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,
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