These are the considered opinions mostly agreed upon and what my own dermatologist told me.
1. Will constant wig wearing inhibit or permanently damage your bio hair?
Wearing a wig will not inhibit hair growth. The cells that allow hair to grow will still be able to function underneath your skin while wearing a wig. If you are worried about damaging hair that is growing back out underneath your wig, wearing a wig cap can help to protect the hair that is growing in.
2. Will the continued use of adhesives cause my bio hair to break or cause permanent loss? Maybe.
Some people use heavy duty adhesives when applying lace front wigs, and it is not uncommon for hair loss to occur with the repeated use around the hairline. The combination of irritating adhesives and tension on the hairline can cause damage, with receding hairlines occurring as an undesirable—but not uncommon outcome.
3. What can we do to help prevent damage to our bio hair and scalp?
- Massage your scalp. Having a wig sit too tightly on your head can cause the blood flow to your scalp to be reduced.
- Take your wig off before bed. Most doctors and wig experts recommend that you do not sleep in your wig – it can cause tension on your hair and cause breakages, tangling, clumping and other undesirable outcomes.
- Shampoo your hair--regularly. The key to healthy hair (and scalp) is keeping it clean. You don’t want your wig sitting on a dirty, oily scalp. Bad for your wig and your scalp and bio hair.
- Don’t forget your bio hair (see above). It might be that you choose to wear a wig all day, every day. However, we can’t assume that we don’t need to trim our own hair or care for it as well as before the wig wearing days.
- Avoid putting damp hair under a wig. Having damp natural hair under a wig is not only extremely uncomfortable, but can also promote the growth of nasty bacteria.
- Be careful when braiding your bio hair. Braiding can be an easy way to keep your natural hair out of the way under a wig. But be mindful of your technique. (Constant tension/pulling can damage fibers).
- Your bio hair can continue to lose moisture just like before. So, moisturize and condition your bio hair if you notice your hair feeling dry after wearing your wig. To combat bio hair or scalp dryness, try using hair oils, which can penetrate well, or other treatments you might prefer to restore its moisture and good health.
- Give your hair and scalp a break. If you have natural hair under a wig for a long period of time, it can be good to give your natural hair and your scalp a break for a few days from time to time.
- Wearing wigs brings its own challenges. While it is tempting to put our bio hair “on hold” and forget it longer than we would have before, that is a mistake.
- Anything we repeatedly do that causes friction will have a result: Including a poor fitting wig, too tight of a wig, bands, and twisting and braiding (if done poorly).
- The constant friction combined with adhesives can take a toll on the hairline. Try different ways of securing your wig so the hairline is not constantly irritated by the adhesive and tension.
Take care of your bio hair, scalp, and wig…and you will continue to look fabulous!
Until next time,
To get the most out of your wigs, it is important to know how to choose them, and how to care for them. Here are a few tips from wig-wearing experts like some of you:
- Find a wig color that matches your skin tone. Treat the wig color just as you would picking a color to enhance your bio hair and general look. If you were a blonde before and you know that blonde is a good color for you, it might help to stay in the blonde “family” when buying your first wig. You can branch out as you go and learn more about what wig colors are available.
- Don’t spend a lot of time worrying about your wig slipping or falling off when there are so many securing options: Tape, clips, glue, caps, grips, and so on. Find what works for you.
- Make the wig YOURS. I can’t stress this enough do not think you will be able to pull the wig from the box, put it on your head, and love it unconditionally. It rarely happens. Please watch the many helpful videos WigStudio1 supports and remember to take advantage of the great consultants they have standing by to help.
- Know your head size, and know that though wigs are mass made, you can find ways to achieve a good fit with a bit of work. You will find that some brands fit your head better than others. You will learn which cap construction types suit your head and your comfort level best.
- Don’t be afraid to personalize it. You can wear clips/barrettes and other things to change your look to fit your mood or outfit.
- Appreciate the good stuff about wig-wearing:
- You can change your look in minutes.
- There are no more bad hair days.
- There are no more minutes or hours in front of the mirror trying to hide your thinning bio hair.
- You can try a new style and color without a costly long-time commitment as with bio hair.
- Wigs can help you through recovery from an illness or be a daily friend.
- Save your bio hair from repeated heat, coloring, or bleaching.
- Freedom! Change your style, your color, and your look. Wigs are great!
Tips to help you get more wear out of your wigs:
A human hair wig doesn’t receive the oils and vitamins from the scalp like your natural hair would keep it rejuvenated after styling and daily life. So, remember to wash your human hair wig with extra attention and be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This goes for heat appliances, blow-dryers, shampoo, conditioner, and the right comb and brush. Remember the individual strands of hair are attached to the cap. Overuse of heat, over-conditioning, etc., can loosen the knots.
A synthetic wigs, especially heat-resistant ones, can look as natural as a human hair wig when you care for them properly. Again, think about heat, correct care products, and wash only when needed.
Wig rotation is a great thing! Not only do you get to leave the house in perfect hair and different styles or colors if you wish, but their life will prolong if you rotate your wigs and wash them less.
And a reminder: Improperly putting your wig on or off can damage the lace front, over-stretch the cap, and might loosen your fibers. Treat your wig with care. Also, storage is crucial, especially when traveling and long-term storage. Make sure they are stored properly.
Wishing everyone a great holiday season!
Last summer I covered some of the “survival ideas” about getting through the summer with wigs and toppers. This week I’m taking another look at the challenges of traveling with wigs and caring for them during the summer when we are on the go.
Let’s look first at how we get our wigs safely to our destination:
HOW TO PACK AND STORE WIGS WHEN TRAVELING:
When you’re new to wearing wigs, learning how to pack a wig and travel with your wigs can be tricky because there are so many things to consider. Here are a few of the most asked questions:
- What products should you bring?
Answer: Think less is more and just bring what you need, and don’t overload on products either in your suitcase—or your wig. Take travel-size shampoo, conditioner, and sprays, and make sure you label them. (Not admitting that I didn’t do this and regretted it a few years ago.)
- How many wigs should you bring?
Answer: Always have a spare or two. Instead of washing and drying wigs on your vacation rotate them so that unless you get them in the pool or ocean, you won’t need to wash them until you get home. But just in case, default to the travel size products.
- Should you buy a wig-specific carrying case or are there easier options?
Answer: No need for special wig carriers, boxes, or containers. Keep reading for my suggestions.
Packing for a trip is all about one thing: suitcase efficiency.
With shoes, daytime outfits, nighttime outfits, makeup, reading materials, and all the chargers that you need, packing efficiency is a challenge. I’m a fan of the zip-lock plastic bags for storage. Cheap, easy to see what you have at a glance, and keeps the wig safe from tangling in the suitcase and keeps it from any debris. Also, it takes up much less space than a carrier, box, or structured container.
KEEP IT SIMPLE:
When traveling this should be our mantra – keep it easy and simple by bringing synthetic wigs that keep their style, the necessary care products, a collapsible stand, and some headgear – hats, scarves, etc., to give you wigs and your head a break.
A RECURRING QUESTION: WHAT ABOUT GOING THROUGH SECURITY AT THE AIRPORT?
Will I have to take off my wig for airport security? It seems the rules change from time to time, but most of the time, from what I have heard and read, it’s rare for anyone to challenge you or make you take your wig off. If the stays in your wig do set off the alarm, just quietly tell them you are wearing a wig. Most of the time they will just pat the back of your head to verify you aren’t smugly something and you go on—or they will just pass you on through.
o Know that TSA/security is not required to ask you to remove your wig. Just like with your clothing, their scanners should be able to see through the wig.
o However—you should avoid wearing too many metal wig clips or bobby pins that could set off a sensor or raise suspicion.
o If you are asked to remove your wig and don’t feel comfortable doing it in front of all the people at security, ask for a private room. TSA is required to grant that request.
THINGS TO CONSIDER:
Because I’m a big Plan B person, I’d never put my wigs inside my checked bags. If I am going somewhere for a week or more, I put a spare wig and travel-size products in my carry-on bag. I also include a hat and scarf. Wig care products should not take up any more room in your luggage than care products for bio hair.
SOME HELPERS THAT ONLY YOU WILL KNOW ABOUT:
Dealing with the heat as a wig wearer can be a challenge, even if you are not in some tropical climate on vacation. These are some of the things you might consider to help make things easier:
Bamboo caps, Wig liners
It’s hard to argue that human hair gives the most natural appearance—but maybe not with the minimum of effort. The movement, color, texture, and realistic sheen make it a desirable choice for many.
Here are some recurring questions, comments, opinions, from experts and might answer some questions for you about the challenges and care of human hair wigs that you might like to review if you are considering one:
- Should I wash it before wearing it? Yes, wash the coating off to make it easier to style.
- Heat styling (at a safe level) vs air drying is recommended.
- How often should I wash the wig? If the hair appears dull, lifeless, it’s time. This, like synthetics, is usually every 6-8 wears. Deep conditioning every other wash might be helpful (mid-shaft to ends). Be careful to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Use shampoo and conditioning products made for color-treated hair.
- As a general rule: Do not leave the conditioner on for more than 3-4 minutes, rinse using cool water, blot/ press excess moisture with a towel.
- Style as you would your bio hair, being careful about the temperature of any equipment that you use.
- Do not dry the wig on a solid form or mannequin head to avoid stretching the cap.
- Treat the lace with care.
- Don’t brush the wig when wet, finger comb only.
Other human hair questions: What is Remy Hair? What is Virgin Hair?
Remy hair manufacturers have focused on making sure the cuticle layers (scales) of the hair strand are facing in the same direction. Closing the cuticle protects the hair and reflects light more naturally giving the wig a healthy but natural shine.
Virgin hair is unprocessed and untouched by chemicals. Remy human hair wigs can be virgin but don’t have to be.
One of the biggest differences, besides price, when looking at synthetic vs human hair wigs, is the task of styling. Human hair, just like our bio hair, will need to be styled and re-styled. Unlike synthetic wigs that hold a style, and save you time, human hair will demand more attention. If you are not talented in the styling area, or just don’t want to be bothered with this every morning, it can be an issue for some people. There will be a learning curve, and one that some don’t want to or just can’t tackle.
The care process of human hair wigs is similar to synthetic wigs, but they take more care, and usually more time for that care. The experts tell us to rotate our human hair wigs daily to make them last longer. And like synthetics, a lot of washing will take a toll. Also, like synthetics, correct washing and drying are crucial to the life of the wig.
Buying the right products is as important for human hair wigs as they are for synthetics. Why invest a lot of money in a wig only to use inferior products? The other issue with human hair is finding the right temperature for your appliances when you style the wig. If you constantly overheat your wig, it will shorten its life. Like synthetics, pay special attention to the ends of the hair, extra conditioning and trimming can make a big difference in the look and the life of the wig.
It’s been my experience that hairdressers prefer to work with human hair wigs from a styling point of view. This is understandable, but if you are lucky enough to live near a wig boutique, you will usually find someone skilled in styling human and synthetic wigs.
I made the mistake of buying a human hair wig too early in my wig journey. I had not learned enough about wigs in general and human hair wigs in particular. I grew frustrated trying to style the wig every morning and was never entirely happy with the results. I have since learned a lot but find that I gravitate to heat-friendly synthetics because I don’t like the constant styling aspect of human hair wigs, and I like to change up styles and colors. That can become very expensive with human hair wigs. But with all that said, I can see myself buying another human hair wig someday if I can find that “perfect one” – hey, you know what I mean.
Until next week,
Enjoy life and take a deep breath,