For many women who wear wigs, the onset of summer can be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, summer is a very social season, and warmer temperatures make it so much more pleasant to be active and out and about. On the other hand, wearing wigs in hot weather can seem uncomfortable and impractical…and if you don’t follow the proper precautions, you can do irrevocable damage to your wigs and hairpieces.
This all may seem discouraging, but when you’re well-informed, taking care of your wigs in the summer months is as easy as apple pie. We’ve come up with a list of some of the most helpful summer care tips to get you started:
Hats are your best friends!
Many people don’t realize this, but sunlight is probably the most common cause of damage, both to wigs and natural hair. Just as furniture that sits out in the sun fades with time, so will your hair. The easiest, most effective way to avoid this kind of damage is to cover it up with a big, floppy hat. This does double duty by keeping you cooler and keeping your skin protected from the sun, too. And it helps that these hats are very fashionable these days….
So are breathable wig liners.
Do yourself a favor and switch to a no sweat liner for summer. This will keep you much cooler and will reduce damage to your wig caused by perspiration. Similarly, consider switching to a capless (or wefted) wig, which is much lighter and cooler and offers more ventilation.
UV protection isn’t just for skin.
You lather up with sunscreen before you spend time out in the summer heat…your hair needs the same protection! Those UV rays and the heat from the sun really dry out the fibers in your wig. Just be sure to use products specially formulated for wigs, or you could end up doing more harm than good.
Don’t just set it and forget it.
Knowing how to properly store your wigs when you’re not wearing them can go a long way toward extending their lives. This is important year-round, but especially in the summer—keep them in a cool, dry location, and never store them in direct sunlight. And consider getting a wig stand or mannequin to help keep them in shape.
Keeping your wigs nice and clean is especially important in the hot summer months. The sun block products you use on your skin and your wig are oily and tend to attract and accumulate dirt and dust. You’re also probably sweating quite a bit more than in the cooler months, especially if you’re active or spend a lot of time outdoors. Not only does a dirty wig look dull and worn, but it can lead to icky scalp infections. Cleaning your wig every 4-5 wears will keep it looking fresh and will help it to breathe better, keeping you much more cool and comfortable. As always—we repeat it often because it’s really that important—be sure to use only wig-friendly products!
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!
After you’ve given it a gentle scrub with those wig-friendly shampoos, be sure to apply a wig-friendly leave-in conditioner or moisturizing spray. This is especially important for human hair wigs, as heat and light break down the keratin that keeps hair looking shiny and healthy. While you’re at it, make sure you’re keeping your natural hair and skin hydrated, as well. Drink lots of water!
Stay away from chlorine and salt water.
We know this is a hard one…summer is a time for pool parties and beach vacations! Feel free to work on your tan a safe distance from the water while you’re wearing your wig, but try to avoid getting it wet. Most wigs are not made to be worn while swimming, and the chemicals and salt from pools and ocean water can do serious damage to the fibers. Instead, bring along a cute swim cap or water-friendly head scarf and store your wig safely away in a cool, dry place.
Switch up your style.
Human hair wigs may look the most natural, but they also tend to be rather heavy. Switching to a synthetic wig—which is much lighter, cooler, and easier to style in the warm months—will keep you more comfortable. Summer is also a great time to try out shorter styles and lighter colors. Or if you absolutely must rock the long beach waves, learn a few simple updos for when the heat is just too much. Our favorite is the loose side braid…very en vogue these days!
Follow these simple tips, and you’ll keep your wig looking fresh and healthy all season long. From all of us at The Wig Dr. we hope you have a cool, comfortable, and very happy summer!