How to Wash Human Hair Wigs
It is important to properly care for your human hair wig in order to achieve maximum lifespan and the best appearance. Maintaining and washing your human hair wig is not difficult; it just requires attention and gentle care. Most human hair wigs are made with hair that has been dyed and chemically processed in order to remove the cuticle. Human hair wigs must be handled gently as these processed make the hair more fragile. Although Remy human hair retains the hair cuticle, it is still more delicate than unprocessed hair.
This guide will cover how to properly wash, condition and style your human hair wig as well as helpful tips and pointers for maintaining your natural hair wig. For information on caring for synthetic wigs, see our Synthetic Wig Care Guide.
Hair Care Products for Human Hair Wigs
Use only hair care products designed for human hair wigs. Do not use standard hair care products from the drugstore. The chemicals they contain can decrease the lifespan of your wig. Invest in quality products to maintain your wig.
How Often To Wash Your Human Hair Wig:
It is recommended to wash your human hair wig every 7-14 days of wear. Each time your hairpiece is washed, the lifespan of your wig is shortened. For this reason, the wig should not be washed more than is necessary. Using as few styling products as possible on your wig will allow you to wash it less often and extend its life. Wearing a wig cap underneath will also extend the life of your wig. The wig cap will help absorb scalp oils, keeping them away from the base of the cap.
How to Wash Your Human Hair Wig:
Before washing your wig, gently comb it out, removing all tangles. Start at the tips of the hair and work your way up to the base of the cap. Make sure that you are only using a comb designed for wigs. For stubborn tangles, applying a spray conditioner can help loosen them.
To shampoo your wig, many salons recommend submersing your human hair wig in a basin of water with a small amount of shampoo. We do not recommend doing so as it can tangle the wig, making it highly unmanageable. To wash your human hair wig, start by getting it wet under running water. To do so, you can hold the wig under the faucet from your sink (but only if the hair is short). For longer wigs, we recommend holding the wig under the faucet of your bathtub or shower so that the hair does not get tangled in the basin below.
Let cool water flow over the hair from the base to the tips until it is wet. Gently squeeze (do not wring or twist) to remove excess water. Apply a small amount of human hair wig shampoo to the palms of your hands and apply evenly over the hairpiece. Do not twist, rub or massage. Simply smooth the shampoo on the wig from the base to the tips of the hair. Using cool water, gently rinse all shampoo from the hair, allowing the water to flow over the hair from the base to the tips. Do not rub, wring or twist. Gently rinse until all shampoo has been removed. Lightly squeeze excess water from the hair (do not rub or wring). Blot hair gently with a towel to remove excess water before conditioning.
How to Condition Your Wig:
While the hair is still wet, spread a small amount of human hair wig conditioner into the palm of your hands and work evenly into the hair. Avoid application of conditioner to the base of the wig as it can loosen the knots on the cap, causing hair loss to your hair piece. Leave the conditioner in the hair for 3-5 minutes. While the hair is wet and saturated with your wig conditioner, very gently detangle the wig, starting at the tips of the hair and working your way up. Your fingertips are the most gentle, but a wide toothed wig comb can also be gently used. Be gentle and do not stretch the hair. Thoroughly rinse the conditioner from the hair under cool running water. Gently squeeze excess water from the wig (do not rub or wring) and lightly blot hair with a towel (do not twist or wring). If you choose, you may apply a small amount of argan oil treatment throughout the hair to add vibrancy, moisture and protection to the hair.
Drying & Styling Your Human Hair Wig:
It is best to allow your human hair wig to air dry on a wig stand as this is most gentle on the hair fibers. Rollers can be used to set the wig. A warm sitting hair dryer can be used to dry the hair although air drying is the most gentle option. After the hair is dry, heated styling tools such as curling irons and flat irons can be used. Use styling products (such as hair spray) that are specifically designed for human hair wigs. Use products sparingly for the longest life span of your wig.
Human Hair Wig Care Tips:
- Store your wig on a wig stand or form that is smaller than the base of the cap to prevent the cap from stretching.
- Direct sunlight will fade the hair so avoid storing your wig where it will be exposed to light.
- Do not wear your hairpiece while sleeping. It may result in hair loss, breakage and matting.
- Lighter hair colors are more delicate than darker colors because additional processing is needed to achieve the light colors.
- Over time, your wig will lose hair. This is a natural part of the life cycle of your wig.
- Avoid contact with chlorinated water, sea water and hot water to avoid damage to your wig.
More Wig Information
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Comments, Questions & Ratings
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When I wash my wigs I usevery light conditioning only... I don't put it directly on the wig, mix it in the washing tub, I hold the top of the wig at the part and drag it thru the water several times until it is though wet, then I rinse it with clean water, wrap it in a towel for about 20 minutes, then put it on it's wig stand to air dry. My wigs all last well beyond one year..the less products you use, no heat...less washing, you will be happy. (Posted on 03/14/2019)
I own several long hair wigs and wear them parted in the middle, not permed or anything like that. I've found that I can periodically turn the wig inside out and wash just the CAP, avoiding getting water and shampoo on the hair when possible. I pour soapy water into the cap, then rinse. Then, several times week, I spray the wig with plain water while I'm wearing it and comb or brush this through. It doesn't have to be saturated with water. This removes dirt and dust. I mean, think about it: we shampoo our hair to clean our scalp, and to clean the hair which absorbs oil FROM the scalp. The hair on a wig, except for the cap area, doesn't do this. There really is no need in my experience to shampoo the entire wig. With my method (which works on my straight hair wigs at least) I've had wigs that were supposed to last for 3 or 4 months last for a year. (Posted on 11/16/2017)