There are many reasons why someone would choose to wear a wig. Fashionistas may wear one to enhance their look; actors and actresses wear them for different characters, and those suffering from hair loss also find them useful.
Regardless of the reason for wearing a wig, they are gaining traction and popularity due to the abundant style options they give. The ability to change one’s hair from day to day, without cutting or processing one’s natural hair, is incredibly appealing for so many people.
Most people want to protect their natural hair when wearing wigs. With that in mind, the next question that needs to be asked is, “Should I wear a wig cap?” The answer is based on personal preference, but I believe that yes, you should!
My name is Lisa, and I love wigs. I’ve worn them with and without wig caps, and definitely recommend going with a cap. Read on for my favorite types of wig caps to protect your gorgeous locks!
3 Best Wig Caps to Protect Hair
I first started wearing wigs in high school after I shaved my head. I did not know about wig caps at the time and learned the hard way of how uncomfortable a wig sitting directly on a bald head can be. I actually ended up gluing some fabric inside the wig to protect my scalp from going raw!
Wig caps create a protective barrier between the scalp and wig (if you have no hair), or between your hair and wig (if you do have hair). You can choose to not wear a wig cap if you do have hair, but the friction of the wig directly on the hair will increase breakage.
There are several different options for wig caps: nylon, fishnet, mesh, spandex, and bamboo among others. In my experience, nylon, fishnet, and bamboo are the best choices for protecting your natural hair, with wig grips having an honorable mention.
Nylon wig caps are my personal favorite. They are very stretchy and comfortable and fit most head sizes. If you have a smaller head, you can find nylon caps in youth or child sizes, but for the most part, they have a universal fit.
These caps typically are seamless, or have one or two very thin seams. The minimal or no seams are going to be a lot more comfortable for those with sensitive scalps. The seams, if there are seams, feel almost non-existent.
These caps are also very breathable. Wigs are hot, especially if you wear them in the summer or in a warmer climate. If you choose to wear a cap with them, this is one more layer for your poor scalp.
Nylon caps are thin and soft, so they allow airflow. While these won’t necessarily cool your head off in the heat, they at least won’t further trap in the heat.
This soft fabric is also helpful regarding the protection of your natural hair. The cap won’t rub or create too much friction against your hair and sits snug against your scalp to prevent your hair from excess movement.
It also creates a nice protective layer from the more abrasive construction of the wig. If the wig happens to move around as you wear it, it will rub against the nylon instead of your hair, so there will be much less breakage.
Another great option for protecting your hair is a mesh wig cap. Mesh wig caps are also very breathable, some say even more breathable than nylon caps. So if you do tend to get overly warm while wearing wigs, the mesh option may be your best choice.
These wigs also tend to have a thick, sturdy elastic around the cap so they stay in place very well. Some people find that nylon caps slide off their heads more easily. With the elastic, mesh caps do tend to stay in place longer.
You can find mesh wig caps in two options, one opening or two. Caps with one opening look much like nylon caps, and are applied the same way. Caps with two openings are a better option for people with long or thicker hair.
Mesh caps with two openings are shaped like a long tube. They are designed for securing long hair much more comfortably than other wig caps.
Natural hair is protected from the abrasive inner side of wigs, but in my opinion the protection is not quite as complete as with nylon caps. Your natural hair is still exposed to the wig, but the mesh material does keep the hair in place and minimizes breakage very well.
Bamboo wig caps are a little thicker material than nylon or fishnet, so you may find that they are a little warmer than those two options. The bamboo material is still quite breathable.
These wigs are the best choice for people with a sensitive scalp. Bamboo is a notoriously gentle material, and many people believe it is the most comfortable option. These caps are very stretchy and usually have an elastic around the edge to prevent slippage.
Bamboo is not only very gentle on the scalp, it is also very gentle on natural hair. This is an excellent option to minimize friction and prevent breakage.
Wig grips are typically headband styles, although they can be found in full cap options. They can be worn with or without a wig cap, but if you are looking for total hair protection, I definitely recommend wearing them with a cap.
Wig grips are made from velvet or silicone material and are placed so that they cover your edges. They then, like their name suggests, grip the wig so that it won’t budge. They also provide added protection for your edges because they eliminate the need for glue.
Here are some frequently asked questions about wig caps.
Are Wig Caps Bad For Your Hair?
Like all other aspects of wearing a wig, wig caps are not bad for your hair if certain considerations are taken into account. Certain fabrics, like cotton, will keep moisture away from your hair. This dries your hair out and leaves it more brittle, and the cotton itself is more abrasive.
Some people sweat more with a wig cap on than without, so it’s important to make sure you shampoo your hair and scalp regularly.
What Color Wig Cap Should I Wear?
Depending on the brand, wig caps come in a variety of color options. Choose one that is closest to your skin tone, as it will look the most like your natural scalp. If you can’t find one that matches your skin tone, a sheer nylon closest to your coloring will be your best second choice.
How Do I Protect My Hair Under a Wig?
In addition to the previous recommendation of wearing a wig cap, you can take further steps to protect your hair under a wig. Avoid tight braids; loose braids or twists won’t strain the hair as much while assisting to keep it in place.
Don’t neglect to wash and condition your natural hair to remove excess oils and build-up. This will help keep your hair strong and healthy.
Also, make sure your wig is fitted correctly. If it’s too big, it will move around more, creating more friction against your hair, and too small, will strain against your hair and likely give you headaches. And finally, take your wig off every now and then so your hair can breathe.
Wearing a wig cap is one of the best ways to protect your hair under a wig. There are many options to choose from, but my favorites are nylon, mesh, or bamboo. Wig grips are another excellent accessory for protecting your edges.
Comment below what your favorite wig cap is!