A wig is far more than an impulse purchase. It's part of your identity, an expression of your style, and boosts confidence, providing an important security blanket for some. Plus, a wig could be one of the biggest beauty investments you ever make with high-end creations costing thousands of pounds. With something so precious, it's important to know exactly how to care for it, not only to help get your money's worth, but because you'll become so fond of it, you won't want to ever say goodbye. We asked Yomi Onashile, wig expert and founder of The Wig Bar London to share her ultimate rules and insider tips on how to take care of your wig.
WASHING YOUR WIG
"If you're wearing your wig every day, you should think about washing it every two weeks," says Yomi. "I'd always recommend a double cleanse to get the wig cap clean! Start with a clarifying shampoo to get rid of the product build up and any oil and grease, and follow with a moisture-infused shampoo like L'Oréal Elvive Extraordinary Oil Shampoo.
Next step? Conditioner. "Apply the conditioner, then put the wig in a plastic bag or wrap it in cling film," advises Yomi. "Find somewhere warm to rest it, like on top of a radiator or you can warm it with a blow dryer. The heat opens up the cuticles in the hair and it absorbs the moisture from the product." To close the cuticles back up, make sure you wash the conditioner out with cold water to really lock all that moisture in.
If your wig is made of synthetic hair, Yomi has an alternative to normal conditioner that actually works better; "use fabric conditioner in a bowl of luke warm water. It's designed to soften and nourish synthetic fibres, which makes it perfect for synthetic wigs."
TIME TO DRY
According to Yomi, the best way to dry your wig is to let it air dry. "Just like real hair, if you blow dry it too often it can cause damage, making the hair look dry and brittle. It's fine once in a while if you're in a rush, and there are devices that can make it easier like this wig block that holds a hair dryer inside so you don't have to hold it there for ages."
If you do decide to use a blow dryer, or if you've dried it naturally but want to style it with heat tools, always remember to use a heat protection product beforehand. "I always use a heat protector spray. TRESemmé Care & Protect Heat Defence Styling Spray is my favourite because it's a multi-tasking product - it protects from heat damage and helps to hold the style I create."
Once you're happy with the style, use a hair spray to set it (Yomi recommends Schwarzkopf got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Spray) followed by a nourishing Argan oil to add lustre and shine to lengths and ends.
TRAVELING AND STORING YOUR WIG
We all live our lives on-the-go, with many of us traveling on a regular basis, so it's important to know the best way to keep your wig in top condition. "With traveling, turn the wig inside out and put a hair net around it. Next, put it inside a box, making sure it's large enough not to squash the wig, and place into your suitcase."
For the times when you want to store you wig at home, make sure you keep it on a wig block. "If you don't keep it on a block, the style will drop after a few days," she says.
CALL IN THE PROS
Depending on how often you wear it, it's worth sending it for a professional re-fresh every month or so. The Wig Bar London provides a new wig ‘laundry’ service that cares for and revamps wigs to ensure they look as good as new but at a fraction of the cost of buying a replacement.
"Every three months or so, book in for a total MOT, especially if you have a frontal wig," says Yomi. "Frontal wigs are becoming more popular because they look so natural and provide a natural-looking hair line, as well as giving you more options when it comes to styling, but they're prone to balding so need more upkeep."
'This article originally appeared on GLAMOUR UK'