The hair on my wig tangled and matted, what do I do?

This is an issue we absolutely hate to deal with, however, it happens from time to time and we've come to find that it's unavoidable. Therefore, it's best to educate customers about it and why it happens.

First things first, Zara Wigs only sells human hair, no synthetic hair or synthetic hair blends. I just want to get that out of the way because there's a lot of misinformation floating out there about hair.

If your wig tangles or matts into a hard knot, and your wig is from Zara Wigs, it is for one reason only: the cuticles in that area are not properly aligned and are going in opposite directions. When the hair "swells" either from moisture, humidity or both, it can cause an unfortunate mess that most consumers are unable to remove on their own without damaging the hair.

Why does this happen? One thing I want people to understand about Zara Wigs is that we really care about our hair, we care tremendously about the product we make. If a wig tangles and matts, we get this deep feeling of dread, in our guts, like oh no, not this problem. It's a really hard thing to deal with. The problem is, it's not avoidable.

Here's how we handle it. We want the wig back. We want the wigmakers to inspect it to determine if the problem was a result of carelessness or part of a tolerable manufacturing defect rate. Yes, that's right, a tolerable manufacturing defect rate. In any product manufacturing, every item is not perfect, there is a defect rate that is tolerable, from the factory perspective.

In our experience, this type of problem "rears its ugly head" more with highly textured hair (more processing). In fact, even with aligned cuticles, highly textured hair can sometimes have this problem if the technician makes a very slight miscalculation with the processing (over or under processes the hair).

When the wig is inspected, it is determined where the problem originated. if it is one area of hair with misaligned hairs, then the hair is removed and new hair is ventilated. If it is a bigger problem, then the wig is replaced.

Having said that, there's one more problem and it's not common. If an entire wig knots only a the base, that means the cuticles were not removed from the return hairs. Every hand knotted hairpiece has return hairs, short hairs that are on the "other end" of the knot. On straight hair they can stick straight up and drive you crazy. When processing hair for hairpieces and wigs, the cuticles on the return hairs need to be removed otherwise, you guessed it, they would run in opposite directions from the remainder of the hair and cause matting. If an entire wig knots at the base, the cuticles from the return hairs either were not removed or were not properly removed and sealed, so that they would not collide.

lace front wig return hairs

This information is provided to educate you about the process because these types of things do happen with hand tied hairpieces and there's not much information out there explaining the reasons behind it. Cuticle misalignment is not, in and of itself, an indication of hair quality, it is an indication of hair handling and processing. Even high quality hair can have misaligned cuticles and thus tangling and matting issues.

Now the next thing you may wonder is why isn't this type of defect caught before the wig is sent? Currently, we have no way to determine if this will be a problem. It's something that seems to become apparent when the hair swells, and we have no way to swell the hair, the way a person would in normal use. In a more practical sense, we can have a wig, wash it 10 times and not have a problem, it's the "real world" use that creates the chain of events that will "bring forth" the issue.

Also keep in mind that even with properly aligned cuticles, swelling and processed textures can also have this problem. I had this problem with one of my own wigs, it was my own fault, I washed it, left it to sit in conditioner and forgot about it. By the time I came back to the wig (days later), it was one tangled ball of hair, I would not even have attempted to detangle it. I had the wig repaired by the factory and continued to wear it for years. It's still in good condition, it just needs more hair replenished from shedding.

Another question is can a person cause matting on a wig that's perfectly fine and properly ventilated? Oh dear, absolutely! We have had that happen. One way to cause a processed wig to tangle into a ball is to let the hair get extremely dry, then rapidly hydrate it (causing rapid and extreme swelling). This happens with textured human hair growing from a person's head! If you've allowed your wig to get extremely dry, either through improper care or excessive heat use, you need to coat it with conditioner and slowly rinse in lukewarm water. Do not use high pressure, do no "dunk" it into a bath of water. Matter of fact, just try lightly spraying it with water before rinsing it. Let it hydrate very slowly and do not use a hydrating shampoo (use a moisturizing shampoo).

We know this has happened when a wig knots along the hair shaft (as opposed to the base).