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, dont 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.
- Dont 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.
- 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.
- Protein and deep moisturizing conditioning treatments are needed every 4 to 6 weeks to keep the hair strong and supple. This decreases your chances of breakage and encourages healthy hair growth by strengthening your hair.
- Continue with your regular trim schedule. If you dont 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.
- 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.