How Long Do Human Hair Wigs Last & How to Look After Them

Written by: Nancy Pinder



Time to read 7 min

Part of the reason why you pay a little extra for a real hair wig is because they last much longer than synthetic ones. But how long do human hair wigs last, really?

Of course, you want to know what your investment is worth, and we're here to give you the answer.

Synthetic wigs, although a lot more affordable, typically have a lifespan of 4-6 months with regular wear (i.e. daily use and styling). Human hair wigs, on the other hand, last a lot longer because they are made from real hair, just like your own.

How Long Does a Human Hair Wig Last?

The lifespan of a human hair wig can vary significantly based on several factors, including the quality of the hair, the construction of the wig, and how well it is maintained.

On average, a high-quality human hair wig can last anywhere from one to three years with proper care.

Daily wear and exposure to elements like heat and humidity can shorten the wig's lifespan, while careful handling and regular maintenance can extend it.

It's essential to follow good hair care, which typically includes gentle washing, conditioning, and storing the wig properly to maintain its shape.

Do Human Hair Wigs Last Longer Than Synthetic Wigs?

Yes, human hair wigs generally last longer than synthetic wigs. While synthetic wigs typically last between 4 to 6 months with regular wear, a well-maintained human hair wig can last from one to three years.

Human hair wigs are more durable, resistant to heat styling, and can be treated much like natural hair, contributing to their longer lifespan.

That being said, synthetic wigs (especially RiRi’s) are still a fab choice, especially for those on a budget or looking for low maintenance options.

What Affects the Lifespan of Wigs?

There are a few factors that can affect the lifespan of your wigs, some are environmental, and others are down to you and how you treat your wig.

Here are some of the most common factors that affect the lifespan of wigs:

How Often You Wear Your Wig
  • Frequent wear increases friction, sweat, and wear and tear
  • Alternate between multiple wigs to extend lifespan
How You Treat & Maintain the Wig
  • Wash and condition with wig-specific products regularly
  • Avoid excessive heat styling
  • Store on a stand and away from sunlight
  • Handle gently when brushing and detangling
What Kind of Hair Your Wig is Made From
  • Virgin hair (unprocessed) lasts longer due to intact cuticles
  • Remy hair has aligned cuticles for durability and a natural look

What Are the Signs Your Wig is Coming to Its End?

Before your wig gets to the end of its lifespan, it's going to start showing some signs of ‘wear and tear’. These signs will show up sooner rather than later if you don't take care of your wig properly.

Here are a few things to look out for that may indicate it's time for a new wig.

Shedding & Tangling

Shedding and tangling are early signs your wig might be wearing out. Shedding happens when hair strands fall from the wig cap, leading to thinning and bald spots.

A high-quality, well-maintained wig should shed very little. Noticeable shedding is a clear sign the wig is nearing the end of its lifespan.

Tangling is another sign of fibre deterioration. Over time, friction against clothing, exposure to the elements, and improper maintenance can cause matting and tangling.

When fibres lose their softness and elasticity, they are more prone to knotting. This makes the wig harder to manage and style, causing further damage and breakage.

Regular detangling and conditioning can help, but persistent tangling usually means the wig’s quality is declining.

Changes to the Texture of the Hair

Noticing changes in your wig's texture, like increased dryness, brittleness, or frizz? These are signs of wear and tear, often due to prolonged exposure to heat styling, environmental factors, and inadequate maintenance.

Over time, the hair's cuticles can get damaged, leading to a coarser and less manageable texture.

Regular conditioning and protective measures can help, but significant textural changes usually mean that the wig's lifespan is nearing its end.

Changes in the Wig Cap

Noticing changes in the elasticity or stitching on your wig cap? These signs may indicate it's time for an upgrade. 

If the cap feels loose or the stitching begins to unravel, the wig might not hold up as well.

This can lead to discomfort and a less secure fit. To ensure your wig performs well and looks its best, consider replacing it when you spot these issues.

How to Boost the Longevity of Your Human Hair Wig

If you want to ensure your new RiRi human hair wig lasts as long as possible, there are some key practices to follow.

We're experts at caring for our RiRi wigs, so we've compiled our top tips to help you extend the lifespan of your human hairpieces.

By following these tips, you can enjoy the beauty of your RiRi wig for even longer.

#1 Avoid Using Heat Styling Tools Where Possible

Heat styling tools can severely damage the fibres of your human hair wig. Just like with your natural hair, frequent use of heat styling tools leads to dryness and brittleness, compromising the hair's natural elasticity and shine.

By minimising heat exposure, you'll preserve the wig's strength and keep it looking vibrant and soft. Where possible, opt for heat-free styling methods to maintain your wig's longevity.

Thankfully, RiRi wigs come pre-styled, but if you do want to style your wig with heat, make sure you use a quality heat defence product before and our Hair Extension Boost after.

#2 Use Specific Wig Maintenance Products

Using specific wig maintenance products is crucial. Why? Because they contain ingredients tailored to preserve the wig's natural look and durability. These products provide essential moisturising and protective benefits without causing build-up.

Wondering if regular hair care products would work? Don't go there! They're likely to be too harsh or inadequate, leading to potential damage and a shorter lifespan.

For optimal care, always choose maintenance products specifically formulated for human hair wigs, like our hair extensions full care set. You should also brush your wig with our Signature Deluxe Hair Extension Brush to remove tangles gently. Your wig will thank you!

#3 Follow the RiRi Wig Care & Maintenance Routine

To ensure proper care for your human hair wigs, follow the RiRi wig care and maintenance routine on all our product pages. This routine will help you keep your wig in excellent condition and last longer.

Following the care instructions for your specific wig is crucial in maintaining its quality and ensuring it looks beautiful throughout its lifespan. So make sure to take note when buying!

#4 Store Your Wigs Properly

Caring for your wigs isn't just about washing and conditioning them. It also matters how you store them.

A wig stand or mannequin head is an ideal option, but it leaves them exposed to the elements and takes up a lot of room if you have multiple RiRi wigs and extensions (which, obviously, you do!).

Our hairpiece Hanger and Bag Combo is the perfect choice to keep your wigs in the best condition for as long as possible. This set keeps your human hair wigs tangle-free and styled while protecting them from dust and other damaging elements.

Read our guide on how to store your human & synthetic wigs!

Key Takeaways: Boost the Quality & Longevity of Your Real Hair Wigs With RiRi

Human hair wigs are significantly higher in quality than their synthetic counterparts, lasting for 1-3 years rather than 4-6 months. And with the right care, you can keep your wig looking and feeling fabulous for even longer!

Boosting the lifespan of your wigs is easier than you think. By choosing high-quality hairpieces, following a proper maintenance routine, and investing in RiRi’s quality products and accessories, you'll ensure your human hair wigs look stunning for longer.

So, check out our full range of stunning human hair wigs and wig care products today!


How Long Can You Wear a Human Hair Wig?

You can wear a human hair wig every day, provided you maintain it regularly and wash it. However, it's best to give your wig breaks between wear to prolong its lifespan and maintain its quality.

How Long Will a Wig Last if Worn Every Day?

A synthetic wig may only last 4-6 months with daily wear, whereas its human hair counterparts can last between 1-2 years with proper care and maintenance. Daily wear accelerates wear and tear, so regular maintenance and breaks are essential to maximise the lifespan of both types of wig.

Can I Sleep in My Human Hair Wig?

We don't recommend it. Sleeping in your wig can cause tangling and friction, leading to hair breakage and shortening of the wig's lifespan. For the best care, remove your wig and store it properly at night. This way, you’ll keep it in great shape for longer.

What Type of Wig Lasts the Longest?

Human hair wigs, particularly those made from virgin or Remy hair, last the longest. With proper care, they can endure up to three years, surpassing synthetic wigs that typically last only 4-6 months. Their durability, resistance to heat, and natural appearance make them the superior choice.

Nancy Pinder

Nancy is our resident hair and beauty specialist at RiRi Hair Extensions. She advises customers daily in our Lakeside and Bluewater stores, helping them find the perfect look, length, and shade of hair extensions. 

Nancy also presents our TikTok live to thousands of viewers across the world. You can catch her on our TikTok every week!

Find Nancy on TikTok!

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