Follow These Rules If You Want Your Human Hair Wig to Last

Save a wig, and save some coin.

How to Make Your Human Hair Wig Last
Photo: Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

There are a few things in life that are certain: death, taxes, and the fact that human hair wigs are expensive, honey (we're talking anywhere from $200 to upwards of $1000). So chances are if you're investing in a new piece, you probably don't want to have to buy another one for a long time — at least not in this economy.

That's why we tapped master celebrity hairstylist and author of Get Out of Your Own Way Monaé Everett to help you learn how to care for your wig, so you can get as much wear out of it as possible.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty, it's important to have realistic expectations of how long your wig can actually last.

"Human hair wigs should last a minimum of a year," Everett shares. "Wigs that have been chemically altered through bleaching and perming to create a curl pattern tend to fall apart faster. Higher quality and better cared for wigs can last for two to four years."

Now that that's settled, let's get into wig care.

How Often Should I Wash My Wig?

Since your wig is, well, a wig and not your natural hair, you don't need to follow the same wash day schedule. Instead, the frequency should be based on how often you wear the piece.

"It's best to shampoo and condition your human hair wigs at least every eight to 10 wears," the stylist explains. "The shampoos can be spaced out longer if you don't apply a lot of oil, gel, or hairspray while styling the wig."

How Should I Store My Wig?

You're going to need to go to the beauty supply store to pick up a mannequin head to maintain the shape of the wig. And no, there's no getting around this one.

"There are many different types of mannequin heads that you can get for your at home hair collection," says Everett. "A more budget-friendly option is a styrofoam head. I don't recommend storing the wigs in plastic bags to avoid humidity, which leads to moisture building in the bag."

So yeah, step away from those bags you've got stored under the kitchen sink.

VIDEO: How to Make Your Own Wig

Is There a Specific Type of Human Hair That Tends to Last Longer?

No. According to Everett, all human hair wigs can be prone to damage if not properly taken care of, regardless of style or texture.

Is There Any Way to Revive a Wig That's Not Looking So Good?

This is why you've always got to have a good deep conditioner on deck.

Everett recommends Obliphica's Seaberry Mask or Essations' Naked Honey & Almond Moisture Whip Conditioner.

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"I saturate the freshly shampooed wig with the conditioner, place it into a plastic bag, and steam it inside of a hot towel for at least 20 minutes," the stylist explains. "After the wig is softened and moisturized, I detangle from the ends up to the roots. Then rinse the hair until the water runs clear. Mold the wig hair in the direction you want it to dry and place it under a hood dryer."

How Will I Know When It's Actually Time to Call It Quits?

Trust us, you'll know. 'Cause things will start to look (and feel) real raggedy.

"You will know that the wig needs to be replaced or repaired when the hair feels stiff even after shampooing and conditioning," says Everett. "If the hair burns when you curl it or it doesn't hold a curl it's time to let it go. If the ends of the hair have split and they stay frizzy, it may be time to let that wig go."

Also if you have a curly or kinky wig, and frizz has started to take over, it's time to part ways with it. And if there are tears or holes in the lace or cap of your wig, you guessed it, homegirl's gotta go.

This is All Natural. From the kinkiest coils to loose waves, we're celebrating natural hair in its many forms by sharing expert tips for styling, maintenance, and haircare.

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