How to Revive a Synthetic WigDecember 15, 2017
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 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.
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!
Now, I'm not really sure how using heat on synthetic fiber could revitalize it, as heat literally MELTS synthetic hair.
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.
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.
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
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
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!