natural hair wig

Wigs are one of my favorite protective styles. When I first went natural I was hesitant to try them on because the only other person in my life who religiously wore wigs was my grandma. Now with all due respect, I was not too sure I wanted to look older than I really was, so it took some convincing to get me to try my first wig! Looking back now, it’s no surprise that my grandma had some of the healthiest natural hair I’ve seen to date.  

Wigs are a fantastic way to maintain the health and length of your hair. Long, healthy hair is not simply a matter of throwing on a wig and walking out the door. Oftentimes we do need to prepare and maintain our hair over the course of our protective style. Here is what I recommend:

Ensure your natural hair is clean

Prior to wearing your wig, take a moment to ensure your natural hair is clean. If you have not washed your hair in a couple of days and you have sweaty scalp or product buildup, wearing a wig may be detrimental to the overall health of your scalp in the long run. Depending on their breathability and cap construction, wigs can harbor bacteria and grime that can upset the natural pH levels of your scalp, leading to dryness and flakiness. To ensure your scalp is at its best, cleanse your hair regularly, but most importantly, prior to beginning a wig regimen.

Braid your hair to prevent matting

Braiding your hair underneath a wig is not only meant to ensure your wig looks natural, it also has the benefit of preventing your hair from matting. Our curly hair loves to grow in tufts, so we can’t simply pat down our fros and then don our wigs. We’re better off braiding our hair in cornrows or even in small twists prior to wearing our wigs. This will ensure we keep our hair as stretched as possible for the duration of the protective style. Additionally, once it is time to take a break from wigs, we will be better able to detangle our pre-sectioned hair.

Wearing a wig is not a ticket out of caring for your hair.

Care for your hair underneath

Wearing a wig is not a ticket out of caring for your hair. If we’re keen on maintaining the health and length of our hair, we’re better off nurturing our hair underneath. Now you may not be able to complete your usual hair regimen in full, but at the very least, ensure you cleanse your hair weekly. Also, rather than apply heavy oils or pomades to your scalp, use a light oil like argan oil to seal in your hair’s moisture. You may also want to give your scalp a massage at least once a week to aid in circulation. Be sure to closely monitor the health of your hair over the course of your protective style.

How do you prep your hair for wigs? Leave us a note down below, we’d love to know! 

Tabitha Tongoi

Tabitha Tongoi

I’m a sunshine seeker and color lover! I write about my type 4, coily, waist-length hair journey and my experiences living as a young African woman abroad. I’m all over the Internet, feel free to come say hi!

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