How to Wash Synthetic and Human Hair Wigs

How to Wash Synthetic and Human Hair Wigs

Using a wig is quite an adventure for a whole host of different reasons – how it feels, how it looks, the flexibility it offers, and so on, and so forth. And another big question that comes with it is the question of maintenance.

So, how to wash a synthetic wig and how to wash a human hair wig? The answer to both those questions is “Very carefully, with the appropriate products, and with cold water.

Still, there are a lot of minor details that apply to both of these questions so let’s take a more careful look at both of them.

How to wash a synthetic wig?

You may have been told to try and wash a synthetic wig with fabric softener – we’d definitely advise against that! The same goes for trying to wash a synthetic wig with regular shampoo.

Instead, there are specific products designed to wash synthetic wigs with ease and without harming them in any way.

Here’s a quick 9-step guide on how to wash wigs made out of synthetic hair:

  1. Find the right synthetic wig shampoo. There is a myriad of shampoo products that claim to be good for synthetic wigs but some are better than others. Without going into specific brands, here’s what you should look for:
    • A wig shampoo that doesn’t have any alcohol in it. A lot of wig shampoos include alcohol but that is almost guaranteed to harm your wig in the long run and effectively shorten its lifespan.
    • Look for products that specifically state that they don’t strip the color off of synthetic wigs.
  2. Carefully comb your wig to straighten and untangle its hairs. Use a wide-tooth comb or a wig brush to keep the hair strands safe. Simply start combing from the hair ends of the wig and move upwards.
  3. Fill up a basin or a clean sink with cold water. Don’t use hot or even just “somewhat” warm water as that can easily harm a synthetic wig, especially over several washes. After that just add one or two caps of the synthetic wig shampoo into the water (as much as the product suggests).
  4. Carefully submerge the wig into the water. Don’t scrub it as you’ll risk entangling or harming the hairs. Instead, just carefully move around and wash the wig for a minute or two. Don’t forget to thoroughly wash the cap of the wig as well since that’s where most of the sweat and dirt end up.
  5. Let the wig soak for several minutes – no more than 4-5 minutes unless the shampoo specifically says otherwise.
  6. Take the wig out and drain it carefully. Don’t try to dry it yet and don’t shake it too vigorously.
  7. Rinse the wig in clean cold water. Drain it again by holding it by the back or by the nape and shaking it carefully.
  8. If you want to use a conditioner, use a synthetic wig conditioner spray. Spray the wig with it and shake it carefully again.
  9. Put the wig on a drying rack to dry off naturally. Don’t heat-dry it as that would harm the hairs. Also, don’t put it on a large mannequin head as that would stretch it too much over time. Once the wig has dried off completely, comb it carefully again.

And that’s about it! If you’re wondering how to wash a synthetic curly wig and if there are any extra steps you should take – the process is pretty much the same. Synthetic wigs are made out of thin plastic fibers that easily hold their intended shape as long as they are handled with care.

How to wash a human hair wig?

Human hair wigs are more expensive and more comfortable than synthetic wigs. They also require a lot of care, however – both because of how fragile they are and because styling them can be harder.

Here’s our 9-step guide for washing a human hair wig:

  1. Start by carefully combing the wig. Use a wire wig brush if the wig is straight or wavy, or use a wide-tooth comb for a curly wig. Comb from the ends to the roots until you’ve successfully removed all entangled hairs and you can easily comb the entire length of the hair.
  2. Fill a sink or a tub with cold or lukewarm water. Don’t use hot water as that will eventually tire and damage the hair beyond restoration.
  3. Add one capful of your shampoo of choice to the water (or more if need be). Use a high-quality shampoo of a type that’s suitable for the wig’s hair. For example, use a color-safe shampoo if the wig has been dyed or shampoo for curly hair if the wig has curls.
    • Note: Don’t use 2-in-1 shampoos with conditioners. You can use a conditioner later but you don’t want it to get to the roots of the wig.
  4. Turn the wig inside out and submerge it. Give the wig a gentle whirl in the water to help the shampoo and the water reach all strands. Don’t scrub the wig, just whirl it a bit. Be careful not to tangle the hairs.
  5. Let the wig soak in the soapy water for 4-5 minutes, not more.
  6. Rinse the wig in clean, cold water. You can do this in a separate tub of water or under the shower – just be gentle and careful not to harm or entangle the hair strands.
  7. Drain the wig without shaking it too much.
  8. Conditioner the wig and finger-comb it. Avoid getting the conditioner on the cap and the hair knots. After a couple of minutes rinse and drain the wig again unless you’ve used a leave-in conditioner.
  9. Carefully dry the wig. Turn it right-side-out and squeeze the remaining water from the cap. Then, either hang-dry or towel-dry the wig. Towel-drying is fine as long as you’re careful but don’t heat-dry a wig as you’ll risk damaging it.

Follow these steps closely and you should end up with a nicely washed, clean, and beautiful wig!

Categories Boldbarber hair advice
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