Tutorials

Wig Care and You – How to De-tangle and Store Wigs

Introduction:

I have had lots of people ask me how I keep my wigs looking so nice and neat wear after wear. One key factor is the quality of the wig. The better quality the easier the up keep is. Fiber types are also important to know when caring for wig as in general higher quality fibers have a less tendency to frizz and tangle. If you are unsure what type of fibers your wig is made of, you can look on the tag on the inside. Tristen Citrine’s section on wigs is also a go resource on determining the quality of your wig and its fibers.

Of course though, how you handle your wig is the main factor in determining your wig’s longevity. The better care you take of it the long and nicer looking it will last. I can’t count how many times I have seen people man-handle their wigs. It can’t be treated as roughly as you do your own hair. You have to remember that they wigs are still made of plastic, not elastin and keratin filled cells like your real hair.

What your need:

-Wig Conditioner
-Wig Head
-T-Pins (to hold wig to wig head)
-Wide tooth comb
-Wig brush *optional*
-Wig net that your wig came in (if you don’t plan storing it on the wig head)

Where to get the supplies:

Sally Beauty Supply – Sells wig heads, combs, and wig brushes.
Cosworx – Sells wig heads, wig peg, and wig conditioner
Other Beauty/Hair supply stores – In general will sell all the items you need.
Walmart – Sells T-Pins

Getting Started! -De-tangling a wig

De-tangleing a wig, daunting in appearance yes, is not too hard if you put some time and TLC into it. After all, wigs are huge chunk of change for your costume so look at is if you are taking care of your “investment.” Obviously the longer the wig the longer it is going to take to de-tangle. Following these steps will help keep the damage to your wig minimal and your sane levels reasonable. ;)

1. You returned home from a con and your wig looks like this:
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My super long 48″ Pirotess wig will be my lovely model in this tutorial.

2. Bust out that wig conditioner and give the wig a few sprays here and there, lightly misting the whole length of the wig. I generally put more at the ends of the wigs since that is where all the tangles accumulate.

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3. Once the conditioner is in the wig, I like to finger comb any big knots out. Work your fingers gently through the wig, working any knots out with your fingers, until you can run your things through fairly smoothly. It is a good idea to work from the bottom up.

4. Time for Mr. wide tooth comb! If you think you need it, feel free to put a bit more wig conditioner in. Putting too much in isn’t going to hurt your wig, but not enough could cause the fibers to frizz do to breakage. Anyways, just like you did with finger combing, work from the bottom to the top running the comb through the wig working out any knots you come across. In longer wigs, it might help to work in sections. Again BE GENTEL. This isn’t real hair and if you pull at too much you are just going to pull the fibers out, causing your wig to become bald!

5. By this point your wig should be looking pretty much back to normal. Feel free to run your brush through to make sure the wig is free of all tangles. Aww, now look at the happy wig!

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Storing the wig
Ok now you have your wig de-tangled and the last thing you want to do is tangle it while putting it away. No worries there are a few tricks to help over come this.

Loose Braid - For longer wigs you might want to loosely braid the wig. If you braid it too tight you might cause your wig to have a wave the next time you wear it, just an FYI. Once you braid it, wrap the braid around the base of the wig head. Or place the braid inside the netting cap of the wig and place the original wig net around the wig and place it in its bag.

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Twist - Take the length of the wig and twist it. Then coil it up like in the picture below. Again, place the coil inside the netting cap of the wig and place the original wig net around the wig and place it in its bag.

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Turn inside out - for shorter wigs I just turn the wig inside out and place in wig bag. You can do this too with longer ones, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

Note on heavily styled wigs - Depending on the style that has been done to your wig, you may or may not be able to do any of these tips mentioned here. It really only applies to loose wigs, or wigs with loose parts of hair. Wigs with foamcore or heavily styled sections are best to be treated with care while wearing and in storage, and should always be stored on wig heads.

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