Once you try out wigs, you never go back. The convenience and variety of styles can be very addictive. However, with all this convenience, it’s normal to wonder whether the deal is too good to be true. Is wearing wigs affecting your hair growth? Is wearing wigs every day bad for your hair? Let’s find out.
Will Wigs Damage My Hair?
Whether or not wigs will damage your hair depends on your wig-wearing practices. Adopting the ones below will help ensure your hair health and growth aren’t affected:
Wash Your Wig as Needed. Whether 100% human hair or synthetic, it’s important to shampoo and condition with products specifically designed for your wig’s fibers. (Not doing so can reduce its longevity). Not washing your wig can cause bacteria build-up and damage your natural hair.
As a rule of thumb, both human hair wigs and synthetic wigs should be washed every 5-7 wears. The frequency can change under certain conditions, like hot weather, for example, when the excess sweat that accumulates under your wig can add extra weight and cause damage.
Wear Your Wig Cap. Wearing a cap between your scalp wig protects your natural hair from bacteria build-up AND protects your wigs from natural hair oils. A wig cap also conceals your natural hair and keeps your wig from shifting, ensuring a natural look.
Have an especially sensitive scalp? Choose a Bamboo Cap Liner. Softer than cotton, organic bamboo wicks moisture away to keep your scalp cool and comfortable, while its natural antibacterial qualities make it ideal for those undergoing chemotherapy.
Choose the Right Cap Construction. If you’re someone who gets hot very quickly, the extra heat of some cap designs can cause scratching and long-term irritation. It’s best to opt for more breathable Open Top and Monofilament styles.
Take Care of Your Natural Hair. To keep your hair healthy and support its growth, adopt a regular hair care routine best suited to your specific hair type. If you have very oily hair, adding more moisture makes your hair damp, which can affect your scalp and your wig’s longevity. If you’ve got dry hair, you’ll need to add an excellent moisturizing spray to hydrate your scalp and lock in the moisture.
To avoid bad reactions or breakage, use products that are sulfate and paraben-free, Go for organic products with good hair food, such as essential oils. And remember to dry your hair thoroughly to discourage the growth of unwanted bacteria.
Buy the Correct Wig Size. Wigs generally come in 3 sizes: large, average, and petite. If a wig moves around on your head too much, it’s likely too big for you. And the constant movement of a too-big wig will irritate your scalp. Similarly, wearing a too-small wig can pull your hair, causing balding and thinning.
Reduce Tension on Your Scalp. Braiding your hair doesn’t just add style—it can also boost hair growth. However, a tight braid can pull your hairline, leading to hair breakage. If you decide to braid your hair, ensure you shampoo, condition, and moisturize it beforehand. This reduces the tension when dividing the hair (and prevents hair from tangling when undoing it).
Give Your Hair a Break. For some wearing wigs is a lifestyle: it’s fun and allows you to wear lots of styles AND colors without stressing your natural hair. For others, it’s a go-to solution for hair loss. Whatever your reason for wearing wigs, allowing your hair to breathe when you can is essential.
Avoid sleeping in your wig, as it can pull and damage your bio hair (while tangling wig fibers). Experiment with other head coverings like caps, head scarves, or turbans (made of cotton preferably, which is easier to clean).
If you follow the correct practices, it’s safe to wear wigs daily without damaging your natural hair. Remember to switch wigs often to extend their longevity and find new ways to style your natural hair to give it a break from wigs.