I go through about three to four wigs a year. I like changing up my style, but synthetic wigs also require a lot of care. Thankfully Corrie Dupay is here to help!
First, let’s talk about storing our wigs. If you can store your wigs on a canvas block or foam wig head – that is ideal. Storing it on a block or foam head will keep the shape nice and help prevent weird bends or kinks forming in the hair from being jammed into a bag. Wig blocks are made from cork covered in a heavy canvas You can find them here on Amazon for around $30. Foam heads work, too. They just are not as durable and over time you may need to replace them (especially if you are pinning your wigs to them) but they usually are pretty cheap – $4 – $10). In the photo below, the foam head is on the left, the wig block is on the right. I’ve covered my wig block with plastic to protect it from hairspray, color, etc.
Washing our wigs: You don’t have to wash your wig every time – but it is good to wash every so often. Especially if you sweat a lot or tend to use styling products on it.
Step 1: Brush your wig BEFORE getting it wet. Wet wigs tend to get snarly as we wash them, regardless of how careful we are…and we don’t want to amplify the problem by having a rats nest we haven’t taken care of beforehand.
Step 2: Fill a sink with warm water (not hot, just warm). You can use wig shampoos and conditioners (specially formulated for synthetic wigs – the white bottles came from Sunny’s in Uptown) or the cheap (like dollar store!) shampoo and conditioners work fine, too. Take a cap full or two and dilute the shampoo. Place your wig in the water and gently swish it around for a minute or two. Drain the water and fill again with clean, warm water and two caps of shampoo. Swish again for a minute and soak for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, drain water and gently run warm water over wig to rinse. If your wig is REALLY bad, you may want to do two swishings, then the soak.
Step 3: Fill sink with warm water and dilute one to two cap fulls of conditioner. Swish the wig around gently for a minute or two. Drain water and gently rinse with warm water.
Step 4: Gently squeeze excess water out of the wig. DO NOT BRUSH!!! I know you’ll be tempted, but don’t. It’ll damage the hair (can stretch it or create frizzy little curls). Lay the wig on towel on a counter or table to dry. Depending on the wig – this may take a day or two. So don’t do this if you need to wear the wig that, or even possibly the next, day. It may not be dry and using a hair dryer is not an option (could melt the fibers and ruin your wig.
A few last pointers – please note the word GENTLE is used often in this newsletter. The more gentle you are and more you baby your wig, the longer life it will have. If you are rough with it and not good about keeping it brushed – you’ll end up with a seriously tangled mess in no time at all. Synthetic wigs tangle easy and need to be brushed before and after each wear.
Also – spraying them with a wig detangler or leave-in conditioner (I picked these up at Sunny’s as well) is also a good habit to get into every time you wear. The conditioners are great for taming flyaways while wearing – you can spray them down prior to wearing. The detanglers aid in brushing out any tangles you might have when you are going to store your wig for the day (just make sure it’s dry before you put into a bag or box).
There you have it!! A quick overview of how to wash and care for your wigs. If you have any additional questions, please let me know!!