Tips for wearing your wig

It’s normal to worry about how to wear a wig if you have hair loss. You may have concerns about wearing it in public, keeping it in place or how it will feel.

There are a few ways to help keep your wig in place, including:

  • using special double-sided tape or clips 
  • wearing clothes that don’t need to be pulled over your head
  • wearing a hat or a scarf over the wig during windy weather.

You may find it helpful to wear your wig around family and friends at first. This can help you feel more confident about your new look. 

If the wig irritates your scalp, try wearing a protective liner. You can usually buy these from wig suppliers. It is important to avoid strong heat sources whether you have a natural or synthetic wig. 

Many people worry that wearing a wig will be hot. There are ways to help you stay cool, including: 

  • choose a synthetic wig
  • refresh your scalp throughout the day with a wet cloth
  • take the wig off when you can to let your scalp breathe.

Keeping your wig in place

One of the most common worries people have about wearing a wig is how to keep it in place. Although a well-fitting wig should stay in place on its own, here are some tips to give you extra confidence that your wig is secure.

  • Use double-sided tape. Wig specialists have hypoallergenic tape that doesn’t irritate the skin. The tape is attached to the underside of the wig and gives a secure but comfortable bond. Surgical spirit can be used to remove any leftover adhesive. Your skin may be very sensitive due to your cancer treatment so ask your doctor or specialist nurse which tape you can use and whether it’s okay to use surgical spirit. 
  • If you still have some of your own hair, or if it’s growing back, it may be possible to keep your wig or hairpiece in place by using special clips in various hair colours. The wig specialist can advise you about this. 
  • Bend over and shake your head to check your wig or hairpiece is securely in place. 
  • Wear a hat or scarf to help secure your wig if it’s a windy day. 
  • Wear something that is easy to take off, such as a cardigan or shirt if you’re going to see the doctor for an examination. This is also a good idea when you’re shopping and know that you will be trying on clothes.

Wearing your wig in public for the first time

When you wear your wig in public for the first time, you may want to wear it when you’re with people you know well.

This can help you feel more confident and gives you the chance to gradually prepare yourself for wearing the wig with people you don’t know.

Tips to stay cool while wearing your wig

Many people do not want to wear a wig as they think it will be hot. But there have been many advances in making wigs with a finer and lighter mesh. The tips below may also help you to stay cool while wearing a wig.

  • Choose a synthetic wig – they are often lighter than human hair wigs.
  • Wear a cotton wig liner on your scalp to absorb moisture and heat.
  • Wash the wig and liner as advised by the wig specialist.
  • Use a wet cloth or an alcohol-free unscented spray to refresh your scalp throughout the day.
  • Whenever possible, for example in your home, take the wig off to let your scalp breathe.

Protecting your scalp

The lining of the wig can irritate the scalp, so it may be helpful to wear a thin, cotton wig liner underneath. These are usually available from wig suppliers. They can sometimes make a wig move around more, so you may need to experiment to find out what works best for you. Remember that your scalp may sweat more when you wear a wig, so you’ll need to wash the wig and liner as advised by the wig specialist.

Safety when wearing a wig

Take care not to expose your wig to a flame, for example from a candle or gas cooker. Real hair will frizz and synthetic hair can melt. Even the heat that comes out when opening an oven door can make the hair frizzy. Don’t use the highest heat setting on your hairdryer as this can also melt the hair.

Changes to the wig

Check your hairdresser is trained to cut wigs if you want to change the style or cut it shorter.

Macmillan is working in partnership with TONI&GUY and the national charity mynewhair to provide access to professionals who are trained to cut and style wigs to your individual needs.

Back to Dealing with hair loss


Wigs and hairpieces can help you cope with hair loss. There are lots of types of wigs and hairpieces available.

Hair experts

TONI & GUY and mynewhair salons provide specialist hair care and advice for people affected by cancer.