Whether you’re battling hair loss or looking for something fresh to switch up your appearance with, wigs can be a great solution. This versatile hair styling option lets you have fun experimenting while giving your natural hair a break, but at what cost?
While wigs are not innately bad for your hair, poor management habits can lead to hair and scalp damage. Wigs are actually a good way to protect your hair as it grows out. It’s important that you select the right wigs and practice good hair care to make the most of the protection they offer.
Here are some tips to help you rock that unit while keeping your hair safe and healthy.
Choose the Right Wig (and Accessories)
The first step in preparing to wear a wig is to find a good wig cap. This protective barrier between your hair and the wig also keeps your hair close to your head for the wig to sit evenly. There are different wig cap materials to choose from:
- Nylon is very breathable and helps to maintain ventilation around your scalp
- Alternatively, silk will cause less friction on your hair and has a lower dehydrating effect than nylon because it doesn’t absorb moisture
Next, pick a wig that’s the correct size for your head. Ill-fitting, undersized wigs can result in too much tension and lead to breakage along the edges of your hair. They also restrict blood flow, denying your edges the nutrients they need to grow.
Wear Your Wig the Right Way
Before you put on a wig, make sure that your hair is thoroughly dried. The humidity from trapped dampness combined with heat may promote nasty bacterial or fungal growths.
Try to minimize styles that require adhesives to keep the wig in place. Used incorrectly, they may damage your hairline and cause breakage or hair loss. If you do use adhesives, position your wig just in front of your hairline, instead of directly on top of it, to protect it. When removing the wig at the end of the day, use the remover specifically formulated for that particular adhesive for the best results. Never remove a wig by force! This could destroy the hair follicles along your edges.
Avoid sleeping in your wig. Going to bed in your wig can pull unnaturally at your hair and restrict blood flow to your head. On the other hand, removing your wig periodically gives your scalp and hair a chance to breathe.
Don’t Neglect Your Natural Hair
Because your wig is the one on display, it may be tempting to skip out on caring for your own hair. Don’t fall for this mistake! You must continue to look after your hair, especially if you’re wearing wigs as a way to let it rest from damage.
After removing your wig, it’s a good practice to give your scalp a massage immediately to encourage blood circulation to your head. Blood delivers the oxygen and nutrients your hair cells need for regeneration.
Hydration is essential for your hair to grow healthily. When the wig is off, use nourishing moisturizers on your hair, focusing on the ends. If your hair is in cornrows or braids under your wig, leaving them in for too long can stress the strands along the partings. Undo them and wash your hair regularly to remove dirt and bacteria and use conditioner to further replenish moisture.
The Hair Necessities
In summary, wigs let your natural hair take a backseat while offering a convenient way to change how you look. A break from dyes and treatment gives your hair an opportunity to recover, but only if you are careful about how you wear your wigs. Improper care can worsen the damage to your hair and scalp, but conversely, being attentive to your hair’s needs will pay off by opening up a whole new world of style possibilities.