Turn my 'shroom head into a hipster do instead of a soccer mom don't
January 21, 2010 10:57 AM   Subscribe

Keep my hair from going from "awesome, slightly damp" to "pouffy mushroom." Difficulty factor: it's a (human hair) wig. (Hence the anonymity.)

I've had some medical hair loss, and in the meantime I'm wearing a (professionally styled, human hair) full wig--hand-tied monofilament top with wefted sides, for those of you in the know. (I'm not sure any of that info matters.)

I've gotten better at styling it, but I'm having a problem not unique to wig hair (but not something that I had a problem with for my "real" hair so I don't know what product to buy). It looks piece-y and lays flat and naturally (and looks as good as a $300 wig gets) when it's still 5% damp or so. I leave the house looking and feeling young and hip.

But then it dries completely and poofs out into soccer mom mushroom. I don't want to thin it out any more, since I can't afford to buy another one before my hair grows in and the wig will shed over its lifetime anyway, and I spent money on a really good layer cut for it, so I don't think that's the solution either. Because it's a wig, I can't just wait a day or two for scalp oils to work their magic. (Note: I'm not overwashing it either.)

I'm looking for what product (wax, pomade, etc.) you use on a chin length cut in this situation. (Note: does not have to be wig specific.)

email= flipmywig@gmail.com
posted by anonymous to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What you describe is what my hair does in the presence of any kind of humidity. I have had very good luck with Biosilk Therapy products. They are the only thing that keeps my hair looking decent in our frequently 100% humidity where I live. It isn't cheap, but a small bottle will last longer than you expect.
posted by fairywench at 11:05 AM on January 21, 2010

Hairspray is your friend. I have the exact same problem with my hair, and I’ve discovered the key to keeping it down is spraying it when it’s still damp, then LEAVING IT ALONE. When I fiddle with it too much, I “break” the style and it goes to pot. I love John Frieda’s Frizz-Ease line, including his hairspray. I usually use another product first (like his Dream Curls spray, because my hair is wavy), then use the hairspray.
posted by yawper at 11:14 AM on January 21, 2010

Yes, I swear by John Frieda's Frizz-Ease line too. It is cheap and available at drugstores all over (here in the northeastern U.S., anyway). I use the hairspray at times, but the product I use every day after I dry and iron my hair (which is pin straight but has tons of little frizzies) is this one. It doesn't leave build-up the way hairspray does, so it might be better for your wig.
posted by katie at 11:35 AM on January 21, 2010

I have no idea if this would work on/destroy a wig. But when I have the problem with my hair that you describe (i.e. when it looks like it does in my profile, and I want it to look more civilized), I blow-dry it. If it's going to be particularly humid, I also flat-iron.

Do you know how to blow dry properly? How to section the hair, how to aim the dryer, the distance at which to keep the dryer, etc? It might be worthwhile to go the stylist who cut the wig for a blowout and ask him/her to show you how it's done. Same for flat-ironing.
posted by Ashley801 at 11:44 AM on January 21, 2010

Your wig is doing exactly what curly hair does that grows out of peoples heads. I suggest using a leave in conditioner(i use Frizz Ease conditioner in the shower, but it probably makes more sense to use a lighter leave in on wig, i'm guessing) and some hair gel (I use biolage Gelee). The conditioner sort of 'weighs it down', and the gel give is some control, and can give you that piece-y look.

Cruise by the other askme threads looking for frizzy/dry/curly hair advice. (Nair that's curly ends up poofy and frizzy because scalp oils don't travel down the hair; your wig is probably doing what its doing because it of course also isn't coated with scalp oils when you brush your hair.)
posted by Kololo at 11:48 AM on January 21, 2010

Welcome to my life.

Little things that help:

* Use a t-shirt and PAT dry your hair. Towels suck too much moisture too quickly.
* After styling, DON'T TOUCH (esp when wet).
* Let it air dry.
* If you use shampoo, don't. Use "No-Poo" (available at salons) instead of Shampoo. Shampoo is a little too harsh and strips away good oils that help prevent the poofball.

It has taken me a long time to figure out how to deal with my hair. It'll take you some time too. While you are figuring things out, keep armed with hair ties for when your hair rebels.
posted by soupy at 12:17 PM on January 21, 2010

FWIW, I have tried the John Frieda products and No Poo, and have gone back to Biosilk. I have thick, very long hair, and I use about the size of a dime on my hair.
posted by fairywench at 12:20 PM on January 21, 2010

I think a flat iron would help here. (Although you'll want to check with whoever you bought the wig from that a flat iron won't destroy it.)

Also, not leaving the house with your hair still damp. If my hair is even slightly damp and I go outside into the elements, it's poof city.
posted by grapesaresour at 12:58 PM on January 21, 2010 [1 favorite]

I recommend that you make sure the wig is completely dry before leaving the house. My hair is very prone to doing the mushroom poof thing, and in my experience going outside while it is still even the slightest bit damp makes the problem exponentially worse. (On preview, what grapesaresour said.) I usually let mine air dry almost all the way, then finish it off with a gentle blow-drying and tame down any poofies with John Frieda Secret Weapon, the stuff katie linked above.
posted by purplemonkie at 1:05 PM on January 21, 2010

Have you explored the world of products made specially for wigs? I would be leery of using hair products on a wig.

People on various forums mention the product Wig Luster in particular as helping with frizz.

That's such a good Gmail account name. I'm sad you're using it as a throwaway. Can I have it when you're done??
posted by purpleclover at 1:18 PM on January 21, 2010

That's my hair, too. I'm in love with Sunsilk Anti-Poof Cream -- it does exactly what the name says!
posted by eleutheria at 6:35 PM on January 21, 2010

My hair does this naturally. grapesaresour has it right - let it dry completely at home (maybe that means washing it at night) and then flat iron it. If it's okay to flat iron, that is... if so I would get some kind of heat protection spray.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:08 PM on January 21, 2010

Try soothing it down with your hands, right after you have used some hand creme, so it just leaves a trace on the hair.
posted by hortense at 7:21 PM on January 21, 2010

When I wore a wig (synthetic, had to watch out for heat or it would . . . melt), I used some kind of silicone spray to control the frizz/style it. I would recommend asking a wig . . . salesperson? maker? what they recommend and would also be somewhat wary of using regular hair products on it, even if it is a human hair wig, until you have received the blessing of someone with more human-hair wig experience. (For my synthetic wig, I wasn't supposed to use any regular products on it).
posted by Felicity Rilke at 9:48 PM on January 21, 2010

posted by crazycanuck at 10:34 PM on January 21, 2010

I would second the Confixor, but add two caveats: a little goes a long way, and the ayurvedic oils are so strong in Aveda's products (and particularly so in Confixor) that people standing a few feet away ask what perfume I am wearing, even when I'm not...and people who come in close (say, for a hug) have commented that they can't decide if they love or hate being enveloped in my aroma cloud.

It really works well on controlling poofiness, otherwise.
posted by squasha at 5:39 PM on January 22, 2010

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