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How to care for a wig

Last Modified: April 18, 2023


Located inside the Parkview Packnett Family Cancer Institute, The Wig Boutique offers patients products and services that enhance self-image and emotional well-being. The boutique boasts a beautiful selection of wigs, hats and scarves for those who lose their hair during cancer treatment. This specialty shop is made possible thanks to donations made to Parkview Foundations and staffing by community volunteers.

Angela Matteson, master stylist and wig specialist at The Wig Boutique, is an expert on caring for and styling synthetic hair pieces. She walks us through some simple tips for basic wig maintenance and styling.

How to select a wig

There are three things to consider when choosing a wig:

Color – Select a shade that’s familiar to you, or one you’ve always wanted to try.

Style – Synthetic wigs are available in a variety of lengths and cuts, from curls to bobs to layers.

Size – Wigs come in petite, average and large sizes. Most adults wear an average, but the team at the Wig Boutique has a range of options for patients to try on to be sure.

How to care for a synthetic wig

Avoid heat!
The options at the Wig Boutique are synthetic, which means they are made from plastic fibers. Patients should avoid standing too close to heat sources, like ovens or grills, and should never use heat styling tools, such as hair dryers or curling irons on their wig. Excessive heat will make the fibers melt.

Give it a gentle cleaning.
The nice thing about synthetic wigs is that they look exactly the same after a wash as they do before. To properly clean, follow these steps:

1.Place the wig in a basin of cool-to-cold water with a capful of wig or baby shampoo (either will work).
2.Swish the wig around, like you would a fine washable.
3.Let it soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
4.Take the wig out of the water, drain what’s in the basin, and then run cool water over the top of the wig to rinse.
5.Use your hands to remove excess water very gently from the wig and place it on a towel. Blot – don’t scrunch or wring – to encourage drying.
6.Brush the wig out with a comb.
7.Place the wig on the stand provided and allow it to finish drying.
8.Repeat every five to seven days.

Go easy with the styling products.
There are special styling products developed specifically for wig care, but you can also use regular hair products, as long as you take a minimal approach. Place just a little gel or hairspray on your fingertips to piece out bangs or encourage a little volume, but keep in mind, you’ll only be washing the wig about once a week, so you don’t want a lot of buildup.

Be careful with scissors.
Synthetic wigs can be finicky when it comes to cuts. It’s important to have someone from The Wig Boutique or a professional with a lot of wig experience make any permanent adjustments to the hair to ensure it lays right.

The most important thing is that you feel beautiful and confident while going through your treatment journey. Parkview Packnett Family Cancer Institute patients can make an appointment at The Wig Boutique by calling 260-266-7932 or discussing with their patient navigator. 




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