Hair Style Tips

WellCapped Is the ‘Rent the Runway’ of Lace-Front Wigs

Kara Jillian Brown

Photo: WellCapped
Over the past few decades, wigs have gotten so much better. With lace fronts, U-parts, and a variety of different textures, cuts, and colors available, it's never been easier to convince the world that the hair on your head is actually growing out of your scalp. But as the wig and extension market continues to expand—it's expected to grow by $2.4 billion worldwide by 2024—many products remain out of reach.

High-quality wigs are an investment. You'll easily spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a good human-hair wig, so you don't wanna get it wrong. To increase access to good wigs, Shante Frazier launched WellCapped, a wig rental service that allows users to enjoy a variety of glueless lace-front wigs for a fraction of the cost.

Figuring out which wig to buy comes down to word of mouth. Your hairstylist recommends a brand of hair that he just knows you'll love. Your old college roommate (who majored in biology?) is now making custom units sold via Instagram. And your favorite hair influencer just posted yet another wig unboxing and review on YouTube. Information is coming from everywhere and nowhere at the same time, which makes picking out the right wig for you complicated.

"Right now, the consumer journey is completely broken. If you're a customer looking for hair extensions, you're probably starting on social media, then jumping into an e-commerce site that isn't optimized for your shopping experience," says Frazier. "There aren't any major players in the game. No one owns more than 15 percent of the natural hair extensions market. That means there's no one to give that consumer education that typically L'Oreal, Proctor & Gamble, or Unilever would give."

Choosing a WellCapped rental plan

WellCapped offers two wig rental plans. The first plan, a $100 monthly membership (no annual commitment necessary) that includes up to two wigs each month, is geared toward trendsetters—people who love to switch up their look and already spend upward of  $2,000 a year on just a few units. The second plan is à la carte, wherein you rent one wig at a time only when you need it. ("No one wants to spend $500 on hair to look good for their birthday," says Frazier.) You'll pay $100 to keep a wig for a month or $35 per week. For the weekly option, if you do end up keeping it for a month, you'll end up paying $140. "We try to encourage people to just sign up for a month's membership if they will have it for more than two weeks," says Frazier.

Frazier partnered with The Hair Laundry, a wig laundromat based in Atlanta to ensure all wigs are thoroughly sanitized, washed, conditioned, repaired, and styled before going to a new wearer. When you select a wig, it's sent to you fully styled with a set part, but you're welcome to play with the hair. Aside from cutting or coloring the wig, "you can do anything you would do if you purchased the wig," says Frazier. Accidental damage like ripping the lace is covered by your membership fee. But if you permanently damage the wig by spilling paint on it or end up dying the unit, you're on the hook to purchase the wig from WellCapped. In addition to offering more traditional styles and colors, "we're seeing a lot of trends in people getting the colored wigs, the wild colors, like the bright blue and pink," says Frazier.

The WellCapped membership experience

When you open a WellCapped box, you'll find the wig inside a satin drawsting bag, two wig caps, and an envelope containing a return shipping label. The lace and knots are bleached to make the wig appear as if it's growing from your scalp. It's constructed on a brown foundation cap with adjustable straps for a perfect fit.

The first wig I chose was styled with medium-sized wand curls and a side part, giving a 1920's vibe. The hair was incredibly soft, smelled amazing, and the curls held up beautifully, arriving in those fresh-off-the-tool coils. I secured it to my head with the attached combs and with the internal straps adjusted, the wig fit perfectly (something I was worried about because I've got a big head). I loosened the curls with my fingers and teased around the part for more fullness on top.

The wig looked exactly like the pictures, but I didn't love it on me. I hadn't worn a side part since 2017 and this unit reminded me why. But that's the beauty in a service like WellCapped. If it had been a custom-made wig I now owned, I would have been furious. The return process for wigs leaves a lot to be desired, and I could have easily been left with a wig I didn't want. But with WellCapped there's no stress. The service makes it easy to play with different styles and try looks outside of my comfort zone.

WellCapped is the kind of company the hair industry has been waiting for, particularly for Black people who invest time and money into their appearances. And especially for Black women who have historically been held to higher beauty standards, having to navigate the pressure to look "polished" throughout our lives. Additionally, curly and coarse hair requires ample love and attention to look and feel its best. Protective styles like wigs allow for the ease of not having to mess with our own hair every day. But it's not all done out of necessity. Many of us who regularly change up our look do it because we love it. WellCapped makes this process even more enjoyable by bringing it down to a more affordable price point.

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