Beauty Over 60 | Silver Grey Toppers & Wigs | Care For Grey Hair

HOW TO CLEAN SYNTHETIC WIGS

HOW TO CLEAN SYNTHETIC WIGS

I began wearing wigs, toppers, and/or hairpieces due to a medical condition that led to my own hair loss. Not even Hormone Therapy helped, I was, in fact losing my hair. Due to that sudden change, I entered the world of wigs albeit somewhat reluctantly. I studied various topics related to wigs. I learned that thankfully, wig fibers have come a long way since my mother's day.

When I purchased my first synthetic hair wig I never really gave much thought to how I would wash the piece. Questions flooded my mind such as, do I treat synthetic hair the same as human hair wigs? Intuitively I knew the answer was NO but just HOW does one clean a synthetic wig without ruining it in the process? How can I keep its natural look? What is the best way to clean longer styles? How can I keep the ends of the hair looking great, especially on a high-quality wig, looking as new as the day I bought it?

Thanks to modern technology, synthetic wig wearers are everywhere.   SO… Just what is the best way to wash a synthetic wig? Synthetic wig care will be different than washing a human hair wig. Naturally, I wanted the best results. I did not want to ruin my beautiful AND expensive new wig, and I wanted to extend its life span as much as possible. So I did a lot of research on how to proceed. You will see that cleaning your synthetic wig can be accomplished in a few easy steps and by the time you've finished reading, you will know the proper way to make your cherished wig look, feel and act like a brand new synthetic wig or PERFECT HAIR once again. You can use this method for virtually any alternative hair including hair extensions.  

In the video below, I used two methods: Downing Fabric Softener and Godivas Secret Shampoo and Conditioner:  I honestly was not happy with how the fabric softener “washed” wig turned out.  I was however very happy with the shampoo/conditioner specially made for wigs.  I have since moved on to a different wig shampoo/conditioner and will be doing another comparison of those soon. When I do, I will update this post.

Wig Shampoo and Downy Fabric Softener

You probably already know it's a good idea to give some thought to the care of your wig. WHY SHOULD YOU WASH YOUR WIG or any alternative hair? Well, it is your best option to have your piece last a long time and have its maximum life extended. Things like heavy cigarette smoke, or any heavy smoke such as things that got burned while cooking, fragrance, and various household and/or pet odors can take their toll on your beautiful wig. Also, how you wash your wig will depend on what kind of wig it is. Is it human hair, or synthetic hair? The answer will help you decide what type of product to use to clean it. The most important thing is to “relax” and know that this is not rocket science. Countless others have successfully cleaned hair fibers (whether synthetic or human) with great results enabling you to keep the original style of your wig or piece.

Watch the video above and it will answer a lot of your questions.  Here's some additional information.

Your questions may be similar to mine and I will address the following items one by one below:  My answers are in blue.

  1. Should I use a specially formulated wig shampoo or human hair shampoos?
    Answer: In my video above, I used BOTH Downy and Shampoo and conditioner for wigs.  I HONESTLY like the wig products better.  Plus they smelled great.
  2. Could I simply use the regular shampoo I use on my wig hair? 
    Answer: I would not recommend that.  Why?  Regular hair care products may contain chemicals that can damage synthetic wigs
  3. Can I use baby shampoo?    Answer: Same answer as #2.
  4. Should I use hot water, lukewarm water (or tepid water) or would cool water be better?  Answer:  Cold water is best.
  5. Could fabric softener be used, and if so how much?  Answer: Yes, I used Downy.  I used about 1/4 cup.  It did not perform as well as the wig shampoo.
  6. Is the cleaning process the same for curly styles and straight styles?  Answer: es!
  7. Do I wash the hair AND the wig cap?  Answer: Yes!  Wash both.

BELOW ARE THE THINGS YOU WILL NEED:

Remember that good washes are methodical. The best thing is to have a plan and follow it from start to finish. Room temperature does not really matter, what matters is the temperature of the wash water.

  • A clean basin (or sink)
  • Wig Shampoo; is your best option, or in my opinion your best bet for great results
  • Synthetic wig conditioner. You will use only a small amount of conditioner (see below)
  • Wig Stand, wig head a styrofoam head, or mannequin head
  • Wide Tooth Comb or a wig Comb (see note below in red)
  • Wig Brush
  • Wig Shampoo    AND   Wig Conditioner
ROP Conditioner

 

THE WASHING PROCESS:

How To Clean A Synthetic Wig1.  Before washing your synthetic wig, take your wide-tooth comb (or wig brush) and comb out the unit as much as possible.   

2.  Fill the sink or (a good option) basin with cool water.  Add a capful (or about 1 Tablespoon of synthetic wig shampoo) to the water and swish it around with your hands until it becomes “soapy water”.

3.  Immerse the wig (or hairpiece) into the water to achieve a wet wig.  Wig Shampoo is specially formulated to MAINTAIN THE QUALITY OF THE HAIR. Be gentle here.

4.  Rinse out excess water or any remaining excess moisture. Use a “downward motion” by lifting the wig up from the water and then inserting it OR DUNKING IT back again into the water. Repeat a few times. If you still see “soapy water” or shampoo residue on the wig, rinse again.  

5.  NOW TIME TO CONDITION and RINSE:  Place the wig back into the fully rinsed basin and add a TINY bit of water (perhaps 1/4 cup) and make a “conditioner solution”.  You don't need a lot of conditioner.  Perhaps 2 teaspoons.  You don't need to condition the cap, just the hair.  You can GENTLY massage (not rub or twist) or press the conditioner into the hair fibers.  Squeeze or “smooSh” the hair fibers together to be sure all the hair fibers are coated with conditioner.  Let sit for a few minutes, then rinse with cool water … ALWAYS cool water!

PLEASE BE CAREFUL TO apply the conditioner so that you keep it away from the lace and the knotting. You don't want to loosen those hairs.      🙂  

Wig DryerWhen your hair comes out of the rinse water … SQUEEZE (
Just shake it very well inside the shower and hang it from a hook. 
I use this one that I purchased at Amazon
If you don't have a hook, use a coat hanger. 


AFTER YOUR WIG IS FULLY DRY: Comb or Brush it out thoroughly.   Viola!   YOU.ARE.FINISHED!


IMPORTANT NOTES ON HEAT FRIENDLY FIBER WIGS: 

1.  Wash as infrequently as possible as you want to minimize friction on HD Fibers. 

2.  If you do decide you'd like to restyle the wig after washing, first be sure that it is an HD (Shakerato Heat Defiant Wig by BelleTress) and use low iron heat settings, and or the low heat setting on your device. You can see the review on Shakerato By BelleTress (in Roca Margarita Blonde) in the YouTube Video linked here below:
Shakerato by Belletress

 

WARNING – DO NOT put your wig in the washing machine. Yes, I know that should be obvious, but just in case you were wondering.  Please don't do that!

                                                                                                                           

HUGE TIP FOR AN EVEN BETTER OUTCOME WHEN WASHING YOUR WIG.  Spritz the fibers GENEROUSLY with “Simply Stylin Silicon Spray”.  Work it into the ends liberally … Let sit for a minute or two and then wash.  You will see a marked difference in the outcome of the wig.

Many wig wearers use baking soda to remove shine or as a “pre-wash” for especially soiled hair or wigs that have a lot of product build-up in them.

Baking Soda

BAKING SODA PRE-WASH: What you will need:

  • A wide tooth comb or a wig Comb (see note below in red)
  • Baking Soda- 3/4 cup of baking soda
  • 10-12 cups COOL WATER. 
    Let the baking soda dissolve in the water.  You don't want baking soda crystals in the hair.

THE PRE-WASH PROCESS: 
1.  Set the unit into the water “cap should be on the bottom of the basin”. Think of the cap as a bowl. So “bowl or base side up”.   Do not turn the wig inside out.  Lay the fibers of the wig face down in the water.  DO NOT AGITATE THE HAIR, scrub, or massage.  Let it soak for about 4 hours.  If you go over 4 hours it will not hurt the wig.  

 2. Rinse the unit with cool water … hold the wig by the center front and carefully lift it out and “finger comb” as you go. Gently squeeze, don't pull on the base … just gently rinse and gently finger comb.  

3. Shake shake shake the excess water out of the wig.  I do this over the tub in the shower. Hang upside down to dry.  Again the hooks above help make that part easy.

If you want to do a regular wash with shampoo on the wig, it is at this point you do it.  You will need less shampoo because you “clarified” the hair with baking soda.  The instructions below are the same methodical process as above, but I'm repeating them below for clarity.

4. Use a small amount of shampoo … the unit may look very limp and lifeless … that's okay because you have removed all the product (like hairsprays, etc.) Gently, very gently, press and massage (lightly massage) the shampoo into the hair and cap of the wig. The shampoo will do the work. 

5.  RINSE with cool water. Rinse until water runs clear.

6.  To Dry: Use a bath towel. Lay the wig on top of the towel and fold it into the towel (same process as when you wash a sweater by hand). Gently squeeze the excess water out, do not rub or twist.

7.  DO NOT COMB OR BRUSH THE HAIR WHILE IT IS WET. Some people don't agree with that, but it seems commons sense to let the hair dry naturally so as not to disturb the “style” of the hair … I think this is your best chance of having the wig look just like it did when it came out of the box.

8.  Remove the wig from the towel and hang it upside down on a hook in the shower. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BLOW DRY THE WIG; let it dry naturally on that hook you've placed in the shower. If you don't have a hook (you can buy them on amazon) use a hanger draped over the shower head. Attach the wig to the hook side of the hanger with a close pin, a large paper clip, or a binder clip. Let dry overnight.

8.  DO NOT PLACE THE WIG IN THE SUN or near any heat source.

9.  After it is fully dry, feel free to comb or brush it out. Please use a wig comb or wig brush to minimize damage to the synthetic hair.

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RELATED CONTENT:

As long as we are on the subject of how to clean a synthetic wig I want to touch on the subject of how to wash a human hair wig also known as natural hair wigs? For a human wig, the process will be different and I will address that question in another post. But do remember, that wig hair synthetic fibers act very differently than human hair.

You probably already know it's a good idea to give some thought to the care of your wig. WHY SHOULD YOU WASH YOUR WIG or any alternative hair? Well, it is your best option to have your piece last a long time and have its maximum life extended. Things like heavy cigarette smoke, or any heavy smoke such as things that got burned while cooking, fragrance, and various household and/or pet odors can take their toll on your beautiful wig. Also, how you wash your wig will depend on what kind of wig it is. Is it human hair, or synthetic hair? The answer will help you decide what type of product to use to clean it. The most important thing is to “relax” and know that this is not rocket science. Countless others have successfully cleaned hair fibers (whether synthetic or human) with great results enabling you to keep the original style of your wig or piece.

I hope this in-depth look at how to wash a wig helped you.  It's really nothing to be afraid of and is very easy.  Thanks for your visit to my site today.  I hope you continue to look for and find the silver linings of life.

All my best for all the rest …
Pen and ink
Angela