Tips for wearing your wig

Many people worry at first about wearing a wig. You may have concerns about wearing it in public, keeping it in place or how it will feel.

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

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

  • Use special tape or clips.
  • Wear clothes that are easy to take off.
  • Wear a hat or scarf over the wig during windy weather.

If the wig irritates your scalp, try wearing a thin, cotton wig liner. These are usually available from wig suppliers. Your wig supplier will also give you tips about how to look after your wig.

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

  • Choose a synthetic wig.
  • Refresh your scalp throughout the day with a wet cloth or an alcohol-free, unscented spray.
  • Take the wig off when you can to let air around your scalp.

Keeping your wig in place

A common worry people may have is how to keep a wig 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 does not 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. Ask your doctor or specialist nurse which tape you can use and whether it is okay to use surgical spirit.
  • If you still have some of your own hair, or if it is 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.
  • If it is windy outside, wear a hat or scarf to help secure your wig.
  • If you are going to see the doctor for a check-up, wear something that is easy to take off, such as a cardigan or shirt. This is also a good idea when you are shopping and know that you will be trying on clothes.

Watch our hair loss video playlist

In these videos, people with experience of cancer and hair loss share their stories. You can also watch tutorials on wigs, headwear and eye make up.

Watch our hair loss video playlist

In these videos, people with experience of cancer and hair loss share their stories. You can also watch tutorials on wigs, headwear and eye make up.


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 are 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 do not know.


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 will need to wash the wig and liner as advised by the wig specialist.


Safety when wearing your 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 you open an oven door can make the hair frizzy. Do not use the highest heat setting on your hairdryer, as this can also melt the hair.


Changes to the wig

If you want to change the style or cut it shorter, check your hairdresser is trained to cut wigs. Visit the My New Hair website to look for salons in your area.


Looking after your wig

The supplier should give you tips about looking after your wig. Both synthetic and human-hair wigs need to be washed carefully, using slightly warm or cold water. You can also use special shampoos. The charity Cancer Hair Care has more information.


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 are now wigs that have finer and lighter meshes. Ask your hair supplier for more information.

The following tips can help you to stay cool while wearing a wig:

  • Choose a man-made (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 freshen your scalp throughout the day.
  • Whenever possible, for example at home, take the wig off to let air around your scalp.

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Wigs

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