How to swim in a wig or topper (and enjoy summer's heat and fun!)

Wearing a wig or a scarf in the pool in the summer: summer hair wearing tips

Shown here, a Buff (a stretchy tube of seamless fabric, available in many prints and colors) is a great way to cover your head while swimming. It's lightweight, dries quick and has high SPF. I usually tie it into a knot at the side, but the Buffs come with many ways to tie them on. You an also wear a beautiful scarf (shown here, hand-batiked silk oblong scarf) as an aprés pool or beach head wrap. With some dramatic earrings and a great coverup / dress, you'll look fab at the pool bar or beach party!

Shown here, a Buff (a stretchy tube of seamless fabric, available in many prints and colors) is a great way to cover your head while swimming. It's lightweight, dries quick and has high SPF. I usually tie it into a knot at the side, but the Buffs come with many ways to tie them on. You an also wear a beautiful scarf (shown here, hand-batiked silk oblong scarf) as an aprés pool or beach head wrap. With some dramatic earrings and a great coverup / dress, you'll look fab at the pool bar or beach party!

If you wear a wig full time due to hair loss from chemotherapy, alopecia or diffuse hair loss, you know summer’s heat makes wearing a wig hard. Here are some options for wearing a wig (and other hair options) around pools, beaches, oceans and parties in the summer.

Wearing your wig in the pool

If you have or can get an inexpensive backup wig from your wig salon and have it styled for summer, you can wear your wigs in the pool or ocean with a little prep work. First, have your primary wig in your bag, in it’s protective bag. You can stuff the cavity of the wig with a balled-up tee shirt to hold it’s shape. Then, secure your backup wig with a silicone wig grip headband (which grips better than the velvet headbands when wet.) If you have a long-haired wig, you can braid the end to keep it neat and in place. For short hair wigs, you can use a stretchy headband to keep the hair off your face while you swim. Never wear your expensive wig or primary wig in the pool, lake or ocean.

If you do wear your backup wig, rinse it as soon as you can and wash it that evening so chlorine and salt don’t damage it.

Wear a scarf in the pool

If you’d prefer NOT to swim with a wig, you can go bald, of course. Last summer at a large public waterpark pool in East Lansing,  a beautiful, confident woman wore just her own scalp in the pool. I don't know her story but she was amazing. Be sure to wear sunblock on your head. If you’re not quite comfortable with that, you can wear a Buff, which is a stretchy tube of fabric that fits snugly on your head. There are many ways to tie/wear a Buff and they dry quickly. You can also use a scarf as a bandanna-style or Hollywood-style wrap – be sure to use a scarf that won’t ‘grow’ when wet (something not cotton) and dry quickly. You can test this out at home by tying the wet scarf on your head and checking to see that it stays in place. Many women of color wear some sort of protective head wrap while in the water to protect their often expensive and time consuming braids, or straightened locks. You won’t be alone in your head coverings at the pool.

 

Try a Buff

Consider a hat with a Buff. Wearing a Buff or even a stretchy headband under a sun hat is a great option for pool and beach. For sporty people who like to swim, sail, or other water sports, a Buff is a great idea and works well for water sports. Don’t wear your wig water skiing, though. A Buff stays in place even through splashing down water slides at adventure parks, so don’t feel you have to sit out the fun.

Get a hat and put some hair on it

Try a hat with hair. Your wig salon can help you locate hair extensions that are attached with a fabric piece that can be sewn to a hat to create a hat-with-hair look for the beach or pool. This is also a great look for summer parties outdoors – many people wear hats, and your head won’t be hot or itchy since the hair is only attached to the base of the hat! If you use Velcro bands, the hair can be swapped between hats. Fedora and large floppy sun hats are very popular again this season.

Wear a scarf for pool parties and picnics

Scarves give an ethnic Caribbean vibe to any outfit, and a great dress plus an awesome scarf is a great post-beach or pool outfit or even a summer party outfit. See our Facebook page for links to scarf tying videos for a myriad of head scarf options to try.

Bring some cool wipes for your head: Mix up equal parts distilled water and witch hazel (you’ll find this at the drug store or pharmacy section of your grocery store), with either 1 drop of peppermint or two drops of lavender essential oils in a small 4oz spray bottle. Shake well and spritz on your bare scalp before applying your wig or if you need a ‘refresher’ because of the heat. Keep your wig bag with you along with a scarf, in case you’ve reached that “I’m done with this!” stage of wig wearing in the summer and feel the need to rip it off your head. The spritz and stowing your wig for a while might make the difference between enjoying summer’s heat and not!