Budget wig TRANSFORMATION and unpaid review!

My first 360 lace wig….

I’m a bit of a silk top snob… but I admit, they just don’t lay as flat as I want them too, even when I pull out all the stops. There’s nothing like that scalp though.

I decided to try something different. Knowing that it might not work out for me, I didn’t want to spend big bucks on it. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know that I’m always up for a challenge to customize my own pieces. DISCLAIMER: I am not a stylist. I learned how to customize by watching a gazillion YouTube videos. If you have never done any dying or bleaching before, please take time to learn before you just have at it because you have to be very careful not to stain the lace or over process the hair. You’ve been warned!

Usually when I am looking for a new piece, there’s lots of back and forth with a vendor, generally through Instagram. But this time, I was impulsive, and impatient, so I wanted to order something that was ready to ship, and I wanted to add to cart and checkout without the back and forth.

I had heard of China Lace Wigs before, so I decided to get in on their summer sale action. I saved an extra $35 off their already low prices, and shipping was free. They also accept PayPal which is a MUST for me.

Here’s my full, unbiased review. This review is in no way sponsored or endorsed by China Lace Wigs. I purchased this wig and all products myself. I may, however, receive a small kickback as an Amazon Associate if you use the links below to purchase the styling products I’ve recommended below! Using my links helps me earn a small amount of money so that I can reinvest it to test out and review more products for you guys. So, if you’re buying these items anyway, PLEASE support me by using my links (THANK YOU!!).

The piece I ordered is SKU ZCF423 from www.chinalacewig.com

Here’s the specs:
China Lace Wig Brazilian Virgin Human Hair Body Wave
360 Lace Frontal with HD Dream Swiss Lace CF423
Colour as pictured on the site
14 inches
150% density
Size large cap (22.75)

It came to $170.56USD plus import fees of $24CAD (about $17USD)

I recorded an unboxing and these were my initial impressions:
-Nicely packaged
-Quickly shipped
-Soft hair
-Nice density
-Baby hair
-Preplucked hairline
-Came longer than expected (the ends look thin, but I ordered a 14 inch so the length is actually pretty generous, even after I get the ends trimmed)

-It was orange (colour can vary on a screen, but the picture on the website appeared vastly different than what I received)
-Uneven colour- the roots were lighter than the body of the hair shaft which had residual colour from before the hair was processed in the factory
-the lace is light, but still a bit too dark for my skin tone which will make it hard to conceal when summer is over
-the knots were unevenly coloured
-very dark strands throughout the hair
-wefting visible along the edge of the frontal
-the cap is quite large but I did order a large size so I cut the lace back a bit above my ears and may make some further adjustments to the cap

I always, always, ALWAYS do a test wash when I get a piece assuming that it’s one that I’m planning to keep. When I test washed it, some colour was observed in the water (not a big deal). There was minimal shedding. I was pleasantly surprised with the body wave texture after washing.

This was not the colour I was expecting. Also…this is a regular occurrence in our house…hair laying around wherever. My poor family haha!

I bought 2 boxes of Garnier Belle Colour in colour 50 (about a level 5 neutral brown). The hair took the colour process well but it needed another round of colouring so I bought 2 more boxes. I paid 4×6.99=$27.96CAD plus tax so let’s say $30. You can find it here–> https://amzn.to/3jO0uY3

The roots were a different colour than the length of the hair… but… $179 people!

After 2 rounds of colouring, it was a nice rich, warm medium brown colour (bye bye pumpkin!).

I gave the hair a deep conditioning with Garner Fructis Nourishing Treat hair mask which smells like a tropical island vacation and made the hair super soft. It is very affordable. You can find it here–> https://amzn.to/3g0WjWC

After air drying the piece, I decided to bleach the front knots and the knots along the part line. I used 20 volume developer and BW bleach powder which you can buy at Sally’s. I should have left the bleach on a little longer, but it did lighten most of the knots (some remained black). I then added a touch of powder foundation to further mask the knots. The result was surprisingly good. I added a strip of medical tape to the part line as well after I took the photo below. It helps to hide the appearance of the grid pattern on the lace and prevents my bio hair from showing underneath since I refuse to wear a wig cap.

Knots bleached + makeup

I added OGX Quenching Coconut Curls Curling Hair Butter to which added beautiful moisture to the body wave of the hair and smells similar to the hair mask I used.  You can find it here–>https://amzn.to/39wpsql

Then I topped off the beautiful air dry finish with some good ol’ Moroccan Oil. I like this one here: https://amzn.to/32V7rRg

I really dig this style of wave

I installed this wig myself, which was the first time I have ever worn a lace top. You need adhesive for this. Here’s what I used: https://amzn.to/31bZ2WT and https://amzn.to/39N4PGl

These got2b products are very commonly used, easy to find, cheap and you can find so many tutorials on how to use them with your wigs and toppers. They remove easily with water, and when I removed this wig, I rinsed the front lace with warm water to get rid of the residue.

For the price of this wig, I am absolutely shocked by how soft and fine it is! It’s been washed 3x and is still really manageable. No tangling noted. It is overall much longer than 14 inches. I knew from watching CLW live on Instagram that I should order a higher density as their pieces did not appear to be that dense. I would say this 150% density piece is closer to a typical 130% but of course this varies amongst different vendors.

The area where the 13×6 lace frontal meets the wefting proved to be problematic. It needed some finessing so that it was not visible. I used my curling rod to smooth down the hair over the wefts to adequately cover them and used hairspray to hold it in place. If this was going to be my daily driver, this would really bother me but since it will only be a piece for occasional wear, I don’t really care if the wefts are at risk of poking out, especially in the era of physical distancing.

It took some heat styling and hairspray to fix the wefts that were showing

The hair is a bit poofy on the top, so that will be remedied with the curling rod as well. It is also in need of a trim but as I said before, it came way longer than 14 inches so that is okay with me. I actually really like wigs and toppers with “whispy” ends as I find they look the most natural. I have done NOTHING to the curls below except adding the products mentioned above. I scrunched the hair a tad after applying and it dried just like the photo below. If you’ve seen the photos of my biological hair, you will know why I like an undone wave/curl pattern… my own curls are WILD!

This wave pattern makes the hair look very natural. Perfectly styled hair doesn’t look as natural on me
This is apparently “HD lace” but I have nothing to compare it to. I did NOTHING to this hairline except bleach the knots and added some powder foundation. It came preplucked with baby hairs. None of my natural hair is showing. This is not glued down here.

The lace lays SUPER flat. Like unbelievably flat. “I can’t believe it’s not growing out of my head” flat. This is virtually unachievable with a silk top.

It’s so flat! And those baby hairs are EVERYTHING!

Next time, I would be sure to communicate more with the vendor prior to purchasing. And I would go for a full lace cap next time, meaning that there is no wefting. No wefting= no risk of the wefts poking out.

I will also note that the vendor and I have different opinions on the definition of “virgin hair”. I did not clarify with them prior to purchasing (my own fault) but did reach out afterward inquiring about the colour variation in the hair upon receipt of the item. They denied that the hair was anything but virgin and explained that virgin meant “quality” so in all fairness, they didn’t claim that virgin hair was unprocessed. I did express to the company that I feel this should be more clear for customers, as when I think of virgin hair, I think of my bio hair which is untreated and uncoloured. I spoke with some other hair loss ladies about this and learned that there are wide variations of how manufacturers define “virgin” hair. So do your research prior to purchasing. For the price, I can’t complain. And now my next purchase will be better informed.

If you are on a budget, prepare to invest time learning and doing the work to make your pieces your own. There’s a reason that high end wig companies charge what they do for customized pieces. It’s a TON of work and being a stylist/colourist is a skilled trade. I’m NOT a stylist but I have done enough of my own pieces that I see the beautiful colour work stylists do and know how much time they pour in. So, if you’re paying $200 for a wig, don’t expect it to look like the pieces you see everybody drooling over!!!!!!!!!!

Overall, I really can’t complain about this piece. Would I consider buying from this company again in the future? Maybe. This piece was a lot of work. Since the terminology can vary from one vendor to another, it is hard to know exactly what you’re getting/what processes have been done to the hair. I will be sure to clarify that before purchasing next time. I also want to see how the hair holds up before considering another order so expect an update on this piece.

Drop your questions below if you have any!

I did NOTHING to this hairline
What lace?
I think I could get used to this length on me but the piece does need a slight trim

Published by Elle Anne

Elle is for Laura. That's me! Thank you for following along with my hair loss journey!

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