As time goes on, there will be daily wear and tear to your hairpiece – just like wearing the same garment all day, every day. If you frequently sleep in the prosthesis, expect the weight of your head rubbing the hair against the pillow to cause hair breakage. Rubbing your head against a car headrest or playing with the same piece of hair in your fingers will also cause hair breakage.
Wash your scalp and the inside of your silicone cap daily: It is essential to wash both your own scalp and the silicone cap lining every day. This maintains the grip of the silicone cap and helps avoid unpleasant odors.
Use a small amount of anti-bacterial liquid soap or shampoo, and rinse off. (Just wiping with water alone won’t remove perspiration oil, and slippery silicone and odour may result.)
Should odor develop inside the cap, mix two tablespoons of baking soda in a cup of warm water and leave applied inside the cap for three to five minutes – a saturated cloth will keep the solution against the cap lining. Then rinse off.
Wash your hair once a week: Like growing hair, your hairpiece should be shampooed at least once a week. This can be done under the shower while wearing it or by hand. Because most shampoos are formulated to remove oils from the scalp (which would dry out a hairpiece) we recommend shampoos and conditioners formulated for dry, coloured or permed hair.
- Before you wet the hair, gently brush out any tangles. Use a wide-toothed comb or vent brush, starting at the tips and gradually working up the hair length to the crown.
- Wash the inside of the cap as you do every day (see above).
- Using tepid or lukewarm water – never hot – hold the hairpiece under the faucet and allow the water to run gently over and through the hair in the direction the hair flows (a hand shower is perfect for this).
- Once saturated, apply a capful of shampoo. Spread the shampoo down the hair length with your fingers and gently squeeze to work the lather through the hair. Do not rub or scrub the hair. Rinse thoroughly under the running faucet.
- Squeeze the hair (not the cap) in a towel to remove excess water and apply conditioner. (If the hair is saturated with water, it can’t absorb the conditioner).
- Spread the conditioner down the hair length with your fingers and gently squeeze through the hair. Use a wide-toothed comb to gently work the conditioner through, leaving it on for two to five minutes – no longer.
- Rinse out under running water thoroughly and towel dry. Pat or squeeze the hair with the towel to blot up the water – be sure you don’t rub the hair or the prosthesis scalp with the towel as it risks hair breakage.
- Put your hair back on and style normally!
Swimming: Always wash and condition your hairpiece the same day you’ve swum in a pool or the sea. Best of all, wet your hair before going into the pool, so it won’t soak up chlorinated water.
Hair products: We encourage you to purchase quality products from a salon or salon supply store.
It may take a while to find the shampoo and conditioner that makes your hair feel the way that seems right for you. That’s the same for everyone with growing hair, so keep trying!
Use leave-in spray conditioners sparingly to avoid heavy, dull hair.
Do not leave the hairpiece wet with conditioners or other products overnight or for long periods as this could damage the silicone’s bond to the hair roots, resulting in severe hair loss.
Hair products with UV screen protection are good to help reduce colour fading, as are water based colour rinses and semi-permanent colours, should exposure to the sun cause your hair to fade. Please tell your stylist to use semi-permanent hair colours instead of permanent products as the peroxides damage the hair.
Styling tips: Check your wide-toothed comb and vent brush are smooth, with no sharp edges.
As part of your morning routine, we recommend using a water spray bottle to slightly dampen the hair before styling. That will soften and reactivate any styling products used the day before, avoiding combing stress on the hair and giving your hair a fresh look for the day.
If you must use a hairdryer, use only warm (never hot!) settings.
Choosing your hair style: Rather than an elaborate evening ‘do’, choose an easy-care style that you can wash and manage on your own. Often a style with hair on the forehead works well as it keeps the front edge of the hairpiece covered.
You may want to note that if the hairpiece is cut too short or trimmed using an ill-suited technique, people with alopecia can be left looking very bald at the neck.
Remember this is the hairstyle you’ll be living with for the next two to three years – there’s no need to rush the process!
Tips for cutting a Freedom Hair piece: Rather than a ‘just had a haircut’ or wiggy appearance, most people with a Freedom Hair prosthesis want a natural look for their finished hairstyle. This can be achieved with relative ease – although your stylist may appreciate some helpful tips.
Razor cutting often helps achieve a natural look, although sometimes split ends create a problem at a later date. Because there is no natural taper to the prosthesis (the hair in the wig is almost all the same length), thinning scissors are sometimes the better alternative, giving a more natural, slightly uneven, wispy look.
It is advisable to leave the length of the hair a little longer than you initially want. If you are unsure about asking your stylist to take more off, then we encourage you to put your plans on hold – go home; wash and wear your prosthesis for seven to 10 days; let your style settle. Then, if you still fancy some changes return to the salon. There’s no rush!
When finishing the cut, the edge hair – about two to three millimetres all the way around – should be sectioned off and lightly razor thinned, so if the hair is pulled back, short wispy hair remains against the skin, giving a softer edge. In all cases, the edge hair should be shorter and thinner than the top hair, otherwise the edge hair will lift the top hair away from the skin, and people will see right back to the cap edges.
If you are having a shorter style, we recommend that the first section of the nape hair (a 25 millimetre/one inch strip along the cap nape edge) should be at least 10 millimetres / 3/8 inch shorter than the finished nape length. The next section up should be about 10 millimetres / 3/8 inch wide, cut to the finished length, and not layered. We advise the stylist to continue as normal with the sections above.
The aim is to achieve a bob effect, so the hair comes in against the skin. If the nape hairline is too heavy, we encourage the stylist to use his or her scissor points to chip into the finished length.
Tips for perming a Freedom Hair piece: If perming a Freedom Hair prosthesis, it is necessary to use lots of rollers and plastic T-pins to lift the rollers off the scalp so as to reduce rod marks. After all, these don’t grow out!
The stylist should ensure that the hair is not lifted off the hairline – let the hair lie flat against the skin (from the edge of the wig base) before the curl begins. Otherwise the hairpiece is ruined by an unnatural hairline that won’t grow out. We strongly recommend your stylist to put in all the perming rollers while you are wearing the hairpiece – except for the rollers around the edges.
For these, remove the hairpiece so the perm can curl the hair against the skin. If the rollers are put in while you’re wearing the wig, the hair will be permed outwards, away from the skin – not a good look!
Be sure to ask your stylist to show you how to scrunch the drying hair, to encourage the curl.