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How to buy a Wig and Beard

Here's some hints to help you select the perfect Santa Wig and Beard

Every Santa has long curly hair and a full beard. So, what are you going to do? Let H. Berry Elf (our head elf) try to take some of the mystery out of your hair styling and make you a more informed Santa Wig and Beard shopper.

If you already have your own natural hair and beard, then you are almost set. Some Santas' choose to have a professional hair stylist dye their hair. The results look good and last quite a while. You can also use some hair whitener, although I would not recommend trying to whiten an entire head of naturally dark hair.

For every Santa not endowed with flowing manes of white hair and full beards, you will need a wig and beard set. Like Santa Suits, wig and beard sets come in a variety of styles, prices, and materials.

Some Santa outfits include a wig and beard. Read the description carefully to see if the wig and beard in the set is of a quality you deem appropriate. If you are sharing your Santa outfit with other people, you will want to purchase additional wig and beard sets for hygiene. I don't recommend sharing wigs and beards.

Here are some things to consider when looking for a wig and beard set.

H.Berry Elf gives advice

The Parts

Santa Wigs and Beards typically come in two pieces. You put on the Santa beard first using an attached elastic band that goes over your ears and around the back of your head. Once you have the beard in place, put on the Santa wig. The wig should cover and hide the beard elastic completely.

Beards can come with attached or separate moustaches. Many of the attached moustaches have internal wires that allow you shape the moustache to your liking. You will need to use spirit gum to attach a separate moustache to your lip.

Tip: Have a little spirit gum on hand when put on your wig and beard. It can be used to help hold moustaches and cheek hair in place.

Note: in no case should you try to eat or drink through your beard and moustache!

Santa wigs are sewn to a wig cap. Most wig caps are made of netting which makes wearing the wig cooler than a full wig cap. Full wig caps, however, usually present a more natural scalp-like look. In any case, Santa wigs will usually sit firmly in place without the need of hair pins or adhesive. You may, however, need to use pins to attach the Santa hat to the wig.

You may want to consider using a hair net on your hair. A hair net ensures your natural hair will not peek through the wig and makes putting on and taking off the wig easier.
Use Spirit Gum to
keep things in place
Spirit Gum and Remover A hairnet under
the wig helps
Use a hairnet under youir wig

Styles

Curly or straight? How long? These are the basic style questions. Some wigs and beards are very curly and other quite straight. The choice of materials used can also have a great effect on how the hair looks. Less expensive, synthetic materials can not by styled, more expensive natural hair or hair like synthetics can sometimes be styled to suit your tastes.

Color

Santa Wigs and Beards have two distinct colors (although the color will vary slightly from manufacturer to manufacturer); white and natural. White wigs and beards are often very white indeed. If you are using one of these sets, be sure to get some very white eyebrows to match.

Natural colored wigs and beards have a grayish or yellowish tint. They most closely imitate real hair.
Real Yak HairYak Hair Natural KanekalonKanekalon White SyntheticSynthetic

Materials

In general Santa wigs and beards are made of two types of materials: real hair and synthetic. Real hair wigs and beards are generally higher priced.

Yak hair wigs and beards are prized for the natural look, fullness, durability, and light weight. They are more expensive. There are also synthetic Yak hair sets available, but as with any synthetic, they lack the natualness of real hair.

Synthetic wigs and beards are made of a variety of materials. Kanekalon is a modacrylic fiber manufactured by the Kaneka company and is the choice of many wig manufacturers today. Kanekalon hair is a good quality and most synthetic wigs are made of this fiber because it looks more realistic in regards to color and texture. However, Kanekalon hair seems to tangle and mat very easily. Other synthetic materials do not tangle as much as Kanekalon, but the hair color and texture does not look as natural.

Some wig and beard sets are washable and some are not. If you are planning to keep a wig and beard set for a long time, or are passing it off to a different Santa, look for a washable set. We have some hints on washing Santa Wigs and Beards later on this page.

Don't Forget the Eyebrows

Whatever the wig and beard set you choose, you will need to create matching eyebrows. You have two options about eyebrows; color your own to match, or use stick-on eyebrows.

The least expensive option is to use an eyebrow stick to color you own eyebrows to match. Eyebrow sticks have a white makeup that is applied directly to the eyebrows and then smoothed in to make a natural looking white eyebrow. These may not work well if you have very dark eyebrows. You should buy several eyebrow sticks if you plan to be Santa more than a few times. Do not expect to get more than one or two applications from an eyebrow stick.

Hair whitener can also be used to whiten eyebrows. Hair whitener provides somewhat better coverage than an eyebrow stick and is inexpensive. Hair whitener can be a little sticky as it dries and it is better to put on several thin layers rather than one thick coat. Wash out hair whitener with shampoo. Also note that hair whitener will rub off on contact with collars and hats.

You can also purchase Santa eyebrows. These come in a range of prices like the wigs and beards they try to match. You will need spirit gum to attach the eyebrows. (And spirit gum remover to get the stuff out of you eyebrows later.) You may need to purchase several sets of the less expensive eyebrows as they will not hold up to repeated application and removal as well as the expensive sets.
Eyebrow StickEyebrow Stick Hair WhitenerHair Whitener EyeBrowsSynthetic Eyebrows

Storing Your Wig and Beard Set

When possible, keep the box your wig and beard set was shipped in for storage. A Tupperware or similar plastic container also works well and can keep out unwelcome guests in the off season. The storage box should be about the size of a big shoebox so that the wig and beard are not compressed or squashed during storage.

Many of the higher-end wig and beard sets come with hair nets that you should use for storage. The hair nets keep all the hair together and prevent stray strands from catching or snagging. Any quality hair net will do if your wig and beard did not come with them provided.

Washing

Some sets come with washing instructions and those should be followed where possible. Never put your wig and beard set in a washing machine!! I recommend hand washing using a mild, quality shampoo or synthetic hair cleanser.

Note: less expensive synthetic wigs and beards may not be washable. Test a small piece of the hair before comitting the entire set to the sink!

  1. Fill a sink with cold water and add the shampoo.
  2. Gently dip the wig and beard into the water and shampoo several times. Do not agitate the wig or beard to much or it will tangle. Allow the wig and beard to soak a few moments between dipping.
  3. Fully rinse the wig and beard in cold gently flowing water, or, fill a sink with clean water and dip several times. You may want to change out the water a few times during the rinse process.
  4. Fluff out the wig and beard and position the wig and beard on a towel or hook and allow to air dry. Never apply heat to dry the wig and beard. Be sure not to stretch or pull the wig or beard while it is drying.
  5. After the wig and beard are fully dry, use you fingers or a pick comb to arrange the curls and straighten out and tangles. Never brush your wig and beard with a hair brush.

Tip: When washing, put the wig and beard in a loose fitting sock. This will prevent the set becoming frayed and tangled. After washing, remove from the sock and fluff out to dry.

Remember: Share the love not the germs. Never share a wig and beard set. Always wash the set between wearers. Create happy memories.

H. Berry Elf

Also see How to buy a Santa Suit and How to use Santa Accessories

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