After posting about the steps on how to shop for hair on AliExpress as well as the hair review from LeModa, I thought I might as well end off my (unintentional) mini- hair series with how I wash and maintain my wigs. Fortunately, I don’t follow an arduous procedure but if I have the time, I like to follow this routine to ensure that I restore any lost moisture and luster back into my wigs. I have never taken any of my wigs to the salon to be washed and treated as I feel like salons go balls-to-the-wall with the straightening and blow-drying, which makes me shed internal tears.
This is not a sponsored post but I have realised that I naturally gravitate towards the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth collection, as it’s probably one of the few trusted brands which are not only affordable but also have a collection where the shampoo and conditioner contain minimal sulphates. Sulphates are chemicals that are used in cleaning agents. If they are included in hair care products, they can strip hair of its colour and moisture. Using the following steps, this is how I wash and maintain my wigs.
Thank goodness for the (relatively) new TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Co-wash Shampoo. It is convenient as it not only reduces the number of steps in the washing process but also provides a great conditioning treatment for your hair while simultaneously cleaning it. Start by filling a basin with warm water (not too hot as it will stretch the elastic bands in your wig) and ensuring that the wig is soaked through. Generously apply the Co-Wash onto the hair and massage in. If you know that you will not follow with the deep-conditioning treatment process, leave it on for about 5 minutes before rinsing off with cold water – and I will explain why specifically cold water below. If you need to do the treatment, rinse the product off immediately with warm water.
2. Deep Conditioning
This is the step that needs you to have time to make the most out of the whole procedure. After rinsing the wig with warm water, squeeze the excess water out with a towel and then reach for your TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Masque Treatment. Use enough product to cover all the strands but not too much so that it drips off. Continue by gently combing through with an afro comb (or any wide-toothed comb) to ensure that the product is evenly distributed in the hair.
3. Leaving the deep-conditioner in
For this step, you will need:
1x small towel (not a face towel, but the one bigger than that – I think they are called guest towels or hand towels)
1x plastic bag with no holes, big enough to fit your wig
1x full kettle of hot, boiled water
1x pair of gloves to protect your hands from the heat
Time: about 1.5 hrs
Still with the deep-conditioner on, take the wig and put it in a plastic bag and then tie the bag tightly so that there is no air inside. Boil a full kettle of water and then put the towel in a sink. Follow by pouring the hot water onto the towel itself, ensuring that it’s soaked through. Paying careful attention to not burn your fingers, carefully take the plastic bag with the wig and wrap the towel around the bag, making sure that the entire plastic bag is covered by the towel. There will be a lot of steam and heat, which is what you want. The combination of heat, steam and plastic bag allows the cuticles of the hair to open to absorb as much moisture and nutrients from the deep conditioner. Leave on for about 1,5 to 2 hrs before unwrapping and taking the wig out the bag. Gently rinse the product out with cold water. Cold water closes the cuticles of the hair, allowing the moisture to be retained. Using warm water will defeat the purpose of the entire exercise as all the good stuff will literally go down the drain. Finish off by squeezing the hair gently with a towel and hanging outside on a clothing rail to dry (note: not blow-dry but air dry).
4. Combing And Moisturising
I personally don’t like leaving hair out till it’s bone dry. Once it’s about 90% dry, comb through with a wide-toothed comb to get rid of any tangles and knots. Start by combing from the tips of the hair, moving up towards the root to not pull and tug excessively.
Depending on whether I will wear the wig the next day or in a few days, I do one of the following:
Next day wear:
Heat protectants are very important when straightening, blow-drying or curling, which is why I prefer to wash and maintain my wigs myself so I can apply as much product as I believe the hair needs. If you want to straighten the hair, start by generously spraying the TRESemmé Heat Defence Styling Spray prior to applying heat. Also vital to note is that oils and serums should NOT be applied to the hair before applying heat, as this is an equivalent to frying your hair.
After straightening, apply a relatively small drop of the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Shine Oil from root to tip, focusing more on the tips as these are prone to splitting and breaking. Be careful not to apply too much product, as hair may look weighed down and greasy. Try find a plastic bag that is longer than the length of your wig (you may have to combine 2 plastic bags) and then without folding or scrunching the hair, place inside the plastic bag and then roll it onto a long sausage-like shape, as you want to keep the hair dead straight. If your hair is super long, this is where you might have to combine the two plastic bags and tie them in the middle to cover the length of the hair. Leave overnight or until you need to wear it. A weird trick but it really helps in allowing hair to absorb product, thus adding more silkiness, shine and movement.
I am unlikely to straighten hair if I don’t plan on wearing it anytime soon. After gently combing through, apply some oil or serum and then drop into our favourite tool in this post – a plastic bag. Tie the bag tightly and ensure that there is no air inside and then leave till the following day. I like to repeat the exercise again the following day: take the wig out the bag, apply a tiny amount of oil or serum, comb through and place back into the bag. This should assist in making sure that the hair is well moisturised before wearing again.
And that is how I wash and maintain my wigs!