How to take your wig to the beach or pool—and not be sorry!
I always loved the saying, “where there’s a will there’s a way” because it is true. If we want something badly enough, we try harder to make it happen.
Hence all the wonderful inventions by our multi-cultural, independent-minded, hard-working people in this country. And that is true for our topic this week—we find a way. We who wear wigs refuse to be left out of anything and that includes the beach and pool. Thankfully, depending upon your hair loss you have several options to consider.
Challenge number one: Wearing wigs or toppers for summer activities
As you might guess, synthetic hair is best for the pool or beach – either a wig you have worn for a while or a less expensive piece you purchase for the beach or pool. If you are diving below the surface of the water, you may want to wear an actual swim cap that will stay on when diving into a pool or ocean.
After-care is the thing: If you do wear your wig or topper in the pool or ocean be sure to rinse it thoroughly and condition it after wearing. If you are wearing long hair, consider braiding it before going into the water. The wig cap will suffer along with the wig fibers and the cap might stretch out to the point of not being a good fit if you spend too much time with it in the water. This will vary depending on the cap construction, age of the cap, and your after-care of the cap.
Challenge number two: NOT wearing wigs or toppers for water activities
So, what if you are not at all interested in swimming or splashing around in a pool or ocean but want to get a bit of sun and fresh air and join your family and friends anyway. You do still have options.
· wear a sun hat with very good coverage – such as hats with big brims that flop down in the back or have a back “safari” flap.
· For hats like fedoras where the back of your head will show, use a stretchy headband to cover the parts of your head that would be exposed.
· Wear a swim scarf – a scarf made of swimsuit fabric in case you do decide to take a dip.
· Wear a head-wrap. You can wear this as a cap, do-rag, turban, or even tied into a rosette. This can be done to fit under a hat as well.
Scarves add a fun vacation vibe to your wardrobe, don’t count them out.
Fortunately, we will always see people in sun hats, scarves, and such, so you won’t feel out of place. If you’re going between inside and outside a lot, wear a cover or scarf under your hat so you can take the hat off indoors with a minimum of fuss.
Bring lots of scarves! Scarves also work well for hikes, kayaking, and other sports where the heat of a wig won’t make you happy. I have added a couple of videos for how to tie a scarf, just for your convenience, and they will lead you to others.
Remember, if we feel good about how we look, that is what we will project. Also, remember that most people are much more interested in how they look to scrutinize others too much. Once I realized that I was able to relax a lot faster when venturing out in something new for the first time, whether it be a new wig, a scarf, hat, or even a new outfit.
Go out there and have fun. A lot of us “missed” last summer staying more inside than out. So, we have a lot to make up for. Let’s get out there and join the world—and we will look good doing it.
Until next week, stop and smell the flowers.
Yes, it’s a challenge no matter what you do. Adding another layer or two of material on your head will make it warmer. This is the time of year that I am glad that I don’t have to put anything between my head and my wig. My security measures start and stop with two bobby pins. I know this is not the case for many. I am lucky to find such a good fit with the two wigs I wear most of the time (both by Raquel Welch): Muse and Ready for Take Off. I have a thing about caps because my scalp is so sensitive, and another reason that I am glad I can manage security without glue, tape, and other helpers. But still, a wig on my head in summer is something to think about.
I work from home now so I don’t wear a wig all day long anymore as I did a few years ago (ah, the 10-hour days), but I have found that when I do wear them I am even MORE aware of having something on my head. It’s as if my scalp is saying, “What’s this? Get it off!” So for me, the cap construction is the key, that and the fit. There is nothing worse than a scratchy cap on top of your sweaty head. Well, I’m sure there are worse things, but when it happens you can think of nothing else but pulling the offender off your head—fast.
When I considered style, color, and length, I had to think of cap construction as even more important. I didn’t learn this until my third wig. I didn’t know how uncomfortable some caps could be if the fit and construction were wrong for my head. Something else I learned along the way: Along with the great comfort of 100% hand-tied caps, and they are amazing and lighter, there is also a minus (isn’t there always?). There are no wefts to aid in air circulation. For me, the tradeoff is worth it because I am not outside running around much. But for you, it might be very different. You may have to be creative about how to live with wigs during the summer months.
There are ways to get through the summer with wigs. If you are a seasoned wig wearer you have likely experimented enough to know what you must do, but if you are approaching summer as a new wig wearer, there is a learning curve, but there is help.
· Go for shorter styles, or if you must have longer, go with the one you can put up off your neck.
· Remember synthetics are cooler than human hair wigs.
· Try basic wig caps (the coolest construction); the open wefts allow air to flow through.
· Use accessories to control the volume around your face and neck.
· Try wig bands. They can help reduce cap pressure and make you more comfortable. Some have a silicone strip and can hold the wig in place.
· For short outdoor events, leave the full wig behind and think about a scarf or a cap with attachments. These are great for sitting outdoors in sun and wind when you don’t want to put a cap or scarf on top of your wig.
· Check out the wig cap liners.
Advice from my hairdresser: (who says he has been asked about this a lot from his clients)
· Don’t put your wig up in ponytails – it pulls the hair out. Better to secure an up-do on top of your head.
· Don’t go into the swimming pool or ocean with a wig that you want to keep after that dip. If you run back to the bathroom and washed it immediately you might save it after an ocean dip, but once chlorine gets on the wig fibers, it’s about done.
· Make sure you wash your wig more in the summer. All the sweat and products build up fast and can cause more wig damage than washing it more often.
· Give your head/scalp a break as often as you can. Take the wig off when possible during the summer and replace it with a scarf around the house or one of those softies. Your scalp will thank you for it and your wig will last longer.
I was in my “wig room” yesterday aka my closet, and was looking for Ready for Take Off; (I have it in two colors) and love. I had not worn them for a while and put one on for the day. I was halfway through the day before I remembered I had it on, and that was because my neighbor commented on how cute my haircut was and that it made me look ten years younger. Then I remembered…this is why I have two Ready for Take Off wigs. This style and cap construction (100% hand-tied) is light, and comfortable, and I can forget I have it on. Now that is worth the money, that is worth the time and care required. And besides, I look cute in it, and ten years younger. I may now get it in more colors.
Ah, yes, what to do about those hot summer days when it comes to making important wig-wearing decisions. Just like how deciding what wig to buy and how to secure it, how to stay cool with one on during the summer is a personal process. No one solution will work for everyone. I am lucky that RW (Raquel Welch) has a cap that likes my head and there are enough of her styles available to keep me happy. Due to my personal circumstances, I don’t worry about my head sweating any more than normal in the summer, as for as security goes, but I do pay attention to the heat and how much time I spend outside.
I am a writer, so most of my time is spent inside on the computer. I am not outside doing sports, watching my kids do sports, biking, or running. Although some biking might be beneficial—but that’s another story. That’s not to say that I haven’t had my days when I could hardly wait to get home and remove that wig! So, it has happened enough that I can feel your pain, those of you who do either sweat a lot or are in the heat much more than I am.
So, what do we do? Now is the time to take a deep dive into cap construction, and to think about our styles that have hair covering our necks. I automatically gravitate to shorter styles in the summer. But not only shorter, but more natural styles, meaning less “stuff” in the cap to block airflow. That brings us to cap construction. While a full mono top is so very nice, and most often so very comfortable, it does not lend itself to a lot of airflow. With that in mind, I tend to go with the mono top but not a full one, and usually, it’s just a mono part. If I can have the majority of the cap that lends itself to better air movement, I’m more comfortable.
If you need to have (or just want to) have added security though, you will run into more challenges. Wig bands/grips, caps, glue, tape, clips? All of these security measures bring with them their own unique pros and cons. What is the least I can do and feel secure—that is what I ask myself. How about you? I rarely do more than use two long bobbie pins for my wigs, and that is usually when I go to the doctor or dentist or if I know that I will be outside in windy weather. But I know that we each have different challenges.
Our questions then are: Are there short styles of wigs that you are comfortable with that provide a good fit? Can you get away with less between your head and the wig for summer comfort? Can you give up a complete mono top for the summer? Do you have more than one summer wig so that you can rotate more often? Do you have the right care products on hand to compensate for more washing and the stress of the heat? Have you done your homework about glue and tape—how well will they hold? Can you live without that wig grip and/or wig cap?
I have included some links to really cute RW short wigs, and a couple of YouTube videos by Taz, one about another brand of short wigs, and one about our topic-wigs in the summer. I hope that you will find what works for you.
Until next time, when it will be all about wig fibers, keep cool.