Doesn’t it suck when your gorgeous extensions or hair wigs get tangled and matted? You’ve shelled out major cash for these, stored them lovingly, rocked them on the dance floor or Wine Wednesday or wherever your vibe takes you, and now they repay you by getting tangled and looking like a squirrel’s nest? Not cool.
Yes, the truth is, even the highest-quality human hair wigs and extensions can get tangled, especially if you’re … ahem … maybe not 100% on top of things when it comes to storing or caring for them. The good news? They can totally be treated and restored to their original, tangle-free glory. It just takes a bit of effort on your part and some basic tools you probably already have lying around the house.
Here’s the best way to untangle your wigs or extensions:
Wash and generously condition first
Get the (detangling) party started by wetting your wig or extensions, ideally in the shower. Gently work in an alcohol and sulphate-free shampoo (alcohol and sulphates have drying properties, which can leave your hair more prone to matting and tangling) and rinse well. Be gentle with this; no hard scrubbing!
Also be sure you don’t flip your head (or your wig!) upside down when you’re soaking or rubbing shampoo into it. The trick is to keep your hair (whether it’s attached to you or not at this point!) upright and to be gentle with it.
Next, massage a conditioner in, ideally one with detangling properties. One of our favourite options is to spray on a leave-in conditioner, massaging it right into the biggest tangles or mats and letting it soak in for a few minutes before you begin the untangling. If you’re using normal conditioner, rinse well with cool water and gently towel dry your h,air.
If your piece is très tangled, deep conditioning your wig or extensions will make all the difference.
Divide and Conquer
If you’re wearing fusion or tape extensions, a good trick is to take your natural hair and clip it on top of your head so it’s out of the way. This prevents it from getting pulled when you’re brushing out the mats. If you’re working with clip-ins or a human hair wig, divide it into small sections as best as you can and clip them into distinct rows. It’s much easier than trying to deal with one giant mat at a time.
Work from the bottom of the hair upwards, using a wide-tooth comb. Smaller tangles can sometimes be worked out with your fingers, but a wide-tooth comb is undoubtedly the best tool for the more nefarious mats. If you have tangles up closer to where the extensions are fastened, use an extension brush (which has curved bristles), to avoid the risk of accidentally dislodging one.
As you work out the tangles, hold the section of hair directly above the mat, which makes it easier to tackle, less painful and less likely to break entire strands. This is definitely not the most exciting of tasks and can be quite time consuming, so we suggest popping in a chill playlist or your favourite Netflix series and just accepting that you might be in it for the long haul.
Protect those strands
Now that you’ve restored your wig or extensions to their soft and flowing glory, let’s talk about how to keep them that way!
Firstly, do make sure you brush daily. It might sound like a no brainer, but it keeps the strands smooth and helps you catch tangles early, if there are any. If you have extensions in, we suggest braiding them overnight, which reduces the risk of matting.
Whether you have a human hair wig or extensions, it’s a good idea to use natural products, at least those without alcohol or sulphates. These encourage the hair to dry out, increasing the possibility of tangles and matting. If you wear your human hair wig or extensions on a regular basis, regularly massage a small amount of natural oil into them, such as coconut, jojoba, or our Moroccan Argan oil.
If you plan to store your extensions for any period of time, massage a bit of oil into them, braid them and lay them flat for the duration of storage. The same goes for your human hair wigs. We also recommend storing your wigs on a wig stand, which helps the cap keep its shape.
Because wigs and extensions aren’t connected naturally to your scalp, they don’t benefit from the natural oils that the rest of your hair does. This makes them somewhat more prone to dryness and matting, which is why a little maintenance goes a long way.
Undoubtedly, it’s a huge bummer when your wigs, extensions or hairpieces get a case of “the tangles.” Sometimes this happens despite the best preventative care and maintenance, depending on what kind of setting you wear your wigs or extensions in.
But don’t let this dissuade you from enjoying quality hair accessories, and definitely don’t think that a wig or hairpiece can’t be saved, even if it looks matted beyond belief. A cool shower, some leave-in conditioner and a trusty, wide-tooth comb can make a world of difference in restoring your unit to its former glory.
And even though treating and protecting can be a bit time-consuming, especially if the matting is severe, it’s time well spent. Maintenance is pretty simple too, just make sure you’re keeping your hairpieces moisturized and protected. We promise, it’s worth it!
Buy high quality wigs that stay unmatted longer