Costume wigs are a cheap way to add the finishing touch to your Halloween costume. However, wigs need a little extra care and time to maintain the shape and prevent damage. When confronted with matted tangles, a torn cap or unruly frizz, don't throw your wig away. A few simple procedures will restore your wig to its original condition. With a gentle touch, a bit of patience and some tips and tricks, your wig will be in tip-top shape in no time.
Treat tangles with care to avoid ripping hair out of the wig. Begin by combing through the wig with your fingers, then comb remaining tangles using a brush meant for wig use. Using a regular hairbrush will stretch and damage the hair of your wig, which will result in breakage. For deeply enmeshed tangles, apply a quarter-sized amount of wig conditioner to the tangles and comb through with your fingers. Blot the excess conditioner, then rinse the wig in a sink full of cold water until the product has been removed. Allow to dry naturally.
Tame frizz and unruly hairs by trimming the ends of the hair with a pair of sharp scissors that are designed for hair styling. This will allow you to brush and style your wig more without snagging your brush on the frizzy ends. Lightly spray your wig brush with an anti-static product normally used on fabrics, then run the brush through your wig. For fly-aways or the occasional frizzy spot, try running a sheet of fabric softener lightly over the wig.
Re-stitch any holes on the cap of your wig with a sewing needle and clear thread, which is available at most craft and hobby stores. Flip your wig over to expose the cap, then slide the wig on a foam wig head (the hair will be smashed against the scalp). Thread your needle, then knot the ends together to create a loop. Gently slide your needle through one side of the hole, then push through to the other side of the rip. Pass the needle through the thread loop, then pull taut. This will complete one stitch. Repeat until the hole is sewn shut. Knot securely, then trim the ends of the thread.
Consult a professional hairstylist for severe wig damage. A hairstylist can restyle your wig to hide damage or offer suggestions for repairing your wig. In many cases, a hairstylist may even repair significant damage. Hairstylists have seen every kind of hair trauma imaginable; your wig will be no different.
Always use products that are specially formulated for wig care, instead of the products you would use on your own hair. Improper product use may damage the wig further. Avoid exposure to excessive heat, and do not use straightening or curling irons on costume wig fibers. Repair wigs when they are dry to avoid breakage. If damp, allow the wig to air dry out of direct sunlight.
Hailing from California, Ann Mazzaferro is a professional writer who has written for "The Pacifican," "Calliope Literary Magazine" and presented at the National Undergraduate Literature Conference. Mazzaferro graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of the Pacific.