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Wanna know the easiest way to make sure you're getting the most out of your wigs? Always take the time to properly clean, condition, and store your wig when you aren't wearing it. Yup, according to Brittany Johnson, hairstylist and senior content manager at Mayvenn Hair, storing your wig is absolutely key to maintaining its longevity. "Wigs that haven't been stored correctly are more likely to become tangled, dry, and dull," she says. "Having a good storage system also means you'll keep your unit dust- and lint-free."
So, how exactly do you store your wig? Hint: It's all about investing in the right pre-care (think: shampoos, conditioners, and leave-ins) and finding the right storage for your space. Ahead, Johnson breaks down her absolute favorite methods for easy (and safe) wig storage, along with her tips and tricks for keeping your wig soft and shiny as hell.
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How do I prep my wig for storage?
1. Cleanse and condition your wig before storing it
According to Johnson, the first step in storing any wig is making sure it's properly cleansed and conditioned. Cleansing your wig regularly is basically the key to keeping it looking as fresh as possible, so every week or two—and especially before storing it—use either a clarifying shampoo (for human hair) or a gentle, wig-safe shampoo (for synthetic hair) to remove any product buildup or oil.
Human-hair wigs should always be conditioned and gently detangled to keep the hair as soft as possible, whereas synthetic wigs do best with a quick spritz of a wig-friendly leave-in once the hair is completely dry. Need a visual? This tutorial is a great place to start for human-hair wigs, and this one is excellent for synthetic wigs.
2. Make sure your wig is completely dry before storing it
Okay, here comes the most important part: Johnson says your wig needs to be 100 percent dry before you even think about storing it. "Storing a wig that's wet—or even slightly damp—can lead to mold and mildew," she says, so please don't do it. If you're working with a human-hair wig, you can use a blow dryer (and heat protectant) to speed up the process, but synthetic wigs should be completely air-dried to prevent any damage.
What is the best way to store a wig?
When you're finally ready to store your wig, make sure you're placing it in a cool, dry spot that's removed from direct sunlight (remember: you want to preserve your wig—not dry it out). You've got a few options when it comes to the actual storage, but these are Johnson's favorite methods:
1. Store your wig on a wig head
"Depending on the amount of space you're working with, wig heads are a great storage option—they'll help maintain the shape and style of your wig in between wears," says Johnson. The type of wig head you choose is all about personal preference—you've got portable options, cork and canvas heads, and classic styrofoam mannequins—so go with one that fits your space and feels easy to use.
2. Store your wig in a silk or satin bag
The smartest way to make sure your wig is retaining moisture while it's being stored? Johnson suggests keeping your wig in a silk or satin bag—not only will it help keep your wig soft and hydrated, but it'll also prevent static and tangles in the long run. Many wigs are sold with satin bags for this exact purpose (like Mayvenn's) but you can also find affordable options online (like the West Kiss Store Wig Bag or the Ali Pearl Silk Satin Wig Bag). Pro tip: Satin bags are also great if you plan on traveling with your wig, since they don't take up much space.
3. Store your wig in a shoe box
"As long as your wig is completely dry and detangled, you can lay it flat in a shoe box for easy storage," says Johnson. Don't have a shoe box hanging around? Any storage box will do the trick here (the TreeHouse London Extra Large Breathable Felt Wig Storage is a nice option, as is the Milano Collection Premium Wig Travel Box, especially for traveling or bringing your wig on the go).
The final word
If you're going to spend the money on a great wig, you want to make sure you're getting the most out of it, right? As Johnson says, storing your wig is a super easy—and super necessary!—step for keeping your wig soft, hydrated, and tangle-free. Promise it's worth the extra time.
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