There’s a lot we’ve talked about when it comes to dying one’s hair but can you dye synthetic wigs at home?
Yes, yes you can! The process is quite different, of course, as you can’t dye a synthetic wig with hair dye the same way you would human hair. However, there are other things you can do to give your wig a new look and feel, to give an old wig a makeover, or to get a brand new light-colored wig and turn it into something special.
So, how to dye a synthetic wig? Let’s go over the main steps one by one.
Make the dye you want
Because you can’t use normal hair dyes you’re going to have to improvise. Don’t worry if you haven’t done anything like this before – it’s a very basic exercise in chemistry.
- Get an alcohol-based ink in the color that you’re after. You can find such inks from your local crafts shop. Make sure that you’re buying a quality ink but at the end of the day, any ink will do as long as it’s in the right color. You can even open a normal sharpie marker and use its ink if you want.
- Pour the ink into an empty and clean spray bottle and mix it with water in a 1:1 ratio. For a normal-sized wig, you’ll likely want 11 oz. of mixture (around 30 ml) and more for longer wigs.
After you mix the ink with the water just close the spray bottle and shake it well.
- If you want a more pastel color just add more water to the mixture. A more vibrant color dye mixed in a 1:2 ratio with water will give you a beautiful pastel color in most cases.
Apply the dye to the wig
Coloring synthetic wigs doesn’t require bleaching as synthetic hairs can’t be bleached the way human hair can. So, to dye synthetic wigs in any color you first have to get the right wig.
- Get a synthetic wig that’s of a lighter color than what you want to achieve. As much as you might want to dye your old black wig in anime-style light-blue, it just can’t be done. Wigs that are white, silver, blond, or in a light pastel color are ideal for dying.
Additionally, make sure that whatever shades the wig has will help with the dying and not be a detriment. If the original color of the wig is light pastel with warm undertones, dying it in a warm color will be better and easier than dying it in a cool color.
- Prepare your work station. Dying a synthetic wig can get quite messy so it’s best to do it away from any valuables. If you can set up an old table outside, everyone at home will likely be grateful. Alternatively, you can do it in the garage or the basement.
Once you’ve chosen the place, throw an old tablecloth or several newspapers on the table. For yourself, it’s smart to wear clothes that you don’t care about as well as latex gloves. You likely won’t need to go as far as using goggles – just be careful with the spray bottle.
Lastly, take the wig and its wig stand, the spray bottle, and an old wide tooth comb you won’t be too sad about if it gets dyed.
- Spray a small section of the wig – 2-3 inches, for example – and dig your finger s in it and start wiggling them to evenly spread the ink. Spray again if you have to and keep rubbing until the whole section is evenly coated with the ink.
- Repeat this process throughout the rest of the wig.
- Comb through the wig roots to ends to spread the ink even better. Where necessary spray again. Keep combing until you’ve achieved the desired uniform color.
- If you are going for a more vibrant color and/or you don’t want to go through the hassle of the slow and methodical spraying, you can also just pour the ink in a large bowl or a tub and dip the wig in it. Then, just use the gloves to carefully spread the ink on the hair strands while protecting the cap.
Note: This method is only good if you’re going after a strong, vibrant color.
Clean and dry the wig
You’ve successfully dyed the wig but it’s not exactly “wearable” yet. To finalize the process there are only a few steps left:
- Let the wig dry off completely from the ink. Don’t use a hair drier or anything similar – just leave the wig on its wig stand for about an hour or so in the sun and the ink will set in it well and dry off.
If you are not sure if the wig is dry yet, just run your fingers through it – they should come out dry and clean. If not – wash your hands and wait a little more.
- Rinse the wig thoroughly. Just put it under the sink and rinse it with cold water until the water comes out clean.
- Put the wig on the wig stand and spray some synthetic hair conditioner on it. You should be able to find a good synthetic hair conditioner in any local beauty supply store.
Comb the wig with the conditioner still on using the wide-tooth comb. Comb the wig from root to end until you’ve completely detangled the hair strands.
Note: Don’t use a regular hair brush as that risks ruining a synthetic wig.
- If you want to heat-dry or style your dyed wig before using it, remember to use the lowest possible setting or you will likely damage the wig and the dye.
And that’s it! Your new wig is ready to use – enjoy!