How to dye a human hair wig?

Updated by Encelia Support Team

How To Dye A Human Hair Wig?

So, you have a beautiful and unique hair color in mind and our stock colors doesn't quite match up? No stress! Our wigs are made with Remy human hair so they can be dyed to a darker color or toned by a professional hair colorist. Additional care instructions/details are below:

First, you might be wondering, what is Remy human hair?
  • Remy human hair is known for its superior quality because of the time and effort it takes to keep the cuticles intact and not stripped or removed, like Non-Remy hair, also known as cuticle-free hair. Great care is taken to preserve the cuticle and to keep the hair in the natural downward direction (root to tip). Remy human hair tangles less and maintains the natural movement and fluidity that healthy human hair naturally has. Because this cuticle is preserved, the Remy hair will continue to feel soft, silky throughout it's lifespan! (16-24 months). At Encelia® Hair, we only use premium (high-grade) Remy human hair that air dry smooth and straight. Click here to learn more about how and where our products are made.

Do's & Don'ts Of Dyeing A Human Hair Wig

We do not recommend bleaching any human hair wig (this includes highlights). Wigs are pre-colored at factories so re-opening the cuticle and forcing bleach into hair that has already been dyed is difficult. But, more importantly, because "wig hair" has already been processed, processing the hair again, will further damage the hair (keratin and cuticle) which means your human hair wig will not last as long as it should.

Below are some helpful dyeing tips for human hair wig that will help ensure that your wig will continue to be soft, silky and tangle-free throughout it's lifespan.

What's the best way to dye a human hair wig?

  1. Buy A Wig In A Lighter Color and Dye It Darker.
    The number one rule when dying wig hair is to purchase the hair in the lightest shade you want and add a darker color for depth and dimension. When you add a darker color, you are actually adding keratin back into the hair so you are actually repairing the hair. We recommend the three following colors:
    • Dye-free, Platinum Blonde color - ideal for custom blonde, light brown or red shades. This color has been carefully lightened at our factory in a way that has preserved the cuticle while bringing it to the lightest possible platinum blonde color, so it is a perfect base for any colorist to work with.
    • Light Brown - ideal for custom medium brown shades
    • Medium Brown - ideal for custom dark brown to black shades.
  2. Always Do A Test Strand.
    To do this, mix some colors and apply them to a small section in the back of the middle section of the wig. This will ensure you're satisfied with the results before moving on to the rest of the wig. If you don't like the result, you can adjust the formula or processing time and test it again. 
  3. Always Work With A Professional Colorist.
    If you are not a professional colorist then please do not try to dye your human hair wig. Dyeing a human hair wig is tricky because the color can take well in some areas and not so well in others. It really requires a professional colorist who has previous experience with wigs or extensions. They will be able to ensure that the color takes as intended and looks even throughout the entire wig. We always recommend using professional-quality brands for the best results. If you need help finding a colorist with this speciality please email us, help@enceliahair.com, and we would be happy to help connect you with someone.
  4. Always Pre-Wash Your Human Hair Wig With Sulfate & Alcohol-Free Shampoo Before Coloring.
    At Encelia Hair, we factory pre-conditions our wigs; for the color to absorb evenly, the hair needs to be cleaned and be free of any conditioner.
    • Using lukewarm water, get the wig wet.  Then, add 2-3 dollops of shampoo into your hands and in downward motions apply the shampoo to the wig cap. Avoid rubbing and be very careful not to tangle the hair. You want the hair to get nice and soapy then rinse the wig with lukewarm water. Once you are done, wrap the hair in a towel, pat dry and then either let the wig air-dry or blow dry the hair and then you are ready to apply the color!
  5. Always Use A Semi Or Demi-Permanent Color And A Low-Volume Developer.
    These dyes and developers are the least invasive and will achieve the same color effect without damaging your hair. We recommend using a 10-volume developer as it will only deposit color and not lift the hair, which can negatively disrupt the integrity of the hair.
  6. Always Apply The Color To Both Sides Of The Hair And In One Direction.
    Doing this will ensure thorough saturation and that the result is even and not patchy. Remember, using more color is better than using too little. When applying the color, only apply it in a downward direction. Start at the bottom or back of the wig and then move to the base (top) of the wig. Follow the natural direction of the hair, starting at the root and then move downwards towards the ends. Applying the color upwards (tips/ends to root) can damage the human hair because it disrupts the cuticle and will likely leave them frizzy and tangled.
  7. Restore Moisturize With A Weekly Wash.
    It's always important to keep the hair moisturized; however, color-treated hair will need extra care. After dyeing, we recommend doing a sulfate-free deep conditioning treatment like Olaplex or K18, which repairs and restores the cuticle while adding moisture pack the hair. We also recommend deep conditioning your human hair wig bi-weekly (or as needed) and using products specifically formulated for dry and damaged hair, as they will help keep the strands healthy and nourished. Also, look for products that add moisture to the hair, like argan oil, and coconut oil. Refer to our detailed weekly wash tutorial here.
  8. How To Use Extend Your Wash Day?
    Apply oil, every other day to your human hair wig. Argan oil or Kerasilk Brilliance oil by Goldwell are our two favorite oils because they have a nice subtle scent, they are lightweight so it won't weigh the hair down. Apply 1-2 drops to the ends of your hair and then use a boar brush to distribute the oil throughout the wig.
  9. If Your Human Hair Wig Is Dry, Consider A Mid-Week Conditioner Wash?
    If mid-week, your human hair wig feel dry, consider doing a conditioner wash. A conditioner wash, just means that you wet the ends of the hair, apply conditioner, let it sit for 15 minutes, rinse in cold water and then let the wig air dry. If the hair still feels dry, consider doing an overnight deep conditioner mask - tutorial here.

What shouldn't you do when dyeing a human hair wig?

  1. Avoid Using Bleach.
    Bleaching your human hair wig will disrupt the keratin and the cuticle, which can cause breakage, increasing tangles, and damaging the hair. Please use a low-volume developers to minimize the negative effects that bleach causes to human hair
  2. Avoid Using Products That Contain Sulfates Or Alcohol.
    These ingredients listed below will strip the hair of its natural oils, which will make the hair drier and more prone to tangling or matting. Another downside of these products is that they will cause the hair color to fade quicker. Always be sure to check the ingredient listing on the back of the product to ensure you don’t see the words:
    1. SLS, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Alcohol denat, Ethanol, SD alcohol 40, Propanol, Isopropyl, and Propyl.
  3. Avoid Trying to Dye Your Human Hair Wig At Home Or With Over-The-Counter Dyes and Toners.
    The extra step of having a professional colorist work on your alternative hair will be a worthwhile investment. The ratio of peroxide to pigment requires a specific balance. Doing this incorrectly can easily leave hair dry and damaged if not done correctly.
  4. Avoid Using A High-Volume Developer.
    Low-volume developers are the least invasive. We recommend using a 10-volume developer as it will only deposit color and not lift the hair, which can change its integrity.
  5. Avoid Over-Washing Your Human Hair Wig.
    Most shampoos strip the hair of moisture and oil causing the hair color to fade faster. Remember, lighter pastel colors will typically wash out a lot easier than a darker shade. If you are wearing your wig, everyday, all day, then we recommend washing your human hair wig every seven days mostly to repair the moisture that has been lost throughout the week.
  6. Use Caution When Applying Purple Shampoo To You Human Hair Wig.
    Although, purple shampoo is amazing at toning hair color (removing brassy and yellow tones), it strips on the hair of all moisture causing the hair to tangle, which can cause breakage and split ends. In addition, it can be challenging to evenly distribute; so certain areas of hair will soak up more of the shampoo, which can cause staining and patchiness. We always recommend having a professional colorist tone your human hair wigs to prevent unwanted results. If you want to do it yourself with purple shampoo, we recommend testing one small section in the back to see how ashy the result will be. 
  7. Can I Tone My Human Hair Wig Myself With Purple Shampoo?
    You can, but we don't recommend it because it is hard to evenly distribute so uneven staining and patchiness to occur. It is better to consult with a professional hair colorist who has had experience with toning wigs or extensions. If you need help finding a colorist with this speciality please email us, help@enceliahair.com, and we would be happy to help connect you with someone.

Can I return/exchange my human hair wig, if I'm unhappy with the result?

When our human hair wigs are dyed and toned it is done at the customer's discretion, meaning Encelia Hair is not responsible for the end result. Although many of our customers have successfully dyed their human hair wigs, we are not responsible for the end result. We can not accept any returns or exchanges on wigs that have been altered in any way - cut, treated with bleach, dye, toner, or any color-depositing shampoos/conditioners. If you have questions, email us at, help@enceliahair.com, and we would be happy to help.


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