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Last updated: May 22, 2019

Wig Wearing Secrets: Caring For The Hair Underneath

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Ciara at the Met Gala 2019. Hair by César DeLeön Ramirêz. // Instagram via @cesar4styles

Celebrity Stylists Dish On How To Take Care Of The Hair Under A Wig

Wigs are a fun way to give natural hair a break between hairstyles, but sometimes your clients can forget to give their actual hair a little TLC under the unit which can lead to unwanted odor, breakage and even hair loss. Looking to educate your clients on how to properly care for their hair underneath? We’ve got you covered!


Celebrity stylists and wig experts Takisha Sturdivant-Drew (@takishahair), César DeLeön Ramirêz (@cesar4styles) and Kiyah Wright (@kiyahwright1) plus BTC Team Members Cynthia Lumzy (@cynthialumzy) and Kimberly Ibbotson (@kimberlytayhair) spilled their secrets on how they advise their wig-loving clients to take care of their tresses once they’ve left their chair.


Products Used


Behind the scenes glam on Kerry Washington. // Instagram via @takishahair


Cleanse Hair Weekly

Usually hair is braided down under a wig so it can lay as flat as possible. Depending on how the wig is applied, whether it’s pinned, adhered or sewn down, will determine how the natural hair is cleansed. “The client should cleanse their hair every week, but no more than two weeks,” says Takisha. “Especially if they sweat a lot, because they don’t want the wig or themselves to have an odor. If it’s sewn down, [wash as normal] because it’s like shampooing someone’s hair that has a weave. If it’s glued down, you technically should remove the glue first so you don’t get buildup around your hairline.”


Kiyah advises against sewing down your clients wig units. “I actually don’t like when the client wants the wig sewn down. The whole point is to take it off to get to your scalp and give the edges a break as well.”

Prepping Ciara’s Met Gala 2019 wig. // Instagram via @cesar4styles


Detangle Before Washing

When it’s time to wash the hair, advise your clients to detangle their hair thoroughly after taking down their braids. “The best method for taking down braids and detangling hair after removing a wig is to use a tail comb to unravel braid ends,” says César. “Spray each braid with a moisturizing and detangling spray, like my favorite Restore Perfecting Spray by Living Proof®. Then use a wide tooth detangling brush with wooden bristles to brush out braids and any tangles.”


You can also use a wide tooth comb to detangle the hair. “A wide tooth comb goes through the hair easily to detangle it without putting tension on the hair,” says Takisha.


“I personally use and recommend b3 Brazilian Bond Builder Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner, in addition to the b3 Brazilian Bond Builder Instant Restore & Protect Reconstructor to help repair and return moisture to the hair. I would recommend this to almost all hair types,” says Kimberly. “However when dealing with hair with an extreme amount of texture, an additional detangler like amika The Wizard may be beneficial prior to shampooing.”


Cynthia recommends using a deep cleansing shampoo that’s high in ph from Malibu C for the first wash, before following it up with the Pai-Shau Replenishing Hair Cleanser and Supreme Revitalizing Mask.   


Styling Nicole Ari Parker for the “Empire” Press Tour. // Instagram via @kiyahwright1


Let Hair Rest Between Braiding Sessions

Constant hair manipulation by braiding can lead breakage and hair loss over time. “I think getting braids back to back can really affect the edges—applying too much tension and weight overtime. A little break is always good, like two months,” says Kiyah.


Wigs are a great option for when you don’t want to do your hair, but there is a limit to how often you can wear them. “I recommend one to two weeks max if your client is wearing a glueless wig and removing it nightly,” says Cynthia. “For wigs that are sewed down, wear it six weeks maximum with maintenance every two weeks.” 


The client can wear braids back to back ONLY if their hair is strong enough. “Braiding can be done the same day as a take down if hair is cleansed, conditioned and strengthened with a treatment,” advises César. 



Want More Wig Haircare Advice? Click Here To Learn Proper Wig Washing Techniques!