How to wash your synthetic wig
One of the most nerve-wracking experiences of a wig wearers life is washing a synthetic wig for the first time. Will I damage it? Will it turn out ok? Am I doing it too soon? Have I left it too long? All of these thoughts went through my mind when I washed my Rene of Paris Aria for the first time, my first synthetic wig in four years. Looking back, I realise now I didn’t follow the appropriate care for my previous synthetics. If you wear a wig everyday, a synthetic will last around 3-4 months. My first Julianne lasted three but my Aria is 8 months old and whilst I don’t wear it every day, I did for the first three months and it still looks fab. I wash my wigs every week or two depending on how often I have worn it. If I have been wearing them in tandem, they can go a fortnight to three weeks. If it is every day, I generally go a week to two. Having said that, some of you may need to wash more often. I have baby fine hair which I shave underneath, I don’t wear a wig cap but I do wash my scalp every day. I give the inside of my wigs a wipe with a baby wipe after wearing.
I’ve been happily wearing synthetics now for almost a year again and I love the ease of them – so carefree. Here’s my guide on how to wash them to keep them looking great.
You will need:
A sink/basin and shower attachment
A wide tooth comb (I recommend Jon Renau’s)
Wig shampoo (again, I recommend Jon Renau’s)
Something to hang it on (a mop is great)
Before you begin, you need to be sure that you won’t need your wig for the next 12-24 hours. If this is your only wig, be prepared to go without while it drys. You cannot use a hairdryer on synthetic fibre.
I tend to go without or wear headwear- check my post on alternative headwear out here.
Ready? On to the washing.
Fill your sink with COLD water. Never use hot water on synthetic fibre.
While it is filling, take your wide tooth comb and gently comb the entire wig. I comb both the top layers and the bottom by combing from inside and out. Be sure to comb the back of the neck where collar rub can cause havoc.
Swirl a small amount (a teaspoon) of shampoo into the basin. I have doubled this here as I have a large sink and I was washing two wigs.
Once this is combined, put your wig in to soak. Make sure the hair fibre isn’t curled up inside the cap – let it loose.
Once it has soaked long enough, remove from the water, squeeze out gently from the top to the bottom and empty the basin.
Now, using your shower head or cold water tap, rinse the wig clear of shampoo, from top to bottom, allowing the water to follow the natural fall of the hair fibre. This shouldn’t take too long so beware of overdoing it as I find this dries my wig out in the long run.
Squeeze the wig again from top to bottom.
That’s it – no need for conditioner at this point. It needs to dry first.
Before I leave them to dry, I shake the excess water out. This has to be done carefully to avoid damage to the cap. Holding the wig over the bath by the nape I shake it gently from side to side.
Then flip it back over and hold it at the top – not by the lace front as that could rip it, and shake gently again. I keep my thumb under the parting while I do so it doesn’t come out of line. Smooth the hair back into shape and then leave to dry.
There are two methods I use to dry my wigs – both work fine.
Either, hang it to dry. I never hang mine on the wig stand as this can stretch the cap. If you hang it up, hang it on a large tin, a bottle or, a mop!
I fasten my mop into the bucket, then pad the top of the handle with a dry flannel, this stops the wig cap moulding itself around the handle. Pop the wig on top of the flannel, ensuring it isn’t stretched and that no hair is caught underneath.
The other method is simple – lay out a towel double thickness, lay your wig cap side up on the towel and leave it.
For this post – I left my Impact by Natural Image on the mop head and my Jon Renau Julianne on a towel. The Impact dried a little quicker but it is open wefted and much shorter so I can’t say it was down to the drying method. Either way, both were ready to wear 12 hours after washing.
Just before I put it on, I give a final spritz of Jon Renau Conditioning Spray and comb through with a wide tooth comb. Et voila! Clean and fresh.
I have used other wig shampoos before but none of them had the lovely, fresh smell that the Jon Renau range does.
One tip I did pick up from another wig wearer (I’m sorry I cannot remember who), was to dissolve some Lush Fab Bar into a basin of water and leave it to soak for ten minutes before rinsing clear. Before I discovered JR shampoo I did this to put a nice, fruity fragrance through. It does work but you need to make sure that you do dissolve the product completely.
I hope that helps! Perhaps you have some tips to share – please comment below!