Wig Care

Overview

What are some things to consider about wigs?

  • How it looks on you. You might be more comfortable with a wig in a color close to your natural color. You might want to try something new and adventurous.
  • The size. (You should measure your head with your hair flat against your head if you are buying the wig before you might need it.) Make sure that you can adjust the wig’s size if you need to do so.

Wig care will depend on what type of wig you have. If you take proper care of your hairpiece, it should last for some time. Most people who wear wigs like to have more than one. This lets you change hairstyles and allows time for complete cleaning and drying. You should probably wash a wig after it has been worn 8-12 times. Synthetic styles should be washed at least once a month, but ideally more often if you wear the wig every day.

  • Use brushes and combs that are designed for wigs. Use your fingers to style the wigs if you can.
  • Use shampoos, conditioners, and oils that are designed for wigs.
  • Follow manufacturers’ suggestions for the care of the wigs.
  • Try to use as little hair product as possible to style the wigs. The more spray or styling products you use, the more often the wig will need to be cleaned.
  • Do not try to have every hair stuck in exactly the right place. Having a little bit of hair out of place will look more natural.
  • You might want to take the wig to a professional hair stylist to make changes to suit you.

What are some tips for putting on a wig?

  • Take your glasses off when you are putting on your wig.
  • Move your hair away from your face by pulling it back at the sides and the top. If your hair is long, use pins to put it up all around your head.
  • Look into accessories like wig caps (liners) or wig headbands (wig huggers) to help the wig fit more comfortably. These items will help keep your hair down.
  • The label in the wig should go in the back.
  • Put the wig on by sliding from front to back. Make sure the wig is not too far forward on your face but is near your natural hairline.
  • Use the tabs near the ears and at the front to adjust the location. Then use the tab or hook located near the label at the back of the wig to make it tighter or looser.

How should you wash a synthetic wig?

  • Detangle wig before washing with a wide tooth comb. Do not pull or stretch the fibers.
  • Put about a capful of shampoo designed for synthetic wigs into a sink or basin of cool water.
  • Swish the wig through the water and let it sit for five or ten minutes.
  • Remove the wig. Add clean cool water to the sink or basin. Swish the wig through the cool water until shampoo is gone. You can use cool water from a faucet, but make sure the water runs with the shape of the hair to avoid tangles.
  • There are special conditioners for synthetic wigs that you can use. They might be conditioners that you apply and rinse off, or spray conditioners.
  • When completely rinsed (if needed), blot with towel and allow to dry on a towel or a wig stand.
  • DO NOT USE ANY TYPE OF HEAT or heated appliances on synthetic wigs. In fact, you should not expose your synthetic wig to any type of heat, even from ovens or clothes dryers.
  • Synthetic wigs sometimes just go back into shape or style with a shaking.
  • Some wigs have shorter fibers at their root to provide some volume. These shorter ‘hairs’ can be moved with a wide-tooth comb or with your fingers during styling.

Resources

Are there any resources regarding wigs that might be helpful?

There are some organizations that may be able to help with the cost of purchasing wigs for adults and children. There are also organizations that provide free head coverings if you would like to wear a hat or scarf instead of a wig. You might check with the local office of the American Cancer Society, CancerCare, and Wigs for Kids. In addition, some programs like the American Cancer Society’s “Look Good Feel Better” program offer styling tips. (www.lookgoodfeelbetter.org).

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy