Styling Habits That Ruin a Wig

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By Julia

Have you ever looked at one of your wigs and wondered, “What the hell did I do to this thing?” Did it look frizzy, dull, dusty, dry and just fried? If your wigs look like this regularly, you can’t attribute the damage to age or wear and tear. Most likely, the culprit is how you’re styling or caring for your wigs.

The hair on a wig doesn’t grow out of your head, but that doesn’t mean that you can be rough with it or do whatever you want to it. With your bio hair, you know you can’t fry it with heat styling tools, brush it roughly, weigh it down with styling products or use products with damaging ingredients. The same goes for wigs. There are specific things that you should avoid when it comes to styling your wigs. It’s imperative to keep these things in mind so that you can enjoy your wigs for as long as you possibly can.

Here are some bad habits to avoid.

Brushing your wig from the roots

Despite what you may have heard — or have been doing your whole life — you should never brush your wig from the roots to the ends. This method can knot the wig and cause easy breakage. When brushing, carefully start from the ends, working your way up, as this avoids any unwanted knotting that leads to damage. This is one of the most straightforward tips around. Be sure to stick with it to see results.

Using Abrasive Hair Ties

You want to avoid super-tight holders as these will pull your hair and the tension can and will break the hair. It’s preferable to aim for hair ties that will be extra gentle on your delicate strands. These are freaking cute and don’t tug like most traditional hair ties tend to. You can even use a headband or a satin scarf to pull your hair back. Just make sure you avoid headbands with plastic teeth or if you opt for a scarf, don’t tie it too tight.

Brushing Your Wig When It’s Wet

If your hair mistakenly gets wet, brushing it might seem like the normal course of action. But doing so can cause significant damage if you’re not careful. Your wig is in its most fragile state when it’s wet. If you want to straighten things out, use a wide tooth comb to help detangle knots. Also, make sure to spritz on a detangling spray beforehand to help make the process easier.

Excessive Use Of Heat Styling Tools

Tools like flat irons, blow-dryers, and curling wands are undoubtedly good at what they do—but excessive heat styling your heat-friendly wigs can lead to damage. You don’t have to ditch your favorite heat tools altogether. Give them a rest from time to time.

Tying Hair Up Tightly

Sweeping your wig off your neck and into a tight updo may be convenient for sleeping or working out, but it can also cause stress on your mane. You can give your hair a break by opting for low ponytails and swapping out elastics for soft fabric hair ties. Be careful with hairpins, too. They can damage the wig cap if forced into the hair.

Using the Wrong Products on Your Wig

We’ve stressed this a number of times over the years. Don’t use your old styling products that you used on your bio hair on synthetic wigs. Use products that have been specifically formulated for synthetic hair. Products made for real hair may contain ingredients that are way too harsh for synthetic hair. So use shampoos, serums, conditioner and hair sprays that were made for synthetic hair or for human hair if you have human hair wigs.


When you know better, you do better. Now that you know what bad habits should be avoided, you can start on the path to preserving your wigs better. With extra care and a little prevention, you can protect your wig and make it last from the first hair toss to the very last.

You can see all of Julia’s posts here.

How should I pack my synthetic wigs when I travel?

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From a client email:

I am going on a vacation. I will be ordering two synthetic wigs… One for travel and outdoor days and one for when we go out to dinner or are inside. How do you pack your wigs so that they don’t get damaged?



I travel a lot, so here is what I tend to do with my synthetic wigs:

1. I always take at least two: one on my head, and one in my luggage. If I plan a fancy night out, I’ll pack a third for that sometimes too.

2. I put them in individual gallon-sized ziplock bags with dryers sheets inside. I also pack my own wig stands or clothes hangers for storage, since they are fine in the ziplock bags for short periods, but you won’t want to put them in there for long-term storage. (It makes them kind of flat if you leave them in there for more than a few days.)

3. Store them after you arrive either on a collapsible travel wig stand or hang them upside-down by their tags on a clothes hanger (this is not recommended if you have an average-petite or petite cap size, as this WILL stretch out the cap; if this sounds like you, use the wig stands instead)

Hopefully, this helps. 😉

Have fun on holiday!!!


This is an excerpt from our CysterWigs Knowledge Base. Check it out on our private site to see over 500 articles all about our store, wigs, and how to wear the hair!

Is there REALLY a shelf life for wigs?

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The suggested expiration dates on our site (which you can see here) are to tell you how long you can expect to wear them if you wear them every single day, like to work and stuff.  However, if you only wear them once in a while, they can last a very, very, VERY long time.  That’s why I always keep a little collection and rotate them out.  That way, no one wig in my personal stock ever gets worn out too quickly.