fill a large bowl or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild shampoo. Mix until it forms a gentle, soapy solution.
  3. Soak the Wig: Immerse the wig into the soapy water, gently agitating it to ensure the shampoo covers all the hair. Let it soak for a few minutes.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the wig under running lukewarm water until the shampoo is completely washed out. Be gentle to avoid tangling.
  5. Condition the Wig: Apply a generous amount of wig conditioner to the hair. Distribute it evenly with your fingers, focusing on the ends.
  6. Cover and Let It Sit: Place the conditioned wig inside a plastic wrap or shower cap to keep the hair moist. Allow it to sit for about 10-15 minutes to deeply condition.
  7. Rinse and Towel Dry: Rinse the wig thoroughly under lukewarm water until the conditioner is completely rinsed out. Gently pat the wig dry with a clean towel to remove excess moisture. Do not rub vigorously.

Now that your wig is clean and conditioned, you're ready to embark on the exciting process of wig highlighting. Following these preparation steps ensures that you have a clean canvas to work with, helping you achieve stunning results with your highlights.

ginger wig with blonde skunk stripe wig

Selecting Highlighting Techniques

Highlighting is an art that allows you to add depth, dimension, and personality to your human hair wig. To achieve the perfect look, you'll want to select the highlighting technique that aligns with your style goals. Here, we'll explore three popular highlighting techniques - balayage, foil highlights, and ombre - explain their differences, and help you choose the one that best suits your desired look.

1. Balayage:

Balayage is a freehand highlighting technique that delivers soft, natural-looking results. It involves painting highlights onto the hair with a sweeping motion, creating a gradient effect from the roots to the tips. Balayage is ideal if you're aiming for a sun-kissed, effortlessly chic appearance. It mimics the way natural hair lightens over time, making it perfect for those seeking subtlety and minimal maintenance.

2. Foil Highlights:

Foil highlights are a precise and controlled technique that involves separating small sections of hair, applying color, and then wrapping them in foil to isolate and intensify the color. This method is excellent for achieving bold, vibrant highlights and defined contrast between colored and natural hair. Foil highlights are versatile and can be used for both subtle and dramatic looks, depending on your color choice and placement.

3. Ombre:

Ombre is a gradient-style highlighting technique where the color transition starts subtly at the roots and becomes more pronounced towards the ends. It's a striking option if you desire a dramatic contrast between your wig's base color and the highlights. Ombre is often used with bold and unconventional colors to create a captivating, edgy appearance.

Choosing the Right Technique:

  • Consider Your Style: Think about the look you want to achieve. Do you prefer a soft, natural appearance, or are you aiming for a bold and distinctive style statement? Your style plays a significant role in selecting the technique.
  • Maintenance: Consider the level of maintenance you're comfortable with. Balayage offers a low-maintenance option, while foil highlights may require more upkeep to maintain their vibrancy.
  • Color Choice: Your color choice for the highlights is essential. If you want a subtle look, choose shades that complement your base color. For a more dramatic effect, go for high-contrast colors.

Remember, the key to successful wig highlighting is choosing the technique that aligns with your style preferences and ensures you feel confident and beautiful in your wig. Each technique offers its unique charm, so feel free to experiment and express your creativity with your human hair wig.

balayage highlight wig

Choosing Highlight Colors

Selecting the right highlight colors for your human hair wig is a crucial step in achieving a harmonious and stunning look. In this section, we'll explore various highlight color options, discuss how to choose colors that complement both the wig's base color and the wearer's skin tone, and offer tips on achieving a natural and blended appearance.

1. Highlight Color Options:

  • Blonde Highlights: Classic blonde highlights can add brightness and warmth to your wig, creating a sun-kissed effect. Shades of blonde, from honey to platinum, work well with various base colors.
  • Caramel Highlights: Caramel tones offer a rich and inviting look. These warm highlights can complement brown and darker base colors beautifully.
  • Pastel Highlights: Pastel highlights, such as soft pinks, blues, or lavenders, are ideal for those seeking a bold and unique style. They work best on lighter wig base colors and can create a whimsical, ethereal appearance.
  • Auburn Highlights: Auburn highlights add depth and dimension to brown or black wigs. These reddish tones can provide a vibrant contrast.

2. Complementing Base Color and Skin Tone:

  • Base Color Harmony: Choose highlight colors that harmonize with your wig's base color. For example, if your wig is a natural brown, consider caramel or chestnut highlights. If it's a lighter shade, blonde or pastel highlights can be stunning.
  • Skin Tone Consideration: Your skin tone plays a crucial role in color selection. Warmer skin tones often pair well with warm highlights like caramel or auburn, while cooler skin tones may favor ashier or cooler-toned highlights.

3. Achieving a Natural and Blended Look:

  • Placement Matters: The placement of your highlights is essential for a natural look. Opt for strategic placement, such as framing the face or applying highlights where the sun would naturally hit.
  • Gradual Transition: Ensure a gradual transition from your wig's base color to the highlight color. Balayage and ombre techniques excel at creating this seamless transition.
  • Consider Dimension: To add depth and dimension, vary the thickness and spacing of your highlights. This prevents a uniform, unnatural appearance.
  • Toning: After highlighting, consider using a toner to adjust the color if needed. Toning can help achieve the desired shade and blend the colors even further.
  • Consult a Colorist: If you're unsure about which colors will complement your wig and skin tone or how to execute the highlighting process effectively, consulting a professional colorist can provide expert guidance and ensure a flawless outcome.

Remember that highlighting is an opportunity to express your style and creativity. Whether you opt for subtle or bold highlights, the key is to select colors that make you feel confident and beautiful in your human hair wig. With careful color selection and execution, you can achieve a natural, blended, and captivating look.
honey blonde highlight wig

Applying the Highlights

Now that you've selected the perfect highlight colors and prepared your human hair wig, it's time to embark on the exciting process of applying the highlights. Highlighting is an art that demands precision and technique for the best results. In this section, we'll provide a step-by-step guide to help you apply highlights to your wig effectively:

Step 1: Prepare Your Workspace

Before you begin, ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials ready:

  • Wig on a wig stand or mannequin head.
  • Hair clips to section the hair.
  • Highlighting the color of your choice.
  • Developer appropriate for the color.
  • Mixing bowl and brush for color application.
  • Foil sheets or plastic wrap (if using foil highlights).
  • Gloves to protect your hands.

Step 2: Section the Hair

  1. Start by dividing the wig into manageable sections. Use hair clips to secure each section out of the way as you work.
  2. Determine where you want to place your highlights. Common areas include around the face, through the crown, or at the ends for an ombre effect.

Step 3: Mix the Highlighting Color

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the highlighting color and developer according to the manufacturer's instructions. The ratio will depend on the specific product you're using.
  2. Stir the mixture until it reaches a smooth and consistent texture.

Step 4: Apply the Highlights

  1. Begin with one of the sections you've prepared. Unclip it and comb through the hair to ensure it's smooth and tangle-free.
  2. Using your brush or an applicator, start applying the highlight color to the desired section. Begin a couple of inches away from the roots if you want a more natural look.
  3. Work in small, even strokes, applying the color evenly and ensuring you saturate the hair thoroughly.

Step 5: Use Foils (Optional)

If you're using foil highlights for a more intensified effect:

  1. After applying the color, place a foil sheet under the highlighted section.
  2. Fold the foil over the hair, creating a packet to keep the color isolated and help it process more effectively.

Step 6: Repeat for All Sections

Continue these steps, section by section, until you've applied highlights to all the areas you desire.

Step 7: Allow to Process

  1. Check the processing time specified in the product instructions. Typically, it ranges from 20 to 45 minutes, depending on the brand and desired results.
  2. Cover the wig with a plastic wrap or shower cap to keep the highlights moist as they process.

Step 8: Check Color Development

After the specified processing time, check the color development. You can do this by taking a small section of hair and wiping off the color with a tissue. If the desired color is achieved, move on to the next step. If not, let it process for a little longer and check periodically.

Step 9: Rinse and Condition

  1. Rinse the highlighted sections thoroughly with lukewarm water until the water runs clear.
  2. Apply a high-quality wig conditioner to the hair to restore moisture and soften the strands.
  3. Rinse out the conditioner and gently pat the wig dry with a towel.

Step 10: Style as Desired

With the highlights now applied and your wig clean and conditioned, style it as you normally would, whether it's straightening, curling, or leaving it in its natural state.

Remember that precision and technique are key to achieving beautifully highlighted hair. Take your time, work systematically through the sections, and follow the product instructions closely. With practice, you'll master the art of highlighting and create stunning, natural-looking highlights for your human hair wig.


Styling and Maintenance

Congratulations on achieving those gorgeous highlights for your human hair wig! Now, let's dive into styling tips, maintenance practices, and how to address common challenges to keep your wig looking its best.

Styling Tips:

  1. Heat Tools: Human hair wigs can be styled with heat tools, such as flat irons and curling irons, just like your natural hair. Use a heat protectant spray before styling to shield the hair from damage.
  2. Styling Products: Choose styling products that suit your desired look. For sleek styles, opt for a smoothing serum. For voluminous curls, use a mousse or curl-enhancing spray. Always apply products sparingly to prevent buildup.
  3. Brushing: Use a wig brush or wide-tooth comb to gently detangle your wig. Start from the tips and work your way up to avoid damage. Hold the wig at the base to provide support while brushing.

Maintenance Practices:

  1. Washing: Wash your wig as needed, but don't overdo it. Typically, every 10-15 wears is sufficient. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and a wig conditioner to maintain softness and shine.
  2. Drying: Let your wig air dry on a wig stand or mannequin head to preserve its shape. Avoid wringing or twisting the hair, as this can cause damage.
  3. Storage: Store your wig on a wig stand or in a breathable bag when not in use. Avoid direct sunlight and excessive heat exposure, as it can fade the color and damage the fibers.
  4. Avoid Chemicals: Minimize exposure to chlorine and saltwater, as they can affect the wig's color and texture. If you plan to swim, wear a swim cap.

Challenges and Troubleshooting:

  1. Toning: If the highlights appear brassy or too intense, you can use a color-toning product specifically designed for wigs to neutralize unwanted undertones.
  2. Color Correction: In case of major color discrepancies or mistakes in the highlighting process, it's best to consult a professional wig stylist or colorist for color correction. Attempting this on your own may lead to further issues.
  3. Fading: Over time, highlights may fade due to exposure to sunlight or frequent washing. Consider refreshing the highlights with a gentle, semi-permanent color, or seek professional help.
  4. Color Maintenance: To maintain the vibrancy of your highlights, use color-protecting shampoos and conditioners designed for colored hair. These products can help extend the life of your wig's highlights.

Remember that human hair wigs, when treated with care and attention, can last for a long time and continue to look stunning. Styling and maintenance are essential components of this process, so follow these tips to keep your highlighted wig in top-notch condition and enjoy a vibrant and personalized style for as long as possible.
salt and pepper wig


Human hair wigs offer a canvas for creativity, allowing you to reinvent your look, regain your confidence, and embrace your unique style. Highlighting these wigs adds an exciting touch to this transformation, elevating their beauty to new heights.

Through the art of highlighting, you can achieve a natural and stylish appearance that reflects the subtle variations of natural hair. It's a journey that can enhance your allure, illuminate your features, and make a powerful statement about your individuality.

Experiment with different techniques and colors to discover the look that resonates with you the most. Whether you lean towards the sun-kissed charming balayage, the precision of foil highlights, or the bold allure of ombre, there's a world of possibilities to explore. Of course, if you feel it complicated to highlight a wig yourself but desire to rock this color game, why not directly invest in a highlighted wig from Ula Hair? Ula Hair encompasses a variety of styles, textures, and lengths, providing you with endless opportunities to express your inner beauty. Just go ahead and express yourself!

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