Whether you wear a wig as a statement of fashion, as a way to quickly change up your look, or need to wear one to conceal hair loss, a necessary part of maintaining it, is knowing how to wash it properly. If you want to keep the luster and texture of your wig the same as when you purchased it, then it should be cleaned every two to three weeks.
Depending on the kind of wig or toupee you have, whether it one with human hair or synthetic material, it is essential to use the right method for washing to avoid damaging the fibers. Here’s how to clean a wig properly to keep from destroying it.
While human hair wigs provide you with the most natural look and feel, technological advances have helped synthetic hair come a long way in the last several years, making it hard to distinguish between the two. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to tell the difference between the two materials.
The main difference between the two kinds of wigs is how you care for and style the two. Synthetic wigs are easier to design and hold up much better in bad weather. Here’s how to clean a wig depending on the material.
How to Wash a Human Hair Wig
Human hair wigs can be extremely expensive, making it all the more important to learn how to wash and maintain the hairpiece properly. Since they consist of human hair, these types of wigs are much more resilient than those wigs that contain synthetic fibers.
A human hair wig can withstand curling, straightening, and dying much better than a synthetic wig. Just like their synthetic counterparts, you must wash a human hair wig regularly to keep it clean.
However, because of how delicate they are, you need to be extra careful when cleaning. Comb or brush the wig with a wide tooth comb. Start by gently combing out the ends of the hair.
Once you’ve taken care of any knots, work upward toward the roots until you can run the comb through without snagging. Next, fill a sink with cold water and stir in one tablespoon of high-qualitywig shampoo. If you don’t have a wig shampoo, you can create your own using the recipe below.
Turn the wig inside out and place it in the water. Press down the fibers to ensure the entire piece is submerged. Gently swirl the hair in the water to distribute the shampoo evenly throughout the strands. Allow the wig to soak for five minutes.
After five minutes, use cold water to rinse the wig, ridding it of all the shampoo residue. Next, apply a conditioner. Drizzle some leave-in conditioner onto the hair and gently comb through it with your fingers. If you are using a regular conditioner, rinse it with cold water after two minutes. Continue to clean until the water runs clear.
To dry the wig, turn it inside out and gently squeeze out the water. Avoid wringing or twisting the fibers of the piece as this can cause them to tangle and break. Finally, to remove excess water by rolling the wig up in a towel.
Press down on the cloth, and gently unroll to remove the hairpiece. Allow the hair to air dry on a wig stand, being sure to keep it out of direct sunlight.
Just like with regular hair, you can dry brush a little baking soda through the human hair wig to freshen it. This is only one of many baking soda uses.
Fill the sink with warm water and add the baking soda. Allow the baking soda to completely dissolve in the water to avoid a chalky residue on the wig. Soak your hair for four hours, or overnight. After soaking, rinse the entire piece thoroughly, then proceed to dry.
How to Wash a Synthetic Wig
Synthetic wig care isn’t much different than caring for a human hair wig. Determining how often to wash your wig will depend on how often you wear it. Generally, you should be cleaning your wig every four to six weeks, or after you’ve worn it 30 times.
However, this can change depending on your lifestyle. If you are around heavy smoke, strong odors, or perfume, you may need to clean it more often.
First, you need to know how to detangle a synthetic wig. Start by brushing out the kinks and knots with a wire wig brush. Start at the bottom of the hair and slowly work upwards toward the roots. Avoid using a non-wire brush because the bristles can damage the wig’s synthetic fibers.
Once you’ve removed the kinks, you can soak the hairpiece in a sink full of cold water and one teaspoon baking soda and a few drops of synthetic wig shampoo. Swish the wig around the water for a full minute, to thoroughly saturate the fibers.
Rinse the wig under cool running water and squeeze out the excess water and place on a clean, dry towel. Spray the hair with a specially formulated conditioner for synthetic wigs. Place the piece on a wig headstand and allow to dry for 30 to 40 minutes.
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How to Style a Wig
You can style your synthetic wig with a wig comb, wig brush, or your fingertips. You don’t want to use a comb or brush that was designed for human hair because it can create tension and overstretch the synthetic fibers and damage the hair.
The best styling tool you can use to style your wig is a spray bottle of clean, cold water. Remove static electricity and return the hairpiece to its natural look by lightly spraying the hair with the water.
How to Curl a Synthetic Wig
Start by placing the wig on a wig stand to keep it in place and provide you with the ability to see the entire headpiece while you are working. Remove any tangles with a wire wig brush, then separate the hair into four broad sections.
Clip one segment in the top center of the wig, one part at the back center of the hairpiece, and then one on the right and left sides of the wig.
Unclip the section at the top center of the wig and divide it into one-inch pieces. With the part that you are working with, lightly spray the hair from the roots to the ends with cold water, just enough to dampen the strand.
Place a roller at the end of the strand and wind the hair around it until you reach the base of the wig. Clip the roller in place. Repeat this process until all the sections are in rollers. Allow the wig to air dry until it is no longer damp.
Working from the bottom of the hair, unroll the rollers in reverse order. Lightly spray each curl with hairspray as you uncurl them. Once you’ve removed all the rollers from the hair, gently work your fingertips through the pieces to manipulate the curls and position them where you want to create a beautiful style.
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How to Straighten a Synthetic Wig
Secure the wig to a Styrofoam wig form using pushpins. Comb tangles from the hair using a wire wig brush or a wide-toothed comb. Place the wig form on a stand that allows the fibers to flow unhindered to its full length. You could use a 2-liter bottle filled with water for shorter and shoulder-length hair, or a camera tripod for longer hair.
Place the stand with the wig in the bathtub. Boil a large pot of water to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Carefully pour the water over the hair, starting at the crown. Spray the wig with a synthetic wig detangling product and carefully brush through the fibers with the wide-toothed comb to lay it flat.
Allow the hair to air-dry. Once the strands of hair are completely dry, comb through the wig again. If you want the wig to be even straighter, repeat the process until satisfied.
No matter your reason for wearing a wig, taking proper care, and maintaining it is critical. Knowing how to wash a wig properly will help keep it looking new. Protect your investment and ensure that your hairpiece always looks its best with these simple techniques for cleaning a wig.
We hope you enjoyed learning how to wash a wig. If you found this information useful, please feel free to pass it on to your family and friends.