How to Properly Wash a Wig

by Audra Dean ; Updated September 28, 2017

Synthetic and human-hair wigs are simple to wash.

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Whether you don a wig as a fun fashion accessory to change up your look or as a way to conceal hair loss, proper washing is necessary for maintaining it. Wigs should be washed every 2 to 3 weeks to keep up their texture and luster. Synthetic and human-hair wigs must be washed using specific methods to avoid damaging them.

Items you will need

  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Synthetic-wig shampoo
  • Towel
  • Wig comb
  • Human-hair-wig shampoo
  • Leave-in wig conditioner
  • Wig rack

Synthetic Wig

Step 1

Brush out the wig with a wide-tooth comb.

Step 2

Fill a sink with cool water. Add a capful of synthetic-wig shampoo.

Step 3

Submerge the synthetic wig in the water.

Step 4

Allow the wig to soak for five minutes. Gently swirl the hair through the water by hand.

Step 5

Drain the sink and rinse out the wig under cool running water to remove any remaining shampoo.

Step 6

Dry the wig by gently pressing a towel to the synthetic hair.

Human-Hair Wig

Step 1

Brush out the wig with a wig comb.

Step 2

Rinse the wig under a cool stream of water.

Step 3

Apply wig shampoo specifically formulated for human hair. Comb the shampoo evenly through the wig with your fingers.

Step 4

Rinse out the wig under cool running water.

Step 5

Dry the wig by gently pressing a towel to the human hair. Don't dry the wig completely; allow it to remain slightly damp.

Step 6

Spray the damp wig with leave-in wig conditioner and set the wig on a wig rack to dry.


  • Add 1 tsp. baking soda to the water to remove strong odors from synthetic or human-hair wigs.


  • Don't use shampoo formulated for human hair on synthetic wigs; it can damage the synthetic material.

    Don't soak a human-hair wig in the sink to avoid tangling and damaging the hair.

    Don't wash or rinse synthetic or human-hair wigs with hot water; doing so can damage them.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images