How to Properly Wash a Wig

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Synthetic and human-hair wigs are simple to wash.
Synthetic and human-hair wigs are simple to wash. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Whether you don a wig as a fun fashion accessory to change up your look or as a way to conceal hair loss, proper washing is necessary for maintaining it. Wigs should be washed every 2 to 3 weeks to keep up their texture and luster. Synthetic and human-hair wigs must be washed using specific methods to avoid damaging them.

Things You'll Need

  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Synthetic-wig shampoo
  • Towel
  • Wig comb
  • Human-hair-wig shampoo
  • Leave-in wig conditioner
  • Wig rack

Synthetic Wig

Brush out the wig with a wide-tooth comb.

Fill a sink with cool water. Add a capful of synthetic-wig shampoo.

Submerge the synthetic wig in the water.

Allow the wig to soak for five minutes. Gently swirl the hair through the water by hand.

Drain the sink and rinse out the wig under cool running water to remove any remaining shampoo.

Dry the wig by gently pressing a towel to the synthetic hair.

Human-Hair Wig

Brush out the wig with a wig comb.

Rinse the wig under a cool stream of water.

Apply wig shampoo specifically formulated for human hair. Comb the shampoo evenly through the wig with your fingers.

Rinse out the wig under cool running water.

Dry the wig by gently pressing a towel to the human hair. Don't dry the wig completely; allow it to remain slightly damp.

Spray the damp wig with leave-in wig conditioner and set the wig on a wig rack to dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add 1 tsp. baking soda to the water to remove strong odors from synthetic or human-hair wigs.
  • Don't use shampoo formulated for human hair on synthetic wigs; it can damage the synthetic material.
  • Don't soak a human-hair wig in the sink to avoid tangling and damaging the hair.
  • Don't wash or rinse synthetic or human-hair wigs with hot water; doing so can damage them.

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