Are Wigs A Fire Hazard?

Are Wigs A Fire Hazard?

A bit of a weird one, we know but still important nonetheless. So is it true? Are wigs a fire hazard? Let's discuss.

Why Are Wigs A Fire Hazard? 

First things first, let's make sure we're on the same page. A fire hazard is by definition, something that could easily catch or cause a fire which in turn can endanger lives or cause damage to property. So chemicals near open flames for example are a fire hazard as are wigs. Yes, wigs

Internet personality Raymond Harper, more commonly known as RollingRay recently suffered extensive burns to his body including his skin, arms, legs, and feet when his wig caught on fire. His injuries were so severe he had to undergo a lengthy surgery but is thankfully now on the road to recovery.

Unfortunately, Ray's accident isn't an isolated incident. The King of Pop himself, Michael Jackson had a similar experience in 1984 when his hair caught on fire after being ignited by pyrotechnics while filming a Pepsi commercial. The singer was left with third-degree burns and the resulting pain forced him to take medication for the injuries related to the accident until his death in 2009. 

Image | Click2Houston 

Synthetic Wigs 

Synthetic wigs, which are made from man-made fibres including plastic are especially susceptible to flames. So much so in fact, that retailers have had to recall costume wigs and government organisations have had to warn football fans on the fire risks posed by wigs worn to support teams at matches. 

But just because they're more susceptible to flames doesn't mean they'll just casually catch fire (but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep them away from open flames otherwise you may end up fearing your wig might catch fire like actor Nicholas Hoult).

are wigs a fire hazard

Image | ScreenMusings 

The quality of synthetic wigs has improved so much over the years that they're now even rivalling human hair in popularity. Synthetic hair is often more affordable and thanks to advances in the technology used to make them, synthetic wigs and hairpieces can now even be heat styled and treated similarly to human hair.

Okay but what about heat-resistant wigs? Unfortunately, even wigs marketed as 'heat-resistant' can catch fire. The term merely applies to safe styling of the hair using tools like straighteners and curlers within the safe temperatures outlined by their manufacturers. 

In short, keep the heat styling to the bare minimum with your synthetic wigs and make sure not to overload them with products like hairspray or oils which can make them even more susceptible to fire. As synthetic hair not only burns but also melts when on fire, they pose a big risk to you should one ever catch fire within your vicinity. 


Human Hair Wigs

If you're anything like us and spent too much time experimenting with your wigs and extensions when you were younger (or older, we don't judge) you'll be well aware that human hair wigs can also burn. Or maybe you just remember that YouTube video of the young girl burning her hair off mid-curl. 

While synthetic hair will usually burn, melt and form into a clump when set aflame, human hair tends to 'fizzle'. Knowing the distinctions between how the two burn can help you test your bundles to ensure your vendor(s) are only selling you 100% human hair and not synthetic and/or synthetic-human mixes. 



Top Tips To Keep In Mind

Whether it's synthetic or human, nobody wants their wigs or other hair extensions burning and becoming a fire hazard. Keep the following tips in mind to reduce the risks of a flame induced wig catastrophe:  

  • Keep products to a minimum 
  • Stay away from open flames
  • Don't stay under direct sunlight too long on especially hot days 
  • If your synthetic wigs can be heat-styled, stick to the lowest possible settings 

Did you know wigs could be a fire hazard? Let us know in the comments and share your top wig safety tips with us!

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