What’s the best way to travel with wigs?

We get asked this question a lot! That makes sense, since so many costumed events require people to pack their costumes, accessories and yes, wigs, and head to a convention, reenactment, home visit or performance. The idea of packing up your wig and facial hair and taking it on a road trip or plane ride might seem scary, but we’ve got some tips to help your wig (or wigs!) arrive safe and sound and ready to wear.

The ideal way to transport a wig

Let’s start with the optimal packing and travelling conditions. In a perfect world, each wig will be blocked on a canvas head (or chin block, if you’re taking a beard). The block will keep your wig or beard stable and will support the foundation, lace front and style.

  • The head or chin should be placed in a sturdy box or travel case that’s large enough to hold the head steady and not crush any of the hair
  • That box or case is either carried on it’s own or packed into a larger suitcase or box that remains upright at all times. 

In this scenario, your wig or facial hair is transported without being compressed or being allowed to move around during transit. When you arrive at your destination, you can simply open the box or case, remove the head and find your wig looking just as fresh and tidy as when you left home.

You can pack your wig upright, if it has a tall style, or lay it flat on it’s back, if the style is short or you’re worried it’s too ‘back heavy’ to stay upright. 

For a wig that’s VERY full or fluffy, plan to travel with the wig on a head upright OR use a lighter weight styrofoam head to eliminate any risk the head will flatten the hair.

If you’re only traveling with one or two wigs or you’re driving to your destination, this might be a feasible option. Depending on the size of your case or box, you might be able to take a single wig onto a plane as your carry-on item. 

Do you need a special carrying case to transport your wig or facial hair?

They’re very handy but they’re not absolutely necessary. The advantage of traveling with your wig head in a carrying case is that they’re designed to hold a wig in place, upright, during transport. You can achieve the same results with a small roller suitcase, large cardboard box or even a hatbox. Just make sure whatever you use is tall enough for the head to stay upright without smashing against the top – and deep enough so the wig isn’t getting flattened when the case is closed. 

If you’re transporting more than one wig on a head, a large plastic tote is very handy. That’s how we travel with our stock of display wigs for events.

Pick one that has enough room for each wig, on the head, to be fully upright without touching the lid. Or, if you choose to lay your wigs on their back, make sure the tote is wide enough for the wig to lay without pressing against the sides. 

The important thing is that your wig, on its head, is enclosed and protected from the hazards of travel. 

When transporting wigs on canvas blocks isn’t an option

While it would be perfect for every single wig or piece of facial hair to travel on it’s own wig block as described, it’s simply not always feasible. You might have too many wigs or other items to allow space for wig heads. Or you might not have a canvas block for each and every wig you’re taking.

Even if you DO have a canvas block for every item, they’re heavy and that can make them difficult to transport.

The next best thing

If you have space, use styrofoam heads to transport your wigs or facial hair. Styro heads and faces are smaller than many people’s heads, which means you shouldn’t try to block your wig or beard on one. But you can put a wig or facial hair on a styro head, use two silk pins to keep the wig in place and travel with it that way.


wig packed on individual heads for travel

The styro head will keep the wig from collapsing on itself and will provide support. Like a canvas head, the styro head and wig should go into a box large enough to accommodate the wig without smashing it and it should be stabilized so it can’t move around.

As you can see in the photo above, a set of short wigs were packed in a neat line in a box. They’re not packed so tightly that they’re smashing each other but there’s no extra room to allow them to roll around or move much.

Besides keeping your pieces in tip top shape for the journey, traveling with your wigs on heads ensures they have a place to sit once you arrive. Ideally, include some stands to hold heads and make sure they stay upright.

wigs stored on heads during a convention
When you can’t travel with wig heads

While it’s ideal to keep wigs or facial hair on a head, it’s not always possible. If you’re packing wigs and costumes for a longer event, you simply might not have room for an army of wig heads, either in your luggage or at your destination. 

For one or two wigs:

Lay each wig on it’s back and pack the interior with wadded tissue paper. Then wrap the entire wig in another sheet of tissue. Put the wrapped wig into a box that’s just large enough to hold it without smashing it or compressing the lace front. The box should be just big enough to contain the wig but not so large that the wig can move around in the box. If you’re also transporting facial hair, wrap it in a piece of tissue and tuck it into the wig. If the beard is very large, it may need it’s own wrapping and box, however.

This method might seem familiar to you because it’s how we pack up client projects to ship them. It keeps the wigs stable even during the indignities of shipping and it’s very lightweight.


wig and beard packed for travel or shipment
Traveling with larger numbers of wigs:

Try to pack each wig or wig and facial hair in it’s own box. If that’s not possible, wrap each piece as described and lay them carefully in a larger box. It’s best for them to be in a single layer but if you must stack them, put the heaviest wigs on the bottom. Use tissue to stuff areas around the wigs so they can’t move in transit. Keep the box upright as much as possible.

This packing method will also work in a suitcase. I once packed 12 styled wigs for a production of Pride and Prejudice into a standard roller suitcase, which I had to check at the gate. Upon arrival, the wigs were still in perfect condition and ready for fittings. 

If you have to travel with a large number of wigs like this, try to bring at least one canvas wig head along, too. Then you’ll have it to do any restyling or upkeep work if you need to.

Tips for keeping wigs and facial hair intact during transit

Whether the wigs are traveling on heads or wrapped in tissue, here’s a few tips to help them arrive unscathed:

  • use banana clips or bobby pins to secure any dangling or loose curls during transit
  • large hair nets will help support wig or beard hair – they keep the hair from drooping or moving around too much
  • either pin small pieces of facial hair, like mustaches or eyebrows, to the head or put them in an envelope so they don’t get lost
  • try to let your pieces dry completely after you wear them, before you pack them up. If you must pack them immediately after wearing, open the box and let them air out as soon as you can.
  • put your name and contact information in the box or case with your wigs or use a luggage tag

This Santa wig and beard are blocked onto a canvas head for storage and travel. The beard and wig are supported with a hairnet, which keeps the curls from drooping. This is actually the ideal way to store pieces, whether you’re traveling or staying home. 

Even if you’re not traveling with a canvas head, or any wig head at all, you can still use hair nets to hold and stabilize the hair.

Be sure to bring wig styling and care tools!

Unless you’ll be returning home the same day, make sure you bring along everything you need to clean your wig or beard lace after wearing. You’ll definitely want to get any makeup, glue or adhesive off the lace before you pack the pieces back up for travel.

And if possible, be sure your pieces are completely dry before you pack them back up. If you do have to repack them before they dry, open them up and let them air out as soon as you can once you arrive. 

Traveling with Wigs

While trying to pack your wigs for travel might sound stressful, these tips will help ensure you and your wigs arrive unscathed. Got a good tip on traveling with wigs? Let us know in the comments! 

If you have questions, use this button to email us.

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tips for travelling with wigs