Now that you have made the decision to invest in a human hair wig, you are probably wondering how to take care of it. Maintenance is an important part of keeping your human hair wig clean, shiny, and in good condition. While wigs are similar to the hair on your head, there are some extra steps you will need to take to make sure it lasts as long as possible and stays looking great. The following is our guide to human hair wig maintenance.
What is a Human Hair Wig?
A human hair wig is a wig made from actual human hair which is collected carefully so that the cuticles are intact. Strands are woven by hand into a stretchable cap, which is then worn over the head. The hairs are placed evenly so that they cuticles and strands align neatly and concisely. With proper care, human hair wigs can last as long as three years.
According to a recent Research and Markets study, the global human hair wigs and extensions market value is expected to increase steadily all the way up to $13.28 billion by 2026. It is obvious that the demand for human hair is mounting. This is because the look and feel of wigs has transformed in recent years. In the past, wigs have had fake, synthetic appearances and have been difficult to maintain. Now, manufacturers craft human hair wigs that can be styled just like real hair, making them an appealing choice for those experiencing hair loss.
Maintaining Your Human Hair Wig
Keep it Clean
One of the most important parts of extending your wig’s lifespan and keeping it clean is washing it regularly and thoroughly. According to stylist Brittany Johnson, “If you’re doing a lot of curling and using styling products like hairspray, I’d suggest shampooing your wig as often as once every week—or week and a half—to avoid buildup. But if you’re only wearing your wig every so often and you aren’t using any heavy gels or creams, you can get away with shampooing every 2-3 weeks.” There is no specific frequency for washing that applies to everyone, but if your wig seems like it could use a wash, it probably could. Like you would your natural hair, you need to keep your wig clean by washing it with shampoo and conditioner. When your wig is exposed to the natural oils on your scalp, it can become oily, and hair product and other debris can build up quickly. You may want to invest in specialty wig shampoos and conditioners for the best results, but you can also use you regular products, so long as they are gentle and sulfate-free.
Washing Your Wig
Before washing, comb your wig out with a wide-tooth comb to remove all tangles. Start at the ends and work up towards the cap. Try to avoid using a brush, which can cause breakage. Do not fully submerge your wig. Rather, hold it under running, cool water, allowing the water to run from roots to ends. Use a small amount of shampoo and evenly distribute it throughout the hair in a downwards motion. Rinse your wig by holding it under running, cool water until the water runs clear. Squeeze the strands gently to press out excess water. Next, apply conditioner to the end of the hair only. Applying conditioner to the roots can cause the hair to fall out. Leave the conditioner on for about 1-2 minutes without exceeding 5 minutes. Rinse your wig gently and towel dry. If you have one, it’s a good idea to let it dry naturally on a wig stand.
Avoid Heat Styling
As you might with your natural hair, it is important to keep heat styling to a minimum with your wig. Blow dryers, curling irons, and straighteners can cause serious damage to hair by drying it out and breaking off the strands. You can certainly use these tools from time to time, but make sure to use a heat protectant on your human hair wig before styling. Electric rollers on a low or medium setting are a great way to achieve soft curls without using too much heat.
Stop Using Oil-Based Hair Products
Using hairspray, gel, or pomade on your wig can cause it to become oily and messy. There are lots of non-oily products available that you can use to keep your wig styled, shiny, and in good shape. In fact, you can even buy wig spray that is specifically formulated for wig maintenance. A leave-in conditioning spray is a good idea for your natural hair and for your wig. Spritzing your wig with a light shine serum is a great way to make sure it is manageable without weighing it down and causing it to become greasy.
Store It Properly
While you are not using your wig, it is important to store it properly. Be sure to keep it somewhere that does not get direct sunlight, which fades hair color quickly and can be drying. A wig stand is helpful, but not essential. It can help the wig’s cap maintain its shape, but might also be hard to find a place for in your home. When your buy your wig, hold onto the original packaging. You can always use that to store your wig properly. If you’ve already thrown it away, you can use a shoebox lined with tissue paper, an airtight plastic container, or a plastic, sealable bag. Make sure to always take off your wig before going to sleep, as it can easily become matted and damaged. It should also never be worn while you are swimming or taking a shower. Always comb your wig before storing it in order to keep in fresh and tangle-free. Keep them in a cool, dry place, such as your closet, and make sure they are completely dry before storing.
Consult Your Hairstylist
If you need help styling your wig or are feeling nervous about potentially damaging it, you can always have a professional take a look. They can help you achieve the human hair wig look you want without damaging your wig. You can also consult with your stylist if your wig seems a little dry or oily or if it is shedding. They will likely be able to identify the problem and supply you with the products you need to fix it.