If you wear wigs, it’s natural to dote on your wigs so they keep looking their best for you. It’s also quite natural for you to neglect your natural hair underneath your wig. Don’t worry, no judgment here. We are simply here to give our two cents on how to maintain your natural hair under your wig. Come with!
By the way, we have a cheat sheet that will help you buy wigs that look 100% real every time. Click here to read it! That said, here are our top ten tips on how to maintain your natural hair under your wig.
1. Don’t Leave Your Braids Under Your Wig in for Too Long
There are two major ways to install a wig. You can either install with glue or you can do a glueless, non-adhesive wig installation. The method of installation you use should determine how long you leave your braids in.
If you use glue or an adhesive, then the braid should not be left under the wig longer than five weeks. But if it’s a glueless, non-adhesive situation, then remove your wig every night. Obviously, this is great for your hair as it lets your hair breathe. But it’s also great for your wigs as well as it makes them last longer.
Now, if you will be taking off your wig every night, then your braids should only be on for two weeks at a time. Two weeks is the sweet spot for kinky hair as you don’t want to be constantly manipulating your hair or perpetually stripping it off its natural oils.
2. Maintain a Clean Scalp
This is high priority when it comes to wearing wigs. Before installing your wig, make sure you have thoroughly washed your hair, taking the time to massage your scalp. You don’t want your pores getting clogged with sweat, oil, dirt, and the rest.
Also, avoid using oil products on your hair when wearing wigs as it could contribute to the clogging of your pores. Instead, you want to ensure that your hair is hydrated. If your hair isn’t kept hydrated, it could lead to a dry scalp which would encourage breakage and the growth of dandruff.
So, even though you’ve worn your hair into a protective style and are using a wig, you must remain on top of your natural hair care game. You want to ensure that you’re consistent with shampooing and conditioning your hair. Even if it’s just a co-wash, it can go a long way to cleanse your scalp.
Remember that excessive washing isn’t good for your hair. So, only do a full-blown wash every two weeks. In between, you can definitely survive with a simple co-wash. A good conditioner will help your hair to maintain its nutrients so that it can grow. A good idea would be to invest in a good quality leave-in conditioner spray.
3. Avoid Friction Between Your Wig and Your Hairline
Traction alopecia is a common issue for many black women. It’s often a result of continued and prolonged pulling of hair on the scalp. But it can also be caused by excessive rubbing of the wig against the scalp. The friction caused can lead to hair loss.
To prevent this, therefore, try not to braid your hair too tightly before fitting your wig. Also, be sure to buy your size of wig. It should not be too big or too small so that the wig is not constantly rubbing along your hairline which can lead to traction alopecia.
4. Moisturise Your Hair
Moisturizing your hair is absolutely critical to keeping it healthy. It’s great to use a wig cap over your hair before putting your wig on as it forms a protective layer that shields your hair from the effect of the elements. However, wig caps can deplete moisture levels in your hair and you know that once your hair dries out, it becomes more prone to damage.
Hence, once you get home from work, as you take off your wig, take off your wig cap immediately. Then moisturize your hair by applying a mixture of leave-in conditioner and water. Pat the mixture on your hair down to your roots and then let it air dry. Also, you want your hair damp but not wet so watch out for that.
After moisturizing your hair, when next you want to wear your wig, make sure that your hair is completely dry before wearing the wig. If your hair is still damp and you wear your wig anyway, your hair will begin to give off that mildew smell that you’d hate.
If you don’t braid your hair into cornrows before using your wig, that is, you just pack your hair into a low bun before putting your wig cap, moisturizing hair would be much easier for you.
Simply divide your hair into four sections. Then coat each of these sections with a little vitamin e oil or olive oil. After this, you want to apply a water-based product to each of the four sections and let it sit. When your hair has absorbed all the nutrients, it will look shiny and glossy.
5. Don’t Forget to Trim Your Hair Regularly
Getting a wig does not mean putting off trimming your hair like you usually would. Even when wearing a protective style, it’s still possible to end up with split ends which damage your hair eventually.
Now, if your hair grows super fast, a good routine would be to trim your hair once every four weeks to every six weeks. Interestingly, trimming your ends helps your hair to grow faster as eliminating split ends means your hair will break off less. It also makes your mane retain its natural thickness and optimum health. So, don’t be afraid of trimming your ends.
Besides maintaining your hair’s health, trimming split ends also helps to manage frizziness and unmanageable hair strands. If you think your hair is lacking movement or shape, it might be a good idea to trim the ends.
Nevertheless, as with all things, trimming your hair excessively is not good. If you want to see observable growth, then keep the snipping to a four- to six-week interval only.
6. Get a Wig Cap Made of Silk
Whether you’re braiding your hair or you’re pulling it into a low bun, it’s always great to have on a silk wig cap before putting on your wig.
Wearing a wig cap is great for added protection but it does suck out the moisture from your hair which is damaging for your hair. Hence, silk caps (just like your silk bonnet) are a better option than cotton and nylon wig caps as they help your tresses retain their moisture.
Besides that, silk caps are comfier to your scalp as they stretch and don’t feel itchy to your scalp.
7. Go for Wigs With a Closure or a Frontal
We usually advise against getting wigs that require leaving out parts of your hair. This is because if you’re constantly manipulating your hair to fit the texture of your weave using heat, you could damage your hair.
But then again, we also understand the desire for a wig that looks completely natural hence the reason many opt for this type of wig. (By the way, here’s an exhaustive guide on how to buy wigs that look 100% real online).
Still, there is no reason for you to do this to your hair especially since there are hundreds of wigs with closures and frontals that can give you that super-realistic, non-wiggy look. Click here to read our extensive article on lace front and full lace wigs. It will answer all your questions.
At Spreadit, we have a huge selection of different kinds of wigs with closures and frontals that you can select from at a range of prices too. These wigs are great for your hair because they protect all your locks but still keep you looking fashionable.
8. Make Sure Your Wig Strap isn’t Too Tight
Yes, everyone wants their wig to look realistic and lay super flat. However, remember traction alopecia. That constant rubbing and chafing is not good for your hairline and can lead to hair damage which can lead to hair loss. Anyone treating alopecia knows that recovering from hair loss can be a very painful process.
Hence, secure your wigs but make sure that the strap is not too tight. It suffocates your hair, damages your edges, and will even give you a headache. If you find that the strap is too tight, then you could cut it off and then have it adjusted to fit your head more comfortably. Or you could secure your wig onto your head using bobby pins.
9. Use the Right Edge Control for Your Edges
Use the right edge control for your edges or it might damage your front hair. Try not to use thick edge control for your hair as it clumps easily and that could cause hair damage which could eventually lead to hair loss.
You want to go for an edge control that contains an essential oil as one of its key ingredients. You could go for tea tree oil or lavender oil.
Also, when you wash it out at night, be sure to massage your scalp and edges using your finger pads. This will break up any excessive product buildup and also help to stimulate growth.
10. Do Not Sleep in Your Wig
After a long, tiring day, we know it can be quite tempting to just plop in bed without taking off your wig first. That might not be best for hair health, though. It would be better for you take off your wig and store it correctly on a wig stand or a mannequin. Then put on your satin bonnet or satin scarf to protect your natural hair from excess friction with your pillow.
Don’t forget that your hair follicles are very much alive and are active too. So, you need to allow your follicles to breathe especially when sleeping at night.
11. Cleanse Your Hairline Before Going to Bed
If your wig is installed using glue or adhesive then you need to clean your hairline and the skin around it regularly. If you don’t do this, the longer the glue remains on your hair and the more products build up around there, the more your hair will suffer breakage and begin to thin.
Now, one important note to make when installing a wig with glue or adhesive is that you want to install the wig on the skin, not on your hair. This will help protect your hair from damage. Click here to learn more tips on installing your wig without damaging your hair.
A good product for cleansing your hairline would be alcohol. Alcohol is great for lace front wigs because it doesn’t tamper with the wig in the process of cleansing.
Another option you could use is a gentle clarifying shampoo to help remove the excess product that has built up along your hairline.
Now, there are also oil-based cleansers. However, we don’t recommend those because the oil can seep into your wig through the lace and mess up your wig.
12. Your Hair Needs to Breathe
The biggest reason women buy wigs is that it’s convenient. You simply put it on in the day and take it off at night. It’s very relaxing, right? But even more important, it’s relaxing for your natural hair when you take it off at night.
Now, while taking off your wig at night is wonderful, it would be even better to have days where you don’t wear it at all. You could do that during the weekend or any other lazy day of the week you choose. Try wearing your natural hair out and let it get some much-needed Oxygen so it can thrive.
If you keep your hair constantly hidden, it does not get exposed to air, and then it can begin to smell bad and encourage the growth of dandruff too. Besides that, letting your hair breathe gives your nape, temples, and edges some relief from the constant pulling which is great for your hair’s health.
There You Go!
So, there you have it, our “how to maintain your natural hair under your wig” guide. I hope it helped.