It’s disappointing to get your wig home only to realize that it’s shedding. You may feel powerless and fear that you’ll have to buy another unit sooner rather than later. The great thing is that you don’t have to deal with excessive wig shedding - with a few tips and tricks, you can put a stop to it. In this article, we’ll tell you why your wig is shedding and then give you some tried and true techniques you can use to minimize it.
Why Your Wig is Shedding
All wigs shed no matter what you do to them, and a little shedding is normal. But when you notice hair all over your counters, floors, and furniture, you’ve got a problem. A unit that’s shedding too much won’t last very long. Here are some of the reasons why your wig may be shedding more than usual:
You just got the wig - Sometimes, during wig processing, there are loose hairs left behind. So, when you get your unit home, you’ll notice a substantial amount of shedding. This type of shedding should only last up to a week. If shedding lasts for longer than that, something else could be to blame.
Rough handling - Wigs are vulnerable to shedding when they’re handled too roughly. To put things simply, the more you tug on your wig’s hair, the more shedding you may experience.
Bleached knots - The lace portion of wigs is especially fragile, with loose hairs hand-tied to the lace base. Whenever these knots are bleached, they weaken, and the hairs shed.
Lack of nighttime protection - When you wear your wig to bed without protection, the hair rubs up against your pillow and covers, leading to tension and friction. This results in excessive shedding.
Using the wrong products on the wig - When you use harsh products on your wig, the hair begins to lose moisture and brittleness begins to set in. Shedding won’t be far behind.
*This is not an exhaustive list of reasons why your wig sheds.
How to Stop a Wig From Shedding
Now that you have a good idea why your wig is shedding, it’s time to get into some remedies you can use to reduce shedding. With the tips to follow, you’ll stop the shedding and extend the life of your wig.
Change Your Wig Combing Technique
If you’re used to combing your wig from roots to ends, this tip is for you. When you comb from roots to ends, you put unnecessary pressure and tension on the wig’s roots. You’re also more likely to rip through the hair strands. To minimize shedding, you should comb your wig from ends to roots instead of roots to ends. Combing from the ends allows you to gently remove knots as you move upwards toward the roots.
As you pull the comb through your hair, you should also hold the hair near the roots to keep it from being pulled.
Use Greasy Products Sparingly
You may think that using greasy products on your wig is helpful when trying to achieve certain styles. But the problem is that products like these tend to accumulate on the strands and cause buildup, which leads to excessive tangling. This will require you to do more detangling, and each time you detangle your wig, there will be some shedding.
Minimize Heat Styling
Heat styling is damaging to your wig. And when you use it too much or apply it directly to the lace, it can burn the lace and cause the wig hair to shed. To minimize shedding, don’t apply heat directly to the lace, and try your best to space out your heat styling sessions. Whenever you do heat style your hair, keep the heat setting as low as you can.
Seal Your Wig Knots
The most vulnerable area on a wig is the lace frontal or closure. Those hairs are the most prone to shedding. So, to reduce your risk of experiencing shedding from the lace, we recommend that you seal the knots.
Knot sealing is easier than you may think. Here’s how to do it:
1. Place your wig inside out on a wig mannequin head. Ensure that it’s completely dry before you get started.
2. Purchase some wig knot sealer and spray the lace portion of the wig. If you don’t want to use a knot sealer, you can use got2b glued spray.
3. Apply two coats of spray. Hold the can about 4 inches away from the wig as you spray in circular motions. Make sure that the lace is saturated in the spray, but don’t spray it so much that it’s dripping.
4. Let the wig air-dry for at least a half-hour. The wig should be 100% dry before you wear it again. If you don’t have time to wait for the spray to air dry, you can blow-dry the wig.
Note: You can re-seal your wig knots before you wear the unit for the first time and after each wash.
Detangle Your Wig Often
Another thing that you can do to keep your wig from shedding excessively is to keep it detangled. Experts say that you should brush your wig every day to keep it from developing knots and tangles. This is extremely important because once your wig gets matted, especially at the nape of the neck, detangling it will be much harder and cause more shedding.
Protect Your Wig At Night
Protecting your wig at night can greatly reduce shedding. The best-case scenario is to take your wig off every night and place it on a mannequin head. But if you’d rather not take your wig off daily, you can do the following to keep shedding at bay:
1. Braid your wig down if it’s long. Be gentle and do just one or two braids. Be careful not to braid tightly; the braid should be loose. Use an ouchless hair tie at the ends to keep the braids from unraveling.
2. Put on a silk scarf or bonnet. Doing so will minimize how much your hair moves throughout the night. It will also protect the hair from moisture loss.
3. In the morning, remove the bonnet or scarf, unbraid the wig, and style your wig as usual.
Fray Check for Wefts
Sometimes a wig will shed from the edges of the wefts. This often happens with handmade wigs. If this is the case, you can seal the ends of the wefts with Fray Check. It’s an adhesive that helps to reinforce the wefts so that they’ll stay in place. You can use any wig adhesive you’d like, but Fray Check is one of the most popular options out there for this purpose.
Be sure that your wig is clean and dry before using any adhesive on it.
Keep Your Wig Clean
As previously mentioned, buildup can lead to tangles and eventually shedding. To prevent that, make sure that you keep your wig clean. On average, we recommend washing your wig every 30 wears. However, depending on how often you wear the wig and which products you use on it, you may need to wash your unit more frequently. Anytime your wig feels sticky or dirty and seems to be getting more difficult to detangle, it may need a wash. Read our How to Wash a Wig Guide to learn more.
Use Lightweight Products
There are tons of lightweight products on the market that work well and won’t leave your wig caked in grease and buildup. These are much better for your wig than heavy, oily products. Heavier products, like edge control and super hold gels are okay to use sparingly - just keep in mind that they can accelerate shedding.
Try Not to Scratch
Scratching your scalp through your lace can loosen up the wig’s knots and cause shedding. So, whenever your scalp itches, instead of scratching, gently pat your head. It may not give you quick relief, but it will take the edge off of the itch. If your scalp itchiness is severe, you should examine your scalp’s health and treat any underlying issues there. It could be scalp dryness or dandruff.
Keep Your Unit Moisturized
A dry wig is more likely to shed than a moisturized one, so it’s in your best interest to keep your wig hydrated. Wigs don’t get natural moisture from the scalp, so you’ve got to give your wig the oils it needs. Be sure to use lightweight oils like argan oil, coconut oil, or Moroccan oil.
It’s also important to remember that every wig has an expiration date - if your wig is 2 years old and has started shedding excessively, it’s time for a new wig. But if it’s not time to throw the wig out, there’s a lot you can do to reduce shedding. With the tips outlined above, you’ve got all you need to keep your unit from shedding more than it should.