How to Care for Your Wig

Your hair is one of the first things people notice. The best wigs exude a natural beauty just like real hair. Abiding by the following tips will help ensure your wig maintains its original brilliance and beauty, providing seamless integration with your particular characteristics. Follow these tips and no one will be able to tell the difference.

General Caring Tips for Wigs

The best care for a wig starts with establishing the type of material it’s made from. Specifically, there is a significant difference in required care between synthetic (artificial, manmade) and real, human hair. Making sure you know exactly what type of wig you have allows you to know the exact treatment necessary for your specific wig. It’s vital that you buy wig maintenance and conditioning products specially formulated for your type of wig. Since properly caring for your wig is essential to preserving its natural and supple appeal, it’s worth buying a higher quality wig care product. Plus, you typically don’t need to cleanse or condition your wig daily, so your wig care products should last a long time, making it well worth paying a little extra.

A common misconception is that wigs require a regular shampoo or cleansing product. Your wig will fare much better if you buy a product that is customized to treat the highly processed hair of artificial or natural wigs. Protect your wig investment by making sure your wig conditioning products are free of toxic parabens. The best wig care products are specially formulated to contain no color-stripping sulfates. In addition, while not always necessary to do so, buying wig care products belonging to the same line of a particular stylist or company does help to ensure that your wig products will work best together, promoting optimal efficacy of your products, and helping to prevent any negative contraindications between differing product ingredients. Therefore, before you buy a single wig care product, consider looking into an entire wig care kit to ensure all of your products will best complement each other.

How to Wash a Wig

  1. Detangle: You might think it’s not necessary since it’s a wig, but it’s even more important to first detangle a wig before you wash it. The best tool for detangling a wig is a wide-tooth comb. Start from the tips of the hair and comb in toward the roots. This helps prevent shedding.

  2. Rinse: You will need to rinse your wig by using lukewarm water. The temperature should be warm enough to help dissolve any buildup from hair care products or oils from your scalp, but not so hot as to permanently damage the hair or strip it of any coloring. Rinse in the direction from the roots to the tips. It’s important to not leave your wig soaking as this can cause it to tangle. Wet hair knots quickly and can be very difficult to detangle after. Many people have found it helpful to leave a hairnet on curly wigs to prevent tangling.

  3. Shampoo: you’ll apply an amount of shampoo in your hand about equal to the size of a quarter. Work the shampoo into a lather in your hands first, and then gently massage it into your wig hair by using circular motions. Don’t scrub too hard or you might cause shedding. High quality shampoos will loosen dirt, oils, and buildup without requiring harsh scrubbing.

  4. Conditioner: To reinvigorate your synthetic wig with its original brilliance, you should use leave-in conditioner, spraying it from the mid-shaft to the ends. Try to avoid the root or knots as this can cause buildup. For a human hair wig, only leave conditioner in for a few minutes and then rinse. Again, be careful not to get conditioner down into the roots. Also, if you notice your wig hair is very dry or even damaged, you’ll want to use a deep conditioner to remedy this.

  5. Final Rinse: use the same lukewarm water temperature as you did for the initial rinse. Rinse in the same direction of the hair, root to tip, to prevent tangling. Be sure to squeeze and press the hair while avoiding wringing or twisting. Blotting with a towel after the initial squeezing can help take care of remaining wetness.

  6. Drying: To dry synthetic wig hair, you’ll simply want to air dry on a folding wig stand. For a human hair wig, blow dry until it’s about 80 percent dry, and then use a round brush until it’s smooth. Let it air dry for the remaining wetness.

How to Make a Wig Last

Using specifically formulated wig care products and maintaining a regular cleansing and care schedule will go a very long way in making your wig last. Another simple yet highly effective method of making your wig last is to use a special liner that helps prevent your scalp from sweating profusely, which can eventually degrade the integrity of your wig. These liners wick away perspiration from your scalp into an absorption layer, which helps keep both your scalp and your wig dry.