Step 1: Brush or comb the wig starting from the ends. Gently comb out the ends of the wig first. Once they are free of knots, work your way up towards the roots until you can run your brush or comb through it without snagging. Use a wire wig brush for straight or wavy wigs, and a wide-toothed comb or your fingers for curly wigs (including natural/African-textured)
Step 2: Fill your sink with cold water, then stir in 1 to 2 squeezes of shampoo. Use a high-quality shampoo that is suitable for the hair type you are washing. For example, if you are washing a curly wig, use a shampoo made for curly hair. If you know that the wig has been dyed, try a color-safe shampoo instead.
- You won’t be applying the shampoo directly to the wig fibers. Instead, you’ll be using the soapy water to wash the wig.
- Do not use 2-in-1 shampoos that contain conditioner. You can use conditioner on your wig, but you don’t want to place it too close to the roots
Step 3: Turn the wig inside out and place it into the water. Use your fingers to turn the wig cap inside out and leave the wig fibers hanging loose. Place the wig into the water and press down on the fibers to submerge them. Give the wig a gentle swirl to help distribute the shampoo throughout the strands.
- Turning the wig inside out will make it easier for the shampoo to reach the wig cap, which is where most of the dirt, sweat, and oils collect.
Step 4: Soak the wig for 5 minutes. Make sure that the wig is completely submerged in the water. Do not move the wig around during this time. Too much thrashing, squeezing, and swirling will cause the fibers to get tangled
Step 5: Rinse the wig with cold water until the shampoo is all gone. You can rinse the wig in a bucket filled with fresh, cold water, or you can do it in the sink or shower. Depending on how thick the wig is, you may have to rinse it twice.
Step 6: Apply conditioner to the wig. Simply drizzle some conditioner onto the hair, then gently finger-comb it. If your wig is a lace front wig or a ventilated wig, take care to avoid the wig cap. The strands are knotted onto the lace. If you apply conditioner to them, the knots will come undone and the strands will fall out. This should not be a problem with a regular, wefted wig because the fibers are sewn on instead.
- Use a high-quality conditioner.
- You can also use a leave-in conditioner instead if that is what you prefer.
Step 7: Wait 2 minutes before rinsing the conditioner out with cold water. Leaving the conditioner on the wig for a few minutes will allow the nourishing oils to penetrate the hair and hydrate it—just like the hair that grows out of your head. Once the 2 minutes are up, rinse the wig with cold water again until the water runs clear.
- Skip this step if you are using a leave-in conditioner.
Drying your lace
Step 1: Turn the wig right-side-out and gently squeeze the water out. Hold the wig over the sink, and gently squeeze the fibers in your fist. Do not wring or twist the fibers, however, as this can cause them to tangle or break.
- Do not brush the wig while it is wet. Doing so can damage the fibers and lead to frizz.
Step 2: Roll the wig up in a towel to remove the excess water. Place the wig down on the end of a clean towel. Roll the towel into a tight bundle, starting from the end that has the wig on it. Press down on the towel, then gently unroll it and remove the wig.
- If the wig is long, make sure that the strands are smoothed out and not bunched up.
Step 3: Apply your desired products to the wig. Spray the wig with some conditioning spray to help make detangling it easier later on; be sure to hold the bottle 10 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) away from the wig. If the wig is curly, consider applying some styling mousse to it instead.
Step 4: Allow the wig to air dry on a wig stand out of direct sunlight. Do not brush the wig while it is wet, as this can damage the fibers. If your wig is curly, use your fingers to “scrunch” it every so often.
- Scrunching is where you cup your hand under the ends of the hair, lift it upward, then curl your fingers inward. This causes the curls to bunch up and take form.
- If you are using a Styrofoam wig head, make sure that it is mounted onto a stable wig stand. Secure the wig to the wig head with pins, if needed.
Step 5: Blow dry the wig on your head if you are in a hurry. Use a hair dryer to dry the wig cap first. Once the cap is dry, place the wig onto your head, and secure it with bobby pins. Finish blow drying the wig while it is on your head. Be sure to use a low-heat setting so as not to damage the fibers. If your wig is curly, please use a diffuser to blow out the hair. it maintains and reshapes the curls!
- Make sure that you pin your real hair up and cover it with a wig cap before putting the wig on.
Step 6: Allow the wig to dry upside down if you want more volume. Turn the wig upside down, then clip the nape part of the wig cape to a pants hanger. You will have to move the pins on the pants hanger closer together in order to achieve this. Hang the wig up in the shower for a few hours so that it can air dry; don’t use the shower at this point.
- If the shower is not available, hang the wig someplace that won’t get damaged by the water that drips off of the fibers.