Whatever your reason for wearing a wig, proper upkeep is crucial to keeping your hairpiece looking its absolute best. Even if your wig is made of human hair, it requires very different maintenance than natural hair. Wigs are highly valuable, special and personal pieces of property, so it makes sense to want to protect something that means so much to you. Correct wig maintenance can be overwhelming for someone who hasn’t owned one before, so we have provided some helpful hints to get you started.
Wash your wig before wearing
It can be tempting to pop your wig on immediately after purchase, but the process used to colour and style a wig involves tons of chemicals that could seep into the sensitive skin of your scalp. If you are purchasing a wig for a specific event, be sure to give yourself enough time to wash your wig and let it air-dry before wearing.
Use only wig-friendly products
Shampoo is shampoo, right? Wrong. Shampoo for natural hair is much too harsh for wig hair (even for human hair wigs), so steer clear of department store brands and find products specifically designed for use with wigs. By taking the proper care with what products you use for your wig maintenance, you can help ensure not just a full-bodied and healthy-looking wig, but also that it lasts for much longer than it would otherwise.
Learn to wash your wig properly
Washing a wig is nothing like washing the natural hair on your head. Wigs require a gentle touch so as not to damage the fibres and cause your wig to fall apart. Before washing your wig, detangle the hair gently with a wig comb to free any snarls. Fill a sink or tub with cold water and add a tiny amount of wig shampoo to the water (about a tablespoon should do). Let your wig sit in the soapy water for a few minutes, then gently swish it around in the water. Wipe away any sweat or oils on the inside of the cap with your fingers, avoiding any handtied portions. Rinse your wig in cool, clear water until no trace of shampoo remains.
Recognise the importance of conditioning
Conditioner should absolutely be your wig’s best friend. After your wig is clean, add a small amount of wig conditioner to your hands and apply throughout the hair, avoiding the cap area. Rinse with cool, clear water. You may also want to spritz damp hair with leave-in conditioner for added moisture. To dry your wig, VERY GENTLY blot piece by piece with a towel. Do NOT rub the hair. Place your wig on a wig stand to air dry. Avoid using foam head forms, as they can cause wigs to stretch and become misshapen. Wait until the hair of your wig is completely dry before styling.
Avoid using products
Most synthetic hair wigs, like those in the Amore wig collection, come pre-styled and don’t need to be styled again after washing
. You should avoid using hair sprays and other styling products if possible. For the most part, a spray bottle with water is all you need to keep your wig’s style looking great. If you absolutely must use a product, use it sparingly and wash your wig thoroughly afterwards to avoid any product build-up.
Stay away from heat tools
This is mainly applicable to synthetic hair wigs, since the fibres can melt if exposed to heat. Human hair wigs and heat resistant synthetic wigs can withstand some heat, but the pulling of a hair straightener or curling iron can loosen the hairs, so these tools are best avoided anyway. To add curls to a human hair or heat resistant wig, use curlers and set overnight.
Find a good stylist
A wig stylist, that is. A stylist who specialises in wigs will be familiar with the differences between wigs and natural hair. They know how to cut and style wigs without causing damage, and can often provide you with tips for styling your specific wig. Human hair wigs can be coloured, but this should always be left to a qualified professional.
Don’t sleep in your wig
This may sound obvious, but sleeping in your wig pulls at the fibres and can drastically shorten your wig’s lifetime. Put your hairpiece on a wig stand or head form and let your scalp breathe overnight.
Keep it dry
Unless you are washing your wig, you should always avoid getting it wet. Don’t bathe or shower while wearing your wig, and cover your head in rainy weather. If you get caught unprepared in a sudden downpour, wash and condition your wig and allow it to air dry as soon as possible.
Store your wig properly
If you have more than one wig, chances are you will have to store at least one of them long-term. You can store your wig in its original packaging, on a wig stand, or on a hook. If you are not storing it in the original packaging, cover your wig with a hair net to keep dirt and dust at bay.
Keep your natural hair in good condition
Keep your hair and scalp clean to avoid oil build up on the inside of your wig and to keep your natural hair healthy. If your hair is growing back, keeping it conditioned will prevent breakage while it is bundled under a wig. Wearing a wig cap reduces contact between your wig and your natural hair and is a comfort option for many people, since some wigs can be itchy or otherwise uncomfortable.
While it may seem like that there is more wig maintenance required than with your natural hair, the truth is that wigs just require DIFFERENT maintenance. Once you are accustomed to caring for your wig properly, it will be just as easy as caring for your natural hair. By taking the right steps, using the right products, and by not cutting any corners, you will be able to enjoy a beautiful-looking wig that’s healthy, vibrant and long-lasting.