How to Care for Human Hair Wigs: Your Full Guide

If you own a piece of human hair wig, you definitely want it to last long.

If you want to enjoy your human hair wig for long, you must care for it.

But there is so much conflicting information on caring for human hair wigs and it may get confusing to know exactly what to do.

If you need the right guide on how to care for human hair wigs, you are in the right place.

In this post, I have provided human hair wig care tips obtained from a rich personal experience, experts’ advice, and careful, adept research.

You can look forward to getting well-explained steps on caring for, washing, and storing your human hair wig.

You’ll also get answers to some frequently asked questions. Let’s get started.

Why you should Care for Human Hair Wigs

Consider these reasons:

  1. Real human hair wigs are made to last long, at least one year. But with proper care and maintenance, your human hair wig can last up to three to five years – and in good shape.
  2. The buildup of dust and hair products is bound to affect the look and texture of your human hair wig. To restore it back to good health, you’ll have to care for it by washing it.
  3. Without proper storage and care, your human hair wig can go from being a worthy investment to a waste of cash.

So where do you start from? 

First, you want to ensure that you have a real human hair wig and not synthetic.

This is important because caring for a synthetic hair wig with the intention of caring for a human hair wig can be disappointing, to say the least.

Once you are sure, you can now start with confidence.

Washing your human hair wig is a crucial part of caring for it so let’s start with that.

How to Wash Your Human Hair Wig

Before you wash your wig, stop and confirm, do you really need to wash it?

Don’t get me wrong, washing your human hair wig is good.

It can help it go from looking dull and lifeless to having a brand new look.

But if you wash your human hair wig when you do not have to, you will be overwashing it, and that’s bad for your wig.

So how do you know if you should wash your human hair wig? Let this guide you:

  • If you wear your human hair wig every day, wash it once every two months.
  • If you wear your human hair wig only sometimes, wash it once a year.

Now that you know how often you should wash your wig, here is a step-by-step breakdown to take you through washing your human hair.

1.     Detangle Wig

The first thing is to prepare your wig for washing by detangling it.

Even if it doesn’t look like your wig has obvious tangles, you should still smoothen it out.

When your wig is wet, it is in its weakest state.

If you try to comb it out in that state without prior detangling, you’ll end up losing lots of your hair strands.

  •  Run your fingers through your wig before you wash
  • If you notice strands that are too tangled for your fingers to solve, get a wide-toothed comb and brush to detangle your wig.
  • Always start from the hair ends when detangling. Then, gradually work your way through the hair roots.

Once your wig is smooth and detangled, you can move to the next step.

2.     Wet the Wig

When you want to wash your hair, you don’t just go ahead to apply shampoo, right?

You get it wet first.

It’s the same with washing your human hair wig.

You should first get it wet by holding the wig under running water.

This allows the wig to remain untangled while you wet it.

Once the wig is soaked, apply a little amount of shampoo to wash it and place it under running water once again.

An alternative is to get a bowl of lukewarm water and shampoo and immerse your wig into it.

But this may get the strands rough while wet so it’s better you go for the first option if you have access to running water.

  • Do not use just any shampoo for your human hair wig. Use a clarifying shampoo made for human hair wigs or a mild shampoo.
  • Do not use hot water to wash your wig.

3.     Condition

When you’ve rinsed out the shampoo, gently squeeze out excess water from the tips.

Then, apply a conditioner to the wig starting from the hair ends.

Use a wide-toothed comb to comb the wig through so that the conditioner spreads through evenly.

Wait for a minute or two, then rinse off the condition by placing the wig under running water again.

  • Do not twist or wring your wig to remove excess water, that can damage your wig.
  • Use a soft absorbent cloth or towel to gently dab your wig to absorb excess water.
  • Ensure that the wig is no longer dripping wet before you apply the conditioner.

4.     Finishing

Once you rinse off the conditioner, you’re done washing your human hair wig.

To get rid of excess water, use a soft towel or absorbent cloth to dab your wig.

Again, do not wring the wig or twist it.

You may use a dryer with a cold-air setting to dry your wig or air dry it.

  • Place your wig on a wig stand while it dries so you can maintain the shape of the wig cap.
  • Apply hair oil, leave-in conditioner, or hair spray to your wig to give it a nice finish.
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How to Store Your Human Hair Wig

Most people do not wear their human hair wigs every day.

Even if you wear yours every day, you’ll need to remove it at night and store it till the next day.

Caring for your human hair wig includes how you store it when you are not wearing it.

The best way to store your wig is to keep it in an upright position that allows it to maintain its shape.

You can place it on a:

  • Wig stand
  • Mannequin
  • Styrofoam

Any of these options will help your wig maintain its shape.

To protect it from dust, you can cover it with a plastic bag after placing the wig on a Styrofoam, mannequin, or wig stand.

Ensure that you do not place it under direct sunlight.

It is common practice for many to turn their wig inside out and store it in a drawer or plastic bag.

While this method protects the hair from dust and retains moisture, it also roughens the hair strands.

Plus, you’ll have to comb it thoroughly each time you need to wear it.

This method is okay only when you need to store your wig for a long time without using it.

If you use your human hair wig regularly, it is best to store it on a wig stand, mannequin, or Styrofoam away from direct sunlight.

Tips for Caring for Human Hair Wigs

To make your human hair wig last longer, practice these six wig care tips:

1. Use Hair Products

Hair products are essential to keep your human hair wig in good shape.

Since wigs don’t get a supply of sebum (the natural oil produced by the scalp) like our natural hair, you need products to hydrate it.

Use only products (shampoo, conditioner, spray, serum) designed for human hair wigs.

2. Get Professional Help

If you need to style your wig (straighten or curl), always get professional help.

Remember that if you end up pulling out strands while styling yourself, your human hair wig cannot grow back.

3. Know When Not to Brush

Do not brush or comb your wig when it is wet.

Remember, the strands are very weak when wet and can get damaged easily.

4. Know When to Remove Your Wig

Do not sleep with your human hair wig on.

Friction between the hair and your pillowcase can damage your wig.

Do not shower or swim with your human hair wig on.

Pool water usually contains chemicals that are bad for your wig.

Showering with your wig on will also get it unnecessarily wet.

5. Use the Right Water Temperature

Use cool or lukewarm water when washing your wig.

You should not use hot water because it can damage the hair.

The wig cap is also at risk here. If you pour water on it, it will affect the shape and it may no longer fit on your head.

The water that you use for washing your wig should not burn your hands when you touch it.

6. Reduce Heat Tools

Limit the use of heat-styling tools like curling irons and flat irons on your wig.

When you do use them, ensure that you first apply a heat protectant to your wig.

 Frequently Asked Questions on How to Care for Human Hair Wigs

Can you wash a human hair wig with regular shampoo?

This often confuses many but the simple answer is no.

You should not wash your human hair wig with a regular shampoo.

Here’s the reason why:

Regular shampoo usually contains ingredients like sulfates and Paraben.

These ingredients strip the hair of oil and moisture.

While your scalp may produce enough oil to replenish lost moisture, your human hair wig has no natural source of moisture.

So washing it with a regular shampoo will make it dry and frizzy.

Instead, when it comes to shampoos (or any other product), you should choose one that is specially formulated for human hair wigs.

Can you wear a human hair wig every day?

It’s your wig.

You can choose to wear it every day as long as it will not make you ignore your natural hair and scalp.

If you keep caring for your natural hair and the wig using the tips above, wearing your human hair wig every day is not a problem.

Should you oil your human hair wig?

Yes, human hair wigs can and should be oiled.

Oiling your wig will keep it smooth and frizz-free.

You can mix natural hair oils like coconut oil and olive oil with your human hair wig moisturizer or conditioner and apply it to your wig as usual.

You can also apply a little quantity of these natural oils to your wig directly.

You may choose to get commercially produced human hair wig oils for your wig.

How long will a human hair wig last?

A human hair wig will last you at least one year.

With proper care and maintenance, it can last up to three to five years.

How do I make my human hair wig last longer?

You can make your wig last longer by caring for it.

No item lasts longer without proper care.

By washing and storing your human hair wig the right way and using the right hair products, you’ll be able to use it for a longer time.

Do you have to wear a wig cap under your wig?

Wigs are sewn or glued to a wig cap already.

You may choose to wear another wig cap on your hair first before putting on your wig, but this is not compulsory.

How often should a human hair wig be washed?

You should wash your human hair wig once in eight weeks if it is worn daily.

If you wear your wig only occasionally, wash it once a year.

Over washing your human hair wig can damage it. 

Does wearing a wig prevent hair growth?

Not at all.

Wearing a wig, even every day, does not stop your hair from growing.

The only danger here is that wearing a wig may cause you to ignore the actual condition of your and not care for it. Without proper care, your hair may not grow as it should.

Can you put leave-in conditioner on a human hair wig?

Yes, leave-in conditioners are one of the nice products you can use to maintain your human hair wigs.

The general rule of choosing a product formulated for human hair wigs applies here too.

What are the disadvantages of a wig?

Wigs may cause discomfort, make you ignore your natural hair, and cause self-consciousness.

These disadvantages have discouraged some from using wigs while many love wigs for its many advantages.

If you’re stuck between a ‘wig or no wig’ decision, these pros and cons of wearing wigs can help you make a good decision.

Take Away

A human hair wig is a worthy investment.

It is made to last you for years with little or no stress.

If you have one, you should care for it.

The tips above are there to guide you.

Practice them, and you’ll find yourself enjoying your human hair wig for a very long time.

Hey, hair lover, this post may contain affiliate links. So if you buy a product through a link in the post, I’ll earn some commission at no extra cost to you.

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