Subsequent to my last article, “Answering the Most Popular Wig Questions,” more questions came in. I felt it was important to publish these questions as well, so that I can help you to maintain your wig better so that it can last longer and always look its best.
Why is my wig changing colors?
Over time, all colors, including hair color, oxidizes and fades. But because the hair on your head constantly grows, your root color does look darker, more pigmented with a richer color, than the ends of your hair. Since the hair on your wig does not grow, and the sun’s rays hits the top crown of the wig the strongest, that area of color fades more quickly than the hair at the bottom. The best way to avoid that oxidized red hue on the crown of the sheital is to color or tone the crown of the wig every six months. I usually recommend using an ashy color or toner to counteract the brassy, warm look on top of the wig. Blondes have to be even more careful. They have to be on top of their coloring/toning to avoid the hair getting too brassy (orange looking) or too buttery (yellow looking). To freshen up blond colors between dyes, have your wig stylist wash your wig with toning shampoos between your color service. Since its hard to remember when the last time you got your wig toned/colored, its always a good idea to have it checked or done before Rosh Hashanah and Pesach.
Why does the back of my wig get knotty?
There are two types of knotting problems that occur with wigs. The first one occurs as a result of the hair of the wig being placed in the wrong direction. You will know this is the case if, when you first purchase the wig, the hair will immediately start to knot and clump within the first five minutes of wearing the wig. This happens because the hair is placed in the wig inverted or upside down. Higher-end wigs maintain the outermost layer of the hair called the cuticle, which protects the hair. When the cuticle is placed upside down, then the infamous knotting happens. To avoid this, its important to perform the knot test before purchasing a wig. A preliminary knot test should be performed when buying a new sheital whether it is high-end or lower-end hair. Brush the entire sheital thru with a vent brush, then shake it gently from side to side. After that pass your fingers thru the piece. If the hair is clumping or you feel resistance in the hair, then there is a good chance this wig will have a knotting problem. The exception to this is curly or textured/wavy hair. With this type of texture, you will feel a bit more resistance/roughness when you run your fingers through the hair.
The second type of knotting problem happens because of normal circumstances that cause knotting. The high density of hair that is placed in the nape of the wigs just makes the knotting that happens throughout the day to regular hair on one’s own head more intense. Long and wavy hair will always knot more than straighter, shorter hair, as is the case with regular hair as well. Add to that coats, friction with clothing fabric, improper brushing and dryness from wig hair, and you end up with lots of knots in your wig, especially by the nape of the neck. To manage the knotting, be sure to brush the hair with a vent brush each time you wear your wig. Start by brushing it from the bottom of the nape and work your way up. Add some biosilk to the ends of the hair and by the nape of the wig. Thinning out the hair toward the back of the wig as well as giving your wig regular deep conditioning treatments can help with the knotting problem as well.
Why does my wig have split ends?
Because its real hair! All human hair, even if on a wig, will get split ends with time. Split ends are the frayed ends of your strands where the hair shaft is no longer smooth and whole but has spliced into two or more pieces. Split ends can happen for a few reasons. The scientific explanation is that the cuticle (the outermost protective layer of the hair) frays with time, or regular wear and tear. Human hair wigs do need trims just like regular hair. In light of this, when purchasing a wig, I do recommend keeping the wig hair around two inches longer than your desired length, so that there is enough length for you to give your wigs necessary trims, without you being afraid that the wig will get too short.
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.