Wearing a wig or a weave can be a great way to protect your natural hair from daily manipulation and breakage. They also allow the opportunity to experiment with various styles and/or colors. However, if not worn properly, wigs and weaves can do more harm to your natural hair than good. Some naturals assume they can just throw on a wig, or sew in some weave and their hair will be protected. Unfortunately, maintaining healthy hair is not so simple.
The first thing to remember when wearing a weave or a wig is to condition your hair.
This is a given, regardless of how you choose to style your mane. It’s important to deep condition, especially if your hair will be weaved or under a wig for a substantial length of time. If you choose to rock a weave (sew-in), be sure to thoroughly shampoo and follow up with a deep conditioning. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to shampoo and condition for quite some time. On the other hand, if you opt to wear a wig, remember to take the wig off to shampoo and condition your hair regularly. Most of us sweat on the scalp, and will therefore need a regular shampoo.
Keep in mind that our hair needs to breath — it is essential for hair growth.
Avoid wigs with cotton and nylon caps as those materials absorb moisture leading to dry and damaged hair. Instead, opt for netted caps. Additionally, make sure that wig caps aren’t too tight and are comfortable. Hair clips used to keep hair pieces and wigs in places should be carefully installed as to avoid snatching and snagging of the hair during removal. The purpose of wearing wigs and weave is to reduce breakage and ultimately eliminate damage.
As I mentioned earlier, we want to avoid drying of the hair. If your protective style of choice is a wig, be sure to keep your hair moisturized under the wig, ensuring not to use too much product on your scalp. The overuse of products on your scalp can clog the pores and eventually lead to hair loss.
Wear your hair neatly wrapped under a wig and braided under weave.
Balling or folding hair can cause breakage. Most stylists will either braid or wrap your hair if you are having a weave installed. For wigs, I recommend that the hair is neatly wrapped. By all means, do not wear your weave/wig over wet or damp hair. This leaves a breeding ground for mildew, bacteria to fester.
Remember that protective styles are meant to protect the hair from unnecessary damage and breakage. Make sure to take the necessary steps to avoid these problems prior to installing your weave or wearing a wig.