Caring for a Wig in Patients With Cancer-Related Hair Loss

In part four of CURE’s “Confidently You: Choosing and Styling Wigs that Look and Feel Right” webinar, Daniela Hernandez-Salas, a Look Good Feel Better volunteer, discussed how to wash and care for a wig worn by patients with cancer experiencing treatment-related hair loss.


00:04 – Shampooing a wig

  • If a patient wears one wig every day, they should shampoo it every two to three weeks; however, this could be dependent on perspiration and wear.
  • For example, Daniela Hernandez-Salas noted that during the summer or in warmer weather, patients may want to shampoo more often.
  • She also mentioned that the less a wig is shampooed, the longer it will last.

00:44 – Shampooing a synthetic wig.

  • The speaker suggested using lukewarm water with wig-specific shampoo in a basin of water.
  • She motioned to turn the wig inside out and dip it up and down in the basin, working the shampoo into the fibers, followed by rinsing it under water.
  • Last, she recommended squeezing the water out of the wig, not to twist or wring the synthetic hair, and let it air dry for seven to eight hours.

02:53 – Tips and tricks for washing wigs.

  • Hernandez-Salas recommended against using blow dryers, curling irons or any kind of instrument that is going to cinch the fiber again to prevent damage.
  • She also offered an example of being careful when cooking in either the stove or oven.
  • Further, using a sweat liner or wig cap can help to catch sweat and protect ones skin in hot weather.
  • When not wearing their wig, patients should keep them on a tall stand or to lay them flat on tissue paper.
  • Lastly, Hernandez-Salas reminded the audience to keep wigs away from heat sources, including cars.

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