We talk a lot about the ins and outs of wigs here at STYLECASTER. From the latest wig trends to the best method of keeping your units laid, we’re giving it to you straight. In this installment of our wig coverage, we’re touching on the basics of properly removing a wig. Whether you use wig glue or simply the combs that come pre-attached to your units, knowing how to carefully remove your unit is essential to getting the most out of the protective style. It’s the thin line between damaging your hair and protecting your strands.
There are many misconceptions about wig glue — the biggest is that it will lead to hair loss. Licensed cosmetologist, wigologist and creator of Bold Hold, Tamika Gibson assures us that with proper use and removal, wig glue will not cause you to lose your hair. Phew!
“Hair glue was designed only to be applied to the skin, as it was originally intended for people without hair,” she explains. “Today more people are wearing [it] for trend and need to follow the instructions. Adhesives cannot take out hair it’s not touching. Thus it should be applied to the skin only.”
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, keep reading to learn how to properly remove your wig based on your preferred method of securing your unit.
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Wig Glue & Lace Tape Adhesive
Besides making sure your wig stays in place, wig wearers love the option of using adhesive to lay their wigs because of how realistic it makes the wig look. Dubbed “melting the lace” by the hair community, adhesives tend to make the lace of the wig blend with your scalp, making the lace look virtually invisible at a distance. The intention is to apply the glue on your forehead close to the hairline but not on your hairline.
Though wig glue should be applied to the skin, it’s still crucial that you remove the wig carefully as you don’t want to damage your skin or any hairs that may have accidentally been laid with the glue, Gibson warns. After 2-3 weeks of rocking your wig, you may want to consider removing and letting your scalp get some fresh air. Removing a glued wig is similar to removing one applied with hairspray/gel with just a few key differences.
1. Start with your hair clipped back to ensure you can access every inch of the wig where the glue is applied.
2. Use a wig glue remover to break down the glue to remove the unit gently. This will work for lace tape adhesive, too. Apply directly where the wig is glued and massage. Try KISS All Mighty Lace Front Remover ($6.99 at Amazon) or Bold Hold Lace Remover ($16.99 at The Hair Diagram).
3. Let the remover sit for 1-3 minutes or as specified on the label.
4. Begin gently peeling the wig off your skin to see if the glue has completely dissolved. If you find that your unit isn’t coming off with ease, try repeating steps two through four until it does.
5. Wash your wig after dissolving the glue to ensure that no leftover residue gets trapped in the lace, which may shorten the lifespan of your wig.
Hairspray & Hair Gels Adhesive
If gluing your units seems intimidating or you prefer not to use glue, using a stronghold styling product such as the ever-so-popular Got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Hairspray ($7.50 at Amazon) is the perfect alternative. To remove a wig applied with gel or hairspray, follow the below golden rules.
1. When you’re ready to remove your wig, spray areas laid with hairspray or gel with water. For this step, it’s best to use a 360 mist spraying mist, like the Beautify Beauties Hair Spray Bottle ($7.99 at Amazon), to make sure you evenly saturate the adhesive to loosen the bond without excess water dripping.
2. After spraying where needed, gently massage the area to further loosen the bond.
3. If the adhesive still hasn’t eased, continue spraying with water and rubbing until you feel/see the wig lifting.
4. For the sake of your hairline, do not force the wig off. Take your time and keep spraying with water until your unit comes off on its own.
Applying a wig with wig combs may be the most beginner-friendly way to wear a wig. When removing your wig, the critical thing to remember is to make sure the combs aren’t tugging at your hair during the removal process. If you feel like your hair is caught while removing it, be sure to gently detangle as you are removing it to prevent breakage and further pulling. Gibson adds that you should also make sure that your wig combs aren’t pressing against your scalp to avoid any issues that may arise from that sort of friction.
No matter which option you go with to secure your wig, proper removal is important to ensure that you’re not damaging your hair or skin in the process.