Posted on April 26 2018
Back in high school when I first started using wigs for theater productions, I was completely unaware of how to take care of them. For the most part, wigs were used and then they were trashed as soon as the show run was finished. But when I took over the costume department, I looked at the purchase sheets and saw just how much money we were wasting on purchasing new wigs for every new show we did. When in actuality we could not only be saving money by reusing wigs, but we could also be learning how to style wigs by keeping the wigs we had clean and “healthy.”
Many, if not all, of the wigs we used were synthetic. This meant no heat styling.. and our wigs seemed to easily fray and tangle. Though these wigs are a financially friendly alternative to the more expensive human hair wigs, they often do not last as long and are much more difficult to maintain for a substantial amount of time.
So, what do we do? How can we keep synthetic wigs looking as great as they do the first time you wear them? After doing some research and speaking with a few hairstylists, I found out that it is a much easier process than it seems. Wigs don’t have real moisture like human hair, so they tend to be very dry. Fabric softener acts as a great conditioning agent, combating static electricity in synthetic wigs. Once the fibers in the wig are no longer dry, static cling is under control, frizz is prevented and those pesky fly-aways are kept at bay. Simple as that!
Detailed below is my way of conditioning synthetic wigs to keep them lasting longer and holding their shape much better for longer.
Here is what you will need:
- A spray bottle
- Fabric softener
- Cold water
Take two parts liquid fabric softener and two parts water. You can use as much or as little of both as you choose, but make sure they are of equal parts. Depending on the length and texture of the wig, you may decide you need a bit more or less for different wigs. Once you measure your parts, mix the two in a spray bottle; mixing well. And then you are ready to start conditioning! Once you remove your wig for the day, douse the fibers in the fabric softener/water mixture. Then wrap the wig in a towel--but DO NOT rub the towel against the synthetic hair; simply dab. Then let the wig dry on a wig stand, letting the excess mixture air-dry overnight. I find it best to do the spraying part of this technique over a tub or sink in order to avoid leaving a slippery mess - especially if you are someone like me who can be a bit clumsy without any assistance.
If you want a quick condition before you go in the morning, you can lightly spray the same mixture - utilizing a bit of hairspray to set your desired style before you head out - and you can let it air-dry on your head for those days you are on the go.
Before I send you on your way, here are a few other Do’s and Don’t for synthetic hair wearers:
• DON’T use a blowdryer. Allow the wig to air-dry.
• DON’T apply heat, including curling irons, flat irons or any appliances of the sort.
• DON’T use a brush on curly wigs.
• DON’T use a brush or a comb on straight wigs when wet.
• DO take off the wig when going to bed.
I hope these tips aid in your quest to keep your synthetic wigs looking as good if not better than your natural hair/human hair wigs. Let your style shine and let the hair flow!