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How To Choose the Ideal Mannequin Heads for Wigs

A golden-brown mannequin for wig

For centuries, wigs have been worn by many people. They evolved from cultural traditions to medical solutions and have even become a fashion statement, allowing consumers to try different hairstyles without commitment. 

But using a wig is not a carefree process—consumers must have wig care routines to keep them looking lush and attractive. Placing wigs on mannequin heads after use is one of the ways to achieve this. Mannequin heads are also popular among shop owners as they offer an attractive way to display the wigs in a store.  

This article will offer an overview of the market for mannequin heads, and it will also highlight the details sellers need to know when selecting mannequin heads to ensure they find the best options for 2024.

Table of Contents
Why are mannequin heads important?
An overview of the mannequin head market
Types of mannequin heads sellers can stock up on
What to look for when purchasing mannequin heads for wigs

Why are mannequin heads important?

A beige mannequin head for wig with a wooden stand

Mannequin heads are incredibly beneficial for wig maintenance. They help enhance the hairpiece’s attractiveness and durability. But that’s just the surface of why they’re necessary for wig owners.

Here’s a closer look at the benefits consumers get from mannequin heads:

Wig shape maintenance

While wig stands directly compete with these tools, mannequin heads offer something better. They’re more stable structurally, providing a sturdy foundation that simulates the contours of a regular head.

So, placing wigs on a similarly-sized mannequin head will help maintain their original shape. It’s one of the best ways to avoid storage situations compromising wig integrity.

No tangling

Consumers have much to worry about, and hair tangling shouldn’t be one of them. Since mannequin heads provide a stable foundation, the wigs will flow naturally, reducing the risk of pesky tangling.

Proper ventilation

Wigs also need washing to help maintain their looks—but they easily trap moisture, especially when consumers store them in confined spaces. Unfortunately, it leads to lingering odors some people can’t handle.

However, placing the wig on a mannequin head improves airflow, quickening the drying process and preventing unpleasant smells after consumers wash their wigs.

Easy styling

It’s no secret that women love experimenting with different styles. But styling their wigs while holding them in place can be tricky for these ladies. That’s where mannequin heads come into play. 

They provide a hassle-free styling and wig-making experience with impressive head stability. After placing the wig on a mannequin, ladies can use various styling products, heat tools, and accessories to achieve their desired look effortlessly. 

An overview of the mannequin head market

Experts valued the global mannequin head market at USD 947.5 million in 2022, expecting it to surge at a 5.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2023 to 2030. The primary growth driver is the expansion of the beauty and fashion industries, where mannequin heads are essential for makeup application, hairstyling, and displaying wigs/hairpieces.

Other important facts to know about the global mannequin head market include:

  • There is a rising presence of independent hair stylists and increasing demand for hair-related services.
  • The women’s segment dominated in 2022, generating 59.57% of the total revenue. Experts say the men’s segment will grow at 4.9% CAGR over the forecast period.
  • Wig and hairpiece design also led the application sector with a 48.30% share in 2022.
  • Regionally, Asia Pacific dominated the 2022 market with a 37.17% revenue share, while North America’s revenue will register a 3.9% CAGR over the forecast period. 

Types of mannequin heads sellers can stock up on

Styrofoam mannequin head

A white Styrofoam mannequin head

Styrofoam mannequin heads are favored for their lightweight and budget-friendly qualities, making them an excellent option for beginners or those on a tight budget. However, their suitability diminishes when it comes to long-term wig storage.

Unfortunately, styrofoam heads can easily absorb moisture, leading to unpleasant odors developing in the user’s wig over time.

PVC mannequin head

A PVC mannequin head for wig

Wig enthusiasts often prefer PVC mannequin heads because of their durability and moisture resistance. These heads offer a stable and reliable surface for styling and storing wigs, all at a reasonable cost.

With easy cleaning and maintenance, PVC wig heads are practical choices for consumers looking for effective, long-term solutions in wig care.

Canvas block mannequin head

A set of Canvas block mannequin wig heads

These mannequin heads offer a textured surface that is great for pinning and securing wigs while styling. The canvas’s firm grip allows wig makers and stylists to work on detailed designs accurately.

Although these mannequin heads are excellent for short-term styling, they’re not the best for long-term wig storage. Why? Like styrofoam variants, the canvas material can absorb moisture and odors over time.

Polyethylene mannequin head

Two Polyethylene mannequin heads for wig

PE mannequin heads are like the all-around champions in the wig-styling world. They perfectly balance toughness/durability and moisture resistance, making them the go-to for keeping wigs safe and looking great.

Note: these mannequin heads are more expensive, so they’re only great for consumers who don’t mind the extra cost.

What to look for when purchasing mannequin heads for wigs


One amazing thing about mannequin heads is that consumers can get them in their favorite colors. While skin tones are an option, there are many more shades ladies can choose from, just like in real life. They may want a red, blue, yellow, or green mannequin head!

However, wig stores need mannequin head colors for reasons more than personal preference. For instance, they’ll want display heads that match their store’s branding. 

Alternatively, wig stores with enough space could go all out, creating a vibrant rainbow of mannequin heads for a striking theme. Depending on the target’s vision, color might be more crucial than size.


Choosing a mannequin head size is often overlooked because the standard (21-22” in circumference) is suitable for most situations and accessories. Nevertheless, wig stores must consider various size ranges to accommodate diverse customer needs.

While they can get adjustable mannequin heads for flexibility, it’s easier to display various sizes at all times—that way, stores will always be ready for the larger or smaller-than-average customer.

But what if consumers are not selling wigs? Their choice of size will depend on other factors. Do they need something portable? Or something easy to store? For such consumers, the smaller the mannequin head, the better the chances of them picking it up.


The mannequin head’s material could be more important to consumers than its size. If target users prioritize portability, opt for polystyrene or plastic instead of heavy wood.

Fiberglass is another popular material for mannequin heads, as it easily adds detailed facial features to mannequin heads. Conversely, glass may be heavier, but it is the perfect material for elegant display heads.


The variety of mannequin head styles is impressive. Are consumers leaning towards realistic features or a smooth, versatile canvas? There’s a mannequin head available that suits their needs and preferences.

For instance, some manufacturers even offer skull-shaped mannequin heads for gothic stores and artistic displays. Even if consumers have preferences that steer away from traditional head shapes, sellers can find the perfect offer.


Consumers need the right mannequin head to maintain their wig shape, stop pesky tangling, allow proper airflow, and make styling easier. With their importance, it’s no surprise that mannequin heads will be a profitable market in 2024.

But before investing in these wig accessories, consider color, size, material, and style. This will help ensure businesses choose mannequin heads their target consumers will love!

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