Choosing the best wig shampoo largely depends on the type of wig you are trying to clean. Some wigs are made of human hair, even some cheap human hair wigs, while others are made of synthetic fibers and require different care. Wigs with highlights may also require a particular type of shampoo, always a little bit depending on whether it is synthetic fibers or human hair.
The best wig shampoos are often sold in beauty supply stores and are formulated specifically for gentle cleaning of synthetic or human hair wigs. Synthetic wigs require special handling, because they are made of fibers instead of real hair. For this reason, some wig shampoos are formulated more like laundry detergent for delicate fabrics, and some stylists recommend using a mild fabric cleaner such as wig shampoo. Sometimes it is also recommended to dip a synthetic wig in fabric softener.
Another option for cleaning a synthetic wig is to use a baby shampoo or other mild shampoo. The key is to use a mild cleanser that will prevent fraying of the wig fibers. Deep cleansing shampoos should be avoided, as they can strip some of the color from the wig.
Once a synthetic wig goes dull or stiff, it is difficult for even the best wig shampoo to bring it back to life. Synthetic hair generally does not absorb the moisturizers in a shampoo or conditioner, although a deep conditioning shampoo is sometimes useful for detangling a wig. Sometimes you can extend the life of a synthetic wig by choosing the right wig shampoo, although many synthetic wigs wear out rather quickly, regardless. How long such a wig lasts depends more on the quality of the wig than on the shampoo.
Human hair wigs, especially the body wave bundles, tend to cost more and last longer than synthetic wigs, although they still need special care. Part of the reason why special attention is needed is that human hair wigs are often processed multiple times. This happens when a wig is dyed to change color or a perm is applied to make the hair curly.
Some stylists recommend the use of treated hair shampoos on human hair wigs. If your wig is highlighted, for example, you could try a shampoo for colored hair. A curly human hair wig might also work well with a shampoo formulated for chemically treated hair.
You’ll likely use less wig shampoo than you would for your natural hair, because wigs generally don’t need to be washed frequently. Washing a wig too much can actually wear out faster. Even if you wear the wig every day, it is usually enough to wash it once or twice a week.
How you use wig shampoo is also important. Cold water is recommended, because it is more delicate and causes less fraying and frizz than hot water. It is also recommended that you gently sweep the wig into a basin or sink filled with cold water and a cap full of wig shampoo for an intense wash, which can damage the wig. After washing the wig, it should be gently dried and placed on a wig stand to dry.
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