How to Wash a Wig - The Only Guide You'll Ever Need

In this ultimate guide, we have included everything you need to know about how to wash a human hair wig, including the products and tools you will need, step-by-step washing instructions, and answers to any questions you may have.  

Products and Tools You Need to Wash a Wig

  • Sink or large bowl
  • Wig Brush and/or comb
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothbrush
  • Wig Stand
  • Clean towel or T-shirt
  • Detangling spray
  • Finishing spray
  • Wig adhesive remover

Video Guide on Washing a Human Hair Wig

Follow this video created by Pure Estrogen to learn how to wash your human hair lace wig at home, and keep it looking fresh, clean, and beautiful!

Prepare Your Lace Wig for Washing

detangle wig before washing

Before you begin washing your wig, there are a few steps that you should take first.

Detangle

You should use a wide-tooth wig comb, a wig brush, or your fingers to gently detangle the wig. If your wig has a curly texture, detangling with your fingers will most likely work best. The best way to detangle is to start at the ends and work your way up to the roots of your wig.

Remove Buildup and Glue

If you are washing a used lace wig, you should remove as much glue and buildup as possible before washing. To do this, you can use a wig adhesive remover and/or a wig brush to gently brush away any residue or buildup. If you have a lace front wig, take extra care during this step to avoid tearing the lace.  

Apply Hair Oil

Apply a small amount of hair oil to the hair before shampooing. This helps keep your wig smooth and detangled and preserves the moisture in your wig during the shampoo process.

Step by Step Guide to Wash a Wig

    • Step 1: Prepare Lukewarm Water
      • Step 2: Mix Shampoo into Water
      • Step 3: Submerge Wig into Water
      • Step 4: Rinse Your Wig Under Cold Water
      • Step 5: Clean The Wig Cap
      • Step 6: Rinse Your Wig Again Thoroughly
      • Step 7: Condition You Wig
      • Step 8: Drying and Styling Your Wig

      Here are the detailed steps to successfully wash your wig. Follow these steps closely for the best results.

      Step 1: Prepare lukewarm Water

      Fill a sink or bowl with cold or slightly lukewarm water.

      Step 2: Mix shampoo into Water

      Add some wig shampoo to the water and mix it well. Here’s how much you should use: 

        • Short wig - Half a tablespoon
        • Medium-length wig - One tablespoon
        • Long wig - One and a half tablespoons

        Add wig shampoo to the water and mix it

            These are general recommendations. If your shampoo packaging instructs you to use a different amount of shampoo, follow those instructions. If you use too much shampoo, you could have a hard time getting it out later. See the FAQs below to learn more about the best shampoo to use for your wig.

            Step 3: Submerge wig into water and soak for 5 minutes

            Gently turn your wig inside out, and then submerge into the water and shampoo mixture. Swirl the wig in a circle to ensure that it is completely saturated, and then allow it to soak for 5 minutes.

            submerge wig into the water and shampoo mixture and soak for a few minutes

            Step 4: Rinse your wig under cold water

            Carefully remove your wig from the soapy water and rinse it under cold water. If your wig still looks dirty, you can soak it for a few more minutes. You can also dunk the wig in the water repeatedly for a deeper clean.Remove your wig from the soapy water and rinse it under cold water

            Step 5: Clean the wig cap

            If there is any Buildup or Gule on the wig cap, gently clean the wig cap using a small brush or toothbrush, taking care not to stretch or tear the material.

            Step 6: Rinse your wig again thoroughly

            Once your wig is finished soaking and appears clean, rinse it thoroughly. Be gentle when rinsing, and never twist or wring out your wig. Drain or dump out the soapy water and rinse the bowl.

            Step 7: Condition you wig

            Condition your wig

            1. Refill your sink or bowl with clean lukewarm water. Add a small amount of conditioner, about a spoonful, to the water and mix to combine with the water. Some conditioners may have directions for how much product to use.
            2. Submerge your wig in the water/conditioner mixture and gently work the mixture into the wig’s strands using your fingers.
            3. Rinse your wig thoroughly in cool water. Again, be gentle and do not twist or wring out your wig.
            4. Apply a small amount of hair oil, such as jojoba oil, to your wig to seal in the moisture and reduce frizz. 

            Step 8: Drying and styling your wig

            put you wig on a dry towel and pat it dry

            1. Carefully lay your wig down on a towel or t-shirt and gently pat it dry. Do not allow your wig to hang while it is soaking wet. The weight of the water could stretch out your wig and damage it.

            2. Once your wig has been pat-dried, you can hang it on a wig stand to allow it to dry completely.

            3. Once your wig is completely dry, gently brush or comb your wig to remove any remaining tangles. Use a detangling spray if needed. You should never brush or comb a wig while it is still wet.

            4. Apply a finishing spray to your wig, and style it as you normally would.

              Tips for Washing and Caring for Your Wig

              In addition to clean your wig regularly, here are some dos and don’ts that you should follow to keep your wig looking great and last longer: 

              Dos

              • Do use a heat protectant product before using a flat iron or curling iron on your wig. 
              • Do avoid any sources of heat near your wig. This includes hot water while washing, as well as sources of heat in everyday life, such as an oven, a fire, a grill, or even a wig drying machine.
              • Do use products and styling tools that are specifically designed to be used with or on wigs. This is a critical step to avoid damage to your wig.
              • Do have a designated place such as a mannequin head or wig stand to store your wig.

              Don’ts

              • Don’t wash your wig too often. This will shorten its life. 
              • Don’t dry your wig in the sun, as this can dry it out and make the color dull. 
              • Don’t be rough with your wig if you want it to last a long time. 

              Why Should You Wash Your Wig?

              It is essential to wash your wig regularly for many reasons. Washing your human hair wig keeps it looking gorgeous and helps it last longer. Regular washing also prevents frizziness, reduces tangles and mats, maintains shine, and adds luster. And using the proper technique when washing your wig will help you avoid damage from ripping and stretching. 

              When Should Your Wash Your Wig?

              The best way to decide how often you should wash your wig is to pay attention to how it looks and feels. If your wig feels tangled and sticky or appears dull and lifeless, then it’s time for a wash.

              How Often Should You Wash Your Wig?

              In general, you should wash your human hair wig after wearing it approximately 7 to 10 times. If you wear your wig every day, it should be washed every 2 weeks at least to avoid tangling. If you don’t wear a wig every day, you can wash it less often.

              Should I Wash My Wig Before Wearing It?

              Deciding whether to wash your wig before you wear it is based on personal preference. Most wigs come pre-washed and ready to wear, but many women feel more comfortable wearing a freshly washed wig.

              On the other hand, each time you wash your wig, it shortens its lifespan. So, the best way to preserve your wig is to wash it only when it shows signs that it needs to be cleaned. Choosing not to wash your ready-to-wear wig will add a little bit of time to its lifespan.

              Conclusion

               

              There you have it - the complete guide to properly and thoroughly washing a wig. Hopefully, this article has answered all of your questions and concerns about how to wash a wig and care for it, so that you can keep your wig looking flawless!

              Now it is time to help the XRS Community. What shampoo and conditioner do you use on your wigs? What is your suggestion to wash a human hair wig? How long do you wash your human hair wig? Feel free to share below. Thank you!


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