Wig Care: Things You Need to Know

Today I’m going to provide you with some vital information to caring for your wigs. Ensuring that you use proper care with your wig can make it last much longer.
First things first, a wig stand of sorts is a must. I’ve tried many ways without some sort of stand to care for my wigs. It’s not impossible, but it does take a heck of a lot more time and frustration. You can make a stand out of anything really. I use a photography tripod stand and just stuck a foam mannequin head on top. It doesn’t have to be fancy.

Brushing Your Wig

Never ever brush your wig with a regular hairbrush. Simply put, wigs don’t regrow hair like we do. The constant pulling and tugging will make the wig shed more than it may naturally do. Using a normal brush will ruin the wig and shorten its lifespan.
You will need a wide toothed comb or a wig brush in order to brush the hair. You want to do as little pulling on the wig as possible. The only time you really want to use a fine toothed comb is if the wig has bangs. It is okay to use a fine toothed comb on the bangs but not the rest of the wig.
Make sure to start from the bottom when brushing your wig. Starting at the top of the wig and making your way down will cause damage to the wig and pull the fibers out. This is why you want to work your way up from the tips.

Wig Washing

When washing wigs, you never want to put your wig in hot water. Wigs aren’t naturally heat-resistant, so throwing them into hot water could ruin the fibers.
Use gentle soaps or shampoos specifically designed for wigs. Allow the wig to soak in a bowl of cold water and about a cap full of shampoo.
Once it’s finished soaking, rinse the wig and apply conditioner to it starting from the roots and moving downward. Again, make sure to use products specified for wigs or products not nearly as harsh i.e. baby shampoo and conditioner.

After the conditioner has set for about 5 minutes, rinse it once more in a fresh bowl of water. Then towel dry the wig by patting it down. Don’t wring or squeeze the wig when drying it. This causes some hair to fall out and harms the fibers.

Care Products

There are numerous care products for wigs. Most of these you can find at beauty supplies stores. Most beauty supply stores will carry things such as shampoo, conditioner, brushes and combs, styling supplies and even wig heads or stands.
Before you spray down or use any product on your wig, test a small area first. This allows you to make sure the product won’t harm your wig prior to applying that item to your wig.
Products potentially necessary for wigs

  • Shampoo
    • Baby shampoo – gentle enough to wash wigs safely
    • Wig shampoo – designed specifically for wigs; can be expensive
    • Woolite – a mild detergent gentle enough to wash wigs
    • Dish soap – good way to wash off makeup or oily products on the wig
    • Baking soda – useful in washing odors and cigarette smoke out of the wig
  • Conditioner
    • Spray in conditioner – not entirely necessary for wigs, but it does provide moisture to the fibers and reduce frizz
  • Wig Brush
    • Many different types available from stores
    • Can be cheap
  • Wide toothed comb
    • Prevents excessive pulling and stretching of the wig fibers
    • Many places to buy combs for cheap
  • Small tooth comb
    • Only use this if the wig has bangs and take care. Comb could accidentally pull hair besides the bangs.

Styling Your Wig

As a cosplayer, styling your wig is just part of the fun. However, it can drive you insane if you’re inexperienced with styling or trying it for the first time. Personally, I recommend digging around YouTube for tutorials with various hairstyles ranging from braids to spikes.

Now, there are numerous styling products for wigs, and you always want to test them on a small section first before applying it to the entire wig. Price ranges vary across the board. Some products might be super cheap while others can break your bank.

While styling your wig, keep in mind the type of wig it is and the fibers it’s made of. You don’t want to straighten a wig with little to no heat resistance. You also don’t want to expose the wefts of your wig for the world to see.
Products you may need for wig styling:

  • Mousse
  • Hair spray
  • Gel
  • Thermal spray
  • Detangler
  • Anti-frizz spray (dryer sheets are a great alternative)
  • Multi-temperature control hair straightener or curling iron

All of these products can be found in a beauty supply store, local store, or online for reasonable prices. There’s no need to spend top dollar for products if you don’t have to. If you want to though, then have at it.

Storage

Storing wigs is pretty simple. Overall, it’s all about your personal preference with a few tips and tricks. Don’t store them somewhere moist. This lessens the lifespan of your wig, and if you intend to use for more than one occasion, then keeping your wig in good health is a must. You can store your wig on a wig stand. I store mine on hat rack and let them hang. They don’t get tangled or dusty there. You can also store them in their original packaging and tuck them away. They won’t collect any dust or more tangles.

One more tip I can give is to braid your longer wigs before storing them away. I have to braid mine because I have cats. However, the braids keep the wig from needing to be majorly detangled when you retrieve them from their storage. This is super helpful to someone like me who cosplays Hatsune Miku. Detangling those pigtails is a 4-hour-long nightmare.
So that covers the basics to what you need to know about caring for your wigs. Remember if you have any questions, just shoot me with a message, and I’ll respond.

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