How Much Do Wigs Cost?

Written by: Staff

Wigs can be used for a variety of purposes.  A wig can be used for a cancer patient going through chemotherapy, alopecia or someone who is simply looking for a different hairstyle.  Regardless of the situation, the cost of a wig will vary on the type of hair, the brand, hair length, color, hair style, cap size, quality and the store selling it.

Wigs by Memekiller, on Flickr
Wigs” (CC BY 2.0) by  Memekiller

How much do wigs cost?

On average, a synthetic wig can cost anywhere from as little as $30 to as much as $400.  A synthetic wig will look and feel like real hair, but it requires less attention than real hair.

A wig made from real hair can cost anywhere from $650 to as much as $2,500.

We researched a handful of retailers online and were able to come up with our own estimates listed in the table below.

Women’s Health says a synthetic wig can cost as little as $3 to as much as $3,000 for a real hair wig.

Oprah’s official website says today, a synthetic wig can start under $100, and if you plan on wearing it every day, it can last up to six months.

Type of WigAverage Price
Synthetic short wig$25 to $300
Synthetic medium wig$25 to $350
Synthetic long wig$50 to $400
Synthetic hand-tied wig$200 to $450
Synthetic lace front wig$100 to $400
Natural short wig$50 to $400
Natural medium length wig$50 to $750+
Natural long wig$100 to $1,500+
Human hair hand-tied wig$800 to $1,500+
Natural lace front wig$200 to $1,000+
Natural monofilament wig$400 to $1,300+
Half wigs$50 to $150
Men wigs$50 to $1,000
Custom$500 to $5,000+

Wigs overview

There are two kinds of wigs on the market:  synthetic and real.  A synthetic wig, almost always, is going to be a lot cheaper than real hair.  These types of wig will come with a set style that you are not able to alter.  Using a sticky adhesive pad, these wigs can stick to your head without slipping, and if taken care of properly, these wigs can last more than a year.

Wigs made from real hair will come from hair that was donated, often from Asia and India.  These wigs can come in many lengths, colors and are able to last more than five years if taken care of properly.  Like your real hair, this wig can be styled and can be treated as if it were your own.  Depending on the type, the washing instructions can vary.

If you already have hair, your hair will be tucked back into a wire cap to flatten it out and create a smoother surface.  A headband with small “teeth” can also be used to keep the wig in place.  If you don’t have hair, a bonded wig, which is made with double-sided tape, will stick in place, causing it not to slip.

Just like a natural hair style, a wig can come in virtually any size, length and/or color.  If you can imagine, you should be able to purchase it

What are the extra costs?

Customized wigs, where you’re able to choose the color and length, can often get into the thousands, especially if you decide to choose a well-known designer.

Some wigs will require a professional cleaning.  Since most wigs cannot be washed in a washing machine, they will have to be taken to a professional cleaner for service.

To maintain your wig, experts recommend placing it on a wig form while not being used.  This helps the hair maintain its shape and prevent it from rubbing against a surface.  A wig form is relatively cheap and should be found for as little as a few dollars.  Maintaining it also involves various beauty materials.  For example, a synthetic wig will need a Woolite-like shampoo and fabric softener as a conditioner.  As for human hair, a moisturizing shampoo and protein-based conditioner will keep the hair soft and hydrated.

A wig, unfortunately, won’t last forever, so plan on replacing it every six to 24 months, depending on how much you use it.

Tips to know:

If going through cancer, check with your local hospital to see if they can recommend any organizations in the area that offer wigs for free to cancer patients.  Also, ask friends or fellow cancer patients in the hospitals.  Referrals are going to be the best way to find quality wigs at a low cost.

If possible, try to pick out your wig before the chemotherapy begins.  You will have more energy and the stylist will be able to see your original color.  This is a great way for the stylist to match your wig with your original look. also recommends cutting your hair short since it will be less traumatic when you start to lose your hair.

Try a wig on in person if possible.  Check out the company’s reviews online and be sure to ask about their return policy if you were to find something wrong with it in the near future.  If you don’t know what kind of wig you want, look online or in a magazine to find a style you like.  A good retailer should be able to help you find a wig that looks similar to what you want.

Try to avoid those that have a liner as this can often cause itching or rashes.

How can I save money?

Some organizations offer wigs to those who meet certain requirements.  These requirements include a certain age and income.

While a real hair wig can cost more, it is going to last up to three times longer; plus, you can alter it as if it were your own hair.  Try to focus more on the quality rather than the price tag.  If you can’t afford it, a synthetic wig can do just fine since it won’t require much in terms of attention and/or care.

Consider going with shorter hair in the beginning.  Shorter hair is not only going to be cheaper, it is going to be a lot easier to manage.

Health insurance companies can cover a portion, if not all, of a wig purchase.  If you do not have a health insurance policy, consider using to find a health insurance company in your area.

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