How to Make a Wig Less Shiny: 6 (Must Try!) Expert Tricks

Most of the time, we love shiny things. There it is, out in the open for the world to know. Shiny, spotless cars, shiny counter tops, shiny gemstones: we love them all. But there's one shiny thing we don't love: shiny synthetic wigs.  This is one of the most common complaints people have when they order a synthetic hair piece. Why? Because shiny wigs are notorious for giving off an “I’m totally a wig” vibe with an almost Barbie-esque glow (no offense, Barbie). If your wig's shine factor is a 10 when it should be a 3, don't worry—we have a few tricks up our sleeves to take your synthetic locks from doll-like to dreamy! Without further ado, here are our top 6 insider tips for how to make a wig less shiny!



Trick 1: Shampoo, Rinse, That’s It

Use shampoo to make synthetic hair less shiny.

We recommend starting with the basics: shampooing. The hair on synthetic wigs is shiniest when it is completely new. Washing your wig will help to "wear in" the hair and remove shine.


How to Make a Wig Less Shiny with Shampoo:

Before doing anything drastic, try washing your hair a couple a times with proper wig-care methods. If you aren't sure how to shampoo your wig, read our synthetic wig care article here.

Remember to always use shampoo specifically meant for synthetic locks. Using products that aren't meant for synthetic wigs can do more harm than good.



Trick 2: I’ve Got the Powder

Baby powder and dry shampoo can make wigs less shiny.

Here’s a quick and easy trick to make your synthetic wig less shiny and more realistic: powders. Perhaps an image of George Washington in a powdered wig just flashed through your head, but never fear—this method is much more subtle than that. Just like powdering your nose will take the shine off your skin, powdering your wig will take the shine off your hair. There are several types of powder to choose from:

  • Baby powder or Talc powder, which works best on light colors such as blonde, light brown, or grey wigs.
  • Dry shampoos and tinted dry shampoos, which is preferred for use on darker colors such as brunette and black wigs.
  • Other styling / volumizing powders


How to Make a Wig Less Shiny with Powder:

  1. Place the dry wig (make sure the wig is dry - never try this wet!) on a stand.
  2. Lightly sprinkle the crown of the wig with baby powder, or spray with dry shampoo.
  3. Use a wig comb to dispense the powder throughout the locks.
  4. Once done, shake the wig out to remove any excess powder.
  5. Voila! Your wig should now have a less shiny, much more natural appearance.



Trick 3: Tactical Styling

Wavy wigs have a less shiny look.

Certain styling methods help deflect the shine of synthetic wigs. Wigs tend to look shinier when they are in a sleek, straight style. Wearing your wig in a wavy, curly, or slightly messier style makes the hair catch less light, giving a less shiny look. Updos and half updos with clips and bobby pins will also do the trick. Try using wig mousse and wig spray to achieve a different style, and click here to learn how to curl a synthetic wig without using heat.



We've gone over our top 3 ways to remove shine from synthetic wigs. There are other (more risky) methods that our customers have used to remove shine from their wigs. We are going to share them with you, however, proceed with caution. The next two methods may not only remove shine but damage your wig in the process. We don't generally recommend putting anything on your wig that was not specifically designed for synthetic wigs.



Trick 4 (Risky!): Make a Visit to Your Laundry Room

Some people use fabric softener on their wigs.

Sounds odd, right? However, many people swear by the effects of fabric softener. Like it does on your clothes, fabric softener can help to soften and remove static from your wig, also removing shine. This technique is also commonly used to revive synthetic wigs.

We do not recommend this method, as it can damage your synthetic wig. If you do choose to use this method, proceed with caution. 


How to Make a Wig Less Shiny with Fabric Softener:

  1. Fill a spray bottle with water.
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of fabric softener and shake.
  3. With your wig on a wig stand, spritz the hair with the solution.
  4. Gently comb through the wig with your fingers to disperse the solution.
  5. Let your wig air dry.



Trick 5 (Risky!): The Magic of Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is sometimes used on wigs.

Vinegar does it all. Some wig wearers will use apple cider vinegar to dial down the shine of their synthetic hair. The abrasive nature of apple cider vinegar works to wear down the outside coating on each hair strand, leaving your wig looking more realistic. 

As previously stated with the fabric softener method, we do not advise trying this as you may damage the hair or cap of the wig. Proceed with this method at your own risk.


How to Make a Wig Less Shiny with Vinegar:

  1. Fill a spray bottle with water.
  2. Add 1-2 Tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and shake.
  3. With your wig on a wig stand, spritz the hair with the solution.
  4. Gently comb through the wig with your fingers to disperse the solution.
  5. Let your wig air dry.



Trick 6: Erase Your Shine with Time

Waiting is a good way to make a wig less shiny.

As you wear your wig more, you’ll begin to notice the shine disappear over time. This occurs from just being worn in different environments or from following the recommended washing schedule. Over time, you will gradually see a change in the wig looking less shiny and more natural. 



Help! My Wig Still Looks Too Shiny!


If these methods don't tone done the shine, ask yourself this question: is this a high quality synthetic wig? Lower quality wigs sometimes give a shinier, more fake look. We generally recommend spending at least $80 on a synthetic wig. If this is the case, try replacing your wig with a synthetic hair piece from a reputable wig retailer. Click here to learn where to buy a wig.

Alternatively, you may want to try a human hair wig or a heat friendly synthetic hair wig if regular synthetic hair does not give the look you want.



What methods have you tried to make your synthetic wig less shiny? Let us know in the comments below! Shop our full selection of wigs here.


Suggested Posts:

How to Revive a Synthetic Wig

How to Curl a Synthetic Wig

Synthetic Wig Care Guide

How to Make Your Wig Look Real

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