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How to Care for Your Drag Wig: 4 Wig Care Tips

Written by MasterClass

Last updated: Apr 2, 2020 • 3 min read

Drag queen wigs are a necessary part of any drag show and come in an array of haircuts and hairstyles. Whether you choose to buy online or head to your local beauty supply store, it’s easier than ever to find and wear a drag or cosplay wig that goes over your scalp and emulates your own hair.

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What Are the Different Styles of Wigs?

There are options for casual wig wearers looking for anything from dark brown curly hair to a costume wig with a hot pink ponytail updo. There are choices for “glamazon” divas who want a voluminous platinum blonde wig, as well as those who want wavy, long hair like a mermaid. In general, synthetic lace front wigs are relatively inexpensive and will often do the trick. Lace front synthetic wigs are better than wigs made with human hair both in terms of durability and looks, giving you a more natural hairline.

If you’re anticipating wig damage or you just want to experiment before going all-in on a pricier lace wig hairpiece, you can find all kinds of wacky, cheap wigs at the dollar store. If you want to adjust a wig you already own, wig styling tutorials can help you transform the way your wig looks, giving you the freedom to customize hair color, shape, length, and hairstyling to ideally fit your drag persona.

How to Care for Your Drag Wig

Different wigs require different kinds of care, and drag queens must look after their wigs properly in order to keep them in pristine condition. Whether you prefer human hair wigs or synthetic hair wigs, knowing how to care for your drag queen hair and keep your wigs in good shape is key to their longevity. Here are some tips for caring for your wig:

  1. Store your wig properly. Queens who know their way around a wig say you should store them in very large Ziploc bags. Keep them protected in a box you can keep under your bed or in your closet, or use a mannequin head, which is especially good for keeping the shape of a big hair wig.
  2. Travel with care. If you’re planning on taking your drag wigs with you (like to compete on RuPaul’s Drag Race), you must place the wig in a partition specifically set aside for it—not crammed into a carry-on. Make space to store your wig properly to keep it from being dented, crushed, or otherwise damaged.
  3. Comb your wig gently. A wig comb (or other wide-toothed comb) can be used to detangle knotted hair strands and restore your wig to its former glory. First, remove any bobby pins or wig clips so there’s no problem combing through. Use a spray bottle to make the hair damp, and start at the tips. Be careful not to rip at the hair as you work your way up in small sections, as there may be residual hairspray and wig glue that could snag on the comb and tear it. Slowly comb through section by section.
  4. Mind the washing instructions. The type of wig you have determines its care—wigs made from natural hair require more washing and styling than synthetic wigs. For example, curly wigs require a curly shampoo, and whether the hair is ombre ash blonde or electric light blue, you should stick with color-safe shampoo and conditioner. If your wig is synthetic, you’ll need to use a wig-specific shampoo and conditioner. First, fill a sink with cool water, then add wig shampoo to the sink. Soak the wig for five minutes or so. After that, dip the wig up and down in the water. You can tackle any makeup stains with a small brush (like a toothbrush). Then, rinse the wig off in cool water and repeat the process with conditioner. Rinse again, then dry with paper towels.
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