10 Tips for Preventing Breakage While Preventive Styling With A Wig

10 Tips for Preventing Breakage While Protective Styling With A Wig

By: Treshina M. Johnson

10 Tips for Preventing Breakage While Preventive Styling With A Wig

Wearing wigs and hair pieces can be an awesome way to protect your hair and give you a break from time consuming daily maintenance. Wigs are also a great way to experiment with a new hairstyle or look.  If you have gone through a period of hair loss, damage, or breakage; wigs protect your hair during the regrowth and healing period.  With so much freedom, it is easy to see why one would forget to care for their own hair underneath.  Hair neglect can lead to or cause further hair loss and/or damage.  Hair loss and thinning in people who constantly wear close-knit or tightly meshed wigs is due to continuous friction coupled with low scalp circulation.

Here are some fundamentals you need to know in order to take care of your hair while wearing ultimately avoiding hair loss and thinning:

  • Choose wigs that let your own hair breathe such as those with nylon netting.  Cotton and nylon stocking caps can damage your hairline and dry the hair out.  Whenever possible, use gel wig liners to protect your hairline and skin.

*Tip: Take wigs to a professional for custom fitting or have them make a custom piece.  They are not always as expensive as you think, but beware that you get what you pay for.

  • Make sure that the mesh of the wig along the hairline, as well as the barrettes, bands, or clips used to hold the hair in place, don’t exert too much pressure and are comfortable.  Make sure the clips are properly in place.  Hair snagging in clips and other holding agents can cause significant breakage.

*Tip:  A true hair care professional can show you how to properly wear, adjust, and take care of your wig unit.

  • Your scalp receives less stimulation during wig wear.  Therefore, scalp massages are very helpful in promoting scalp circulation and hair growth.  As a licensed massage therapist, I can testify to the many benefits of improved scalp circulation in encouraging healthy hair growth.
  • Don’t put your wig over wet or damp hair. It creates a breeding ground for germs and fungus. This can also provide perfect conditions for mildew due to the heat and moisture.

READ: Prevent and Treat Hair Loss

  • This brings me to point number five. The more you sweat on the scalp, the more frequently you need to shampoo and condition your hair.  Shampooing and caring for your own hair will help keep your wig clean and prolong the life of your wig unit.
  • Keep your hair moisturized underneath your wig cap.  Do oil your scalp as needed with light oil such as jojoba or almond to avoid product buildup.  Do not overload your hair with products while underneath the wig. This contributes to product buildup, clogged pores, and possible hair loss.  A good way to remove product buildup is with an Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse.
  • Continue with your regular trim schedule.  If you don’t have a regular trim schedule…please do develop one that is in accordance with your hair needs.  Traditionally, that would be every six to eight weeks.  Once quarterly or even once or twice annually is possible with a lot of care depending on your hair type.  My hair grows very fast and splits very easily.  I get trims every four to six weeks.
  • Do give your hair and scalp some Vitamin D/Sunshine from time to time by going wig less.  This is an essential vitamin that many of us are missing.  It also gives the hair and scalp air to breathe.

READ: How Hormones Effect Hair Growth and Loss

  •  Avoid bunching your hair up under a wig or cap. Having your hair balled or folded under a wig could cause severe breakage. Keeping your hair braided or wrapped up neatly will help keep your hair healthy and keep your wig in place.  If your hair is longer than shoulder length, do consider wearing your hair in a wrap or inverted/”inside” braids underneath the wig. If you have very dense hair, smaller braids will assist with your wig unit lying flatter to your scalp and may increase comfortability.
Regardless of your reasons for wearing a wig, it is important to remember to still care for your own hair.  Wigs are not a vacation from your healthy hair regimen. Cuticle damage cannot be seen by the naked eye right away.  It occurs to the outside layer of the hair and is caused by the constant rubbing of the wig against the hair. This begins to physically manifest as an overall dulling of the hair.
To fix wig damage, perform corrective conditioning treatments once a week and consider getting a haircut to remove hair that is damaged beyond repair.

Do you wear wigs? What tips would you add?

Comment below


24 thoughts on “10 Tips for Preventing Breakage While Protective Styling With A Wig

  1. Tiffany N. McQuaig-Wallace

    Thanks for this post! Wigs helped me greatly during the first few months of my transition, and all of the tips/advice stated here were useful. My hair grew quickly underneath my wig because I took good care of it. Awesome article!

    1. Naturalhairrules Post author

      Thanks Tiffany!!! I wanted to share this info because I know there are other sista out there that can relate to your story. Regardless, I think healthy hair is everyone’s goal.

  2. Storm

    My hair grew quickly too, while wearing wigs. So much that I didn’t believe it was my hair once I finally blew it out lol ! I kept it deep conditioned and braided and my goodness did it grow 🙂

  3. CBCLady

    When I wear my half wig I apply a satin bonnet first (after moisturizing & sealing) and then apply a wig cap. Wig caps are soooo drying so with applying the satin bonnet prior to the wig cap, my moisture level is preserved while wearing my half wig. Works like a charm as I transition to natural. :o)

    1. kim

      I’ve been wearing wigs for some years and my hairline and especially my nape has fallen out tremendously. I think its the stocking cap under the wig..

      1. Legadema37

        I agree! My hairline stayed Ok but my nape thinned out so much I quit the caps & just wore a Stay on Satin wrap that just covers the back of my head. I even sewed part of one to nape area of wig. Works fine!

  4. hjames1623

    Thanks for sharing! I recently bought a couple wigs in Toronto but haven’t quite figured out how to properly handle and style them. I will definitely remember these tips!

  5. leelee

    I absolutely have been looking for a way to just leave my hair alone with no heat at all, and to leave the extensions,etc behind. I love my natural hair but its been so damaged by all I’ve done its very upsetting. I thought of the u part wig with the same hair texture as mine, but I’ve heard negative things about it. Now i know how to prevent damage with a wig on while i get to spoil my real hair with care and the attention it deserves. If this works and helps my hair grow long I’ll just wear wigs if i want straight hair on special days and just straighten my edges.

  6. ann

    Please Please help my hair is falling out due to using a nylon wig cap !! Any advise or suggestion would be appreciated.

  7. Shanell Murray

    My edges are gone because of wearing sew-ins, my stylist was more about trying to make money than being honest with me. I really need your help. I’ve done braids for a while an they are actually growing in really good,but I love my sew-ins.

  8. Suzanne Fladell

    Thanks so much! I have balding spots and used extensions to “look normal”…this destroyed my hair even worse. I felt like crying every morning. Thanks to your articles I just ordered my first wig and will rest my hair from blow drying & flat ironing while taking hair vitamins and very optimistic. Thank you for caring for others to help!

  9. cjames

    Hello i just started this protective care..do the wigs break off hair around hairline I moisturize them before and after I put on my wig..anymore tips

  10. abouthairrelatednews

    Quite Impressive points you have shared here. when you clean your human wig at home, then first of all check wig instruction, wig washing item needed, properly rinse the wig, drying the human hair, etc.

  11. Melissa

    How do I protect My twa under a wig? I have very little hair to plait/procect under my wig. Do you have any suggestions?

  12. Teeyana

    Where can i buy the perfect wig cap? I’m looking for one to make a new wig with and i wanna be sure i havw got the right cap that will prevent damage


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