How To Wash A Synthetic Wig Without Wig Shampoo

Synthetic wigs are made from man-made fibers using specialized technology to give the overall appearance and feel of real hair.

The popular misconception among first-time wig buyers is that human hair wigs are “better” or of higher quality than synthetic wigs because they are made of real hair; this is false under all conditions.

If you purchase a high-quality synthetic hair wig, it may be difficult to tell the difference between human and synthetic fibers.

One might wonder, why wouldn’t you choose a human hair wig and, as a result, imply a real is better than a fake scenario between human fibers and synthetic fibers.

However, we cannot completely neglect that there is a difference. The difference between synthetic and human hair wigs is in fiber.

A synthetic wig can be better at holding its style even after washing. The most appealing aspect to synthetic hair is it can often be worn right out of the box with little or no styling.

However, what synthetic hair offers in ease, it lacks in versatility. It cannot be styled to look many different ways like its human hair counterparts.

The limited versatility of synthetic hair becomes less of a consideration when you factor in affordability. You may choose to have a wide variety of styles on hand and ready to wear!

Human hair wigs are made out of real human hair, so they look and feel real. It offers the most natural look and feels. And while they can be the more expensive pick, with the proper care, they are also more durable.

Human hair wigs can last between 1 and 3 years. It naturally possesses qualities that are not easily duplicated in synthetic hair.

Which is right for you depends on you, your budget, time, and needs because both are great choices, and they both have limitations that come with their respective advantages.

A simple piece of advice, though, is that you have them both hand-in-hand as they come with their pluses and minuses at different times.

Read: How To Wash A Wig With Fabric Softener

Washing Your Wig

In order not to have a dull, lifeless, over-sprayed, and tangled wig, it becomes a necessity to maintain your synthetic wig, giving it the appearance and feel of real hair and extending its lifespan.

Determining how often to wash depends hugely on how often you wear it and your lifestyle.

If you’re around heavy smoke, perfume, or strong odors of any kind, you are advised to wash it more often.

On a general scale, your wig should be washed after about 30 wears or every four to six weeks.

Albeit also, note that washing your wig once every two weeks is the general consensus, but another general rule of thumb is if your wig feels a bit oily, isn’t moving as freely, and has a bit of an odor, then it’s definitely time to wash it.

A quite common tip that applies to both human hair wigs and synthetic wigs is that you start by gently brushing your wig from the bottom to remove knots and any spray build-up and also to separate the hair fibers.

Generally, you will need the following items in washing your wig:

  • A wig brush,
  • Wig shampoo and conditioner,
  • A wig stand, and
  • A clean towel.

All these items work together in the soap, clean, rinse, condition, rinse, and dry successive steps in washing your wig.

This article seeks to explore the various alternatives for Shampoo in washing your synthetic wig.

We all know that the material of a wig is different from other common fabrics, so different techniques may apply to different wigs.

Giving instances:

  • Scrubbing your Wig

You should endeavor not to scrub your synthetic wig; scrubbing the wig will cause unruly tangles, and you’ll end up making the wig frizzy.

If you’re thinking about putting your wig in the washing machine because it’s made of synthetic fibers, think again and then think one more time.

  • Washing machine?

You should never put a synthetic wig or any wig in the washing machine or dryer. If you do, your wig will look like it was run over with a lawn mower.

  • Detergents

Likewise, regular detergents cannot be used to wash the wig.

Regular, in this case, refers to detergents that do not meet the requirements of being able to clean the dirt or oils getting into the wig.

Only products that can safely clean the wig enough to keep it in a healthy and long-lasting condition can be used in washing them.

Read: How To Wash Your Lace Wig In 5 Easy Steps

Washing Your Synthetic Wig Without Wig Shampoo

Synthetic hair shampoo is recommended for the purpose of washing your synthetic wig because regular shampoos are too stringent. However, there are alternatives.


Cool water, not hot water, is a suitable alternative. The heat of hot water can compromise the fiber styling.

Plain, clean water will simply rinse any dirt or dust from the wig but will not remove skin oil or some styling products (soaking can help remove hairspray).

However, a freshwater rinse will give your wig renewed shine and bounce without stripping any color.


It is an acidic cleanser, so you should use very little of it mixed well into the cool water. Vinegar will remove some of the oil and heavier dirt in your synthetic wig.


Cornstarch is recommended for cleaning synthetic stuffed animals and pets; it is harmless and removes unpleasant scents.

If you do not have access to water or wig shampoo, but your wig needs to be freshened up, you might get decent results with cornstarch.

Make sure the wig is completely dry, then sprinkle the wig with cornstarch.

Let it sit for five minutes or so. Shake out the cornstarch and brush the wig as you usually do.


If you have to use regular shampoo for any reason, use unscented baby shampoo.

Although wig professionals warn against using anything but synthetic wig shampoo for cleansing your wig or hairpiece, Baby shampoo is designed to be less acidic so as not to hurt if it gets into a youngster’s eyes, thereby making it a gentler cleanser for emergency wig cleaning.


Baking soda isn’t just an ingredient in your cookie recipe. It can also help remove dirt and oil from your wig.

What you have to do is simply dissolve a spoonful of baking soda in a big bowl of water.

Soak the wig for a few minutes, rinse well, and style as usual.

Baking soda in cool water can also refresh your wig without causing damage. Although it will not remove any oily substance, it will remove dust, dirt, and odors.

Maintaining your Synthetic Wig

 A large part of taking care of your wig has to do with washing and maintaining the wig properly. Taking proper care of your wig is essential in order to maintain its intended style and keep your wig looking great longer.

Synthetic wigs have come a long way, and a good one can last four to six months, even if you wear it every day.

The key is to identify and consistently practice maintenance routines that keep it in optimum condition.

This may have been something that you didn’t think was possible some years back because we typically think synthetic hair can only be worn a few times before it starts to show wear and needs to be thrown out.

Some of these routines include.

  • Only use products created specifically for synthetic wigs.
  • Do not comb a synthetic wig when it’s wet.
  • Use cool or tepid water to wash your synthetic wig.
  • Do gently dry your synthetic wig with an old t-shirt or towel. Do not rub, but pat dry!
  • Don’t expose your synthetic wig to heat unless your wig is heat safe.
  • Don’t sleep in your synthetic wig if you don’t have to.

Although it is not recommended to sleep in a wig, it can become frizzy or misshapen. We know it happens sometimes, or circumstances might force you to (such as dozing off while catching up on your favorite show and totally forgetting to take off your wig).

Here are a few tips on sleeping in your wig, if you must, without damaging it.

  • Wrap your head. Too much friction can cause wig hair loss over time.
  • Sleep on a silk or satin pillowcase. If your scarf slips off during the night, your hair will still be protected.
  • Brush your wig thoroughly in the morning. This prevents matting and frizzing during the course of the day.


When wearing synthetic wigs, it’s important to make sure that you’re keeping your natural hair under the wig as healthy as possible.

Most people wear cornrows under their wigs, but some simply plait their hair or wrap it around their head before putting their wig cap on and then their wig.

Whatever your preference, make sure that your hair is hydrated and your scalp is clean before you put on your synthetic wig.