Going on Vacation with Your Wig: 11 Tips for Traveling with Wigs

Paula’s Wig Boutique has been providing the best human hair wigs in Toronto for over 25 years. As the premier human hair wig store in Toronto, we have invested great effort in making the finest bespoke real hair wigs as well as creating a sense of community where fellow wearers share their experiences, tips, and tricks to make wig-wearing more enjoyable.

Let’s face it, travelling is both a joy and a pain. Everyone loves the idea of going on vacation, but the logistics can add to the “pain” part of vacationing. Add to that all the possible issues that can arise from travelling with human hair wigs, and you may very well have the recipe for a less-than-perfect holiday. The following blog represents the best tips we have learned over years of making real hair wigs in Toronto about vacationing with your wig from personal and clients’ experiences.

1. Packing your wig for travel:

If you’re not wearing your wig on your journey or you are taking a backup piece, knowing how to pack it is important. There are some lovely pieces of wig luggage on the market that come with their own removable wig form (styrofoam head), which is the Rolls-Royce of packing options. Our main reason for discouraging using wig luggage is the possibility of the airline not allowing it to go as a carry-on. The dimensions of wig luggage are sometimes quite bulky, and with the constantly changing standards of acceptable carry-on sizes, we just don’t think it’s worth the risk of having to send your wig in cargo. The best option we have found is to travel with a small cardboard box in which your wig is gently folded. Choose a size that easily fits into your carry-on. We strongly recommend against packing your wig in your luggage because of the possibility of loss. Cardboard is a natural fibre that discourages static, so avoid packing your wig in plastic.

2. Freshly wash and set your wig before packing:

There’s nothing like wearing a clean wig, and starting your vacation with a freshly washed piece will go a long way.

3. Choose a wig that requires minimal or no styling:

We love our wash-and-wear styles when we travel! Our favourites are loose, messy waves, naturally curly, and silky straight. The advantage of these styles is that you can easily rewash these wigs and let them air dry. No one wants to travel with a suitcase full of hairstyling tools. Our motto is “Keep it simple.” If you love your wig even when it’s so dirty that it’s almost walking off your head, that’s the wig to take on vacation. Wash-and-wear styles are the easiest to pack and look great even after sitting in a cardboard box for several hours.

4. Protect your wig from the elements:

No one can accurately predict the weather, but being ready for the unexpected is a good idea, especially if you are a wig wearer. Sunny destinations come with their own set of issues, and humidity is probably the one that most people struggle with. Choosing an anti-humidity spray is a must when going to warmer climates. Of all the brands we have tried so far, our absolute favourite is Umbrella by Cotril. Spray this on your wig every morning before wearing it, and the effects of humidity are seriously mitigated. We have also found that this spray is wonderful in dry climates and keeps our wigs feeling soft and freshly washed. Getting stuck in a sudden torrential downpour without an umbrella is perhaps one of every wig wearer’s worst nightmares, but if you travel with a wash-and-wear type of style, leaving it to dry on a wig form overnight should be enough.

5. Take a wig stand:

It’s not likely that the place you’ll be staying comes equipped with a styrofoam head to leave your wig on when you’re not wearing it. If you have room in your luggage to pack a short styrofoam head, that’s ideal; however, collapsible wig stands work almost as well. They are quite inexpensive and are available to purchase at most quality wig stores as well as online. In a pinch, you can also use a litre-sized bottle of soda. Never hang your wig on a wall sconce, as too many times people forget and turn on the light. The result is a giant hole burned into the top of your wig. That’s the perfect way to ruin your vacation.

6. Give it a break:

If possible, try not to sleep in your wig. It’s great to give your wig as well as your scalp 10 to 12 hours to air out. Although this is not always possible, sleeping in your wig will require more frequent washing and styling and will shorten the life of your wig.

7. Swimming with my wig:

Swimming in your wig is not ideal, particularly if you have a high-end real-hair wig. Chlorine and strong sunshine are damaging to your hairpiece. Consider using a bathing cap, or if you absolutely must wear a wig, consider using an accessory wig, such as a hat fall coupled with a large sun hat or extra-large hairband. This still doesn’t allow you to go underwater; however, it’s perfect for soaking and sunning. If you’re planning on doing laps, invest in a cute bathing cap.

8. Wearing a wig on the plane:

Going through security wearing a wig is a really common concern for our clients, particularly those that have metal clips inside their wigs that attach to their bio hair. The concern is that the metal clips or combs will set off the metal detector. If this happens and you are female, it’s always a female agent who will take you aside and check on you. If she asks to touch your head, just politely tell her that you wear a wig and it has clips. I have never experienced or heard of anyone experiencing an agent requiring them to remove their wig. If you are particularly concerned about setting off a metal detector, consider having your metal hardware removed and using a wig grip instead.

9. Take a backup:

Please, please, please, never rely on only one wig. If you wear prescription glasses, you would never consider travelling without a backup pair. Your wig is almost as important. If anything happens, you need to know that you can always rely on a second (and I like to take a third as well!) piece to see you through your travels. A couple of fabric hair coverings are also a great option as backups.

10. Keep wig care products in leak-proof containers and a Ziplock bag:

This may seem self-evident, but I’m pretty sure everyone has a story of some goo or potion leaking in their suitcase. If you’re taking these products in your carry-on, be sure to check that they are not over the allowable amount of liquid. It’s extremely frustrating to have your valuable and, more importantly, necessary products taken away from you at security. Pack them in your luggage if they are over the limit, or transfer them into small travel-size containers. Don’t forget to put everything in an extra Ziploc bag.

11. Remember your dryer sheet:

One of our favourite wig hacks is the dryer sheet. Hair can become “staticky” depending on the environment or weather (think dry winter weather), and a dryer sheet is an instant cure-all. The straighter the hair, the more it is affected by static. A quick pass over with a dryer sheet and the static.

These top 11 tips have been invaluable for us and our clients when traveling. We hope this information is helpful, and we wish you a safe and pleasant journey!!

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Paulas Wig Boutique