How to wash a human hair wig?

Updated by Encelia Support Team

How to wash a human hair wig?

At Encelia Hair, our human hair wigs are made with 100% premium, Remy human hair, which means they can be washed and styled just like your own natural hair. However, unlike natural hair, human hair wigs cannot absorb the natural oils and hydration that our biological hair does. Therefore, the wig's hair dries out faster than biological hair, so we must often replenish the moisture that has been lost. Proper hair care products will help keep your human hair wig soft and silky while prolonging its lifespan.

Below is a full tutorial on how to properly wash your human hair wig but in general, consider these helpful tips:

  1. How often should human hair wigs be cleaned?

    1. In general, if you are wearing your wig every day, you should wash your wig once a week. We call this your weekly wash day.
    2. SIGNS YOUR WIG NEEDS TO BE WASHED: When the hair starts feeling dry or easily tangles, it is time for a wash. It's also important to look at the sides and top of the wig because if it is flat or heavy, then the hair might be oily and it's time for a wash.
    3. HOW TO EXTEND YOUR WASH DAY? The best thing you can do to extend your wash day is to apply oil to the ends of your human hair wig. Argan oil is my favorite because it has a nice subtle scent and is lightweight so it won't weigh the hair down but you can use any lightweight hair oil.
      • WHEN TO APPLY HAIR OIL TO YOU WIG: After you wash your wig and then every 2-3 days after, or when the hair feels dry or easily gets tangled.
      • HOW TO APPLY HAIR OIL TO YOUR WIG: Apply 1 to 2 drops of this oil to the ends of your wig and the nape of the wig. Brush the wig to distribute the oil evenly throughout the wig. Note: the hair in the back (nape of the wig) often gets tangled due to movement, bulky clothes, etc so don’t be afraid to add extra oil to this section of the wig. In general, keep oil and conditioner away from the wig cap or base, as it can loosen the knots, causing the hair to shed. If the nape of the wig continues to tangle, it may be the clothes you are wearing. In the winter months, I will often put my longer wigs in high ponytails or braids to reduce tangling. In the winter months, I will also often wear clothes that have a slip to them-silk is wonderful!
    4. SWEAT & SALT - just like normal hair, salt can make your hair dry, so if you have been super active or near salty air, you may need to wash the wig sooner than expected. Perhaps, consider doing a quick conditioner wash. A conditioner wash just means that you wet/rinse the ends of the hair, apply conditioner, and let absorb into the hair for about 15 minutes, rinse, and then let the hair air dry.
ENCELIA FUN FACT: All our wigs are double-lined, which helps keep you comfortable and cool but it also helps prevent salt and sweat from absorbing into the hair so it should help extend your wash day


  1. Hydrating Shampoo and Conditioner - sulfate-free, color-safe, silicone-free hydrating argan shampoo and conditioner that will restore the moisture your human hair wig needs to feel soft, move naturally, and prevent breakage. Other brands that work well on our human hair wigs are Goldwell Rich Repair or Milbon's Moisture line.
  2. Petite rubber mannequin head - aka home base, this mannequin is petite, so it won't stretch out your wig; the rubber base allows you to easily secure your wig in place with wig pins, and the hairline outline will help you "set" your wig to maintain the "dome-like" shape of the head.
  3. Argan Oil - This argan oil will moisturize and soften your human hair wig without weighing it down
  4. Blow Dry Heat Protecting Spray - This lightweight heat spray repels water, which protects the hair against heat while speeding up the drying process, which will prevent breakage and prolong the lifespan of your human hair wig.
  5. Olaplex 4 in 1 - This mask is ideal for human hair wigs because it is a highly concentrated 4-IN-1 reparative mask that adds shine & body while providing intense moisture & smoothness.
  6. K18 repair - A leave-in treatment mask for human hair wigs that have been colored. This mask clinically reverses damage in four minutes. The patented peptide technology works to repair damage from bleach, color, chemical services, and heat, restoring strength, softness, smoothness, and bounce to hair.
  7. Wig Brush - The Flexible design of this brush will help you quickly and gently brush your wig without pulling on the hair and knots, which can cause shedding.
  8. Wig Setting Brush | Teasing Brush - This unique boar/nylon teasing brush will help you easily redirect the knots/hair on the wig, making it the ultimate wig tool for your weekly wash.


Be gentle, like you're washing a baby. Excessive pulling on the hair can cause the knots to loosen and the hair to shed.
  1. Brush your wig
    Using your wig brush, brush the wig out. This is important because hair is 75% more elastic when it is wet, which means the hair ends can easily break or worse shed due to excessive pulling on the knots so the less "brushing" we do during the wash the better
  2. Flip your wig inside out
    Water is heavy and the pressure can cause the hair to invert, meaning the hair comes inside the wig cap, early which can be itchy and makes it hard for the wig hair to sit flat against the head
  3. Apply Shampoo
    Keep in mind, that human hair wigs don't get dirty in the traditional sense; every little shampoo is needed to keep the wig clean and smelling fresh.
    Holding the wig, rinse the wig in lukewarm water, and turn off the water. Massage 2-3 dollops of shampoo to your hands and then apply it to the wig hair and wig cap using gentle downward motions. This is important because you don't want the hair to get knotted. Rinse thoroughly in lukewarm water.
    If your wig has silicone inside the cap, apply extra water and shampoo to the "hair side" of the cap, as the shampoo and watch cannot get to the hair side of the cap.
  4. Apply Conditioner
    Hold the top of the wig with one hand. Starting halfway up the wig, apply the conditioner to the hair. Let the conditioner set for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Keep the conditioner away from the base or the cap of the wig, as it can cause the knots to swell and loosen.
  5. Wrap Wig in A Towel
    Gentle wrap the wig in a towel and massage it in downward motions for about one minute.
    Note, this is when I like to pause and reflect on my week with my wig. It might sound strange but we have so many memories in our wigs so I like to just take a moment and give thanks to it.
  6. Place Wig On Mannequin
    Place the wig on a rubber petite mannequin head, and allow it to air-dry for about 45-60 mins. This is important because wet hair is 75% more elastic so if you brush the wig when it is wet it can cause the knots to loosen and shed.
  7. Set Your Wig
    Using your wig pins, secure the wig to the mannequin then wig brush. Gently brush the hair starting on the ends and working your way to the top. Then put your wig on to set your part. Using a teasing brush, redirect the knots in the direction that you want the hair to go. You must take your time to make sure the wig looks the way you want it to. If there is a bump or if the lace front is tucked under, that is how the hair will dry and you will have to rewash your wig. Let the hair air-dry overnight.
  8. Morning Prep
    Encelia Hair human hair wigs air dry straight and smooth so all you have to do is apply 2 to 3 drops of argan oil to the ends of the hair then brush the oil through the hair using your wig brush.
    If you apply any heat tools to the hair, please use heat protector spray as it will lock the moisture in and prevent the hair from overheating which will cause the hair to dry out faster and eventually damage the hair.

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