How Do You Maintain a Wig?

comb going through a wig

One of the important tasks you will learn as a hairstylist is maintaining wigs and hair extensions. Those that wear wigs will come to you for advice on cutting, styling, washing and maintain their wigs. The good news is during a cosmetology program, you will practice most of your hairstylist techniques on wigs first. This will help you become familiar with wig maintenance and build your confidence in maintaining wigs to help your clients.

Who Wears a Wig?

There are many people that choose to wear a wig for many different reasons. Whether they want to try out a style without cutting their own hair, they have thinning hair or went through chemotherapy and temporarily lost their hair.

There are two common types of wigs, synthetic or human hair. Each have their pros and cons. Human hair wigs respond to styling products better, but alternatively, a synthetic wig will keep its style longer without a lot of upkeep. It is important to consider the type of wig your client owns before giving them instructions on how to maintain it.

What Celebrities Wear a Wig?

MayVenn Blog reported on some unlikely celebrities that wear wigs for one reason or another. Singers like Gwen Stefani, Katy Perry and Nicki Minaj wear a wig, to keep their natural hair healthy while continuously updating their look. Celebrities like Keira Knightley dyed her hair so many times for different roles that her hair started to thin, causing her to also wear a wig.

How Do You Maintain a Wig?

Consider what the wig is made of before maintaining it with any specific technique. Is your client’s wig made of human hair or synthetic hair? Like real hair, a wig made of human hair can dry out if it is washed too many times. When in doubt, read the instructions that come with the wig to understand how to best maintain it.

Use Special Shampoo & Conditioner

Let your clients know that there is special shampoo, conditioner and a wig combs to help maintain their wig. Regular shampoo and conditioner have a lot of chemicals and can damage the texture of the hair. When washing a wig, start by soaking it in shampoo and water. Then comb the shampoo out of the wig with a wig comb. Rinse the wig with warm water into completely clean of shampoo. No need to rub or massage the wig’s hair, a comb will do the trick. Dry the wig without heat from a blow drier to not damage the wig.

Take it to a Professional

Many of your clients will come to you for help maintaining their wigs. You can help your clients with their wigs to keep them looking good. You can also educate them on how to take care of their wig in between professional wig maintenance. Maintaining a wig means meticulous attention to detail and proper technique. Let them know to not sleep or shower in their wig. Also, let your clients know to keep their wig covered from dust and upright on a mannikin head to allow the hair to flow naturally and not tangle.

How Do You Keep a Wig in Good Condition?

Have your client start by purchasing a high-quality wig that is made well. It may cost a little more money but will save them money down the road, so they are not replacing your wigs too often. Have them wear a wig cap under the wig to not allow their real hair to come in contact with the inside of the wig. This will not only keep stray strands of hair from sticking out, but it will reduce the amount of oil and dirt that is transferred to the wig. You should advise your clients to keep their hair clean and conditioned too, again to not allow dirt or grease to transfer to the wig.

Cutting the Hair

Reiterate to your client that once the hair is cut, it won’t grow back. Make sure that the client consults you before they try to cut their hair. It might be a good idea to help them understand what they are looking for first and then cut second.

How Long Should a Wig Last?

This will depend on how well the client care for their wig and how often they wear it. However, human hair wigs tend to last longer, are strong and less likely to tangle. Most wigs that are worn on a regular basis may need to be replaced about every year.

How Can I Make My Wig Last Longer?

When the client cares for their wig, it is important that they don’t use heat to blow dry, straighten or curl the wig’s hair. Heat can damage the wig, melting it or ruining the hair. In order to allow your wig to last longer, have them consider multiple wigs. Allowing one wig to rest while wearing another. Over time the color will fade, and the overall appearance will diminish so they should take the time to properly care for the wig and get the most out of it.

Final Thoughts

Take the time to learn wig maintenance techniques during your cosmetology program. Many clients will count on you to cut and style their wigs to make the best of their face shape and hair style.  For those that have thinning hair or lost hair, you can change their world and help build their confidence with a high-quality looking wig.

Want to Learn More?

Are you ready to practice your wig maintenance techniques? At Minnesota School of Cosmetology, we are dedicated to helping our Cosmetology program students develop a solid foundation and a flair for style through hands-on training in basic and advanced industry techniques. You will learn how to cut, color and style hair, give manicures and pedicures, provide spa treatments and perform various skin care techniques from industry-experienced instructors in a professional salon setting.

Contact us today to learn more about becoming a cosmetologist and start a rewarding career in the beauty industry.

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