Folks are required to understand the spec of our wigs before they can buy the product.
- Wigs have "styles" but not a shape - do not expect them to look exactly like the photos unless the hair is a blob of plastic ;-)
- Because our wigs are a style and not a shape, do not expect wigs to have a uniform shape, length or color. If you buy two of the same wig at the same time or spanning a length of time then they will look different.
- Strands may fall out upon opening the bag or running your fingers through them.
- The wig cap may leave a stain on the covered part of the head.
- Some wigs may be thinner than others which is by design to create thinner looking styles - for more bloated styles choose other wigs.
- Not all wigs have elastic inside them - elastic affects the appearance of the wig so sometimes we choose not to have them.
- Our wigs are very difficult to put on - check the video in the Welcome Guide to see how its done.
- The entire surface of the wig is not filled to the brim - we adjust the volume to match the style we are looking for.
- The wig cap has visible stitches.
- The wig cap may have a pink, yellow or blue mark on the inside - this is used by the person stitching the cap as a guide.
- You may be able to see the wig cap through the wig fibers. Folks can use their fingernails to pinch at the area which will distribute the fibers to cover the wig cap. Folks who have butter fingers may not be able to do this.
- Pony tails are clipped on to the wig - some folks dislike the look.
- Wigs that look straight in our photos may end up being slightly curled as they are curled up in the bag that we ship.
- There maybe some loose threads in the wig cap which we will leave uncut on purpose to avoid the whole wig becoming unthreaded.
- Wigs are a wear and tear component - see below for maintenance tips.
- Wigs may leave stains on the forehead is left in UV light for weeks on end.
- If you run your finders over the wig then you will notice bumps - this is because the cap is made of pieces of fabric stitched together - the bumps are where the fabric overlaps with each other.
- Sometimes you will be able to feel an "air pocket" on the wig cap - this is because the shape of our Smart Doll heads re different.
- Smart Doll wigs are designed to be worn on the head of a Smart Doll.
- Smart Doll wigs are not designed to have the wig wefts pulled up to show the wefting.
- Our elf ears work by sliding the back of the ears under the wig cap. However, the wig cap may not be tight enough to hold the ears in place in which case you may need to use additional aids such as blu-tac.
Reasons for the above ;-)
Today I would like to talk about and set expectations for our Smart Doll wigs which I have tried to do in the past through email and comments on social media. I never had the chance to do a full post on this subject and truly apologize to folks who felt they have been deceived for my lack of effort to set expectations properly about the quality of our wigs. Hopefully this post will highlight any issues that some folks may be uncomfortable with - thus avoiding a poor experience through a Smart Doll purchase.
Out of everything that we make in Smart Doll Land, wigs are the most difficult. The reason is that there is no defined shape - only a style. Unlike vinyl where we can make molds and cookie cutters for textiles, the shape and style of the wig is determined by the weight of fibers, sewing of the fibers to the cap in a particular order, styling and then finally cutting each and every one by a human.
We have looked into 3D printing technology but we are not quite there yet. Wigs are very important and can completely change the look and feel of a doll which is why we invest a lot of time and moolah in the research and development of our wigs. We do a lot of prototyping where many wigs don’t make the cut (no pun intended) because the mass production shape ended up looking like that sticky stuff in Stranger Things.
There are an estimated 30,000 strands of fiber on each wig. Our fibers are made of Polyethylene Terephthalate (also abbreviated as PET). The fiber we mainly use is known as Powerlon which has high temperature resistance (up to about 180 degrees celsius).
Each strand is sewn onto a weft by a three-head weft machine. The wefts are then sewn onto the wig cap. Wig cap sizes vary according to the wig style. Just like human hair, some strands will inevitably fall out either on their own or by running your fingers or a comb through them. Some tufts of hair may fall out too.
However unlike human hair, our wigs should not malt in such a way that your doll looks visibly bald - we are not going for the Jean-Luc Picard look. A balding Smart Doll wig looks bad on us too. I’m not saying that bald people look bad - the Rock looks particularly great - Picard too.
The entire surface of the head cap is not filled to the brim by wefting however which enables us to create the various styles where we need to control thickness and direction - else they would all look like wigs from Car Wash.
Upon first taking the wig out of its bag, as we want to prevent it from being crushed in storage and transit, the appearance will be “compact” - after putting the wig on and leaving it for a while, the wig will start to puff up as it comes into contact with the atmosphere.
You can speed up the puffing by pushing down on the head cap with the wig on. There may be wigs which show some of the wig cap on parting line edges - just take your finger nails and “pinch” at the area to fluff it up - I show you how in the latest Smart Doll unboxing welcome video (link available in the Welcome Guide on the Smart Doll website).
Some wigs that look straight in photos are not completely straight and may have a slight wave to it but more so because our wigs are curled up so that they fit in our stringed bags. I do understand that other doll manufacturers ship their wigs in long elongated bags to prevent straight wigs from being curled - but thats how we ship our wigs and will always do so. Some of our wigs that are curly won’t remain the same forever and may loose some of its curl over time.
Some ponytail wigs like the ones that come with Haruka and Mika Jogasaki are clipped on to the wig cap using a plastic clip which is clearly visible. If the clips are removed, the fibers that were below the clip will look crumpled and won’t look good unless some steam is applied to the area. As the ponytail clips are clipped onto the wig cap, the clip will make holes in the cap.
When we released Smart Doll 5 years ago, I didn’t have any methods for preventing the wig from slipping off which I hated. After a while we came up with the idea of putting some elastic on the inside which would reduce the chances of the wigs slipping off when out n about. This worked great but meant that the wigs are an absolute pain to put on - but I would rather go through the difficulty at the beginning rather than have the wig eject into orbit every now and then.
The best way to put wigs on is to first take off the head but make sure you hold the head firmly or it also will eject out of your hands into orbit. Also make sure to avoid touching the eyes when doing so or the Smart Dolls will start to scream - a screaming doll is not a pleasant sight. Again this method is in the Welcome video without the screaming.
However, some wig styles are affected by the elastic - for example Justice does not have elastic on the inside of the wig. This is because the elastic made the edges of the wig fan outwards which looked odd. In these cases we sacrifice the function for the aesthetic.
On inspection of the inside of the wig cap you will see that the wigs have been notably sewn on by a human as we have not invented robots to do this job - yet. Some folks requested that our wigs look "uniform" on the inside of the cap - we don't do this but I am sure other manufacturers can.
There maybe one or two loose threads which we leave uncut on purpose to prevent the wefts from coming loose away from the cap. There may also be slight patches of faint ink which the wig seamstresses use as guides when sewing the wefts onto the cap.
The cap is made of a stretchable nylon. We avoid using black caps and the darkest we would use is a dark brown - most are cream color which would be the equivalent to our Milk skin tones.
Most folks prefer to keep the wig on at all times but because the cap is in direct contact with the head then the cap may gradually stain the top of the head. Even if we used a white cap this would be the case due to oxidization. The top of the head may change to a slightly darker color - this happens to some but not all people and we do not know the exact reason but most likely due to oxidation and environmental factors such as humidity, temperature etc.
I hear some folks wrap the head with cling film or a silicone cap to prevent wig cap staining but some other folks mention that plasticizer from the cling film (or silicone cap) seeps out making the whole head sticky.
Some of our wigs have parting lines in the design just like Melody for example. The parting line usually has a layer of silicone to reinforce the strands in that area. However, the plasticizer in the silicone may seep out over time and stain the head and/or cap.
To me - this is not an issue as I keep the wigs on all the time but to some folks this is no no which is understandable which is why I will link this post to the terms that folks have to read and understand when they check out. Also, the point at the top of the wig where the wig fibers radiate out may have a silicone patch to replicate the scalp - this may also stain the top of the head cap. The whole wig is prepared with some oils too which help keep its shape when sewing and cutting - this oil may be the cause of some of the staining. Trying to remove the oils may leave the wig looking ragged and dry.
Wigs such as Twist Out are created from Australian yarn. The yarn is dyed and if left in contact with vinyl (such as the shoulder) then it may leave a stain.
At the moment we outsource the production of the wig base to vendors who we work with in Japan, Korea and the Philippines. Wig bases cant be sold as they are so when they arrive in our office we QC and restyle each and every one through steaming, ironing and cutting. The ones which we feel look a bit odd go into the outlet in Mirai Store where customers get to decide if anything odd looking is an issue before purchasing.
Wigs are ultimately a wear and tear component and they may get tatty and frizzly as they are regularly touched. Anti-static sprays or some water from time to time sprayed onto the wig will help maintain its form. Remember to comb from the ends and not half way as the ends will get tangled.
A search on Amazon for “Downey Wrinkle Remover” will bring up a product that you can use to keep the wig at bay - in Japan we use something called Eleguard which is an anti static spray (hey that rhymes!). I always carry one when out n about. Be careful of the surrounding environment when you are using it. Unfortunately we do not have permission to sell licensed wigs on their own.
Search for “clothes steamer” on Amazon and you will find a steamer for about 25 USD with a handle - we use something similar when styling our wigs to straighten them out or add more curls. Please be careful not to burn your hands when using it.
We use the same scissors that are used for human hair and they do cost quite a bit (about 800 USD depending on which ones). I don’t expect you to spend the same amount but try getting one that was designed to cut human hair if you need to trim frizzly fibers. You may cause more damage if you use regular scissors.
Anyway, I hope I have covered all the things that may be of some concern to folks considering a Smart Doll purchase. I had to get this out before I release a ton of new wigs! The new Twin Curl for example (pictured here with Haruka) can transform from twin tail to pony tail with a caveat that I described above. Maybe I will just call the wig More Than Meets The Eye.
We don’t have the ability to make perfect non staining wigs - but am sure other manufactures do. Please share this post with folks who may be considering a Smart Doll purchase so that they don’t end up disappointed in the way our wigs are designed. Once you done that let me know and I shall release the Kraken. I mean new wigs.
Have I forgot to mention anything about our wigs that will bother potential Smart Doll buyers that I should mention? If so I will add it to the post that I will write up with photos and clickable links on the Smart Doll site.
Above: Chitose Multiverse and Felicity use the "Long Straight (Fringe)" Wig which is by design thinner than other wigs. This is so that it does not look bloated on the top. You may need to pinch at the wig to cover up the wig net underneath. Folks who are not comfortable with this should avoid this product.
Above: This is what our wigs look like on the inside - you can see how they are wefted onto the wig cap. As they are currently stitched by humans, they do not look uniform across all of our wigs. Folks who require their wigs to look exactly the same should seek other manufacturer products.
The photo above is of Chitose donning the Long Straight Wig with Fringe. It’s the same style as Felicity and the Ocean Wave style too which is a comparatively thin wig - its thin by choice so that it does not look puffy as we have other wigs that go for the puffy look. There are less wefts to maintain a slim appearance which means bigger gaps between the wefts. Erm, wigs are designed to be worn on the Smart Doll head.
I was unaware until now but some customers have had the need to lift up the wefts - while we make sure that the styles of our wigs looks great from the outside while being worn on a Smart Doll head - making the wefts look “good” too has not been a priority. The following few photos are of the actual product that we sell with a comparison between how it looks like being worn and the show-me-yer-wefts which is…not how its supposed to be worn. As you can see its pretty simple to lift and pull back the wefts and take photos to make it look like we have questionable quality control - if you own any of these wigs then please try it yourself too!
Among these photos is Mirai’s Medium Straight Hazel which we have been selling since 2017 - the style has remained the same and production method has not changed either. As its got more fibers, it can be challenging to lift up the wefts and take photos to make it look like a quality control issue but you can if you try.
This batch of photos include a photo of the cap turned inside out - I was told by a customer that they should look exactly the same across all wigs. Unfortunately, as we still ask humans to make our wigs, getting a consistent look for the stitching is not going to happen anytime soon. Do remember that if you order any Smart Doll or wigs that this is how they have always looked like and will continue to look like - unless we are talking about Smart Doll Naruto ;-) We have no intention to make wigs that are designed to have the wefts pulled back.
Read what others have to say about the quality of our wigs on Instagram.
Also please read why wig caps may bulge.