Wigs and hair growth: 101

Your hair should add to your innate beauty and personality, make you feel radiant and express your personal aesthetic. With this is mind, hair health activist, Reneé Potgieter, answers questions regarding wigs and hair growth.

Where is the best place to buy a wig? 

The online market provides a wide variety of wigs to choose from. 

However, in the same way that you are advised to fit an expensive suit or dress before buying, you should fit a wig to ensure it’s comfortable, breathable and looks natural. I recommend finding a local supplier and trying at least three styles. 

What is the average price of a good quality wig?

It depends on many things, including the material of the hair: synthetic blends, animal fibre or human hair.Mixed wigs are standard. Synthetic will cost between R500-R5000 and human hair mix between R5000-R35 000.  

How does one preserve the health of their scalp whilst wearing a wig?

Looking after your scalp is imperative as it’s like nurturing the soil for your garden to flourish. Many women that have had chemo, who I’ve had in my chair over the years, have found that their hair grows back in a different way. Often with more waves and volume and sometimes the texture has changed. Scalp massage and quality products are a great way to help your scalp recover but a great head massage with a chemical-free treatment can boost your soul on more challenging days. 

Caring for your wig

Natural and synthetic wigs have different care instructions with plenty of information available on the internet on proper maintenance. 

The most important tips are:

  • When your wig isn’t in use, leave it on a headstand upright and covered so that it stays dust-free and doesn’t tangle. 
  • Invest in quality products that aren’t laden with cheap silicones and other harsh ingredients that might coat the hair of the wig. Sulphate-free shampoos are best for wig maintenance. If you’re unsure of a product, most wig companies have recommended products. Just be sure to not use any sprays or styling aids on the wig.
  • You don’t need to wash a wig as often as you would wash your natural hair. Soak your wig in cold water (always cool water as wigs and heat aren’t friends; it shortens the lifespan) with your chosen shampoo, then condition and detangle as if it is your natural hair and leave to air dry. Remember no heat. 
  • Don’t sleep or swim with your wig as this will lead to a shortened lifespan and messy tangles. If your budget allows it, invest in two wigs to rotate and allow a wig to rest. 

Can you wear a second-hand wig?

If you find a good quality one that is in great condition and suits you and you are happy with it, then yes. I recommend reusing wigs as it’s better for the environment and your budget.

Can you sell your wig if it’s still in good condition?

It’s absolutely possible. I wish that wig companies would offer this service for those that are in a financial predicament. Selling it yourself would be possible but might take some time to find the right buyer. 

Reneé Potgieter is a hair health activist, colour alchemist and owner of Naturally Reneé.

MEET THE EXPERT – Reneé Potgieter

Reneé Potgieter is a hair health activist, colour alchemist and owner of Naturally Reneé.

Header image by Freepik

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