How to wash hair extensions and wigs from synthetic material

Read on to discover our top tips on how to wash hair extensions and synthetic wigs.

Updated 10 July 2019

Pink synthetic extensions on carpet

Key steps 

  • For synthetic wigs, use cold water and a tablespoon of synthetic hair shampoo, followed by a tablespoon of synthetic hair conditioner.
  • Wigs should be washed once a week.
  • For hair extensions, wash at least every 2 days.
  • Use a cool or cold shower, pressing shampoo into your hair without rubbing.

As wigs and extensions are close to our bodies and to the elements for the whole day, it's important to have a good hair extension care routine to ensure they always look their best. Here you’ll find a guide on how to wash hair extensions and synthetic wigs. Plus, if you’ve been dying your wigs, we also have tips for removing hair dye which you can read here.

Dos and don’ts of synthetic wigs and hair extension care  

When it comes to washing hair extensions and synthetic hair, there are a few important things to remember:

  • DO use a finishing spray. This is a great way to not only give you wig the perfect finish but also maintain the longevity of your wig.
  • DO use specialised products. Natural products could result in a frizzy, matted or unnaturally shiny result.
  • DO allow your synthetic hair to dry naturally. Hair dryers are likely to damage wigs and hair extensions, even with proper heat protection.
  • DO NOT use a standard hair brush or comb. These have bristles which are likely to rip out your wig hair, and tear the cap. Use a brush specifically suited to synthetic hair.
  • DO NOT use regular hair care products. These can cause irreversible damage to your wigs.
  • DO NOT use hot water. This will damage wig fibres.
Ensure that you remember to wash your wig at least once a week and your hair extensions every two days. This will keep them looking their best for longer.

How to wash a synthetic wig

If you're wondering how to wash synthetic hair, we’ve got you covered with our simple guide. Here’s how to wash synthetic wigs:

  1. Synthetic wigs have a “style memory”. This means it is essential to care for it, to ensure it keeps bouncing back. You should be washing your wig at least once a week (and more often in hot, humid weather).
  2. Start by gently brushing through the wig with a wig comb for straight styles and your fingers for curly styles.
  3. Mix a tablespoon of synthetic wig shampoo into a small bowl of cold water.
  4. Placing your hands inside the cap, carefully turn your wig inside out.
  5. Fully submerge your wig in the bowl of water, and gently swirl your wig around.
  6. Leave your wig to soak for five minutes.
  7. Gently lift your wig out of the bowl. Empty the bowl and run your wig under cold water until the water runs clear.
  8. Apply a tablespoon of synthetic wig conditioner to your wig, running it through with your fingers.
  9. Leave the wig in the clean, empty bowl for two minutes.
  10. Rinse the wig under cold water until the water runs clear.
  11. Wrap your wig in a towel. Gently squeeze and pat out the excess water. Never rub as this could damage the wig fibres and cause it to become frizzy.
  12. Spray on a finishing spray and leave on a wig stand to air dry. Ensure it is fully dry before combing, styling or wearing your wig. 

How to wash synthetic hair extensions

As hair extensions will be washed at the same time as your natural hair, the steps are slightly different to washing a wig. Read on to discover how: 

  1. Try to use a sulphate-free, fragrance-free, hydrating shampoo and conditioner. These will not only care for your scalp but produce minimal damage to your hair extensions.
  2. Hair extensions can tangle and become frizzy more quickly than human hair, so be sure to wash your hair at least every two days.
  3. Always carry a comb with you, to prevent tangles which can be caused by dirt or sweat.
  4. Remove all the tangles before washing your hair. Always hold your extension above the tangle and brush below where you’re holding it.
  5. Use cold water. This is great for your skin as well as your extensions.
  6. Once your hair is wet, gently work a tablespoon of shampoo evenly into your hair, working in a downward motion. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing as this could cause damage to your extensions.
  7. Rinse your hair in cool or cold water.
  8. Repeat the process, this time with a tablespoon of conditioner.
  9. Pat your hair dry with a towel. Cotton is best as it will cause the least amount of friction.
  10. If your extensions are made with synthetic hair, it is important to allow the hair to dry naturally.

Now you have a guide for how to wash a wig and hair extension you will be able to maintain your synthetic hair and keep it always looking its best.

Originally published 10 July 2019