Whether you choose a stock piece or a custom-made one, a hair replacement system is an investment. It is important to care for it just like you would for your natural hair. Not only because it helps maintain the desired, natural look, but also because it contributes to a longer lifespan for the hair system.
A key part of hair replacement system care is cleaning. While you ordinarily wouldn’t put much thought into jumping into the shower and shampooing your natural hair, many people wonder if it is alright to wash their hair replacement systems in the shower. Will it fall off? Will it lose grip too soon? Will it wear out faster?
Well, we have the answers to these questions.
Yes. You can wash your hair replacement system in the shower, but it must be done right in order to avoid risking any damage. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to do it.
How to wash your hair replacement system in the shower
- Even before getting into the shower, start by gently brushing the hair when it is still dry. This helps to detangle any tangled sections. It also helps reduce the amount of hair that ends up at the drain because you will have removed any stray strands.
- Now you can jump under the shower and fully wet the hair, making sure the temperature is just right. Not too hot and not entirely cold.
- Next, apply a shampoo of your choice. Distribute it evenly to all parts of the hair. Remember that you cannot scrub a hair system like you would your natural hair. Excessive scrubbing could damage the hair system or weaken the bonds holding it in place.
- Rinse the hair gently but thoroughly to ensure all shampoo is removed. Residual shampoo could cause itching later, which then compromises the bonds of the hair system.
- Next, pour a generous amount of conditioner on your hands and distribute it evenly through all the hair. Conditioning is important for all types of hair replacement systems, but more for natural hairpieces. It gives it sufficient moisture to prevent drying out.
- Start applying conditioner from the tips, slowly working your way up. Avoid applying conditioner on the base of the hair system as it could loosen hair knots which in turn causes hair loss.
- Rinse gently, ensuring all conditioner is washed off.
- Dry the hair by patting using a clean towel.
- Once it is dry, brush and proceed to style it as desired. Avoid brushing hair from front to back. Adhesives that may have been weakened during washing could come loose when pulled in this direction.
How Often Should Hair Replacement Systems be washed?
There are two appropriate answers to this question. It depends on how thoroughly you need to clean it. A quick wash as described above is recommended once a week.
Experts then recommend a more thorough clean every 4-6 weeks. For this one, remove the hair system by first applying an adhesive remover. Once it weakens the bonds, peel the hair system off your head. It can then be dipped in a bowl of water or the bathroom sink filled with clean lukewarm water.
This lets you shampoo the hair just as you would in the shower. The main benefit is that it allows you to turn the hairpiece inside out and clean out any oil and grime that may be stuck on the inside.
Common Mistakes Made When Washing Hair Replacement Systems
Water temperature: You want to keep the water temperature at lukewarm. Very hot water damages hair roots which when weakened, cause hair to become frizzy. Very cold water, on the other hand, closes hair cuticles and reduces hair volume. Cold water also fails to clean out oil as effectively as warm water.
Over conditioning: Yes, too much conditioner is bad for your natural hair as well as your hair system. Over conditioning, especially with moisture-based conditioners, could swell hair, thus making the cuticle layer stay open. The result is porous dry strands.
Using hair driers: Hair driers are the one device you want to keep far away from your hair replacement system. Excessive heat will likely damage bonds holding it in place. If your hair system is synthetic, heat from a hair drier may also damage the fibers.
Regularly washing your hair replacement system should be considered as essential as washing your natural hair. It collects dirt and sweat from the scalp and could start to smell if left unattended.
The notion that washing a hair replacement system wears it out faster is untrue. Cleaning and conditioning done correctly, actually improves its lifespan because it removes oils, dirt, and grime which cause hair loss.