Wig Care Basics

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Wigs made from human hair are quite expensive, so in order to protect your investment it is important to learn how to properly care for your wig. Proper wig care involves more than cleaning; there are also many important steps you should take when it comes to storing, styling, and repairing your wig.

The most important step is to keep your wig on a wig block when it is not being worn. This is crucial for maintaining proper fit and ensuring that your wig does not lose its shape. While there are many different types of wig blocks available, nothing comes close to a canvas wig block. These wig blocks consist of millions of rubber granules covered by a heavy canvas cloth. Wig pins (also called T-pins) are used to hold the wig in place over the block. Unlike cheaper-quality Styrofoam headforms, these head-shaped blocks are available in different sizes. In order to maintain a wig’s shape, the wig should fit snugly over the block.

Cleaning a wig made from human hair can be done with a mild shampoo. Prior to cleaning, gently comb or brush out any tangles or styling product buildup from the wig. When cleaning a wig, it is important to be gentle. Vigorous brushing, combing, or washing can cause a wig to lose hair. Always apply a conditioner to the wig after shampooing. Since shampooing only cleans surface dirt, many wig salons offer an enzyme spray which can be sprayed onto the wig once a month in order to kill any bacteria.

Once the wig has been cleaned, it can be carefully pinned to the wig block. To prevent any mildew or microbial growth, wigs should be dried immediately after washing. While expensive cabinet-like wig dryers are available, drying and styling your human hair wig can be performed with a blowdryer if it is done carefully. When blowdrying a wig, use low heat. Excessive heat will cause the hair in the wig to become more brittle, resulting in breakage. Never use a narrow-toothed comb or a nylon bristle brush on a wig. Your hairstylist will be able to recommend the proper combs and brushes for wig styling.

Inevitably, your wig will require professonal repairs and alterations. The most common repair is adding new hair to a wig. Even the best quality wigs will lose hair over time. Expect to pay a professional wigmaster $45-$55 per hour for this service. Trained professionals can perform a variety of wig repair and maintenance services, including coloring and cutting the wig, repairing tears to a wig’s base, or attaching or changing clips on the wig. It is also highly recommended that you take your wig to a professional at least once every six months for a thorough cleaning and servicing.

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