Image of wigs in a shop window

Can You Experience Wig Hair Loss?

Wigs are used by many people for a variety of reasons in order to cover their hair. It may be for cultural, religious or personal beliefs. Scalp or hair prosthesis’ have also been used to help sufferers of medical conditions such as anagen effluvium from cancer treatment and alopecia areata, which have been shown to provide significant relief

Wigs are beneficial for many people, but they can cause more damage to the hair underneath and the scalp if proper care isn’t taken. Below, we will look at some issues related to wig hair loss and how to combat them.


  1. Wig Hair Loss from Traction Alopecia
  2. Scalp Health and Wig Hair Loss
  3. How to Keep Your Scalp and Hair Healthy
  4. Conclusion

Wig Hair Loss from Traction Alopecia

Traction alopecia is a problem that affects many people who wear their hair in tight hairstyles. Particularly in the Afro-Caribbean community, hairstyles like box braids or cornrows are common in styling natural hair. This condition can manifest as bald patches or thinning, particularly around the hairline where tension is at its highest. Its high prevalence can be observed as one in three women of African descent have reported being impacted by traction alopecia.

What causes traction alopecia with wigs?

But what does this have to do with wig hair loss? For many women who wear wigs, they need their hair to be as flat as possible in order for the wig to appear natural. This often requires styling the natural hair underneath in twists or cornrows. If not installed correctly or maintained properly, they can cause further damage to the hair you may be trying to hide.

Wigs also require clips, bands, or combs in order to secure them to the scalp and prevent them from falling off. These can increase the tension at the hairline, putting your hair follicles under stress and making you more likely to get traction alopecia.

Image of woman in a shop next to wigs

Scalp Health and Wig Hair

Wigs can cause issues to your scalp and the health of your head of hair, whether they are synthetic or human. While your hair is tightly pressed against a wig, the sweat glands on your scalp are prevented from doing their job. Bodily toxins are released through the scalp and need to be removed naturally through sweat. If the lactic acid in sweat mixes with the keratin found in hair, it can cause damage and further hair loss.

Additionally, sweat can combine with bacteria already found on your scalp and can result in fungal formations. This creates an unpleasant smell and causes hair loss. The sweat that would normally evaporate from your head is trapped and can further cause irritation to the scalp.

Damaging wig attachments

When it comes to setting wigs on the scalp, glue extensions along with double-sided tape are often used in wigs. The damage they cause can frequently be permanent, as it blocks your scalp pores and damages the follicles. It burns and dries out the hair while causing tension and leading to headaches, thinning hair or bald spots.

Image of woman with wig hair loss brushing her wig

How to Keep Your Scalp and Hair Healthy

Hair washing

When it comes to combatting wig hair loss, there are several solutions that can help to reduce the damage caused and try to promote hair growth. It’s very important to ensure that the human hair under the scalp is clean. Regular washing with paraben and sulphate free shampoos helps to prevent damage to your scalp. 

Paying attention to your hair type when selecting products, whether dry or oily, can help to keep your hair healthy. Before putting on your hair topper, you should ensure that your natural hair is completely dry to prevent unwanted bacteria from growing.

Wig maintenance

Your wig needs to be cleaned regularly in order to prevent a build up of sweat and extend its lifespan. Washing a human or synthetic wig will require different cleaning routines and care products that work with the styles. This will help them appear more natural and healthy.

Wig and hair contact

The gap between your hair and wig should provide enough room for your scalp to breathe and perform its regular functions unimpeded, while also reducing the build up of bacteria and residue. Taking breaks with alternative headwear styles like scarves and turbans can help to alleviate pressure on your hair and scalp.


If you are concerned about increased hair loss from your wig, it may be due to traction alopecia, or it could be related to the microbial health of your scalp. Using looser styles and ensuring that your natural hair is kept healthy should help to reduce any further damage.

For some people, the traction alopecia may have already affected them significantly, causing hair to permanently stop growing. If you’re interested in a long-term solution for your hair loss, please contact one of our experts to find out if you’re eligible for a hair transplant. Restore your natural hair and enjoy looking in the mirror every day.