How often should I wash my wig?
The standard answer given is usually about every 20-30 times one wears it. However, as with everything, there is no set answer. If this is your everyday wig and you are throwing it on after a workout at the gym, you should be washing it more frequently. I do find that those who work in health-related fields, especially those who work in hospitals, as well as those who travel on the subway, need to wash their wigs more frequently. I do recommend washing one’s bangs more often, as they tend to absorb the oils from your forehead giving them an oily look and a dirty feel. You can wash the bangs yourself by clipping all the sheital hair back into a pony, then wet the bangs with water. Be sure to use a color-protectant shampoo, and make sure to wash the rim of the wig cap where the bangs are sown, as that is the area that quickly builds up with oils, then rinse the shampoo out. I generally do not use conditioner on bangs. Finally, spray the bangs with heat-protectant spray and blow and style as desired. Naturally curly pieces also need to be rinsed/washed more frequently. Usually, about every two to three times of wearing they need a quick conditioning rinse and rescrunch. Shampoo should not be used during these rinses. A full washing with shampoo only needs to be done about once a month.
Does washing my wig ruin it?
No! Overwashing and styling the hair incorrectly will ruin your wig. Wigs need to be washed on a regular basis. The cap of the wig absorbs oils and dirt from your own head and needs to be washed out to prevent irritations on your own scalp. I once had a client that was referred to me by her dermatologist. She developed an infection on her scalp that the doctor believed came from constantly wearing an unclean wig cap as well as an unclean wig grip. Sure enough, once she had her wigs properly cleaned on a regular basis her scalp irritation went away. When washing your wig make sure it is being washed with color-protectant shampoos and conditioners that are used in salons. Be sure to use heat-protectant spray before applying any type of heat to the hair to prevent damaging the hair.
Can you please touch up my wig without washing it?
No! I am doing your wig a favor by making sure it is washed out and cleaned from any styling products and oils used on your wig before applying heat again to the hair. Believe it or not, the old residue of hairspray, setting lotions or oils can be burned into the hair on your wig if not fully washed out first. Hairspray is basically misted superglue, and setting lotion is more of the same but with oils and silicones as well. Even if you used a heat-protectant spray, the oils from these products can fry the hair on your wig. Any ingredients from these products can burn or melt into the hair of your wig when a curling iron is used over them.
Am I allowed to brush my wig?
Yes! And you need to! Even if you had fancy curls put in! Use a vent brush and start brushing the hair from the bottom up. I recommend brushing before each wear. I like spraying just a bit of “The Shine Spray” by Paul Mitchell, or using a very small amount of biosilk by the hairs at the nape of the neck as well as the hairs at the end of the wig to help moisturize the hair on the wigs, since it lacks the natural hair oils the regular hair receives.
Sari Friedbauer is the owner of Sari’s Wigs. She is a licensed hairstylist and certified wig maker. She is available for consultations and can be reached at 201-694-5319.