9 Helpful Tips when Wearing a Synthetic Wig

Synthetic wigs are more affordable and require less upkeep than wigs made of human hair. However, synthetic wigs generally have a shorter lifespan as the fibers tend to tangle and lose their beautiful color over time. Taking good care of your synthetic wig helps prolong its life and will preserve its color and shape. So, make sure to read the instructions carefully after purchasing.

There are also some precautions to keep in mind when choosing a synthetic wig. Below we’ll reveal the biggest no-no’s when it comes to synthetic hair.

1. Don’t Wash your Synthetic Wig too Often

Synthetic hair doesn’t need to be washed as often as natural hair because oils from your scalp don’t travel down synthetic fibers. Depending on how often you wear your wig, wash it once or twice a month. Frequent washing will shorten its lifespan.

A woman brushes her wig with a special wig brush

Don’t use regular shampoos as they contain sulfates and other chemicals that can damage wigs. Instead, use shampoos specifically developed for wig care. These shampoos are free from harsh chemicals and residues that can dull synthetic hair.

Finally, don’t use hot water when washing your synthetic wig as it can ruin the style and damage the fibers. To wash your synthetic hair, use cool to lukewarm water.

2. Avoid Direct Sunlight when Drying your Wig

Be gentle with your wig as vigorous drying can ruin its shape. Place it in a folded towel and gently pat dry to remove excess water. Don’t rub, squeeze, or twist your synthetic wig.

Don’t dry the wig in direct sunlight. Prolonged sun exposure can damage synthetic hair and fade the color. Avoid using a blow dryer as it will damage or even melt synthetic fibers. Let your wig dry naturally at room temperature.

Never place a damp wig on a styrofoam head as the foam doesn’t allow the wig to breathe. This can encourage mold or bacteria growth. Foldable wig holders and hanging wig stands are ideal for drying and short-term storage. These allow air to circulate and dry more evenly and quickly. Hang your damp hairpiece on a wig stand and let it air dry.

3. Use the Special Wig Brushes

Never comb or brush your wig while wet as this will stretch the fibers and break the hairs. Once completely dry, you can carefully untangle the wig. Start combing out the bottom and gently work your way up. Use a wig conditioner to help detangle it.

Don’t use standard brushes to remove tangles as they can pull out or overstretch synthetic fibers. Instead, use a special loop brush designed for synthetic and human hairpieces. Looped nylon bristles easily glide through synthetic hair and remove tangles without catching and snagging.

4. Avoid High Heat

Don’t expose synthetic hair to high heat. Standard synthetic wigs aren’t designed to withstand heat from a flat iron or curling wand. Electric styling appliances will melt and destroy synthetic fibers. Even heat from a blow dryer should be avoided. Fortunately, synthetic hair wigs come pre-styled and hold their set style well.

Some synthetic wig brands can be styled using a low heat setting. Make sure to check the label to ensure your hairpiece is heat-friendly.

Avoid using too many products to style your synthetic hair. Styling products leave a residue on the nonporous surface of synthetic fibers that make them appear dull. Use hair products sparingly and only apply those designed specifically for synthetic hair.

5. Don’t Color your Synthetic Wig

Don’t try to color synthetic hair with regular hair dyes. You won’t get the color you want, as nonporous synthetic fibers don’t retain pigments from hair dyes. Moreover, chemicals in hair dyes can cause serious damage and reduce the lifespan of your hairpiece.

To make the color of synthetic hair darker or richer, use alcohol-based ink.

Smiling Asian girl wearing a synthetic wig

6. Avoid Wearing a Wig while Cooking

It is not a good idea to wear your wig while cooking. The heat from an open oven or boiling pots can damage the fibers. Your wig can also pick up cooking odors, requiring you to wash it more often.

Don’t stand near heat sources such as open fires, barbecues, cigarettes/lighters, steam from boiling water, or when you open an oven or remove dishes from a hot dishwasher. Standard synthetic wigs are vulnerable to heat and can’t withstand heat over 212° F without damage.

7. Avoid Sleeping in a Wig

Sleeping with your wig on isn’t a good idea as friction from a pillowcase can tangle it. It’s also uncomfortable to sleep on and difficult to keep in place. However, if you must wear your wig while sleeping, a satin or silk pillowcase helps reduce friction and tangling.

8. Take Precautions during Outdoor Activities

Don’t swim in a high-quality synthetic wig. Chlorinated water and salt can damage the fibers. Instead, use an old wig for swimming and wear a swimming cap to hold the wig in place.

TESTING WIGS IN THE POOL! Can You Swim Wearing A Wig? Video by Hannah Forcier

Don’t wear your synthetic hair on the beach without protection. Continuous direct sunlight can fade the color and damage the wig’s structure. If you’re planning on spending a lot of time in the sun, wear a scarf or large floppy hat to protect your wig. Short synthetic hair is more comfortable to wear during the summer than long hairpieces.

9. Store your Wig Properly

Don’t store your wig within reach of children and pets. Cover it to protect fibers from direct sunlight and dust. Wig stands are a great option as they help the wig dry naturally and keep it in good shape and untangled when not in use. Collapsible wig stands are portable and perfect for traveling.

For long-term storage use the original box and put it in a cool and dry place.

a woman displaying her long synthetic wig

Disclaimer: All content on this blog is created for informational purposes only. You shouldn’t use it as a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Last Updated on March 24, 2022 by Gaga

About the author

gaga@softerhair.com | Website | + posts

Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing. Her pets are her coworkers, and she replaced the town crowd with a quiet neighborhood outside the city.


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