How to Swim with a Wig or Topper (Yes, You Can!)

in May 8, 2018

Beach PhotoWomen who experience hair loss often feel like they’ve lost a part of themselves and it’s easy to understand why. Our hairstyle is a part of our personality - it tells the world who we are and makes us feel beautiful.

Wigs can help you overcome that feeling of loss by helping you keep your hairstyle after hair loss or giving you new life with a new do!

Your life doesn’t need to change after you start wearing wigs, you can do everything you did before you began wearing wigs.

Yes, even swimming.

You can wear your wig at the pool, in the lake, and on the beach.

Follow our wig swimming rules, and you can go from cautionary beachside babe to confident wig wearing pool diva.


Rules for Swimming with Wigs

1) No swim cap, no diving

We’re all here for swimming, treading water, and floating around in your wig.

Cannonballing and diving? Not so much.

Even if your wig is extremely well attached, the pressure of diving or jumping can rip your wig off your head, leaving you in a hairless position.

A swim cap on top of your wig will hold everything in place and makes sure nothing comes off while you’re having fun. Just make sure to be extra careful when you’re removing the cap so you don’t pull off your wig with it.



2) Swim time isn’t the time to wear your favorite wig

You love how you look in your favorite wig.

You love how it fits perfectly, is styled to show off your beautiful eyes, is just the right color, and doesn’t look frizzy or worn out at all.

Well, we have bad news about your favorite wig: it won’t be your favorite anymore after you swim with it.

The swimming and the water itself won’t damage your wig; it’s what’s in the water.

Chlorine and sea salt can both dry out your wig, make the hair fibers frizzy, and damage your wig cap.

Here’s how...

Chlorine When was the last time you went swimming in a pool, and it made your skin look better? We’re guessing the answer is never.

That’s because chlorine is a harsh chemical that damages your skin and hair, including synthetic hair.

Salt Water is what keeps your wig looking new. It helps your wig hair stay fresh and shiny, and keeps your wig cap soft.

Salt, on the other hand, draws moisture out of objects. If your wig spends too much time in salt water, the hairs will lose moisture and start to look brittle, and the wig cap will weaken.

Moral of the story: always wash your wig immediately after swimming and don’t wear your favorite wig to the pool.

Buy a less expensive synthetic wig for swimming so you won’t be as financially (and emotionally) upset if something happens to it.


3) Condition, condition, condition

If you’re going to submit your wigs to chlorine, salt, or questionable lake water, the least you could do is take care of it afterward.

Taking proper care of your extends their lifespan. And in the summer, taking care of your wig means washing it as soon as you can after getting out of the water. You want to get the harsh chemicals out of your hair before they have a chance to damage your wig.

After you wash your wig, spray it with a leave-in conditioner. Leave-in conditioning sprays seal in moisture and protect your wig from the elements and the sun.


4) Stock up on waterproof wig glue or tape

Standard wig glue, tape, wig liners, and straps aren’t made to hold up to large amounts of moisture. If you go swimming wearing your usual wig glue, don’t be surprised if things start slipping around.

Make sure to buy waterproof wig glue or tape so that you can enjoy the surf without worrying about your look.



5) Beach braids are your new BFF

After your wig is wet, it can be hard to get your wig back to a cute style without ripping the cap, pulling out hairs, or dislodging your wig from your head.

Give yourself a cute side braid before you go in the pool and you’ll have a water-friendly style that looks just as great wet as it will after it dries.

Not sure how to braid your wig? Read our Summertime Wig Updo guide.


6) Wear extra security on top of your toppers

Just like with wigs, when you’re swimming with a topper, you should always pick a synthetic option, wash and condition it shortly after swimming, and wear a swim cap if you’re planning on doing any stunts off the high dive.

And, just like with wigs, you’re going to need a little extra security for your topper if you’re planning on taking it swimming with you. A couple of extra wig clips just aren’t going to cut it.

Why? Because the natural hair under your topper is too fragile when wet and can rip out under stress.

Wearing a cute bandana or visor on top of your topper (pun intended) will help keep everything in place and keep you from looking like a man with a comb-over on a windy day at the airport.


7) DON’T wear your wig to the pool if you aren’t confident doing it

The whole point of wearing a wig to the pool is to feel as confident and beautiful as you did before you started wearing wigs. You shouldn’t be spending your time outside checking and adjusting your look every couple of minutes.

If you aren’t confident swimming with your wig, don’t do it.

Instead, consider an even more secure, still completely gorgeous, alternative poolside do.

Wig Alternatives For Swimming

Scarves A beautiful scarf, securely fastened to your head, can be a great alternative to wearing a wig while you swim. Just make sure that you don’t wear a cotton scarf. Cotton scarves soak up lots of water and will weigh down your head and could cause you to overheat.

Buffs Fans of the show survivor will be familiar with this invention. A buff is a stretchy piece of fabric that clings to your head. For people who enjoy water skiing, sailing, or other water sports, a buff will stay in place no matter how exciting the activity.

Hats with Hair There are some things that look good on everyone: aviator sunglasses, LBDs, and baseball caps (not necessarily all at once…).

Hats with wigs have extensions sewn inside the rim, giving the appearance of wearing a hat on top of natural hair. If you can’t find a hat or cap in a style or color that works for your face shape, buy extensions that are attached with fabric pieces and have your stylist sew them into the hat of your choosing.


8) Pack cool wipes and moisturizing facial spray in your beach bag

A wet, heavy wig and a summer heat wave are not a nice combo.

If you start to overheat after you take a dip, wipe the area around your hairline with a cool wipe every so often and spritz yourself with a facial spray that has aloe. Not only will the wipes and spray help you feel cooler, the spray will make you smell good, too.



Want more summertime wig advice? Read our guide to Short Summer Wig Styles and Travelling with Wigs.

Have some tips about wearing a wig while swimming that we missed? Let us know in the comments.

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Terri Tee Johnson
Terri Tee Johnson
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