How Do You Wash Human Hair Wigs?

Pink wig on girl

Human hair wigs have been around for a long time, but there has been a recent uptick in their use as a protective hairstyle. We're all for it, since human hair wigs aren't just for those experiencing hair loss, but also for those who want to change up their style. With winter coming, you may want to protect your natural hair from debris.

Keeping your human hair wig in top condition can be confusing, especially for first-timers. You always want your wig to look the best it can. Washing your hair wig is a given, as it helps the wig last longer. However, the nuances of how often and what products to use can be a learning curve.

In this article, we will provide you with the best tips on washing and caring for your human hair wig. By the end, you will understand the importance of caring for your wig as much as your natural hair.

Before we get into the specifics, let's differentiate between the two most popular types of human hair wigs: lace front wigs and 360 lace front wigs. A lace front wig has a lace base that makes the scalp look natural, and the hair fibers are sewn into the wig's crown. A 360 lace front wig, as the name suggests, has lace around the entire edge of the wig, making it perfect for high ponytails as it shows the scalp around the neckline.

Now, let's answer some common questions about washing human hair wigs:

Should I Wash A New Wig Before Wearing it?

Woman excited to wear a human hair wig | Chavie Russell Wigs

It's a matter of personal choice, as it's understandable that you may have initial reservations about wearing a human hair wig. However, washing your human hair wig can shorten its lifespan. To mitigate this, you can give your wig a quick rinse instead of a full washing routine. Most women feel comfortable wearing a newly washed wig.

How Often Should I Wash My Human Hair Wig?

Woman wearing a wig cap | Chavie Russell Wigs

How often you wash your wig is a matter of personal choice, but it's important to note that overwashing will shorten your wig's lifespan. It's a good habit to wash it at least once a week or every other week. If your scalp or natural hair feels sticky or dry, or if your style deflates or becomes frizzy immediately, then you may need to wash your wig more often. A good way to reduce the number of times you wash your wig is by wearing a wig cap and removing it before you go to sleep, as this preserves the volume and natural sheen of your wig.

What Wig Care Products Do I Need? 

Whether you’re wearing a human hair wig, an extension, or a synthetic one, these wig care products are non-negotiables, and you should always have them to provide the best at-home routine for your wig. These products include a wig stand, human hair wig shampoo and conditioner, wig combs and brushes, towels, a detangler, and a finishing spray. 

You may assume that since human hair wigs are from natural human hair, it's safe to wash them with the same shampoo and conditioner you use for your natural hair. Remember that human hair wigs are dyed and chemically processed, making their strands brittle and sensitive to breakage. 

We can’t stress this enough, but DO NOT use regular shampoo and conditioners on the wigs that you use for your natural hair. The chemicals found in your natural hair products will cause irreversible damage to your human hair wigs. There are specific shampoos and conditioners for your human hair wig to maintain its longevity. Besides, natural hair products will ironically remove the natural look of your human hair wig by making it look matted, curly, and unnaturally shiny.

How Do I Wash Human Hair Wig?

Row of assorted human hair wigs

Now we get to the best part of this article, the human hair wig washing. You must follow a few steps to provide your wigs with the best clean and sheen. 

Pre Wash Routine

Before washing your human hair wig, it’s imperative to do some brushing first to remove tangles. Another warning, DO NOT use regular hair brushes. Hair brushes will tear apart wig hair and destroy the cap. You should invest in a wig comb with far gentler bristles for your human hair wig. If you don’t want to buy a wig comb, you can always use your fingers and gently work your way up from the bottom to the roots.

Washing Routine

Once you remove the tangles, it’s time to rinse your human hair wig. Ensure you have all the products you need, like your wig stand, basin or sink, shampoo, and conditioner. 

  1. Place cool to lukewarm water up to the brim in a small sink, basin, or bowl. Hot water is not recommended for wigs as it damages the hair fibers. Once you immerse the hair wig, gently lift it and remove excess moisture using your fingers. Do not twist or wring the hair wig to avoid damage. 
  2. Place a small amount of shampoo in your hands, approximately a tablespoon. Gently lather and stroke the hair from roots to ends. Be sure to keep away the shampoo from the hair wig scalp. Remember that being gentle is the key to keeping your human hair wig damage-free when washing it. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the hair as you do with your natural hair, as this will destroy the strands. Make sure you use clarifying shampoo to get the best results for your human hair wig.
  3. Run cold water from the base to the bottom of the hair to remove excess shampoo. Once the water runs clear, gently blot your human hair wig dry with a towel. Your wig doesn’t have to be completely dry as you’re still going to put conditioner, but this is to ensure your wig does not become too wet. 
  4. The next step is to apply conditioner to your human hair wig. Only use wig-approved hydrating conditioners that have gentler ingredients to avoid damage. Apply a small dab of the conditioner to the wig and work your way up, starting from the bottom by gently combing your fingers through the strands. Be careful to avoid applying conditioner to the wig base. 
  5. Let the conditioner set for about one to five minutes before rinsing; however, if there are instructions written on the label regarding the length of time for setting the conditioner, then be sure to follow them. Rinse with cold water from the top of the wig down to the strand ends. Be sure to get rid of all the conditioner before blotting dry. 

Post Wash Routine

Now that your human hair wig is clean, it’s time to dry it. Be sure to place your wig on its wig stand and gently blot it dry using a towel. Let it completely air dry. Avoid using a hair blower or brushing it while it is still wet. Wait until it is completely dry before brushing or styling it. 

Final Takeaways 

Hair wig on the floor, not stored properly | Chavie Russell Wigs

Washing your human hair wig isn’t as hard as you might think, and once you’re used to the routine, you’ll have a vibrant human hair wig you’ll surely love to wear. There are, however, a few takeaways and reminders that you should never forget to prolong your human hair wig’s lifespan. 

  • Avoid using high heat when heat-styling. 
  • Avoid using natural hair products.
  • Keep your wig on a wig stand or store it properly when not in use
  • Be mindful of the tools you’re using that may damage your wig
  • Be gentle, always. 

Those are the basics of washing and caring for your human hair wig. Did this article help you in any way? Are there other tips and tricks you want to add to keep your human hair wig intact and fresh-looking always?

At Chavie Russell Wigs, we want you to maximize the use of your human hair wig to provide you with the best confidence boost we can offer. Why don’t you check out our products? If you fancy one, we can set up a FREE consultation with our top-of-the-line experts to help you choose your dream hair. We provide expert service and guarantee that you’ll look the best you can be. Whatever you dream, we create it.