How Long Do Human Hair Wigs Last?

Wigs made of natural human hair are the crème de la crème of the wig world. Although it’s not easy to tell by just looking at someone’s wig which is synthetic or made with human hair, investing in a human hair wig has tons of benefits.

They’re a lot softer and shinier than synthetic wigs. They also have more movement and body when you sashay down the street and flip your hair. It’s easier to style them as well! And when you run your fingers through your hair, they feel real, too—because they are.

But because they’re so beautiful and natural-looking, you’ll likely use them more often than your synthetic hair pieces. Over time, this can lead to damage caused by wear and tear. 

So, how long do human hair wigs last until they’re not wearable anymore? Read on to find out. We’ll also give you a few tips on how to extend the lifespan of your wig!

How long will a human hair wig last?

Many women opt for human hair wigs even if they’re more expensive than synthetic wigs because of the perception that they will last longer. 

And they’re right! Human hair wigs last way longer, going to up to three years when worn occasionally and cared for properly. And even if you wear your wig every single day, it can still last one whole year.

There are many reasons why human hair wigs last a lot longer than synthetic ones. One of the biggest reasons is that human hair wigs usually don’t go through much processing, unlike synthetic fibers that need to be colored and mixed in with other fibers and silicones.

That said, there’s no set timeframe for when your human hair wig will be deemed unwearable. 1-3 years is just a ballpark number, but it really depends on two specific factors. Read on to see what these are.

What determines how long your human hair wig will last?

A lot of how long your wig will last depends on how you use it. There are two main factors that determine the lifespan of your human hair wig. What’s awesome is that both of these factors are within your control, so you essentially decide how long you can extend the life of your wig.

The first factor is how often you wear your wig. The frequency of wear will obviously lead to some damage throughout the years. Wearing the same wig every day makes it more likely to look a little worn out in the first one or two years. This is as opposed to using it just for special events, which can make your wig look fresh, smooth, and shiny even on year three.

So, if you want to increase the lifespan of your wig, try not to wear it every day. Take breaks and go natural every few days. Or, switch to another wig! That way, you can stretch out the time before you start seeing some wear and tear on your beloved wig.

The second factor that determines how long your wig can last is how you care for it. A human hair wig is made with—surprise!—human hair. That means you have to take care of it the same way you do your natural hair. The more you neglect hair care for your wig, the sooner you’ll see it retire.

For example, you need to wash your wig with a gentle shampoo every two weeks. If you don’t do this regularly, the build-up of dirt and sweat can damage your wig quickly. You also need to moisturize your wig a lot and keep it in good storage when not in use.

Want to learn how to do all that and more? Check out our tips for wig hair care below.

Tips to make your human hair wig last longer

  • Wash your wig gently: Don’t scrub your wig too much on shampoo day. Instead, put it under lukewarm running water before gently applying shampoo to the strands. Don’t tug or pull—just smooth the shampoo down the mane with your hands. Then, rinse with cool water.
  • Moisturize properly: Unlike the hair that grows out of your head, wig hair can’t be moisturized by sebum and natural oils produced by your scalp. So, to keep your wig hair smooth, hydrated, and shiny, you need to moisturize frequently. After shampooing, always follow up with a conditioner. And on non-wash days, use a spray leave-in conditioner.
  • Heat-protect before styling: Before taking a curling iron or blow dryer to your human hair wig, always apply a layer of heat protectant. That way, the heat won’t burn the strands but instead heat up that added protective layer, keeping the locks relatively healthy.
  • Store properly when not worn: Lastly, when you’re not wearing your wig, make sure it’s stored properly so it doesn’t collect dust and dirt from the air. Invest in silk or satin wig bags and hangers to keep them safe in your closet when they’re off-duty.
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