How to wash a synthetic wig?

Updated by Encelia Support Team

How to wash a synthetic wig?

At Encelia Hair, we offer two kinds of synthetic fibers 1) luxury synthetic, an exact European human hair replica; 2) heat-resistant synthetic, a synthetic fiber that can be styled using hot tools. There are different wash methods for the luxury synthetic and heat-resistant fiber. This guide goes over how to care for our heat-resistant synthetic. Reference is this guide for our luxury synthetic.

What Is a Synthetic Wig?

Synthetic wigs are made from strands of plastic or acrylic/modacrylic. Due to very innovative technology, synthetic wigs today are incredibly lifelike because the synthetic hair strands have the same denier or diameter as human hair. The term denier, or the diameter, is a "hair term" used to measure the thickness of a single strand of hair. In general, there are three hair deniers 1) Fine 2) Medium 3) Thick. In general, the alternative hair industry categorizes Asian human hair as a thick denier, European human hair as a fine denier, and Indian hair as a medium.

At Encelia Hair, we believe all hair is beautiful; women all over the world are connected to their hair. It's something we can all talk about; it is something that makes us all feel feminine, and we all have a strong desire to have amazing hair! Some women love finer hair, and other women love thicker hair. Telling women that one hair type is better than another just seems so wrong and, personally, somewhat insulting. Therefore, at Encelia, we do not associate our hair with its ethnicity; instead, we focus on providing you with hair with varying thickness, and then we allow you to choose which hair type you like best!

At Encelia, our luxury synthetic hair is a fine, our Remy human hair is medium and our heat-friendly synthetic is thick.

FUN FACT: If you take a synthetic wig and a human hair wig with the same density, or the same amount of hair, the synthetic wig is going to weigh a lot less so it will feel lighter on the head.

How often should synthetic wigs be cleaned?

In general, keep in mind that synthetic wigs respond to heat and fiction, which are the two things that occur when you wear a wig. When fiction or heat occurs, the fiber likes to bind and twist, causing the wig to tangle. It is very important to consistently untangle the fibers or hair. If you don't, the fiber will eventually become matted and unwearable. Below is a full tutorial on how to properly wash your synthetic wig but in general, consider these helpful tips:

  1. In general, if you are wearing your wig every day, you should wash your synthetic 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.
  3. HOW TO EXTEND YOUR WASH DAY? The best thing you can do to extend your wash day is to apply some water to your synthetic wig, which will relax the fibers. Simply, grab a water bottle and just spray the hair
  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. Jon Renau Fiber Love Shampoo 
  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. Wig Pins - unlike t-pins, these pins won't pull the hair when you brush your wig
  4. 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.


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, or a wide tooth comb, brush the wig out. This is important because hair is 75% more elastic when it is wet, which means the hair ends can become fizzy 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 synthetic 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
    Nothing, that's the beauty of a synthetic wig! They are very low-maintenance.
    Heat tools, like flat irons or curling irons can be applied to both of our synthetic wigs. Please review our how to style a synthetic wig, guide here.

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