Synthetic wigs are more affordable and require less upkeep than those 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 preserve the color and shape. 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.
Washing a Synthetic Wig
- Don’t wash your 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.
- 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.
Drying a Wig
- Be gentle with your wig as vigorous drying can ruin its shape. Place it in a folded towel and gently pat dry. Don’t rub, squeeze, or twist to remove excess water.
- 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.
Styling and Coloring
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Avoid Wearing a Wig while Cooking
- Avoid wearing 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.
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.
Precautions for 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.
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- 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.
Storing a Wig
- 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 these 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.