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Expert Wig Tips

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Joan Lunden

Breast Cancer Video Blog / / November 12, 2014

Hanna wigs

For those of us that have lost our hair due to chemotherapy, or other medical conditions, there are a number of ways to “style” your look without your locks – I choose to wear a wig.

But with that comes a whole new world of maintenance and upkeep that I never knew existed. And though I was intimidated at first, it’s actually pretty easy to keep your wigs and hairpieces looking fresh and natural, once you get the hang of it!

Recently, I visited “Bitz-n-Pieces” in New York City where I purchased a few of my very first hairpieces back when I embarked on my chemotherapy treatment. There, I met wig expert, JT, who has been an incredible resource to me as I navigate this new world of hair…or, NO hair I should say.

In this video, he explains some great ways to keep your wigs and hairpieces looking fresh and clean. Through the noise and hustle and bustle in the store, listen to his words of advice and read below for more!

JT's Wig Tips

If you have a wig made of real hair, how often do you need to wash it?

Real and synthetic are actually the same in terms of maintenance. Depending on how much you perspire, the wig will last about 3 weeks to a month between washes. However, if you are someone who just wears your wig once or twice a week, you could probably go even longer.

What makes my wig dirty?

Unlike naturally grown hair on your head, it's not oils that will make a wig dirty. It’s the perspiration that will really get you – so, the inside of your wig is what have to worry about. If your wig has bangs, those can also get pretty dirty from your makeup or face cream. Sometimes I wash only the bangs on my wig to keep them looking fresh and clean.

What is the best way to wash my wig?

If you have a wig made from real hair and are lucky enough to live close to where it was purchased, it’s best to take it back so they can maintain it and do any repairs for you. But, if you choose to wash yours at home, it’s totally doable!

For human hair/hand made pieces, always wash the wig on a Styrofoam head. But take note that these “heads” can be quite large and therefore can stretch out your wig. Try cutting off some of the bulk, and reshaping with masking tape to mimic a comparable head size to your own.

For synthetics and all other types of hair, they can all be washed right in the sink with shampoo. Make sure to rinse it more than thoroughly – when you think you’ve rinsed enough, keep going to make sure all of the shampoo is out. You do not need conditioner.

How do I style my wig after washing?

For synthetic pieces, comb it into position after washing – make sure you have the part "just right" and the bangs falling the proper way – this is how it’s going to dry.

Then, place it on one of those plastic “crisscross” stands to dry so that the air can move through the wig and it can dry out. This stand will also come in handy if you’ve perspired throughout the day and the inside of your wig gets damp.

For human hair, you can style it right on your head or by using an adjustable wig stand. For more wig styling tips, click here

About The Author
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Joan Lunden truly exemplifies today’s modern working woman. An award-winning journalist, bestselling author, motivational speaker, successful entrepreneur, one of America’s most recognized and trusted television personalities, this mom of seven continues to do it all. As host of Good Morning America for nearly two decades, Lunden brought insight to top issues for millions of Americans each day. The longest running host ever on early morning television, Lunden reported from 26 countries, covered 4 presidents and 5 Olympics and kept Americans up to date on how to care for their homes, their families and themselves.

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