If you have a synthetic wig and want to use it for as long as possible, you will need to learn a few things about proper care and maintenance. Among the tips and tricks you will find in this guide, how to wash a synthetic wig plays a vital part.
While, back in the day, washing a synthetic wig was completely out of the question, that’s no longer the case. However, you should employ extra care when cleaning this type of wig, and it is highly advisable that you only wash those that are clearly indicated by manufacturers as washable.
How washable is a synthetic wig?
Unlike a wig made from human hair, a synthetic wig is made from fibers, and while it may look like all the strands behave when you wear your wig for the first time, they might not stay like that for long. If you don’t care properly for your synthetic wig, disaster will not hesitate to appear. The overall appearance of the wig will be frayed, with many strands sticking out in all directions.
The frizzy aspect of the wig will put you off. After all, you are surely interested in wearing a wig while avoiding issues that are the most often associated with real hair. Just imagine what would happen to your hair if you were to dye it multiple times without caring to deep condition. The aspect you can see in front of your eyes will be shared by your wig in a much shorter time.
You cannot just go for any shampoo, either, because in combination with water, the chemicals in it will make the wig appear matted. Even more, some of the hairs will begin to fall, and it is nothing unusual to end up staring at unsightly bald spots where none have been before. Don’t let that happen to your wig; opt for a washable version and adequately care for it.
How often do you need to wash your wig?
While different products might come with different guidelines for washing and general maintenance, some things are common. It is quite a consensus that a synthetic wig should be washed every 20 to 30 wears or once every 4 to 6 weeks. Of course, other factors come into play.
For instance, if you spend a lot of time in areas with smoke, strong odors, and the like, don’t be surprised to find out that your wig becomes unusual much faster. In case you want to use shampoo to wash the wig, make sure that you have no doubts about sacrificing a part of its usability. Haircare experts agree that using a synthetic wig and keeping it in top shape is not possible for more than three months.
How do you know your wig needs a wash?
If you don’t wear your synthetic wig too often, you will have to employ the steps that will be revealed later in this guide quite rarely. In case you don’t wear your wig every day, you may be wondering how you’ll know the right time to give it a washing.
Oversprayed wigs need a good wash, as the hair care product buildup will affect the hairstyle and make it appear dull and lifeless. When you notice that your wig starts looking frayed and frizzy, and you don’t appear capable of making it behave with a brush, then you’ll know it’s time to give it a good wash.
Before washing a synthetic wig
Do not hurry to start the washing process; it will be explained in detail right away. To make your job easier, use a brush in an upward motion so that the synthetic strands become disentangled and won’t pose a serious issue when you get to the washing phase. Brush the strands in short strokes and use this opportunity to get rid of some of that hair care product buildup you used to achieve certain hairstyles.
What do you need to wash the wig?
Neutral shampoos are the highest recommended when it comes to washing wigs made from synthetic fibers. However, you should know that there are products now marketed toward wig-wearers in particular. If you don’t mind that expense, pick a wig shampoo and a wig conditioner. They are primarily designed without as much stripping agents as regular shampoos, and they won’t weigh the hair down.
A wig brush will be handy, too, as it will help you disentangle the knots in the strands. Use a paddle brush as it works like a charm for synthetic wigs. In case you’re not a fan of brushes, you can always choose a wide-tooth comb to work with. As long as you will be able to straighten the hair, but without pulling out the strands, all will be fine.
A good idea would be to have a wig stand so that you have a place for allowing it to dry but without modifying its shape. Since synthetic fibers have a good memory, leaving them in a misshapen tangle after washing won’t serve at all. Have a clean towel at the ready to dry the wig as fast as you can.
A step-by-step guide for washing synthetic wigs
While the steps mentioned above are all needed to ensure that your wig deserves proper care and consideration, it’s time to explain the washing process step by step.
Leave it to soak in cold water
One aspect you should bear in mind when washing a synthetic wig is that it’s necessary to avoid hot and warm water. The heat is likely to modify the shape of the synthetic fibers and ruin them for good. Use only cold water and mix in it no more than a tablespoon of wig shampoo.
You can use the sink or a small basin for this operation. Don’t let the wig soak for more than five minutes, which is more than enough for the grime and buildup to become loose. As tempted as you might feel to rub the wig, or wring it, abstain from doing so; such movements are sure to damage the strands and ruin the wig for good.
Proceed to clean the wig
Examine the wig carefully for knots and buildup marks. With the help of a small brush – it can even be a toothbrush – start to eliminate the problems you see. Remember to be as gentle as possible since you don’t want to start pulling out strands of hair.
As you do that, sink the wig in the water and take it out a few times to ensure that the last traces of grime loosen and come undone.
Time to rinse
No traces of shampoo must remain on the synthetic fibers that make the wig. For this step, drain the basin in which the wig was left to soak and then let cold water run. Hold the wig under the tap, moving it around so that the water goes through all the strands. You will know this step is finished when you see that the water remains clear after going through the wig.
Don’t forget to use wig conditioner
While the above steps serve for cleaning the wig, now it’s time to condition the strands to look their best. Fill the sink with cold water once more and mix in two full caps of wig conditioner. The role of this product is to ensure that the synthetic fibers regain their mobility, while the oils used in its composition will eliminate the dull aspect, making the strands appear shiny and beautiful.
Once you have the basin filled with water and you pour the conditioner in, soak the wig in it again, and work the conditioner through all the strands with your fingers.
The conditioner shouldn’t remain on the synthetic fibers for obvious reasons. That is why, after treating your wig with it, you should follow with another episode of rinsing. Just as before, let the cold water run through the wig until it remains clear.
Dry the wig properly
Do not wring the wig dry, and don’t use a blow dryer, as these are surefire ways to ruin your wig without no chance of making it look the way it did before. For this operation to be a success, you will have to pat it dry with a towel so that you can remove the excess of moisture.
After that, place the wig on a wig stand to allow it to dry completely. This step is necessary so that your wig retains its style; drying off at room temperature is the safest for synthetic wigs. While the wig is still wet, don’t attempt to run a comb through it, as that is sure to pull out some strands and ruin its overall appearance.
Is it possible to use an iron on a synthetic wig?
If you intend to style the wig with the help of an iron, you should go for a low-end product. It is essential that you allow the wig to dry first, and then use an iron at a temperature no higher than 300 degrees Fahrenheit.