How To Soften Synthetic Wigs

Easy and practical methods to make your artificial wigs look healthy and stunning.

Reviewed by Madison Dufour, Barber & Cosmetologist Madison Dufour Madison DufourBarber & Cosmetologist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma linkedin_icon Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 11 years
Fact-checked by , Integrated MA Medha Deb Integrated MA linkedin_icon Experience: 5 years
Last Updated on

There are outstanding merits to using synthetic hair wigs. You can find them in a large variety of colors, and they are budget-friendly too. However, you may need to soften synthetic wigs to keep them from becoming frizzy, rough, and dry.

Synthetic wigs are made of artificial fibers that can dry out after some time and end up looking dull and stiff. There are ways you can soften your synthetic wigs to make them look more natural and new. Keep reading to learn more about repairing your artificial locks.

In a study conducted on 414,300 participants, it was found that 424 patients with alopecia areata used synthetic wigs for improved quality of life. It was observed that alopecia patients have mental health conditions so it was found that using synthetic wigs can improve their confidence and can help in managing anxiety associated with alopecia. So, it is important to maintain the wig and keep it soft while preventing it from drying.

What Is Synthetic Hair?

Synthetic hair is created with artificial fibers to imitate the look and texture of natural human hair. These fibers, often made from materials like polyethylene, modacrylic, or polyester, are treated to achieve a realistic look, color, and feel. Synthetic hair is commonly used in wigs, hair extensions, and hairpieces, offering an affordable alternative to natural hair options. It is available in a wide range of colors, styles, and lengths, providing versatility in the look. While synthetic hair is less expensive and requires less maintenance than human hair, it cannot be heat-styled as easily and has a shorter lifespan. However, advancements in technology have led to higher-quality synthetic fibers that closely resemble human hair, making them popular choices in the fashion and beauty industry.

Now, let’s understand how synthetic hair wigs get dry and what steps you can take for their maintenance.

What Causes Synthetic Hair Wigs To Dry?

Woman holding dry synthetic hair wig
Image: IStock

As synthetic hair wigs are made of plastic fibers, they tend to become dry over time due to wear and tear. Several other factors contribute to the dryness of these wigs:

    • Rigorous washing and wringing
    • Excessive application of heat
    • Sleeping or showering with your wig
    • Dust, sweat, oils, and scalp buildup
    • Improper storage and maintenance
protip_icon Did You Know?
Synthetic wig ends appear to be frizzy due to sufficient presence of static electricity triggered by the dry environment.
  • Repeatedly touching the wig with your hands

Once the synthetic hair dries out, the wig will appear less natural. Hence, you need to undertake some measures to ensure that your wig remains soft and does not look dry. Here are some wig care tips to maintain your synthetic hair and keep it soft.

Best Ways To Soften Synthetic Hair Wigs

Woman brushing her wig with a wide-toothed comb to remove tangles
Image: IStock
  • Brush your wig gently with a wide-toothed comb to remove any tangles. If it has tight curls, detangle them with your fingers to prevent shedding.
  • Fill a large tub with lukewarm water and add a mild synthetic-safe cleanser to it.
  • Soak your wig in this solution for 10-15 minutes.
  • Swish it during this time – up, down, left, and right. This will help remove the dirt and grease from your synthetic hair. Do not rub or pull your wig to avoid breakage and tangles.
  • Rinse the hair under running cool water. This washes the soapy lather and keeps your wig’s shape intact.
  • Prepare a solution of lukewarm water and fabric softener/hair conditioner.
  • Soak your hair in this liquid for at least 10 minutes. If the hair is severely damaged, keep it for 30 minutes.
  • Remove your synthetic hair and squeeze out the excess water without twisting or wringing it.
  • Blot any remaining water with a soft towel and place your wig on a stand. Let your synthetic wig air dry naturally.

Camille Dior, a YouTuber, demonstrated how to restore synthetic wigs using a fabric softener. However, she advised caution for people with sensitive noses due to the strong fabric softener scent. She said, “My room smells like fabric softener and it’s been 3 hours. It’s really strong, maybe because I used so much of it but I would suggest doing it in a different way (i).”

Let’s now look at a few wig maintenance hacks that help keep your synthetic hairpieces soft and healthy-looking.

Essential Tips To Maintain Synthetic Hair Wigs

Woman checking her synthetic hair wig
Image: Shutterstock
  • Wash your synthetic wig once every 4 to 14 days, depending on the frequency of usage and the degree of sweating.
  • Always use a mild cleanser and lukewarm water to wash your wigs.
  • Dip the wig in and out of the water several times while rinsing.
  • Use a fabric softener or a commercial synthetic hair conditioner and brush the wig with a wide-toothed comb.
  • Buy a wig brush or comb made specifically to handle synthetic hair.
  • Keep your scalp free of grease to minimize the need to wash the wig frequently.
  • Restrict hair coloring, perming, and heat styling to preserve your wig’s luster.

protip_icon Quick Tip
It is recommended to avoid combing the wet synthetic wig while keeping it on a wig head or stand.

Infographic: Easy Steps To Soften A Synthetic Hair Wig

A synthetic hair wig can be a budget-friendly option to help elevate your natural look. However, since it is made of synthetic fibers, it may lose its natural appearance and become dry and dull after a certain period. Hence, it is crucial to maintain it and keep it soft to retain its natural look. Check out the infographic below for easy steps to soften a synthetic hair wig.

easy steps to soften a synthetic hair wig (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Synthetic wigs are made with artificial fibers and available in versatile styles. They are inexpensive and available in different colors and lengths. As these wigs are made of synthetic fibers, they tend to be frizzy and rough. And softening these wigs is essential to maintain their smoothness. So how do you soften synthetic wigs? Brushing the wig with a wide-toothed comb or a wig comb, rinsing it under running cool water, and letting it air-dry naturally may help soften a synthetic wig. In addition, washing it once every 4-14 days, using mild cleansers and fabric softeners may help keep your synthetic wig hair soft.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use mousse on synthetic wig hair?

Yes. You may use mousse and other styling products on synthetic wigs to volumize them. However, avoid using them on human hair wigs as styling products contain alcohol and may damage the hair strands. Also, exercise caution while using products with alcohol for wig styling as they may dry and shrink the synthetic strands.

Can you use hair rollers on synthetic wigs?

Yes. You can use hair rollers on synthetic wigs. However, read all instructions carefully before using rollers on wigs because not all wigs can tolerate the heat from styling tools.

Is apple cider vinegar good for synthetic hair?

Yes. You can use apple cider vinegar on your synthetic hair. It helps remove chemicals and alkaline bases from the hair and minimize the risk of irritation after wearing the wig.

Key Takeaways

  • Depending on how often you use it and how much you sweat, you should wash your synthetic wig every 4 to 14 days.
  • Brush the wig with a wide-toothed comb and wash it with a fabric softener or a professional synthetic wig conditioner.
  • Maintain a grease-free scalp to reduce the need to wash the wig frequently.
  • To avoid damage and extend the life of your wig, avoid heat styling or coloring it too frequently.

Learn how to revive your human hair wig with a fabric softener! Click on this video for easy-to-follow steps to make your wig look like new again!

Personal Experience: Source

Madison Dufour
Madison DufourBarber & Cosmetologist
Madison Dufour is a licensed and practicing barber and cosmetologist with 10 years of experience, as well as an entrepreneur running several hair businesses, including MadisonD Barbering and The Exquisite Find Hair Blog. After working behind the chair for several years, she felt the calling to start the non-profit Barber in a Bag that teaches basic hair cutting skills in street and slum communities in South America.

Read full bio of Madison Dufour
Arshiya Syeda
Arshiya SyedaSenior Editor
Arshiya Syeda is a senior editor at StyleCraze with 7 years of experience. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and research skills to write over 200 high-performing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and skin care.

Read full bio of Arshiya Syeda
Ramona is an editor at StyleCraze with 11 years of experience in writing and editing. She has authored over 200 articles on skin and hair care. She graduated from the University of Calcutta, West Bengal, and did her post-graduation from the University of Kalyani, West Bengal.

Read full bio of Ramona Sinha
Medha Deb
Medha DebCommerce Editor
Medha Deb is a commerce editor with a master's degree in applied linguistics from the University of Hyderabad, which has allowed her to develop a deep understanding of language and its application in various contexts. She specializes in the areas of beauty, health, and wellness and is committed to ensuring that the content on the website is of the highest quality.

Read full bio of Medha Deb