When someone invents a wig that can regrow its own hair, trust us, we’ll be first in line. Until then, it’s important to lend special TLC to your second scalp - not only to extend its life, but to keep it looking fresh and fabulous. Here’s what to (never) do when wearing your wig to keep it in tip-top shape.
1. Shampoo with regular shampoo or styling products.
That’s heavy, man - most regular shampoo and conditioner designed for regular hair will weigh down your wig’s strands, causing the opposite of bouncy, fresh locks. The good news? There are companies devoted to creating beauty products especially for wig-wearers like you.
In other words, make sure you always use hair care products that are specifically made to be used on wigs.
Looking great while extending the life of your wig - what’s not to love?
2. Use a curling iron or blow dryer.
Heat tools are the natural-born enemy of wigs. Think we’re exaggerating? Listen up.
Using a blow dryer, curling iron or straightener on a synthetic hair wig is like putting Barbie in a toaster oven – the poor thing will wither and melt away. Heat tools can completely ruin a synthetic hair wig (unless you're wearing a heat friendly synthetic wig—that's a completely different story).
And although it might be counterintuitive, heat tools have a negative effect on human hair wigs, too. Why? While hair that grows from your scalp is naturally lubricated with hydrating oils, wig caps don’t produce that same kind of moisture. Heat tools are extra-abrasive to the delicate strands of natural hair wigs and can cause permanent damage.
But that doesn’t mean you’ve got to put up with pancake hair. Here’s how to get a lift:
Spritz ‘n comb. We call it the five-finger ‘do-scount. If your wig needs a pick-me-up, mist it with water from a spray bottle then use your fingers to tousle it gently.
Style with product. Mousse! Hairspray! Wide-tooth combs! These are a few of our favorite things. A squirt of styling mousseadds full-bodied luster to droopy locks, while a wide combfluffs it up, and hairspray holds it all in place.
Take it to a pro. If you’re absolutely, positively sick of the way your wig looks, take it to a professional stylist. That way, you can change up the style without incurring too much risk...not that we’re not confident in your DIY scissor skills...but, you know, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
3. Brush with a regular brush
Do you remember what your regular hairbrush looked like, back before you started wearing your wig? If it was anything like ours, it probably had clumps of hair sticking out all over the place like a small, wild animal.
That’s because regular brushes and combs are highly aggressive. And if they cause that kind of damage to hair you grow yourself, can you imagine the havoc they wreak on wigs?
You don’t have to imagine, because we’ll tell you: regular brushes and combs stretch the fibers and permanently damage a wig’s delicate strands. Not only does that disrupt the integrity of the style, it can cause hair to fall out of the wig.
But we get it - you don’t want to be walking around with bushy, caveman hair.
So in lieu of a regular brush, opt for a wide tooth comb or wig brush. We’re partial towards combs made of metal that defrizz while they detangle, or a comb with wide teeth and a no-slip grip if you’re going for volume.
Investing in a wig comb now can save you much more down the line, because your wig will stay lush and full for longer.
4. Put Your Wig on a Styrofoam head.
We’ll admit - a Styrofoam head, swipe of lipstick and some googly eyes make for a quirky teatime date. But it’s a terrible after-hours mate for your wig.
All of our wigs are designed to provide the perfect fit - not too loose, not too tight. However, forcing a wig onto a Styrofoam head stretches the cap and damages the foundation of your ‘do. Instead, drape it on a collapsible metal wig stand, which’ll help your wig maintain its designated shape without warping the size.
5. Scrub when washing or drying
Cleanliness might be next to godliness, but scrubbing your wig is the opposite of good. We know it’s tempting, especially if you’re used to shampooing regular hair with gusto. But a wig’s intricate construction can come undone if you use too much force.
Instead of scrubbing, try blotting gently with a washcloth. Don’t wring it out when you’re through - instead, pat it with a towel then hang it on a wig stand to air dry.
6. Swim in your wig
Chlorine and saltwater are both triggers of bad-hair-day blues. While chlorine is packed with disinfectants that strip hair of its silky sheen, saltwater draws moisture out of hair, leaving it brittle and dry.
Whether you’ve got natural hair or the finely engineered shine of a wig, you should avoid exposing your ‘do to underwater activities. However, that doesn’t mean you should nix beaches and pools completely. Instead of wearing your wig, try topping your outfit with a retro floral or turban swim cap. For subtler swimmers, a (super-soft) regular swim caplends a more neutral look.
Not only do strands of synthetic hair taste terrible, they wither in extreme heat. While human hair wigs won’t necessarily melt, they can become frizzy, brittle, and dry when exposed to heat. Synthetic wigs, on the other hand, can absolutely melt.
While rocking your wig, ask your sweetheart to help slide things in and out of the oven, and try to avoid pots of boiling water, smoky grills, and dishwashers immediately after the dry cycle. Also avoid locking your wig in a warm car for extended periods of time.
But that doesn’t mean you should stay inside on sunny days. Wearing your wig in regular sunshine should be just fine, though you could always opt for a sun hat to give your wig a break. You can also try wrapping your wig in a silk scarf while you're wearing it to add an extra layer of protection.
By avoiding these simple 7 things, you'll keep your wig in tip-top shape! Do you have any additional ways to keep your wig looking new? Let us know in the comments below if you have any additional tips!