I’m sure we have all smelt a dirty wig before and would agree that its not cute! So its only right that we all learn how to wash our 100% human hair wigs at home. whether you are a slay queen, stay at home mum, boss chick or just living da vida loca, one thing is for sure. We all rock our prized 100% human hair wigs in our own unique way; some wear it everyday, while others keep it for that special occasion. But whether you wear your 100% human hair wig everyday or only for special days, washing it and keeping it clean is of upmost importance.
If we are being real with ourselves, we have to remember that genuine human hair wigs do not come cheap! Even at more affordable prices, the money spent can probably sponsor a donkey for £2 a month for a lifetime! What you have basically made when purchasing a 100% human hair wig is an investment. So if you would like your wig to last as long as possible, cleanliness should be your number one priority. If you are not sure whether its that important, just imagine your poor man’s nostrils when he is trying to spoon you, all he will be smelling is mildew. He just will slowly start facing the other side.
Save yourself diva and continue reading to learn this necessary skill.
Whether you’re looking for tips on how to improve your human hair wig wash day routine, or you’re a complete newbie to the wig life , you are in the right place. This guide will cover all the essential steps needed to keep your human hair wig clean and tips on how to care for it to avoid damage.
What steps will be covered in How to wash my human hair wig?
Step 1 . Preparation
Step 2. Washing
Step 3. Conditioning
Step 4. Drying
Step 5. Styling
Step 6. Maintenance and Care tips
What Will I Need* To Wash And Dry My Human Hair Wig?
Shampoo and Conditioner (choose one for the texture/colour of hair you are washing)
Brush (for detangling)
A tooth brush (unused of course)
A wide tooth comb and styling comb (wig friendly ones please)
Your hands (remove all costume jewellery as it can be damaged in this process)
A Clean Towel
A Drying rack
A Wig Stand
*Just be mindful that this is a list of basic tools that you will need. Depending on your level of skill you can add more tools to the process. Remember this is just a guideline and can be adapted to suit your individual needs.
Step 1. Preparation
Its important at this stage to make sure your have all the products that you will need in the washing process. Preparation is key so this stage allows you the time to make sure you have selected the right product for the right job. Lace is very delicate and can be damaged easily during the washing stage if proper care is not taken. I treat my wigs as individuals and wash them as such. So if I am washing curly hair, I get products made for curly hair. Or if washing a coloured wig, I get products that are made for coloured hair. Most human hair wigs are are mad with hair that has been dyed and chemically processed in order to remove the cuticle, so must be handled gently to not make the hair more fragile. Please do not rush this process, take your time and select the products that match the texture of the hair you are working with. Prepare to do it at a time where you have the time and patience to handle your wig delicately, other wise you risk balding the hair on your lace from frustrated tugging when attempting to detangle.
Before shampooing, use a brush (I recommend the tangle teezer) to remove tangles. Don’t panic if all the tangles do not come out when the hair is dry, the next step will deal with those stubborn tangles. Some people prefer to use basin, but I’m not a fan of this method as it can lock in the stubborn tangles if your don’t know what your are doing. So I recommend going to where there is a running flow of water. This could be your bath tub, a large/deep kitchen sink or shower room. Try your best to keep the wig touching the base of your sink/basin/bath/shower so the hair does not get tangled further during this process
Set the water to be at a Luke warm temperature (so not ice cold, but not hot either). Hold the wig in one hand ( I use my left to hold the wig) and the brush in the other ( I use my right hand to hold the brush as this is my main hand). While the water is running, holding your wig securely place it under the flow of water just to wet it.
DO NOT TWIST, RUB OR MASSAGE!!! (see pictures below for example of what this looks like)
Once wet, lightly squeeze out the excess water. Do not hold back on the conditioner, get a good palm sized dose (more if the wig is fuller) and simply smooth the conditioner throughout the hair from base to the tips. I REPEAT DO NOT RUB,WRING OR TWIST! Avoid the putting too much conditioner on the root area as the conditioner can loosen the knots. you have evenly covered the wet hair with conditioner, use your brush to detangle the wig starting from tip to root. Take your time and avoid just brushing the top layers of the wig, make sure to look for all tangles in the main body of the wig and at the nape (the bit that touches your neck). Once your brush seamlessly brushes throughout the wig without any tangles, rinse out the conditioner by holding the wig under the flowing water. Please be careful not to wring your wig as if you were washing your knickers in the sink! Once done give yourself a pat on the back, because you have done the main job! Next step- the easy bit.
Step 2. Washing Your Human Hair Lace Wig
Once you have completed detangling your wig as explained in step 1, you will apply a small amount of your chosen shampoo to the wet hair. As advised before DO NOT RUB, TWIST WRING OR MASSAGE THE HAIR!! Yes I’m capping because this is so important and will really make the difference between you completing this process successfully or further tangling and balding your wig. Once you have smoothed the shampoo throughout your wig, hold it under the flowing water and brush the hair from tip to root in downward strokes until all the shampoo is gone.
PLEASE DO NOT BE TEMPTED TO SCRUB THE HAIR. Repeat this step if wig is particularly dirty. Gently turn the wig inside out and apply some shampoo to the inside of the cap. Use your fingers in small circular motions to gently get any dirt out of your cap. Depending on the material of cap, you may be able to use a soft toothbrush in circular motions to get out stubborn dirt/makeup (e,g the stronger dome caps).
Rinse again under flowing water, turn inside out and continue rinsing process while brushing the hair. Gently squeeze out the excess water and gently blot hair dry with a towel, or I also like to use a cotton t-shirt. You are now ready to condition
Step 3. Conditioning Your Human Hair Wig
While the hair is still wet, smooth some conditioner into the wig using the palm of your hands and work it evenly into the hair. Again try to avoid placing the conditioner on the base of your wig as it can loosen the knots on the wig, causing hair loss/ balding spots to your wig. While the hair is wet and saturated with your wig conditioner, very gently detangle the wig again if needed, starting at the tips of the hair and working your way up.
If in a rush, leave the hair conditioner on for at least 5 mins. However what I recommend, getting a used plastic bag (a Tesco/Sainsbury bag will do) and placing the hair carefully into it. Leave the wig conditioning in the plastic bag for about 30 minutes.
Once ready, thoroughly rinse the conditioner off under the flowing water while brushing from tip to root. Gently squeeze the excess water from the wig (PLEASE DO NOT RUB, TWIST OR WRING) and lightly blot hair with a towel.
Step 4. Drying Your Human Hair Wig
Gently blot hair with a towel or cotton cloth ( I use a cotton t-shirt I ‘borrowed’ from my husbands draw-lol). This is your chance to add a light leave in conditioner or oil to lock in moisture and seal in that shine that is picture worthy. If you don’t have a leave in conditioner get a small spray bottle, fill it with water, add drops of your favourite essential oils, shake it up and spray away.
Now it is important that you now allow the wig to air dry naturally. Do not be tempted dry your wig with a blow dryer as it can dry out and damage the hair and in some case put holes in your lace.
We have all been guilty of rushing this process and hanging our wigs on all sorts of heat sources such as the radiator, the towel dryer, heck I have even hung mine on clothes drying rack. But lets do better ladies in looking after our investments. It’s much easier in the warmer months to air dry naturally as the sun will have it dry in about 2 hours, however in the winter months it will take much longer definitely over night in airy space.
Where and how your dry your wig is entirely up to your personal home life situation. I hang mine on a drying rack in the garden that I have adapted to hold my wigs as they are drying. But I understand not all of us have gardens, or outside spaces to hang wigs to dry. So just make sure you choose the airiest room in your home avoiding the bathroom and kitchen. For ease and to protect the cap of the wig stretching out, its best to allow your human hair wig to dry on a wig stand as this is most safe option. Using a wig stand also allows you set the hair with rollers if required.
Check on your wig from time to time as its drying to make sure all parts of the wig are drying evenly, including the inner cap.
Step 5. Styling Your Human Hair Wig
Your can style your wig with a brush, a comb or your fingertips. It really is a matter of preference and what desired style you are attempting to acheive. Avoid using brushes and coms that do not have smooth teeth. Rugged teeth can cause damage and balding to your wigs.
To restyle your wig, you will become best friend with a heat protectant spray. This is because you will likely use a blow dryer, curling iron, flat iron, curling wands or other heat styling tools. Be mindful that you should try your best to get used to styling your wigs on the lower heat settings to avoid heat damage to the hair fibres.
To prevent your wig having a mushroom top ( a bumpy closure) get yourself a good liquid mousse or foam wrap. This is an essential styling tool that will help you flatten the closure area down along with your hot comb and styling strips ( or a silk head scarf if you don’t have styling strips)
For human hair wigs with a curly or wavy texture, just mousse hand scrunch, and pick the style into curls with your fingers.
Be creative, as your wig was designed with a basic style but the variations you can achieve through styling are limitless. Your wig can be returned to its basic style by washing it and allowing it to air dry.
Your hair should now be smelling soooo good! Netflix and chill ready- I wont tell if you don’t *wink wink*
Step 6. Maintenance and Care Tips For Your Human Hair Wig
- Store your wig on a wig stand or your head foam 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.
- Try to avoid wearing your wig while sleeping. It may result in hair loss, breakage and matting.
- Because additional processing is needed to achieve the light coloured hair (e.g blonde), light hair colours are more delicate than darker coloured hair, so should be treated as such.
- Over time, your wig WILL naturally lose hair. This is a natural part of the life cycle of your wig. Lace wigs were not invented for the everyday working woman to be honest. They were made for theatre and celebrities, who have a whole team to look after it. Lace wigs were made to be worn for a special occasion/ performance and put away. Its therefore unrealistic for you the expect that if you wear a human hair lace wig everyday you will not see any damage over time. Protect your investment ladies so it can last as long as possible until its time to say goodbye. with good attention and care a good quality human hair wig can last over 5 yrs.
- We all want to look sexy on our holiday pictures and pretend to be mermaids int the open waters/ swimming pools. But our wigs will not thanks us for it! Avoid contact with chlorinated water, sea water, and hot water to avoid damage to your wig.
How often should you wash your human hair wig?
To be honest, when it comes to knowing when to wash your wig, you are the expert because you’re the one wearing it. If I really have to put a number on it, I recommend washing your human hair wig every 7-14 days of consistent wear. Please note that this time cuts shorter if you exercise, sweat profusely or have sex in your wig. Each time your Wig is washed it shortens it shortens its lifespan, so wigs should not be washed more than is necessary. Using minimal styling product on your human hair wig will allow you to wash it less often and extend its life on this earth. Although I’m not the biggest fan of wig caps under a wig, however one positive about a wig cap is that it will absorb the majority of the scalp oils, keeping them away from the base of your wig unit cap.
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Stay Fabulous x