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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Tips for maintaining a great wig

Hello ladies!  One of the big things for my spouse and I was the cost of wigs.  We wanted her to be able to have a great wig that looked very realistic.  This was especially important when she decided to go "full-time."  For my spouse, the wig is probably going to be a necessity forever as she began transition late in life (45 years old) and the male-pattern baldness in all reality will most likely always be a problem.

We are in the same situation as many of you are, I'm sure.  We don't have a ton of money to spend on these type of supplies.  They are a necessity for sure, but we can't afford to keep buying new wigs when the old ones get frizzy and you keep trimming until they are basically worthless.  Who are we kidding, most of us are not hairdressers, right?  

So, we found a great wig to start with before she decided to go full time.  It was economical, but didn't have a lace-front.  After several months, just before she went full-time, we saved enough to get a great lace-front wig.  It cost us about $ 200.00 (US)  It's synthetic, but looks fabulous.  It's very hard to tell that it isn't her natural hair.  After a month, however, it started having the "frayed" look that the previous wigs had.  This was very discouraging to both of us because we just couldn't afford to keep getting new wigs, and trimming it just messes up the whole look.  I mean, it doesn't grow back, right?  

We were told to never ever apply heat to the wig because it would forever damage it.  I did, however, find a way to recondition the wig at home by being VERY, VERY careful.  I found a website from a woman who has a condition who requires wearing a wig all the time and has the same monetary issue.  She described a way to recondition the wig that actually works to bring it back to the state it was in when we bought it.  Here is her description: 

I will describe the technique, but beware that anything you try at home you do at your own risk.  I was petrified to try it, so I tried on one of the older wigs first before I tried it on a good one.  It's surprisingly easy, but there are a few key things you need:  A spray bottle with water (and I add a touch of wig conditioner to the water), A few hair clips, A bristle brush (which you should only use on wigs in this one specific application), a flat iron with a variable temperature.  **** The variable temperature is the key because you want very low heat.  Mine varies between 80 degrees F to about 200 degrees F (I don't know the conversion to Celsius - you're on your own there)  I turn it down to almost the lowest setting to do this, just to be on the safer side.  To prop the wig up, I use a tripod for a camera covered with a hand towel.  I've tried other things, but this seems to give me the best angles to work with. 

You take small sections of the hair and brush it flat, spray it with the water/conditioner mix, then quickly run the flat iron down the section of hair.  After that, run the bristle brush over the section to pull it straight.  *** Again, test this on an old wig first to get the feel for the right temperature and dampness ***  I use hair clips to section off the areas I have already done vs. the areas I still need to do.  

This re-straightens the wig from the little curly ends that get tangled and frizzy and it really looks like brand new.  I have pictures of what I do if anyone needs it, but I'm not going to post it right now.  (I do this blog on my iPad and it doesn't like inserting photos)  If anyone needs further advice or wants me to post pics, I sure will.

I hope that helps some of you out there, that was an issue we dealt with that I didn't hear people talk much about, so I thought I'd share, since I just got done re-conditioning her wig again.  Yes, she does know how to do it herself, but I actually enjoy doing it for her.  It takes me about an hour to get the whole thing done.  It only needs to be done about once every 2 weeks with everyday use.

One of the biggest things to keep the wig from fraying in the first place is to learn how to brush it properly.  Start from the bottom and work your way up.  If you start to feel resistance, stay in the lower area until your brush moves freely through the hair, then work your way up.  If you start at the top and just rip your way down, you end up slightly curling the ends of the wig, which causes the fraying and frizziness in the first place.  


  1. Hi B!

    Posted on T-Central.

    Calie xx

    1. Hi! Thank you for sharing this on T-Central. :)