In a nutshell
Straight 20-inch wigs reach around the middle of your back or chest. Note that the length of a deep wave wig or curly hair wig will be a bit shorter. Although they’re still 20 inches long if pulled or straightened, curly wigs can be up to two inches shorter. It can fall just below your shoulder or around your upper back.
Many women worldwide see their hair as crowns, but perhaps none more so than Black women. For Black women, our hair is an extension of who we are and how we express ourselves.
As much as we love to express ourselves using our natural hair, it also needs a well-deserved break and a lot of TLC so it doesn’t dry out or break off.
Wigs are one of the best protective styles for kinky and curly hair, aside from weave hair. There are various reasons to wear wigs outside of protecting your natural hair. It’s also a perfect choice if you want to cover up hair loss or try a different look.
Wigs come in different styles, different colors, and various lengths. Among these, the wig length is an essential factor to consider before you buy one. Your wig length should balance your body shape. We all know how much difference short and long hair can make for our overall look, right?
If you’re buying a wig for the first time, you must learn how hair wig length is measured — especially if looking at long hair wigs. For example, how long is a 20-inch wig length? How would it look to you? Where does it fall on your body? Is there a difference between straight, wavy, and curly hair wigs?
We answer all these questions and more in this complete wig-length guide.
How Long Is a 20-inch Wig Exactly?
A 20-inch wig is one of the most popular lengths for wigs available since it gives you volume and length while still having the ability to maintain a more natural look.
It’s easy to measure the length of a straight-hair wig to see whether it is 20 inches long. The wig hair is measured from where it is attached to the wig cap. On a ruler, 10 inches might seem long already, but with wig length measurements, that would only fall around your cheekbones or your chin — perfect for a chic bob. This is because the length starts at the top of your head and then curves down.
How long precisely would a 20-inch hair length look when worn? It depends on the wig’s hair type and texture.
A wig is always measured straight despite different lengths, textures, and styles. This means that the hair is pulled when measuring for curly or wavy wigs. Just like how natural wavy, curly, or kinky hair appears longer when straightened out, the same happens with wig hair.
This means that 20-inch straight wig hair will appear longer than a 20-inch wavy or deep curly wig — even though the hair is the same length.
Here’s how different hair textures of 20-inch wigs will appear when worn:
- Straight: Straight wigs are true to their actual length. A 20-inch wig ends around the mid-back, giving you relatively long hair.
- Wavy: Wavy hair wigs are just slightly shorter than their actual length. Instead of ending mid-back, a 20-inch wavy wig usually ends just below the armpit.
- Curly: Curly hair wigs can be significantly shorter than the actual length of the wig, depending on how large or tight the curls are. A curly hair wig can be two to four inches shorter than straight front wigs, ending around the upper back or the armpit for more of a mid-length style.
How To Measure Different Hair Lengths Correctly
The steps for correctly measuring hair length are the same whether you’re checking a 20-inch or a 16-inch wig length. The most important thing you need to remember is where to start.
Measuring wig hair length should always be done from hair roots to tip. The root is where the hair is attached to the wig cap.
Follow these steps to help you check if you got the perfect wig length you need:
- Lay the wig on a flat table or surface. If you have a wig head, you can also place it there.
- Next, take a soft measuring tape or a tailor’s tape measure. Don’t use the retractable kind of tape measure that’s used in construction.
- Lay the end of the tape measure right over the root of the hair on the crown. Then, follow it down the longest hair strand of the unit to reach the end of the hair length or tips.
- Ensure the wig hair lays flat or falls straight from the stand.
- For wavy or curly textures, you must pull or stretch hair strands out temporarily for accurate and more convenient length measurements.
- Pro tip: Do not measure the hair diagonally or down the sides. Since some wigs may have a V-shaped or asymmetrical cut, you’ll get a more accurate measurement if you follow the hair from the crown and go down the back rather than the sides.
Quick Tips for Choosing the Perfect Wig Length
If you’re still on the fence about whether 20-inch human hair wigs are the right length for you, here are a few quick and easy tips to help you decide:
- The same length of wigs can look different on different people — especially people with large height differences.
- Long hair complements almost any face shape but best suits oval, round, and diamond faces. But, of course, if you’ve got a square face, long hair also works if it’s got texture, like curls or layers.
- Measure your head. You need a perfect wig cap size so it doesn’t skew your wig’s length or overall look.
- Consider the current weather, too! If you live somewhere nice and cold, you will be okay with getting long full-lace wigs.
- Think about the various styles you want to try with your hair. For example, longer wigs are better if you’re interested in elaborate styles, especially for special occasions.
- Check out our wig length chart above if you still have trouble visualizing where the hair falls on your body.
- If you’re ordering online, choose a seller that offers free shipping and full refunds, so you can return it if you choose the wrong wig length.
General Tips for Wearing and Maintaining Wigs
A 20-inch human hair wig is costly, especially one made of premium quality hair material. However, if you’re buying a wig made with virgin human hair, you pay an equally premium price — even more so if you’re buying Brazilian or Indian hair.
The great thing about premium human hair wigs is that you can style them in different ways – you have more options than synthetic wigs. You can cut, style, and even dye the wig – hello, balayage!
Of course, if you style your wig, you’ll need to take better care of it. If you want to maintain your wigs for longer, here are a few important tips:
- Wash your wig at least every other week or once it becomes oily or tangled. If you wear your wig every day, you’ll want to wash it once a week.
- Do not wash your wig after every wear. Frequent washing is discouraged unless you use many hair products, live an active lifestyle, and wear your wig while working out, sweating, or smoking.
- When working out, put your hair in a bun rather than a ponytail to avoid getting too much sweat on your wig.
- Wear a wig cap or wig liner for an extra layer of protection.
The Bottom Line
Accurate wig length is based on straight hair measured from the root to the tip of the longest strands. If you’re measuring the length yourself, start at the crown of your head or wig. On the other hand, if you’re checking if your curly or wavy wig is 20 inches long, you need to pull and straighten the strands out first.
20-inch-long wigs are always a worthwhile investment. It’s an easy way to feel more glamorous or switch up your look while protecting your natural hair.