Can You Swim With a Wig On? (How to Do It Right)


Swimming can be terrifying for people who wear wigs. The reason is obvious. But do they always have to be worried when there are ways to do it right?

You can swim with a wig on without having it come off in the pool or the ocean. The trick is using waterproof glue and letting it dry for an hour minimum. An elastic band or swim cap on top of that would secure the wig furthermore.

The Problem of Wearing a Wig While Swimming

Wig coming off is not the only fear of women. There are other numerous things that make them question whether they should go swimming at all.

Wear and tear of the wig are one of them. If you bring your hair to chlorinated and salty water, it will dry out quickly. You could see some breakage and discoloration from that dryness. 

Your hair can also get seriously tangled from swimming when it is loose. To get it untangled again, you will end up spending another half hour. Some hair could possibly break off while combing. 


Here is the good news. All of that can be tackled with a little bit of preparation. If you can manage an hour before, you could go swimming. 

But, first things first. 

Glue or Tape: Which One is Better for Swimming?

There are two ways you can make your hair stay in place when swimming. You could use waterproof glue which most people recommend. Using tape is not uncommon either.

I recommend using good waterproof glue over the waterproof tape. Tape on wigs could have visible ends and be more difficult to wear. Whereas glue is easier to put and the good ones withstand water comfortably. There will be no visible end as the large part of the glue will dissolve with the skin. 

How to Swim With a Wig The Right Way

Here is how to swim with a wig so that it doesn’t come off:

  1. Stick the lace to your hairline with waterproof glue
  2. Let the hairline dry for a good 1 hour
  3. Tie your hair to reduce friction in the water
  4. Use an elastic band to secure the wig (optional)
  5. Wear a swim cap on top of your wig (optional)
  6. Avoid backstrokes at all costs
  7. Use a glue remover to remove the wig
  8. Wash your wig after swimming 

For this to work, you will need a waterproof adhesive. It could be glue or tape, but I will go with glue for the rest of the post. I recommend that for you too. 

You have to apply the glue on your hairline under the lace. You don’t have to put glue everywhere, even for a full lace wig. Just applying on the front hairline is fine. 

Typically you will have to make a few layers of glue. You make the first layer, give it some time to dry and then you put another layer and dry. Normally 3-4 coats are required but read the instructions given with your glue for how many times. 

To secure your wig furthermore, you could consider using an elastic band or a swimming cap. When you are done swimming, it is important that you don’t rip off your skin. Use a glue remover for that. 

Swimming in Different Types of Wigs

Swimming With a Lace Front Wig

The lace front wig has lace only in the front part of the hair. The rest of the wig has thicker material. Often times it comes with sewed hair clips that can be pushed into the original hair. 


For swimming, lace front aka. lace frontal wigs are very suitable. You have the lace in front where you can apply the glue. Not having lace everywhere is a swimming plus as it will be less prone to tearing. 

Swimming With a Full Lace Wig

A full lace wig is not very different from a lace frontal in terms of swimming. You apply glue mainly to the front part of the lace. You could also add a little glue behind the head which would stable it further.

Considering the fact that full lace wigs are more expensive and more likely to tear because of the thin lace material all around, it is better not to use a full lace wig for swimming.

Swimming With a Headband Wig

Headband wigs do not have or need lace to stay in place. The enforced tension from the band keeps it secure. It is also easier to put on since there is no glue or tape needed. 

While this certainly is convenient in most cases, they are not a good choice for swimming. The band will not keep the hair secure when you go underwater. You may still have to apply glue underneath the band for this to work. 


Swimming With a Closure Wig

Closure wigs have 2/3 of the wig made of lace. It gives you more options to part your hair and still looks natural. 

A closure wig is just as good as lace front wigs if it is not too much expensive. It has lace around the front hairline which is what we need for applying the glue. It might take a little more care than the lace front, but it is doable. 

Swimming With a Sew-In Wig

The sew-in method comes in handy when you want to keep the wig on for weeks. It is a tedious process and requires more effort to take the threads off. Most women prefer going to their hairdressers to take it off.

While it is certainly a step-up in the direction of swimming and it would work pretty well when the sewing is done correctly, some glue might still be needed. I would recommend giving it a light try and see if you feel confident without the glue first. 

Synthetic vs Human: What Hair Should You Choose for Swimming?

Synthetic hair can retain the style for a long time while on the other hand, human hair wigs need more care than a real human hair. 


None of that is a concern for swimming because all the styles will vanish as soon as you dive into the water. However, human hair can lose its color and get damaged sooner than synthetic hair. 

Considering the price of both, it is more ideal to use synthetic hair for swimming. Chlorinated water does less harm to synthetic hair than it does to human hair. You can also get a cheap piece of synthetic hair just for swimming and keep your expensive human hair away from pool water all the time. 

Is It Possible to Swim With Glueless Wigs?

There are several ways to wear a wig without glue or tape (ex. using a headband, sewing wig into the braids, etc). People who have allergies to adhesive often use wigs without glues. But can they swim in the same fashion?

Water has more friction than air and due to that fact, the way you are normally wearing a wig might not work when swimming. A band or a swim cap can help you a bit but without using glue you won’t be one hundred percent confident. 

It is, therefore, best to investigate a little more on finding glue for sensitive skin. There are some non-toxic and sensitive skin glues on the market that might suit your skin. But always make sure that it is waterproof if you are intending to swim in it. 


Can You Shower With a Wig After Swimming?

Showering with a wig is completely normal. There is nothing to be worried about when you are using freshwater. After a swim in a pool, you have to make sure that none of the pool chemicals are left in the hair. 

It might vary from person to person, but some people find taking off a wig and cleaning it easier. In that way, you can also clean your original hair. If you glued your hair earlier, it might not be easy to take it off quickly. In that case, just clean your hair as nicely as you can for that time period.

Under any circumstance, you should not pull-remove your wig if you glued it. Use an adhesive remover. It will keep your skin safe and the hair away from damages. 

Tips to Avoid Wig From Coming Off on the Water Again

Nobody wants to be a result of experiments in front of the public. There are certain things you can do beforehand to make sure you don’t embarrass yourself. 

1. Test Whether the Glue is Actually Waterproof

There are hundreds of glues in the market. Many of them call themselves waterproof, swimproof, etc. It is always good to go for a reputable brand. But there is something you can (probably should) do in order to be one hundred percent safe.


Test yourself. Apply the glue to your lace, take it to a shower, and test if it holds after mixing it with water. If you see that it is not wearing off, you are ready to go swimming.

2. Let the Glued Hairline Dry Properly

This is often the case. You buy a nice tube of glue, apply it to your wig and after a couple of minutes on water, you see all the glues are coming off.

It is not a fault of the glue in most cases. You just didn’t read the manual properly. Most glues will ask you to dry your hairline for a certain amount of time. A safe drying time is one hour. You may also need to make several layers of glue for swimming. So always refer back to the manual for how. 

3. Braid or Ponytail Your Hair If Possible

When hair is loose, it will take up more space in the water. This also means it will take more hits from the water and create extra resistance. That is the opposite of what you want to do. 

If you braid or ponytail your hair, it will penetrate through the water easily. By doing so, your wig will stay in place longer. It can also help you avoid your hair getting tangled. 


4. Apply the Elastic Band Method to Your Wig

An elastic band on top of glue can offer you a snug fit for your wig. It is optional but can definitely help your wig stay in place when swimming vigorously. 

For this to work, you have to buy an elastic band and sew it to the wig. The process is not complicated. Here is a video that demonstrates how you can do it at home yourself. 

YouTube video
Video Creator: MsJazzy2Classy

5. Wear a Swim Cap Whenever Possible

Swim caps are there for a reason. It will prevent chlorinated water from touching your hair and damaging it. It doesn’t completely block out water but it does a pretty good job

There is one additional advantage of wearing a swim cap on top of a wig. It keeps your wig more secure. If you are thinking about diving into the water, make sure to put a swim cap on. 

6. Don’t Dive Harder than You Should

Diving into the water is fun. But if you wear a wig, you should be a little careful. I have seen people having the wig come off straight after the first dive.


When you dive, you expose your hair to a sudden hit. If it is not glued properly, the chances are high that it will get displaced or fall off completely. To avoid this, make sure the glue is working and dive knowing that you have a wig on. 

7. Avoid Doing Backstrokes

Out of all swimming strokes, backstroke is the enemy of wigs. When you do backstrokes, the wig is basically hanging off from the front hairline. If the glue isn’t strong enough, it will come loose. 

If you absolutely have to do backstrokes, you can try braiding or ponytailing your hair. Just don’t keep it loose. You can add a swim cap to the mix and your worries would be less. 

8. Use a Different Wig for Swimming 

I get it that you want to use the wig you currently have for swimming. Maybe it’s your favorite one which also makes you more confident. When you think a little more diligently, pool water is bad for all hair (not just wigs) due to the chemicals it has.

So why not leave your expensive and most favorite piece of wig at home and use a cheap synthetic one just for swimming? All the damages, tearing, or whatever will go through the second pair for peace of mind.