As you begin wearing your wigs, one question you may ask yourself is just how often should you be washing your wig and if washing may shorten the overall lifespan.
You’ve invested good money in your wig and you want to do whatever you can to ensure it lasts for many weeks (and hopefully months!) to come. Part of this is good wig maintenance and care. Where does washing fit into the picture?
Here are some things to know.
Rinsing Versus Washing
First, realize that in terms of wig life span, there is a difference between rinsing a wig and washing a wig. Sometimes a good rinse with plain water is all you need. If you’re someone who sweats quite heavily in your wigs, this may be enough to rid any excess sweat that is built up and make the wig wearable again. A quick spray of Febreeze (which generally tends to be safe for wigs) in the cap and you’ll have a fresh scented wig in no time.
Another reason you may choose to do a simple rinse is if the wig has become misshaped in any way. This could be do from storing it in its box for a little too long between wears or it could occur when you first get a wig if it was sitting in the box for quite some time from the manufacturer. A good rinse will likely revive the wig, returning its previous curl pattern and making sure it looks beautiful again.
Your next option is to add some shampoo. Now, if you want to see best results in terms of extending the lifespan of your wig, it is advised that you do use a wig specific shampoo. Normal everyday hair shampoos that you purchase from the drugstore may contain sulfates and other ingredients that could potentially damage the hair fiber in your wig. This in turn may cause the wig to become tangled quicker after washing and may also lead to increased frizzing due to the friction created with wear afterward.
You want to avoid removing any of the natural silicone coating that is on the wig at the time you first purchase it and too much shampooing – even if it is wig friendly, can do this.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid shampooing your wig forever. Obviously if it needs to be cleaned, you want to clean it, but don’t wash your wig just for the sake of washing it because you’ve worn it a few times. If you aren’t sweating heavily and haven’t gotten dirty while wearing your wig, it is perfectly possible to go weeks without needing to wash your wig. Remember that wigs are not like hair where you are getting natural oils from your scalp being distributed into the hair. Therefore, you simply don’t need to wash at the frequency you would your regular hair.
If you are someone who does sweat quite heavily and that is a major concern, you’ll want to look into wearing a cotton wig cap (which will absorb some of the sweat), or look into a product called Headline It, which also is designed to wick away sweat and prevent it from getting into your wig (or any hat you might be wearing).
Finally, you have conditioning. Conditioning is something that you should be doing regularly and remember, you don’t necessarily need to wash your wig to do it. You can simply purchase a leave in conditioner or detangler such as the Jon Renau Detangler spray, which will help to re-coat the hair shaft with the natural silicone that it came with. This will both help to extend the life of your hair and prevent future frizzing and tangling.
It’s recommended that you do this after every wear or two in order to maintain good movement in with your wig.
So there are a few tips to remember about washing frequency. Feel free to rinse with plain water whenever desired, use a leave-in conditioner/detangler specific for wigs regularly, and shampoo as infrequently as possible. This is the key to wig longevity.