How to Revive a Synthetic Wig

Dry. Frizzy. Dull. In a word: bleh.

Same as anything else you wear, wigs get worn out. Just like that sweater from high school that you still have for "sentimental reasons," your synthetic wig may start to look... less than ideal due to wear and tear.

However, unlike that sweater, there are ways to revive your synthetic hair wig and keep it alive a little longer.


Proper Wig Care

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The first step to keeping your wig looking beautiful and healthy for as long as possible is proper wig care. "Emergency" reparation methods may work for a short while, but the only way to ensure you are getting the most out of your wig is by taking care of it. You can see our Synthetic Wig Care Guide for a more thorough explanation, but we'll summarize the main points here.

  • ALWAYS use products that were specifically designed for synthetic hair. Synthetic fibers are different from human hair, so using regular hair care products will strip your wig and cause it wear out faster.
  • When you wash your wig, make sure to use cold water.
  • Never "scrub" the wig and do not brush it while it is wet, as this will cause the hair to break, stretch, and become frizzy.
  • When drying your wig, gently blot it with a towel — keyword BLOT, not wring, rub, or squeeze — and then let it dry on a wig stand.
  • When you brush your wig, make sure to use a wide tooth wig comb or a wig brush.
  • Because washing your wig can dry out and strain the hair, only wash your wig when it is necessary, which will probably be once every 8 wears.
  • Finally, make you sure aren't using heat on your synthetic wig; this will quickly damage and potentially melt the fibers.

Helpful tips

As mentioned above, washing your wig can put a strain on the fiber. In other words, less washes= a longer lifespan for your wig. There are a couple of things you can do to extend the time between washes.

Wearing a wig cap will help by absorbing moisture, sweat, and oils which will keep the wig cleaner for longer. That way, you can just wash the wig cap instead of washing the wig.

bamboo-aloe-wig-cap-womens-soft-caps

Luxury Bamboo Wig Cap & Hat Liner by Cardani - $6.50

You could also buy some accessory hair, such as bangs, halos, or ponytails. On more casual days, you can wear one of these hairpieces instead of your wig to save your wig the wear.

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Cardani Human Hair Bangs - $24.95

 


 

Unfortunately, even with immaculate wig care, time and wear will still take their toll. Here are some ways you can revamp your wig once it isn't looking as lovely as you would like.

 


Restoring Your Synthetic Wig

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First, give it a wash. Just like real hair, washing your wig can restore some of its liveliness.

Then, use conditioning spray. Maybe a lot of conditioning spray.  This is a quick, easy way to moisturize the fibers and reduce frizziness. Simply spray the conditioner onto the fiber, holding it about a foot away from the wig. Do not spray conditioner on or near the wig cap, as this can make the hair come loose. Then comb through the wig gently with your fingers to disperse the product and remove any tangles. Repeat as needed.

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Henri Margu Wig Revitalize Conditioning Spray - $9.99

After that, you can apply mousse to the strands and ends of the hair. Doing this will help the hair hold its moisture, restore a natural and healthy looking shine, smooth out splits in the fiber, and help to tame frizziness.

brandywine-wig-synthetic-mousse-wig-care

Brandywine Wig Styling Mousse - $9.99

 

If your wig still needs help, the next step is giving it a haircut. If the wig has dry, split ends that you cannot fix with products, sometimes cutting and restyling your wig is a good option. Take the wig to a hairstylist who is well versed in cutting hair pieces and see what can be done.

 


Drastic Measures

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If the situation is drastic, you CAN take drastic measures, although I would say "ehhh... probably shouldn't." Personally, I wouldn't recommend taking drastic measures because they are so... drastic. But I have been told they work, so I will tell them to you anyway.  I STRONGLY suggest only trying these methods if your wig is on the brink of being tossed and it is your very last resort; we have not tested these methods, and I imagine they can be a bit touchy. If you decide to try this, think of it as a science experiment that may result in: a) a revitalized wig, or b) a completely destroyed wig. Warning: proceed at your own risk.

Here we go!

HEAT METHODS

Now, I'm not really sure how using heat on synthetic fiber could revitalize it, as heat literally MELTS synthetic hair.

"I'm melting! Melting!" - your synthetic wig after you use heat on it. "I'm melting! Melting!" - your synthetic wig after you use heat on it.

However, according to the internet, some carefully applied heat may help to restore the fiber to a smoother, more moisturized, and more manageable state. Note, however, that even if it does restore the fiber, it will also restyle the wig. Once heated, the wig will retain whatever style it falls in after cooling; it will no longer "remember" its original style.

To use heat on your synthetic wig, you will need a steamer, boiling water, or a hot air brush. Apparently some people even use IRONS, but that's crazy talk.

-STEAMER:

First, put your wig on its stand and spray it with heat protector. Use your wig comb to detangle the hair while you follow with a hand held steamer, just as you would do if you were blow drying someone's hair. To avoid heat damage, make sure you are not letting the steamer "rest" on one part of the hair or holding it too close to the wig.

 

-BOILING WATER:

Boil a pot of water with a small amount of synthetic hair conditioner and then let it simmer. Carefully dip the hair into the water for a few seconds, making sure to move it around. Let the wig dry and style as usual. As a safer alternative, I suggest using HOT water instead of boiling water.

 

-HOT AIR BRUSH:

Just put your wig on its stand, spray some heat protector, and use the hot air brush as one normally would. Voila.

 

FABRIC SOFTENER METHOD

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Typically, you should never put anything on synthetic hair that wasn't designed to be put on synthetic hair. That means NO fabric softener. However, applying fabric softener to your wig can, allegedly, make it a lot less frizzy, because fabric softener reduces static cling. I'm wary, but this is, apparently, "a thing."

To do this, put equal parts cool water and fabric softener in a spritz bottle. Shake it up! Then spray the concoction on your wig and let it dry. Simple enough.

 


Moving On and Finding a Replacement

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Of course, there is always the possibility that your wig is beyond repair, and its time to get a replacement. No wig can last forever; typically, a synthetic wig will last 4-6 months with everyday wear. Even with proper wig care and revitalization, you will not be able to make your wig last indefinitely. There are a few tell-tale signs that you need to replace your wig:

  • The wig no longer retains its style.
  • The hair becomes irreparably dull.
  • The hair shafts are frayed and split throughout.
  • The hair is dry, frizzy, and prone to tangles and matting.
  • The wig cap becomes stretched out and ill fitting.

When that time comes, we have a huge selection of wigs to choose from. If price is an issue, try checking out our detachable bangs and accessory hair to get the look of hair without the price of a full wig. 

 


 

Have you ever tried to restore your synthetic wig? Which methods worked for you? Tell us in the comments below!

5 thoughts on “How to Revive a Synthetic Wig”

  • Patricia Lynn Morrison
    Patricia Lynn Morrison December 17, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for this helpful post on revitalizing synthetic wigs.
    I may try some of them.
    However, please note you've used an incorrect word above (sorry, I'm an editor and can't help myself!):

    I think you meant to say "I"m wary" (cautious, questioning) not " I'm weary" (as in tired) Of course you may be "weary" also, but that's not pertinent to your article :) You may want to correct this for future posts. Some people will not
    respect content when there are grammatical/usage errors. You don't want to lose readers over the wrong word. This is helpful content otherwise!

    ABOVE:
    I'm weary, but this is, apparently, "a thing."

    Reply
  • jessie

    ive personaly had many many wigs fall into unbelivable and completly beyond anything most people would ever concider ever putting in thier hands let alone on thier head and managed quite sucessfully recouping thier prior luster and thickness style and so on with a multitude of over time consuming and sometimes very tricky or just outright insaine and not to mention dificult methods ill just mention a few anyhow firstly thinning sizzors work wonderfully to take down the bulk of frizzz when your dealinmg with super chep costume wigs like i have done and made look surprizingly good with a lot of practice but anyway same works on more high ended hair peices and is much more forgiving then straight sizors so thats a big one nex the shaving razor just the cheep 2 blade ones or even a box cutter exacto knife blade whatever works but you goaat be much more carefull anyways with the safty razor super easy cuz it will get filled enough to stop cutting before you go to far but still manages to grab the frays and skraggly bits if you just take it in yout hand and run it over sections of your hair really helps mind you gotta take into account that will be shorter slightly its a nicw easy hard to really mess up method and also minral oil or and light weight oil adds some shine if you put to much on np just blot it with paper towel or cotton whatever now this is gonna sound crazy but this is when ive had wigs that literly sat in filth you wouldnt even want to imigine and really had them come back is wd 40 yep the stuiff your dad has used to losten bolts and lube up rusty things forever surprizingly works wonders on synth hair guess the proctive anti rust coating is doing it some good ive also worked in scented wax like candle wax the soft stuff thats scented under a little heat to make it more workable and flatten out the friz works well after the wd 40 to get out that smell but honestly it depends on the hair your working on and wax addtives whatnot trial and error steam works really well but can be finiky i personaly use a fine bristle brush like a scrub brush styling brush kinda brush afix it to the steamer or if i can get the wig held i used stapkle gun for this before just remember to be light on it so you can pukk the staples out afterward so it dont get ruined ..... well more ruined cuz were going for better anyway back to afixing the brush to the steamer you wanna have it brush the hair before you steam so it lightly pulls the hair sraight this sux if yor have a want for curls or waves but you can restyle that after using steam again cool boiling pot of water thing ive done its hit and miss it usualy straightens the fibers out pretty good and seems to be a good thing results vary of course but yeah anyways another one is if say its salavgeable in the front the bangs and whatever ive even git to say party city or costume shop wallmart where ever has thoes super cheep wigs right not you got your lace front wig well the front was shorter and the bangs and all are not bad the rest is done buchered and fried well take the cheep ones apart and carefully sew the new synth hair in the place were the old was before if you do this carefully bam like brand new of course you will have to style it cuz cheep hairs are like mono length and unstyled but thier the exact same fiber as the other ones maybe not as multi facited or reailisticly tonned but theres some that are pretty good and if you only do every second line or just some of the worse ones you end uop with a pretty good save now this is one thing i have done to wigs i really want to have last longer its gonna sound crazy but i take some either contact cement or silicone caulking the clear stuff and carefully along the end the root for lack of a better term bead some caulking or glue to hold the fibers in place so they dont get pulled out during stylingand trust me ive tortured my hair peices with hours and products galore and brushing and basicaly testing out everything and even hot irons and stuff like and after everything i conclude that you steam clean use fine bristle styling brush the thing thst is like a nail brush very inportant and minral oil or even better wd 40 just kinda smells whatever tho it wears off and for some rason synth hair loves alchohol so just spray the shit outta it with perfume its like a condisoner to it also helps if you go to far with the oil and the thining sizors or safty razor trick is bout the best youll get and if your a normal person and didnt literaly walk on your wig for months in a swamp your gonna get damb neer new if not better using thoes methods dont belive me well go get a 5 dollar wig at wallmart troture the heck outta it and see for yourself how well oil and steam can fix things up for you the wax sometimes worked on realy bad peices and replacing some of the old ripped out and tattered extentoins with even cheep ones is a big inprovment so yeah that is my bit on tht and hope this helps some people who have no options for whatever reasons

    Reply
  • Derrick Pavlovic
    Derrick Pavlovic September 3, 2018 at 2:47 am

    Awesome post.

    Reply
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