How to wash a wig with fabric softener? Can you use laundry detergent? Or should you use wig shampoo? And how long do you soak it? Find it all out here!
I have natural 4c hair so as anyone with this hair type knows wigs are my best friend.
Like most women I had always paid special attention to my human hair Remy wigs but I decided to start taking care of my synthetic hair ones recently too.
Synthetic wigs are made of man-made fibers mostly nylon or polyester. And if you purchase a high quality synthetic hair it can actually be difficult to tell the difference between it and real hair.
If you’re wondering why bother with synthetic hair in the first place let me tell you that most color-treated wigs (especially the cosplay ones) are synthetic. And you need to take care of them the same way you would your human hair.
One of the most important aspects of caring for your synthetic hair is the washing of it. You see every time you use hairsprays, gels, heat protectants and other hair products on your wigs, some residue builds up.
This can cause your synthetic wigs to look dull and lose their luster.
But at the same time, washing your wigs the wrong way (or with the wrong products) can cause tangles and breakage.
So here I am with this article showing you how to wash a wig with fabric softener! Why fabric softener? Let’s find out!
Related: How To Straighten A Human Hair Wig
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Synthetic wigs can be cheaper and still look good, especially cosplay wigs. And if you wash and maintain them well, they last longer too!
What does fabric softener do to wigs and why should you use it?
Fabric softeners are liquid agents that contain lubricating ingredients that coat the fibers in the fabric of your clothes. By doing so they prevent wear and tear and add shine to the fibers. Similarly as synthetic wigs are made of either nylon or polyester fibers, a fabric softener works by coating their fibers, preventing tangles and leaving them soft and shiny.
How To Wash A Wig With Fabric Softener 2022
Prep Your Wig By Removing Any Knots And Tangles
Yes, we are washing the synthetic wig with fabric softener to remove tangles. But that doesn’t mean you start off with a jumbled nest of a wig. Use a wide toothed comb and remove by hand as many tangles as possible.
This will also prevent further tangling while you are washing the wig.
Create Cleaning Mixture With Fabric Softener
While it might seem easier to just throw your wig in the washing machine, that is a bad, bad idea. The spinning movement of the tub will leave your wig looking like a bird’s nest.
The best way to wash your wig with fabric softener is to create a cleaning mixture first. For this I suggest using 250 ml of water, 80ml of laundry detergent and almost twice the amount of fabric softener (I used 150ml).
You can use any laundry detergent you like, but I prefer using a liquid detergent as it gets mixed easily with the water then powder detergents.
Similarly my preferred fabric softener for washing synthetic wigs is either Downy Calm Fabric Softener (I like the scent) or the Gain Fabric Softener.
Soak Wig In Mixture For 30 Minutes and Gently Wash
I also suggest soaking the synthetic wig before washing it. I keep my wigs soaked for at least 30 minutes. Some of my worse-for-wear wigs even get left overnight. But if you’re just looking for a regular washing, 30 minutes should be enough.
Also be very gentle with your wigs while washing them. Do not scrub them together or rub them against a brush or any surface.
If you’re dealing with a curly synthetic wig, it’s best to wash the wig by following the curl pattern.
Rinse Wig With Water Thoroughly
After washing the wigs, it’s very important to rinse it thoroughly with cold water. If you forget to clean it well, the synthetic wigs might still have residue from the detergent or the fabric softener.
Now this residue invites more dirt, causing more abrasion and causing your wigs to get tangled faster. They also looked weirdly stained in some spots.
So wash it well!
Dab Gently To Remove Water and Let It Air Dry Overnight
Now let’s come to drying your synthetic wig. It might not be real human hair but aggressive towel drying can leave your synthetic wigs in knots too.
So just use a towel to dab the excess water gently. Do not overdo this as it’s best to hang the wig on a coat rack or hook somewhere to dry overnight.
Your synthetic wig should be as good as new in the morning!
How To Wash Synthetic Wig Without Wig Shampoo Or Detergent
Frequent washing can also take a toll on your synthetic wig. So if you want to remove tangles or knots from your synthetic wig but do not want to use either wig shampoo or detergent here is what you should do.
You can prepare a DIY conditioner at home using fabric softener to remove tangles from your synthetic hair wigs.
For this you will need:
- A spray bottle
- Fabric softener (240ml)
- Cold water (240ml)
Here’s the steps you need to follow:
- Firstly, mix the cold water and the fabric softener together in a spray bottle. Make sure they are in the ratio 1:1 (that is for every part of cold water you’ll need to add an equal amount of softener).
- Now keep your wig on a wig stand or a coat rack and start spraying this mixture over the top portion of your wig.
- After the top (outer section) of your wig is saturated with this mixture, move down and spray underneath the wig as well.
- Make sure you have coated the entirety of your wig with the softener-water mixture.
- Next, take a cotton towel or a microfiber cloth and dab away the excess mixture. Remember, dab and do not rub the wig with the towel.
- After this is done, leave the wig alone to let it dry. This might take anywhere from 4-8 hours so it’s best if you leave the wig overnight.
How to Maintain Your Synthetic Wig
Generally, synthetic wigs should be washed and styled as needed. To keep the wig in good condition, it is always best to avoid harsh chemicals and dyes, which can dry out and damage the hair.
Instead, use mild shampoo and conditioner, or a gentle cleanser specifically designed for synthetic hair. Always use a heat protector before styling your wig, to prevent heat damage.
Additionally, avoid putting the wig in the dryer – only put it in a low heat setting if absolutely necessary. Finally, be sure to seal the wig with a good quality hairspray every time you wear it.
Apart from this, here’s some immediate things you can start doing to keep your synthetic hair wig.
There are a few key things you should keep in mind when it comes to maintaining your synthetic wig. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure you shampoo and conditioning your wig every time you wear it. This will help prevent it from becoming greasy and looking gross.
- Avoid exposing your wig to direct sunlight or any other harsh elements – this can damage it quickly.
- Make sure to store your wig properly – in a cool, dry place away from direct light.
FAQs about Washing Your Wig With A Fabric Softener
How to soften a synthetic wig without fabric softener?
If you don’t want to use fabric softener on your synthetic wigs then you can invest in a few wig softening products like the Brandywine Revitalizing Conditioner or the Style Factor Wig Out Leave In Conditioner to help conditioner your wigs. However these products can be expensive. Alternatively, you can even use a steamer or hot air brush to soften your synthetic wig but make sure you spray on some heat protectant first to prevent damage.
How long should you soak your wig in fabric softener?
The correct answer to this question is… well it depends. If you have a lot of tangles and knots on your synthetic wigs you might need to soak it in the fabric softener and detergent mixture for a few hours. And if your wig is new and not so messed up, just 5-10 minutes would do. To be on the safer side, I always leave my wig to soak in fabric softener for an average of 30 minutes.
What happens if I use too much fabric softener on my wig?
If you use too much fabric softener on your synthetic wigs it might build up the same way hair products do. It can cause greasiness that attracts more dirt and then causes more tangles. Also, the traces of fabric softener can make your wigs look patchy or stained if you don’t wash it off thoroughly.
Is washing synthetic wigs with laundry detergent okay?
Yes, absolutely. In fact, it is actually recommended you wash your synthetic wigs with fabric detergents or dish soaps instead of regular shampoos. The fibers in the synthetic wig are very similar to the fibers on your synthetic fabric clothes so laundry detergents work amazingly well at cleaning these wigs.
How to detangle a synthetic wig without fabric softener?
If you want to detangle hair without using a fabric softener you can add a few dollops of hair conditioner to boiling water and dip your synthetic hair in it for a few seconds. Mind you, do not add excessive amounts of conditioner and absolutely do not leave your wig in the boiling water for too long or it will get damaged.
While wigs are a fantastic way to try out new hairstyles or hair colors, maintaining them is important to keep them looking good for longer periods of time.
And this isn’t just limited to your human hair wigs. Your synthetic hair wigs also need equal amounts of love!
Doing something as simple as adding fabric softener to your detergent mixture while cleaning out your synthetic wigs can be so helpful in extending its life.
By washing wigs with fabric softener you prevent further tangles and knots and add a layer of smoothness and shine to your synthetic hair.
So keep this handy little tip in mind the next time you want to give your cosplay wig a good wash.