When you get your first hair piece, a moment of celebration is due.
Go ahead, keep staring at yourself in the mirror!! Touch the buttery softness against your cheeks and your fingers. It's a sensual experience.
But then afterwards, you might come to the realization that the out-of-the-box experience won't last forever. You have to maintain this piece so that it stays pristine!
Here are some beginner tips on how to maintain your real hair wig or topper
1. How to wash your human hair wig or human hair topper
Washing your hair piece is NOT the same as washing your own hair. I repeat, is not the same.
Please, for the love of handtied virgin hair, do not put this piece on your head and start washing it like you do your own hair.
The reason being, it will be too harsh on both your own hair as well as the hair piece. If you wear a hair topper, you don't want the clips to pull on your hair while it's wet and if you wear a wig, it likely won't stay on very well anyway while you have it on in the shower.
Real human hair wigs or toppers, because the strands are sewn onto fabric, are relatively fragile. Excessive rubbing or lathering could lead to the strands prematurely falling out and since you've likely made an investment into your hair piece, we want it to last as long as possible!
What you'll need to get started:
- a large basin/bowl
- gentle shampoo
- deep conditioning/deep moisture hair mask
- wet brush
- plastic wig stand
So how do you wash your wig and hair topper?
(click here for a visual tutorial)
Start by filling a large basin or bowl in your kitchen sink and/or bathtub with warm (but not hot water). Squeeze a big dollop of gentle shampoo (no SLS, no parabens, no silicones) in the water and mix it around until it is soapy and bubbly. We're essentially creating a bath for your hair piece.
Next, take your wig or hair topper and hold it by its hairline (this is to secure the hairline's place). Gently dunk it into the water and slosh it around so that the soap penetrates throughout the hair piece.
Take the wig or hair topper out of the soapy water (again, by holding the hairline secure between your fingers) and squeeze the water down the ends of the hair to drain.
Take a small amount of shampoo to wash the inner cap (where the most oils have penetrated) and gently wash this area.
If the water is especially dirty, drain it out and repeat the above process until you feel that the hair is washed.
To rinse out all of the soap, drain the soapy water and clean out the basin. Fill with clean water and dunk the wig or hair topper in the clean water to rinse out.
Once the wig or hair topper is clean, it's now time to deep condition your hair piece.
Conditioning Your Wig or Hair Topper
We recommend deep conditioning your hair piece every time you wash your wig or hair topper. Because you are applying a mask, you don't need to use regular conditioner on the piece.
To do this, pat the wig or hair topper dry so that it's about 50% dry. Take the deep conditioning mask and apply it all over the hair piece (if you're not sure what to use, below are some products we recommend).
Use a wet brush to gently distribute the product evenly throughout the hair and let it set for atleast 15 minutes (we usually do it for 20-30 minutes). If it's a blonde or light colored/previously bleached hair piece, we recommend masking for atleast 30 minutes.
After you've waited, rinse the conditioning mask out in the same way you washed the hair. Fill a basin with clean water and use the dunking method until the water runs clear.
FAQ: How often do you have to wash your human hair wig or human hair topper?
This depends on a variety of factors: how long you have worn the hair piece, where you were (were you out and about or mostly indoors?), as well as what you have been up to (were you working out, at a club, or at your office desk?).
The more you have basically sweat and/or accumulated dirt/dust particles on your wig and/or hair topper, the more often you have to wash it.
Casual rule of thumb: if it starts smelling, you should probably wash it.
A more formal rule of thumb: - if you wear it every day, you should wash it atleast every 2 weeks.
2. Drying your real hair wig or hair topper
You may choose to air dry or blow dry your hair piece. If you air dry, we recommend drying your wig or hair topper on a plastic wig stand that allows air circulation throughout the cap.
If you're blow drying your wig or hair topper, make sure to use a hair primer/heat protectant beforehand. We then recommend holding the hair piece by its hairline while you take a blow dryer and dry the cap. When the cap is thoroughly dried, you may then take it onto a wig stand to dry the hair.
Make sure to secure the wig or hair topper with T-pins (pin it at the wefted or non-handtied sections) before drying.
After you've finished drying your piece, you can seal moisture at the ends with an optional hair oil.
3. How to store your wig or hair topper
There are several ways to store your hair piece. However you store it, it's important to keep it away from direct sunlight and in a cool, dry environment.
If you have enough room, we recommend keeping your wig on a plastic or canvas wig head in order to preserve its shape (instead of folding it up into a box or as we all may be guilty of at one point or another, leaving it on the floor or couch).
IMPORTANT: if you decide to store with a canvas head, make sure this matches your head size and shape!! If the canvas head is too big, it will stretch the wig out and warp its shape. If you are unsure, we recommend sticking with a plastic wig stand.
4. Styling products to use for your hair piece
Whatever products you decide to use for your real human hair wig or hair topper, it's important that they have the following characteristics:
- gentle formula (no SLS, ideally no silicones and parabens)
- focus on deep moisture
Because the hair does not benefit from the moisturizing oils that it naturally gets from your scalp, it's essential that moisture gets replenished into the strand with products.
Products that have SLS (sodium lareth sulfate) or other sulfates have a tendency to strip the hair follicle of oils (that's how your hair feels so squeaky clean out of the shower), which can be detrimental for the wig or hair topper strands.
Here are some products we recommend:
Great information and exactly what I was looking for! Thank you!
Great article! I only just spotted it now!! Thanks for the recommendations list too I’ve been needing to get some new products! ❤️ I’m definitely going to get that Olaplex bonding oil!