Bleaching knots is a technique to make the wig appear more natural by creating the illusion that it grows directly from the scalp. When making a lace wig, the hair needs to be tied to a piece of lace. This technique is known as ventilating, which creates knots. The knots secure the hair strands on the lace wig. There are mainly two types of lace wig knots: single knot and double knot. Single knot means there is only one hair strand on each knot, and double knot means there are two or more hair strands on each knot.
This type of knot is smaller in size and is normally found at the front hairline of lace wigs. Single knots are easier to bleach and give a more natural hairline appearance. If you find some wigs that use single knots to make the whole wig, that is usually more expensive. Such wigs are lighter in density.
This type of knot and is very visible as it is bigger in size. Double knots are harder to bleach and are mostly found 2 inches after the wig hairline. They usually use more strands and are more secure. Double knots are typically used to increase hair density.
Difference Between Bleached Knots and Unbleached Knots
When your wig is a darker color, these knots appear like small dots on the lace base that are visible in appearance. Bleached knots and unbleached knots affect how natural your lace wig looks.
Hair knots that have not been bleached are unbleached knots. When the hair is tied to a lace base and each strand is fixed, there appears a dark knot. In fact, it's hard to notice these knots from a distance. But if you look closely, these knots are obvious, and it can present an unnatural look. Some people don't mind these knots, but still many can't ignore them.
Unbleached knots last longer and reduce hair shedding, but they’re more visible and can make wigs look unnatural.
To reduce the visibility of the knots and make the lace wig look more realistic, some people choose to bleach the knots. The bleaching is a process that uses chemical products to make the knots a few shades lighter. This process involves a change in hair color. It chemically alters the hair as it opens the hair cuticle and goes to the cortex to remove the color. This process will change the hair properties permanently.
Bleached knots look very natural as it makes the hair look like it is growing from your scalp. However, you need tools, skills, and extra care to perform the bleaching without damaging the wig. Bleaching will weaken the knots and make the hair fall out faster. Besides, only human hair with the cuticle intact can be bleached and the knots on jet black hair cannot be bleached at all.
Both bleached and unbleached knots have their pros and cons, and these should help you decide whether to bleach knots or not. If you want a natural look, choose bleached knots. If you want your lace wig to last longer and if you don't mind visible knots, then unbleached knots are the best option. But if you have a light-colored wig, there is no need to bleach the knots because they’re already light in color and invisible.
How to Make Wigs Look Natural Without Bleaching Knots
If you don’t want to risk damaging your wig because of chemical treatments, there are other ways to make it look more natural.
Option 1: Silk Top
Silk top is also known as silk base. It has two pieces of lace and the knots are hidden by a layer of lace and silk fabric at the top of the cap in front. When the hair is knotted, the knots are hidden under the silk between the two layers, which makes the knots invisible and gives a very natural appearance.
It is the best choice for wig newbies because you don’t need to do more work on the wig. However, the silk top will cost more.
Option 2: Concealer/Foundation
If you’re scared of bleaching but still want a realistic-looking scalp, here is a quick and easy alternative. You can use a foundation or concealer to coat the knots and make them less visible. This option is very easy and great for wig beginners because it is only temporary. You can easily make changes if you are not satisfied with the results.
How to Bleach Knots
If you’re prepared to bleach, here are the materials you’ll need:
- Mixing bowl
- Hair bleach
- Aluminum foil
- Neutralizing shampoo
If you have a mannequin, turn the lace wig over and then attach it to the mannequin. Spray some leave-in conditioner on the lace just to get all the stray hairs out of the way.
Step 1: Prepare the bleach mixture.
Mix the developer and the bleach powder in equal parts. The higher the developer is, the lighter the knots will be. If you are a beginner, please go to 20 volume developer. Stir the mixture thoroughly to make sure it will be thick enough to prevent it from running through your closure and onto your hair. Ensure there are no lumps in the mixture.
Step 2: Apply the mixture.
You should be as delicate as you can with the knots when applying the bleach. Be careful not to press too hard because you don’t want it to leak and you don’t want your roots to be blonde. Use an application brush to dab the mixture onto the lace.
Step 3: Cover the lace wig with aluminum foil.
Be generous with the bleach to ensure that you have bleached all the strands. Once you are done with the process, cover your hair with the aluminum foil and let it sit for about 15 to 20 minutes. Time will vary depending on the hair and the color will also vary.
Step 4: Rinse the bleach out and wash the hair.
Check if the knots are all bleached before you start this step. When the knots turn to honey blond color, you can rinse it out. Be quick with this process, so that the mixture doesn’t get onto the strands. Once rinsed, wash your hair with a neutralizing shampoo and leave it on for about 10 minutes. If you think it looks orange and brassy, you can use a purple shampoo to tone the brassiness down. Apply conditioner to keep the hair strands moisturized.
Step 5: Dry the hair
Air-dry or just use a towel to gently squeeze out the water.
How to Fix Overbleached Knots
Mistakes can happen when you bleach knots. The bleach may be too thin or too watery that it reaches the actual hair. Some accidentally press too hard, making the bleach leak. If you overbleached your knots and made the roots of your hair look blonde, don't worry, it can be fixed.
This option is more of a temporary fix. Just get your regular mascara and then brush it gently on the roots to cover bleached areas. Air-dry or blow-dry.
For a permanent solution, you’ll need a hair dye that matches your wig color. And then you’ll need a bowl and a brush, and a small wand-like mascara or a little spoolie. Follow the instructions to mix everything thoroughly.
Take your spoolie and then use it to apply the dye to the hair. Make sure you use a light hand whenever you’re applying it because you don’t want to push it too hard and accidentally dye the knots back to black. Let the dye sit for 25 minutes. After that, rinse all of the dye out and then wash with shampoo. Make sure there’s no dye left inside. Use conditioner and let it sit for about 5 minutes and then rinse it out.
It’s okay not to bleach the hair if you don’t want to. However, if you want your hair to look like it’s growing naturally from your scalp, bleaching knots is a method you can try. Evawigs also offers bleached knots wigs to help you with your purchase, since bleaching knots can be a complicated process for beginners.
Follow the tips above to achieve a natural look. Hope this blog helps you with your lace wig journey!