Wigs offer a great way of changing hairstyles, but people are often concerned with how long they can last.
For starters, a wig’s lifespan will depend on the cap construction and the quality of the hair. Not only that, but how frequently you plan on wearing it and how you maintain or care for it also matters.
Below, we created a complete guide to help you learn how long a wig lasts. You will also discover some helpful tips to make it last even longer.
How Long Does A Wig Last?
A human hair wig can last between 1 – 3 years with proper maintenance. It may even last longer when worn occasionally. Their long lifespan makes them more cost-effective than synthetic wigs. They have better quality and can handle wear and tear better than synthetic wigs.
On the other hand, synthetic hair wigs can last between 3 – 6 months when worn daily. This is a relatively short time compared to human hair wigs. Usually, their shorter lifespan goes hand in hand with their quality. But a synthetic wig is generally more affordable than a human hair wig.
3 Main Factors Influencing A Wig’s Lifespan
First, it depends on how frequently you wear it. For those who wear their wigs daily, the wear and tear will be substantial. Therefore, the wig might only last for a shorter time. But for someone wearing the wig occasionally, it can wear for quite a while.
Also, longevity heavily depends on proper maintenance. Properly caring for the wig will keep it clean and prevent the hairs from shedding.
Another factor is hair quality. Generally, good quality hair always lasts longer than cheaper one. For instance, a human hair wig would last longer than a synthetic hair wig.
11 Tips to Extend Your Wig’s Lifespan
It is essential to focus on your wig care and maintenance to keep it in the best condition. Here are some simple tips to extend a wig’s lifespan.
Get More Wigs
Wearing a single wig every day tends to wear it out quickly. Therefore, consider getting more than one wig and wearing each wig in a rotation from time to time. Fortunately, two wigs decrease the number of times you have to manipulate each one.
Also, purchasing a backup wig is a good way to keep your main wig in good condition. You will only be wearing it occasionally; the less you wear it, the longer it will last.
Keep It Clean
It’s better to wear a wig cap each time you wear a wig. A wig cap creates a barrier between the oils on your scalp and the wig.
Furthermore, caps could offer a solution to make a wig last longer. They can protect the wig from bad environments, such as smoke or dust particles.
Avoid Over washing
Washing your wig is a great way of maintaining its condition. However, do not overwash as this might reduce its lifespan.
You should wash a human hair wig after 4 – 6 wears; for synthetic wigs, wash every 6 – 8 wears. However, you may clean the wig more often if you live in a humid climate, expose it to strong odors, or exercise in it often.
Quick Tip: To tell if the wig needs washing, confirm if the strands feel stiff or if there is oil build-up along its hairline.
Use Right Shampoos
When washing a wig, using the right wig shampoos & conditioners is essential.
Using shampoos for synthetic wigs is your best bet, as it is specially blended for synthetic hair. Using shampoos for human hair can cause frizz or make the wig dry out, thus damaging the wig in the long run.
On the same note, only use shampoos for human hair wigs on your human hair wig. Avoid using dry shampoos, as they aim to stripe oil from the hair. This is not good as it will strip oil and moisture from the wig and cause dryness.
Brush It Correctly
Brushing a wig removes tangles and can prevent shedding to increase its lifespan.
Always comb gently in small sections, starting from the bottom as you work your way up. Ensure not to brush wet wigs. Otherwise, it will damage your wig.
With lace wigs, you need to be very careful. Hold the lace down using one hand when brushing the wig. This will decrease tension, so you don’t rip the lace off.
Note: Ensure you use a wide tooth comb or a wig brush to detangle the wig. Using other combs on the wig may rip off the fibers or damage their strands.
The more secure your wig is installed, the longer it will last. You should take time when cleansing the skin and apply adhesive well, so the wig stays on much longer. This way, you won’t have to reinstall it every other day, and its longevity will increase.
Moreover, ensure to remove the wig patiently, to avoid damaging the cap material. For lace wigs, try not to tug or pull while taking them off. Instead, use a proper adhesive remover to soften the edges, so the wig easily comes off.
Store Your Wig
It would help to store your wig correctly, so the hair strands don’t get tangled or damaged. Please keep it in a cool, dry place away from heat or direct sunlight, as it could cause the hair color to fade. Also, ensure the storage is free from humidity and dust to prevent the wig from getting dumped or frizzy.
You can place the wig on a wig stand or a wig hanger, so it retains its style and elasticity. But if you have too many wigs, consider putting them in a silk wig bag or a wig box. Be careful not to twist the strands during storage so the wig doesn’t lose shape.
You should avoid the chances of ending up with an excessively tangled wig. Otherwise, you might keep ripping off the strands, and the wig will last for a short time.
As you toss or turn while sleeping, the wig is more likely to tangle due to the friction between it and the pillow. The best way to prevent tangles is to wrap your hair with a silk bonnet or scarf when going to sleep. Keeping it wrapped minimizes friction and reduces the chances of tangles.
Moreover, it would help to keep your hair in a ponytail during sports. It helps increase airflow to the scalp, so you don’t sweat too much. This way, the wig will not require frequent washing.
The idea of straightening or curling human hair or a heat-friendly synthetic wig is ideal. However, excessive heat may cause the hair on your wig to dry, dull, or become brittle and damaged.
Try limiting frequent manipulation and heat styling to prolong the lifespan of your wig.
When using heat styling tools, ensure you apply low heat. Preferably a temperature less than 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, use heat protectants to protect strands from heat damage. 
The wig length is also a factor that can impact how long it lasts. Usually, long hair has a shorter lifespan, while short hair has a longer lifespan.
Long hair is prone to damage when brushing or combing. This is because the hair undergoes a lot of friction and is easier to tangle than short hair. For this reason, long hair requires much more maintenance or begins wearing out quickly.
Wigs with straight or wavy hair type can last longer than those with curly hair. They wear better over time and are less likely to have excessive shedding.
Curly hair is a bit more delicate and sheds more than straight hair. They are easy to tangle and would snare or break each time you brush. Not only that, but they need more treatment and care that would damage the hair in the long term.
FAQs About the Lifespan of a Wig
Why Do Human Hair Last Longer Than Synthetic Wigs?
Human hair wig materials come from real, natural, harvested human hair. On the contrary, synthetic hair comes from artificial nylon or acrylic fibers. These do not portray natural hair movement. As a result, the hair is prone to tangling and shedding, affecting the wig’s day-to-day resilience.
How Long Does A Wig Install Last?
A proper wig install should last anywhere from 1 to 6 weeks, which is quite a long time. But you should take it off regularly to clean your natural hair and wig.
In reality, how long the wig lasts depends on the installation frequency. The less you wear it, the longer it will last.
Now you know how long a wig lasts. Usually, its lifetime would be even longer if the wig is high quality. You can buy quality wigs from the best online wig stores.