Sometimes, you pick up the wig that quite literally used to be the love of your life... but now, all you see is your annoying, high-maintenance enemy. Long gone are the tranquil mornings where you’d gently pop the silky smooth wig onto your head whilst the birds chirpped outside - now, your mornings start with a vicious game of tug-of-war between your hairbrush and your tangled tresses. The tracks are falling apart and your lace frontal is bolding, and each time you wear the wig a piece of your soul crushes. This, our friends, is what we call the last days of a wig’s life span. If it’s gotten too much and you’ve passed all stages of hope, keep reading - we have some useful disposal tips.
Yup, you guessed it - one of the most ethical and sustainable things you can do is recycle your 'dead' wig. However, as synthetic hair is usually made of either PVC, polyester, or acrylic, it’s often quite difficult to recycle. According to the British Plastics Federation, the UK’s lack of suitable machinery has made it too much of a difficult task to successfully recycle the flame-retardant plastic polymers that we call synthetic hair.
Fortunately, this isn't the case for human hair! The British hair company, Additional Lengths, have a ‘dedicated partnership’ with US recycling organisation, Matter of Trust, where used hair extensions are sent to be recycled. In an effort to support Matter of Trust’s Clean Wave Campaign, Additional Lengths are aiding the protection of our oceans through their regular used-hair donations. To find out more about Matter of Trust’s hair recycling efforts, check out their website here!
Wig Banks and Charities
There are several wig banks and charities across the world that are searching for wig donations - instead of throwing your wig in the bin, we’d encourage donating it to a charity or wig bank! These charities often provide the donated wigs to chemotherapy patients with alopecia for free, or at a significantly reduced rate. For example, The Little Princess Trust offer free human-hair wigs to chemotherapy patients under the age of 25.
There are several online marketplaces where you can easily sell your old-but-gold wigs. Silk or Lace, for example, have created an easy ‘sell your wig’ service, where wig owners can independently sell their used wigs to eager consumers. For more wig-selling tea, check out our previous blog, Used Wigs: To Sell or Not to Sell?
We never like to think that a wig is completely ‘dead’. Balding lace? Replace it! Hair colour dying out? Re-dye it and touch up the roots! Matting bundles? Book in a replenishment service, or, do it yourself! (YouTube will be your best friend here). We believe that 90% of wigs are revivable, all you’ll need is either the patience to do it yourself, or the cash to have a hairstylist do it for you!
Image | Olaplex No.3
If it’s time to throw in the towel and you cannot see any hope of reconciliation with your wig, then sure, it may be a good time to let go. We would encourage you, however, to follow some of the steps above and take the sustainable route. Recycling, donating and re-selling are just a few of the best ways to go about wig disposal. If you have any tips and ideas we didn’t discuss, drop them in the comments below - let’s do things right, together!