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Sally Stone

Sally's Wig Care Regimen

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Sally Stone

Let's begin by assuming your wig is styled the way you like it, which could include professional trimming.  One of the best things about buying your hair at a salon, is that styling and trimming are usually part of the purchase.  If you buy your hair online, you are going to have to cut it yourself, or pay extra to have it done for you.


Okay, now you have a beautiful synthetic wig that looks great on you.  Obviously, you want to keep it looking beautiful, but without special care, synthetic wigs can wear out or become unruly very quickly.  Through much trial and error, a couple of those errors being catastrophic (yes, I’ve ruined my share of wigs), I have developed what I believe is an effective regimen that keeps a synthetic wig looking pristine for a long time.


My strategy involves keeping the wig clean and treating it with great care.  A synthetic wig should not be treated like real hair because, obviously, if you accidentally damage it, unlike real hair, the damaged strands aren’t going to grow back out.  Additionally, synthetic wig fibers are much more delicate than real hair. 


Start by choosing the right tools.  I have a wig brush that uses loops instead of tines or bristles.  The loops slide through the synthetic fibers instead of pulling them the way bristles do. My other tool is a heated air brush.  It is a drum shaped brush that has widely spaced bristles and it blows very warm air from the central drum. The key to this electric brush is that it blows warm air, not hot air which can ruin synthetic fibers. 


I wash my wigs after every fourth or fifth wear.  I wash in lukewarm water with a capful of Woolite added in.  Make certain the wig is tangle free before the wash.  Soak it for about 30 minutes, then swish it gently to get any dirt and contaminants out of the fibers.    You can run your fingers gently through the fibers while the wig is soaking, but do not pull or force the individual fibers, doing so will damage them.  Rinse the wig several times using cool, clear water.


Let the wig drip dry and do not stretch the wig cap in any way while it dries, because that can deform the cap.  Never comb or brush the wig while it is wet, it will remove the fiber's built-in curl.  After the wig is completely dry start detangling gently with your fingers. Detangling from the tip of the fibers and working your way upwards minimizes stretching and breakage.  When you can slide your fingers through the fibers without snagging, then it's safe to use a brush.    


After wearing your wig, store it in a container that won't crush it.  I use plastic shoe boxes.  Before putting the wig away make certain it is dry and completely detangled.  After detangling my wigs, I always use the air brush as a final step.  The gentle heat, helps prevent frizz and restores the wig's curl.  Work slowly and patiently until the fibers are completely de-frizzed.  Don't detangle using the air brush, as the bristles can stretch or deform the wig fibers.  It is important to remember to never put your wig away dirty or tangled.  This will lead to premature deterioration. 


There are lots of wig products out there, don't use any of them.  I have tried dozens of different products and all they do is help to attract dirt, and contribute to tangling.   Occasionally, I will spray a little static guard onto a wig if I’m having issues with static.  Other than that, though, I don't put anything else on my synthetic wigs.


It’s important to understand that a synthetic wig is eventually going to wear out no matter much it is pampered.  However, if you take the time to properly care for your wig, it can provide several years of wear.  Treat a wig gently, detangle after each wear, and keep it clean.  Following these strategies will go a long way to keeping a synthetic wig looking beautiful, will help it last a long time, and it protects the investment.




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Carolyn Marie

Those are very helpful tips, Sally.  Many of your techniques are those that I use, but some things are new to me.  A couple of questions:


1.  Do you recommend using a Styrofoam head or store it loose in the box?


2.  What is your opinion of wig shampoos?  I use different brands, depending on which is available, but haven't tried Woolite, which I imagine would be less expensive.


Thanks very much!


Carolyn Marie

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Sally Stone



I have tried wig shampoos, and generally, they have worked okay for me.  I use Woolite mostly to ensure I'm treating my wigs very gently, and you are correct, Woolite is cheaper.


I do not store my wigs on Styrofoam heads for two reasons.  First, I don't want to stretch the wig cap, they get enough stretching when I wear them, and second, storing them in boxes keeps them from getting dusty and they don't take up nearly as much space.





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