How to Detangle a Wig: 8 Steps to Bring Your Wig Back to Life

how to detangle a wig

When your wig turns into a tangled mess, your first instinct may be to comb it vigorously or cut the knots out. Without the right knowledge, you could do some severe damage to your wig. In this guide, we'll tell you how to detangle a wig with the proper technique and tools. Soon, you’ll know how to remove the knots safely and effectively and bring your wig back to life.

Tools and Products You Need

Before you get started, be sure to gather the following supplies:

  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Water in a spray bottle
  • Wig brush
  • A wig stand or mannequin head
  • Conditioner
  • Detangling spray
  • Styling tools (blow dryer, flat iron, curling wand, etc.)
  • Microfiber towel (optional)
  • Blow dryer (optional)

Detangle a Wig Step by Step

Once you've got all of your supplies within reach, it's time to get down to business. To revive your wig gently and efficiently, follow the below instructions step by step.

Step 1. Put Your Wig on a Wig Stand

Detangling your wig on your own head or in your lap can be unnecessarily complicated. So, start by putting your wig on a wig stand. We recommend one that's made of cork and canvas. In an ideal scenario, you'd attach the wig stand to a table. Putting the wig on a wig stand will free up your hands to hold the comb and other products you'll need for detangling.

Secure the wig with T-pins to prevent it from falling off the mannequin head during the detangling process.

Step 2. Divide the Hair into Sections

Divide your hair into sections to make the hair easier to work with. The number of sections will vary based upon how tangled your wig is and the wig's density.

As a general guideline, separate the wig into four or more equal sections. To do this, part the wig with your fingers from front to back and then from ear to ear. This will give you four sections.

If you find that four sections are not enough, feel free to create more sections.

Step 3. Spray Detangling Products on the Hair

Spray your wig down with a detangling spray. The spray will make the hairs slippery so they can easily slide past each other as you work to remove the tangles.

You can buy a detangler from your local beauty supply store or department store. If you're more into DIY hair products, you can make your own detangler at home. The easiest way to make your own detangler is to combine four parts water with 1 part conditioner in a spray bottle. Shake the mixture thoroughly and then spray it on the hair.

Spray enough of the detangler to thoroughly saturate the hair. If you don't use enough, the product won't work as expected.

Step 4. Detangle the Worse Tangles with Your Fingers

You may be tempted to use your comb to get the worst tangles out, but that won't work out too well. Larger knots should be removed by hand, at least partially. You can better feel and remove the tangles with your hands than with a comb. Go section by section so you won't get overwhelmed by the knots.

If your wig has a tangle that you're unable to remove with your detangling spray and your hands, feel free to spray the knot down with water and saturate it with conditioner. Try to remove it again with your fingers.

Note: Avoid using your fingernails to remove the tangles. Doing so can damage the hair shaft, causing breakage and split ends.

Step 5. Detangle the Hair Using a Wide Tooth Comb

Comb one of the sections from tips to roots with the wide-tooth comb. Once the ends are tangle-free, move up to the mid-lengths and then to the roots. Combing from roots to tips will cause unnecessary tugging and broken hairs.

Move on to the next section and repeat these steps. Stop combing when the comb freely glides through the hair.

Once the majority of the tangles are gone, smooth the hair out further with your wig brush. You can brush it from roots to tips if you have already detangled the hair with your wide-toothed comb.

Step 6. Wash & Deep Condition Your Wig

If you had to use a lot of conditioner or detangler, you may need to wash and condition the wig to restore its body and shine. This is especially important for straight wigs. If you skip the washing step, your wig could look limp and greasy after styling. For curly wigs, a quick rinse may be all you need.

Note: You should never wash a tangled wig, especially if it is badly matted. Doing so will make the tangles worse. So, make sure that your wig is thoroughly detangled before washing.

Step 7. Dry Your Wig

It's never a good idea to leave your wig wet for an extended period of time. You can prevent mold and mildew by drying your wig in one of two ways:

Air dry your wig: The gentlest way to dry your wig is to put it on your wig stand and let it air dry in the open. That means don't put it in an enclosed space, like a small closet. Your wig will be dry within a day. If you want to speed up the drying process, you can gently pat away the excess water with a microfiber towel before putting it on the wig stand.

Blow-dry your wig: Blow drying your wig comes in handy when you're in a hurry. You can hold your wig in your hand or put it on your mannequin head and blast it with your blow dryer as you brush the hair with a wig brush. Be careful not to tug too hard on the hair, or you could rip it out. We recommend that you use the “cool” setting on the blow dryer to preserve the quality of your hair.

Step 8. Style Your Wig

Once your wig is dry, you can style it however you desire. You can straighten it with your flat iron or create some cascading curls with a curling wand. Have some fun with it!

6 Best Tips to Prevent Tangles in Wigs

After going through all the detangling steps mentioned above, you'd probably do anything to keep your wig from tangling again. Luckily, here are the 6 best tips you can use to prevent tangles and matting. Here they are:

1. Buy high-quality human hair wigs - High-quality human hair wigs are made of healthy virgin Remy hair, with all cuticles facing the same direction. These wigs are less prone to tangling than synthetic wigs or non-Remy human hair wigs.

2. Wash your wig regularly but not too much - Washing your wig is part of regular maintenance, but washing it too often can dry it out and make it prone to tangling. It's best to wash your hair after you wear it 30 times, which is every month or so. If you don't wear your wig every day, you can go longer than a month between washes.

3. Avoid dyeing your human hair wigs - Dyeing a wig always causes some degree of damage to its hair cuticles. Damaged cuticles raise up and snag surrounding strands. The only way to guarantee that your wig's hairs remain healthy is to refrain from dyeing them. Buy a colored wig instead of dyeing a wig by yourself.

4. Use the right wig products - Not all wig products are created equal. Always opt for natural products without super harsh cleansers and surfactants, like sulfates. These can dry your wig out. Also, get your hands on a moisturizing conditioner to keep your wig hydrated.

5. Store your wig properly - The more your wig moves or rubs up against things, the more tangled it will get. That's why proper wig storage is crucial. For the best results, put your wig in its original package or on a wig stand when it's not in use.

6. Don't sleep with your wig - When you sleep in your wig, it may rub up against your pillowcases, blankets, or even your skin and clothing. This encourages tangles. So, take your wig off before bed.

Why Wigs Tangle

Many people wonder why wigs tangle, and there are several reasons behind it.

First, wigs are not self-moisturizing. Our natural hair is moisturized by the sebum produced by our scalps. Wigs don't have this, and that means that they tend to get dry and consequently tangled.

Second, the texture of your wig could be to blame. Bone straight wigs tangle much less often than wavy and curly wigs. The curlier your wig is, the higher its chances of getting tangled.

Third, if the hair is not Remy with the cuticles facing the same direction, the hair cuticles will constantly snag when neighboring strands come in contact with each other.

Luckily, if you use the tips above, you can dramatically reduce tangles in your human hair wigs.

Bring Your Wig Back to Life

Detangling human hair wigs takes patience and care because doing it incorrectly can leave your unit with patches of ripped-out hair. But with the information in this article, you can detangle even the most matted wig with ease.

Now's your chance to share your knowledge. How do you detangle your wigs at home? What is your best advice to revive a wig? Share below in the comments - you never know who you may help!

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