Can You Swim With A Wig? What You Need To Know

If you wear wigs and you like to swim, it’s natural to wonder if you can swim with a wig. In this article, we will answer this question and more.

Can You Swim With A Wig

Yes, you can swim with a wig. But bear in mind that swimming can be quite harsh on a wig. Your wig will have to contend with the effects of either chlorine or salt which can be very drying. For this reason, it might be a good idea to avoid wearing your go-to wig in case it suffers irreparable damage. 

Can You Swim With A Wig?

You can swim with a wig, but you need to take certain precautions. 

In the main, wigs are constructed of human hair or synthetic hair. Human hair and synthetic hair are both affected by water, whether the water is chlorinated or salt water. 

Human Hair Wigs May Be Better

Some sources claim it is better to wear a wig made of human hair if you are planning on spending time in the water. 

They cite these tend to be more resilient and take the strain of swimming or other water activity better. A human hair wig will also tangle less.

However, they are more expensive to replace and if you swim continuously in salt water or chlorinated water, then you will have to place it sooner than if it wasn’t exposed to these elements.

Can You Swim With A Synthetic Wig?

Can You Swim With A Synthetic Wig

Other sources recommend keeping your human hair wig out of the water. 

They suggest wearing an old wig or a cheaper spare wig which you won’t be too annoyed about should it become damaged while swimming. 

A synthetic wig can be a good alternative. In time, it too will become damaged by the wear and tear of swimming, but a synthetic wig is more affordable to replace.

The problem with a synthetic wig is that it can become very tangled and can be tricky to comb when you get out of the water. 

The integrity of a synthetic wig will be compromised faster when swimming than the integrity of a human hair wig.

What Can Happen If You Swim With A Wig?

If you swim with a wig, the elements in the water and the water itself can affect the wig.

Chlorine can affect the color of a human hair wig, especially a lighter or blonde piece.

When swimming, there is also a higher chance that your wig will be exposed to direct sunlight.

If it is a human hair wig, it can become oxidized in the sun, and this too can affect the color.

If you only plan to wade or paddle without fully submerging your wig, then it should be fine.

However, if you plan to dive, surf or snorkel then your wig will suffer more wear and tear. With these activities, there is also a higher risk of your wig coming off.

Loose hair can become tangled when swimming. The same applies to loose wig hair. It can tangle and become knotted. 

The effort of detangling the wig can cause it to stretch and even break.

Even if you decide to tackle knots when hair has dried, excessive knots can result in hair shedding prematurely from your wig.

Another thing to be aware of is that the water can dissolve any wig glue you may be using to keep your wig in place. Lace wigs are often secured by gluing the lace trim to your hairline.

If the adhesive is not waterproof, you run the risk of the adhesive becoming redundant and your wig slipping out of place or falling off.

How To Swim With A Wig

How To Swim With A Wig

Preparation is key if you are planning to swim with a wig, no matter what kind of wig you have.

Here are a few precautions to take before going swimming with a wig:

Test Your Wig Before Swimming 

It is recommended that you test your wig before wearing it at the beach, pool, or lake. You can do this by wearing it in the bathtub, shower, or private pool. 

This will test if your wig adhesive (if you use one) is waterproof.

You may also want to move your head around as you might if you are swimming to check the wig will stay in place. You might feel a bit silly doing this, but it will be worth it!

Detangle Your Wig 

Make sure you detangle your wig before swimming. If you go swimming with a wig that is knotted or tangled, then it is likely to become even more tangled and knotted.

Style Your Wig 

It is a good idea to put longer wigs into a ponytail, braids, or buns. This should help prevent excessive tangling as you swim.

Secure The Wig To Avoid It Falling off 

There are different ways to secure your wig in place while in the water. The level of activity you intend on doing will also be a factor in how you secure your hair.

Here are a few ways to do so:

Wig Grip

A wig grip can be used for swimming. It can be worn under your wig without any issues.


Another method of securing your wig is to wear a hairband. This can be worn over your wig to keep it in place.

Elastic Band

This is an increasingly popular method for holding wigs in place. You need to sew an elastic band from ear to ear inside your wig.

When you put the wig on, the elastic band is pulled down across the nape of the neck to hold the wig in place.


If you are swimming using a lace wig, then you will need to use wig glue to keep it in place. You will need to ensure you use high-quality water-resistant wig glue so that it won’t wash away as you swim.

As previously mentioned, it might be a good idea to test that the adhesive you choose is waterproof (in the bath or in the shower), just to be on the safe side.

Use A Swimming Cap

They may not be the most glamourous of beach attire, but when it comes to swimming in a wig, a swimming cap can prove very useful!

Not only does it offer extra support to keep your hairpiece in place, but if it is waterproof then it will protect your wig from chlorine and saltwater damage.

With a swimming cap, you might be able to relax more, have fun, and be as active as you want to be without worrying about your wig coming off.

How To Handle A Wig After Swimming

It is a good idea to give your wig the correct aftercare when you have been swimming with it.

Here’s what you need to do:

Washing The Wig Is Important

It is important to wash your wig after swimming to remove any salt or chlorine that could cause damage.

Remember to wash the inside cap of your wig if it has one, and any lace trim too.

After this, use a nourishing conditioner to combat any dryness caused by exposure to chlorine or salt. Gently, comb out any tangles and allow your wig to air dry.

Remove Glue Carefully

If you have used wig glue, use a wig glue remover to break this down before removing your wig.

After you have applied the remover, gently peel off your wig to avoid damaging your hairline or the wig lace.

What Type Of Wigs Are Suitable To Swim In?

What Type Of Wigs Are Suitable To Swim In

There are lots of wigs that are suitable to swim in:

  • Lace wig- just make sure you use a waterproof adhesive.
  • Synthetic wig- an affordable option and easier to replace should it get damaged.
  • Full lace wig- you can swim with this but it is expensive to replace so not highly recommended.
  • Human hair wig- same as advice for a full lace wig.
  • Sew-in wig- you might want to consider some wig adhesive for added stability.
  • Closure wig- be careful with wig glue application to make sure it fits properly.

So, there you have it, you can swim with a wig. Just make sure you take the precautions outlined above to enjoy your beautiful hair piece for as long as possible.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Should I Swim In An Old Wig?

Yes, it is advised that you swim wearing an old wig if this is an option. Try to avoid swimming in the wig you wear every day.

How Can I Prevent My Human Hair Wig from Changing Color When Swimming?

You can use a UV protection product for your wig while swimming. This can minimize the effects of the water on the color of your human hair wig. 
You can also take the piece to a professional colorist who might be able to color correct the wig.

Can I Go Surfing With A Wig?

Yes, you can go surfing with a wig but as with swimming, you need to take a few precautions. Make sure you detangle your wig and treat it to an intensely nourishing hair mask beforehand (to keep it protected).

Can you wear a synthetic wig to the beach?

Yes, a synthetic wig is a good option for the beach. They are able to retain their style better than a human hair wig and are more durable for adverse weather conditions. A synthetic wig may still be affected by humidity and water, but generally speaking, it is more robust and therefore suitable for such conditions.

Disclaimer: This site is not intended to provide professional or medical advice. All of the content on is for informational purposes only. All advice should be followed at your own discretion. Ingredients may change at any time so always check the product label before using. Check our full disclaimer policy here.