How to soften revive restore and defrizz your synthetic hair wig
High-quality wigs are expensive and so we want to extend the life of our old wigs as long as possible. Wigs that cost a lot of money have HD (Heat Defiant) Fibers and those pieces are more susceptible to frizz. But, what REALLY is the best way to soften synthetic wigs? How can you TRULY revive, restore and defrizz your synthetic hair wig (or any synthetic hairpiece of any type) to its like-new condition? What are the best things to have in your arsenal to soften synthetic wigs and extend the life of your wig or alternative hair? Wig wearers everywhere at some point or another will need to learn how to restore their piece to its original style and feel. Things like hair care products, heat, and nasty odors can take their toll on your piece, but with proper care, your wig or piece regardless of types of synthetic hair can last a very long time.
The picture you see here showing me with a blackband was taken from one of my most used and beloved synthetic hairpieces. Well, actually it is a “headband wig by Toni Brattin”, and I am on my 3rd unit. I JUST LOVE THAT THING. It wears well, it's easy to put on, and a go-to for any time of year. I've worn the piece so many times that it doesn't look great anymore. I knew it was time to dig deeper into the subject of “how to soften synthetic wigs”. The piece that you see in the picture was the new piece I recently purchased. However, I decided that TODAY I would see if I could use the techniques below to soften AND restore that beautiful synthetic hair …. I'm saying a little prayer. 🙏😊
Truth be told, I did “wash” it a while back, and made a YouTube video comparing fabric softener vs a shampoo specially made for wigs. However, I still wasn't entirely happy so I researched the subject of “how to soften synthetic wigs” further. You see, the way one cares for human hair wigs or natural hair vs. a synthetic hair wig or a wig with synthetic fibers is quite different.
I've researched social media and several “wig experts” (both new and old school) on the subject of how to soften synthetic wigs and/or revive restore and defrizz your cherished pieces. I've studied extensively about washing your synthetic wig AND softening a synthetic wig (Wiki.com). From my research, I've discovered that the easiest way to clean or restore a stiff wig, or a wig where the bottom of the hair has become unattractive, or even a gummy or lifeless wig, and an important step, is to be informed and be prepared for this process of restoration of your synthetic fibers.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through a link.
The subject of softening synthetic wigs, or the restoration of a wig or any synthetic hairpiece can actually be somewhat like simply washing your wig. Washing your wig “may” take care of some of the issues, but if it doesn't, we move to the next phase, “RESTORATION” …. Yes! I can hear you sighing, I sigh too, but even wigs that at lovingly cared for need some TLC from time to time to extend their life! So now, let's get to the details of “How to soften revive restore and defrizz your synthetic hair wig”.
Please note: The process of softening synthetic wigs, will be different for a human wig or real human hair. There is a big difference between real human hair vs. high quality synthetic wigs. Real hair wigs behave quite differently than synthetic wigs. Higher quality wigs will need more TLC. So our focus in this article is to inform for synthetic pieces only.
TYPE OF HAIR:
Washing and/or softening different hairstyles of synthetic wigs and/or the process to restore your wig (eliminating dry ends) to its original style is the same for both curly wigs, wigs with tight curls, short wigs, synthetic hair extensions, a full lace wig, long wigs, and my personal favorite straight wigs! And … YES you can wash straight synthetic wigs! But again, a great way is to thoroughly prepare.
THE PROCESS or Proper Way to restore or defrizz a frizzy wig or a piece with frizzy ends
THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL: THE WIG PRE-SOAK!
I read about it during my research. I had an unusually soiled wig, so I decided to do the “pre-soak” with baking soda. I cover that in this recent post.
THE WIG SOAK GOES A LONG WAY TOWARD REMOVING UNWANTED PRODUCTS AND RESTORING YOUR WIG TO ITS ORIGINAL BEAUTY
How to soften revive restore and defrizz your synthetic hair wig
NOW IT'S TIME TO WASH AND RESTORE YOUR WIG
1. Thoroughly and gently comb or brush out your wig or piece. Start at the bottom (nape) and work your way up. This is especially true for long wigs. I always turn the wig inside out and begin that way. After I've brushed the inside, I flip the wig over and FROM THE BOTTOM UP begin to comb or brush the outside layers.
2. Fill a sink or basin with cool clean water (Beware of high temperature water). Please use COLD Water! Please do not use hot water or even lukewarm water. WHY? Un-ruly.com has some great wisdom in this area excerpted here: After your wig is all brushed out, you’re ready to wash it. Start by taking a large basin or bowl and fill it with tepid water (hot water will overheat the fibers in the wig). As for shampoo, you can either use a wig shampoo or laundry detergent. Why? Because the wig is made of synthetic fibers and not human hair, regular shampoo will destroy the hair. The wig shampoo and laundry detergent ensure the safety of the wig. Synthetic wig shampoo was formulated especially for synthetic wigs and laundry detergent caters to the unnatural fibers within the wig.
3. Add your cleanser of choice (here's mine) or synthetic wig shampoo? Be sure your shampoo has NO ALCOHOL! Follow the directions on the bottle as to the amount of cleanser to use. It's usually 1-2 Tablespoons. You do want enough to get the job done.
4. Gently immerse the piece hair side down into the AND be sure all the hairs are covered. IMPORTANT: Do not scrub or twist as it will badly mangle or tangle the hair. Simply dunk the wig up and down and swish it around in the water a bit. Don't forget the cap! PRESS down inside the cap and “swish” your hands all around the inside cap. Leave it to soak for at least 5 minutes. Don't panic if you forget about it. Nothing back will happen. Just pick up where you left off. Life happens !! 😊
6. Rinse basin or sink, fill with cold water and then “Swish, Swish, Swish, Swish” the piece in the fresh cold rinse water from side to side. Lift from the water and let excess water drain out. Repeat this rinse until the water is clear. I usually do it twice and that seems enough. GENTLY squeeze out any remaining excess water. Squeeze don't twist. Dump all the water from the basis (or sink) and then rinse.
Be advised that I used about 1/4 of the jar. You want to REALLY soak those fibers. The product has to have enough time to adequately “coat” the synthetic hair fibers. Gently apply your conditioner and lightly lightly lightly massage it into the hair fibers. Let it sit for a minimum of one hour. I left mine overnight. I inserted the wig into a plastic bag and then laid the bag in the same basin I washed the wig in, along with all the things I used to do the work.
YOU DO NOT HAVE TO CONDITION THE WIG CAP!.
|8|| * HOW TO DRY THE WIG: DO NOT USE A HAIR DRYER or BLOW DRYER. Let it dry naturally.
* PLACE YOUR WIG ON A WIG STAND, or hang it inside out upside down on a hook in the shower.
* PRO TIP: To maintain the shape of your wig, hang the wig on a specially made hook
Here are the hooks I use. It's cheaper to buy them from Amazon than from a wig store.
STYLING: TIME TO COMB OR BRUSH OUT YOUR BEAUTIFUL RESTORED WIG:
A. Remember never use heat to style a regular synthetic wig. ONLY use heat tools on HD (Heat Defiant) Fibers.
B. IMPORTANT: DO NOT use a wide-tooth comb, wig brush, or any type of comb while a wig is wet. Wait until the wig is dry
C. Don't forget to wash the wig cap, and GENTLY massage the lace front. Be gentle so that you do not loosen the knots sewn into the lace.
STYLING QUESTIONS/COMMENTS: What kind of equipment or things should I use to restyle.
- Can I use heating appliances or high-temperature hot tools? Yes but please do not exceed the manufacturer's directions. Be warned heat any higher than 270° F – 280° F burn your wig.
- Hair Dryer or Blow Dryers? Yes, you can use them but again, please be careful of your temperature. You may want to use a heat protectant product. Simply Stylin shown below is good for this.
- Will a Flat Iron Take Out The Frizz? Most likely yes. Be careful about the heat setting. Work in sections. Be sure your synthetic wig is HD friendly.
A CHEAPER ALTERNATIVE PROCESS: The softening of your wig strands without washing. For this method, you would NOT be washing your wig. You would simply be “softening” it.
- Use a wide tooth comb and thoroughly and gently comb out your piece
- Add some cool water (filtered is best) to a spray bottle and then add fabric softener
- 1 part fabric softener to 4 parts FILTERED water
- What is the best fabric softener? In my opinion, DOWNY.
QUESTIONS: How to soften revive restore and defrizz your synthetic hair wig
- Many people have asked, “What is the Best Conditioner, Shampoo, or Fabric Softener” to soften a synthetic wig? That's a very good question. Everyone has their own special preference, but for now, I like BOTH Rene of Paris's products to wash/condition hair AND I have successfully used Godiva Secret's Shampoo and Conditioner. Both worked well, however, the condition had a fairly strong fragrance. It has a nice fragrance but quite noticeable.
- Can I use Laundry detergent? The answer totally surprised me. According to Unruly.com, the answer is “yes”! Here's one YouTuber who did just that.
- What is the most effective conditioner or synthetic wig conditioner? The most effective is the one that you use according to the manufacturer's directions. Of course, different people have different preferences, but a shampoo specially formulated for wigs would be, I think, the safest bet.
- What is the lowest temperature that will style a wig? According to Wigs.com every heat-friendly synthetic wig has a temperature limit. If you are unsure of the limit for your particular wig, 260° Fahrenheit is a safe temperature. Beware of turning up the heat any higher than 270° F – 280° F because you could burn your wig
- What is a heat resistant fiber
- Can I put my wig in the washer? Seriously ??? NO NO NO … absolutely not … NO!
THE RESULTS FOR HOW TO SOFTEN A SYNTHETIC WIG:
- What hair products can I use? Your best bet is to use specially formulated products made just for synthetic wigs. Most of us spend a lot of money for high quality wigs.
Therefore, it seems foolish to be penny-wise but dollar foolish.
- Should I use hair spray? Yes but again use on specially formulated for synthetic hair.
STATIC CLING doesn't just happen to clothes! Do your wigs have “fly-a-way” hair or a lot of static electricity? Yes? The wig needs moisture. Add moisture with some “Simply Stylin” or hit them with a little bit of batiste dry shampoo or talc. Then shake it off. The dry shampoo will not only help with static cling it will help to remove the fake shine of synthetic wig.
- Ellen Wille has some wonderful information on heat resistant fiber. A Good read
- LAUNDRY DETERGENT for your wigs? Is that a good thing?
I hope this in-depth look at How to soften revive restore and defrizz your synthetic hair wig has helped you. Truly the best thing is to take care of your wig from the beginning. Immediately or as soon as possible after you remove your wig, comb, or brush it out. Remove any product from around the perimeter of the cap, especially if it is on the lace. Store it carefully in the box it came in away from extreme heat. Here are some ideas for wig storage.
The internet offers countless resources and even “synthetic wig recipes” for restoring frizzy synthetic hairs on wigs. I'll be adding to this post to give you some of those resources.