The popularity of wigs and weaves has absolutely skyrocketed over the last few years. All you have to do is scroll through social media to find countless articles and videos showing you how to pull off a wig or weave flawlessly. While there is a lot of information out there about how to care for your extensions, there’s not much information about how to care for natural hair under a wig or weave.
We decided to do the research ourselves and sat down with Al Campbell, Mizani Brand ambassador and stylist, who spilled all of the secrets to caring for your natural hair. If you can’t get enough of wigs or weaves, you’re going to want to keep reading.
Prep your hair before wearing a wig or extensions.
When clients come in for a wig or weave installation, the first thing Campbell does is access the needs of their natural hair. To ensure your hair remains looking and feeling healthy underneath your wig or weave, you have to make sure your hair looks and feels healthy before the installation.
Campbell typically gives his clients a hydration treatment using the Mizani Moisture Fusion collection (coming soon) and a scalp treatment using the Mizani Scalp Care collection. Depending on the type of installation and the state of the client’s natural hair, Campbell may also administer a strengthening treatment using the brand's Strength Fusion collection. Even though you made an appointment to have extensions installed, not a haircut, Campbell always recommends at least a trim before braiding your hair for extensions.
Care for your natural hair under a wig or extensions.
Wigs and weaves offer easy styling options for people who’d rather not deal with their natural hair on a day-to-day basis. Just because you can’t see your natural hair doesn’t mean you can slack off on your natural hair care routine, however. Your hair needs to be washed, conditioned, and dried the same way it does when you’re not wearing a wig or extensions, especially if your ultimate goal is to grow your hair under a wig.
Caring for your natural hair is quite simple if wigs are your style preference: Just take your wig off at the end of the day and remove your braids before continuing with your regular hair care routine. If you plan on wearing your wig several days in a row and don’t have time to remove and re-braid your braids, you can wash, condition, and dry your hair while it is still braided. Just be sure that your braids are completely dry before placing your wig back on top of your head.
Caring for your hair underneath a weave is a bit more complicated. When you’re wearing a weave longterm, you have to care for the weave itself as well as your natural hair.
The stylist suggests washing your extensions as you would your natural hair. Then, put shampoo like Mizani’s Cleansing Cream in an applicator bottle and apply it directly to your scalp and braids. Be sure to thoroughly part your extensions to evenly saturate your hair with shampoo before rinsing and following with conditioner. Campbell suggests thoroughly rinsing your hair with cool water to ensure no product residue is left behind.
Drying your hair is just as important as washing and conditioning it because residual moisture can lead to your hair smelling foul and developing even mildew. To ensure your hair is completely dry, Campbell recommends investing in a hooded hair dryer.
“Make sure that you take time to clip parts of the extensions up for even hair flow to the base,” he says.
Lastly, caring for your weave also means knowing when it’s time to get rid of it. Expect to slay your look for six to eight weeks before it’s time to uninstall your weave and install a new one.
Choose the right products to care for natural hair under a wig or weave.
Now that you know how to care for your hair under your wig or weave, all you need is an arsenal of products to get the job done. Lucky for you, Campbell says you only need a few products to build a top-notch routine.
Start with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner like those from the Moisture Fusion collection (coming soon). Follow that with a leave-in conditioner like 25 Miracle Milk and a scalp moisturizer like Scalp Care Calming Lotion. Lastly, everybody needs a good heat protectant. Campbell recommends Style and Style Again or Thermastrength Heat Protecting Serum.
Now you’re equipped with all the knowledge you need to slay your next weave and properly care for your natural hair.
Interested in customized advice about extensions and caring for your hair? Use our salon locator to book an appointment with a stylist near you.