Best Wig Adhesives

Updated December 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

10 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
134 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best wig adhesives

Last Updated December 2019

When you’re wearing a wig, there are few things worse than worrying about it blowing off in a breeze or slipping around every time you turn your head. But you can keep your wig in place no matter what the weather or how active you are if you use the right wig adhesive.

A wig adhesive is exactly what it sounds like: a product applied to a hairpiece or your scalp to help lock the wig in place on your head. Some formulas can secure a wig for several days, while others stay sticky for weeks. You can even find some wig adhesives that can withstand sweat and water, so they’re ideal for anyone who leads an active lifestyle or lives in a hot, humid climate.

Choosing the right wig adhesive can be a challenge, but with our buying guide you’ll be armed with all the knowledge you need to find the best one for your favorite wigs. To save you some time, we’ve included several specific product recommendations to help get your shopping started.

When in doubt, consult your hairstylist to determine what type of wig adhesive is best for you. They likely know your skin type, as well as the type of wigs you wear, so they’ll be able to make an effective recommendation.

Key considerations

Solvent-based vs. water-based formulas

Wig adhesives come in either solvent-based or water-based formulas.

Solvent-based adhesives: These wig adhesives are the most common and are similar to other types of glue. They have more potent chemicals that form a stronger bond, giving them a longer wear time than other types of wig adhesive. If you need your wig to stay in place as long as possible, you have oily skin, live in a humid climate, or want to swim in your wig, you should opt for a solvent-based adhesive.

On the downside, the harsher chemicals in these adhesives can irritate sensitive skin, particularly in individuals with psoriasis or eczema, and may even cause an allergic reaction. That’s why some people find solvent-based adhesives uncomfortable to use. Also, the texture of the adhesive can be thick or stringy. These formulas also require a special solvent for removal, which can make them more challenging to use.

Water-based adhesives: These formulas are a much gentler option than solvent-based formulas, so they’re ideal for anyone with sensitive skin or who’s new to using these products. They’re usually easier to apply and easier to remove, requiring only soap and water. They dry clear, and the texture isn’t as thick or stringy as that of solvent-based options. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, or you aren’t comfortable with harsh chemicals, a water-based wig adhesive is your best option.

On the downside, the wear time of a water-based adhesive isn’t as long as that of a solvent-based adhesive.

Liquid vs. solid

In addition to having different ingredients, wig adhesives also come in two different forms: liquid and solid.

Liquid: These wig adhesives are similar to traditional glues and typically offer the widest range of options. Liquid formulas come in a bottle or squeeze tube and generally provide the strongest bond between your wig and scalp. These glues are applied directly to your skin. You then press your wig in place over it to create the bond. Wig glue usually provides the longest wear time, so it’s best for anyone who wants to get several weeks of wear from the adhesive.

Solid: These wig adhesives are similar to double-sided tape. You apply the tape to both your wig and your scalp and press the two together to create the bond, which can be as strong as a liquid or glue adhesive. Wig tape is easier to use than liquids, which can make it a better option for those who are new to using a wig adhesive.

Wear time

If you only need a wig adhesive to keep your wig in place for a few hours or a day or two at a time, nearly any option will do. However, there’s a fairly wide range of wear times depending on the formula you choose. Some wig adhesives stay in place for three to five days, while others last up to six weeks. In general, water-based adhesives or wig tapes offer the shortest wear time. For the longest, you need to choose a solvent-based wig glue.

EXPERT TIP

Avoid getting any type of wig adhesive in your wig. It can be extremely difficult to get glue or tape out of the hair without damaging the wig.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Finish

The finish of a wig adhesive is an important feature to consider because there may be some areas where it’s visible even when your wig in place. Many adhesives are clear, so they’re not visible on the skin. But some have a whitish cast, which makes them more noticeable if you don’t apply the adhesive carefully. You’ll have an easier time hiding any stray wig adhesive if it has a matte finish. If the adhesive is shiny, it can attract light and stand out on the skin.

Waterproof

If you work out regularly, play sports, or live in a particularly humid climate, you definitely want a waterproof adhesive that allows you to wear your wig when swimming, bathing, or sweating without worrying about the adhesive failing. Nearly all waterproof wig adhesives are solvent-based because water or moisture won’t wash away the adhesive.

Antimicrobial

Some wig adhesives have antimicrobial properties, which can be important if you’re wearing your wig for prolonged periods. That’s because the heat between your scalp and wig makes it extremely easy for bacteria to grow. An antimicrobial wig adhesive can keep the bacteria at bay, help you feel more comfortable, and prevent any odor from developing.

Applicator

If you opt for a liquid wig adhesive, some formulas come in a squeeze bottle, which means you have to use your own brush to apply the adhesive. Some wig glues come in a bottle with an applicator brush in the lid, which allows you to brush the adhesive on without the need for any other tools.

EXPERT TIP

When you’re using wig glue or liquid adhesive, allow it to dry for a couple of minutes to make sure it’s slightly tacky when you position your wig over it to create a bond.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

Wig cap: Lady Up Wig Caps
A wig cap is a must to keep your natural hair smooth and out of the way when you’re wearing a wig. It also provides a surface for the interior of the wig to grip, so the wig doesn’t move around too much. These caps from Lady Up include three different colors to match any skin tone as well as two different styles — choose from nylon mesh or breathable net.

Wig: FreeTress Equal Brazilian Natural Deep Invisible L Part Lace-Front Wig
You want to pair your wig adhesive with a high-quality, natural-looking wig that puts an end to bad hair days. We love that this synthetic lace-front wig can still be heat-styled and doesn’t shed as much as other options.

Wig adhesive prices

Wig adhesives vary in price based on the type, formula, and the size of the package. Most adhesives cost between $4 and $42.

The most affordable wig adhesives are tapes. These typically only offer one to two weeks of wear time and range from $4 to $15.

These wig adhesives are typically liquid or glue formulas that offer up to three weeks of wear time but usually aren’t waterproof. They cost between $9 and $20.

The most expensive wig adhesives are liquid or glue formulas that are water and sweat resistant. They provide up to ten weeks of wear time and cost between $19 and $42.

EXPERT TIP

If you’re applying multiple layers of wig adhesive, make sure each layer is dry before applying the next.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Use an alcohol solution to clean around your hairline first. You want to remove any dirt, oil, or other residue before applying the wig adhesive. This will help make sure you get the best bond between the adhesive and your skin.
  • Use a scalp protector. If you’re using a solvent-based wig adhesive, apply a scalp protector to any exposed areas of your scalp that will come in contact with the adhesive. A scalp protector can help limit any irritation that the adhesive might cause.
  • Apply in thin, even coats. When you apply a liquid wig adhesive or glue, always apply thin, even coats. You’ll get a stronger bond if you don’t apply too much adhesive.
  • Apply the wig adhesive along your hairline. You don’t have to put the adhesive over your entire hairline, but you should apply it to your forehead and temples for the most natural look.
  • Apply adhesive on the edge of the wig cap. Doing this helps create a bond between your wig, cap, and skin, so nothing moves or shifts around.

Other products we considered

There are plenty of wig adhesives on the market, and we couldn’t include all those worth checking out on our shortlist. Here are a couple more you might like. The MAGICAL BOND Plus Vitamin wig and hair glue is a medical-grade adhesive that provides extra-firm hold. It’s waterproof and sweat resistant, so it can keep your wig in place in even the most humid weather. We also like the Beauty On Line Double-Sided Adhesive Tape, which works well for wigs, toupees, and hair extensions. The waterproof tape offers two to four weeks of wear time, so it can keep your wig in place even when you’re swimming or bathing.

Always do a patch test with a new wig adhesive. Put a small amount of it behind your ear or on your inner arm and wait 12 to 24 hours to see how your skin reacts. If there’s no irritation, you can use the adhesive. If you experience a reaction, look for a different formula.

FAQ

Q. Are wig adhesives safe for the skin?
A. Wig adhesives are usually safe, but there is the potential for irritation. If you have sensitive skin or allergies, you may experience a reaction based on the adhesive’s formula. In general, water-based wig adhesives are less likely to irritate skin than solvent-based formulas.


Q. How can I get adhesive residue off my lace-front wig?
A.
It’s pretty common to get some glue or tape residue on the lace portion of a lace-front wig. To remove it, start by gently wiping the residue with a cloth dampened with warm water. Peel off any portions of the adhesive that have been loosened and are easily removed. Next, use a cotton pad to gently apply isopropyl alcohol to the areas that still have adhesive residue. Carefully peel off the residue with your fingers. Finish by washing the entire wig with shampoo to get rid of any lingering glue or tape residue.


Q. Does every wig require adhesive?
A.
Not necessarily. Lace-front wigs require some type of adhesive to help them stay in place and look more natural, but those with built-in caps don’t necessarily require adhesive.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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