November 29, 2022

How to Dye A Human Hair Wig 

how to dye a human hair wig

Table of Contents

Have you contemplated changing your wig’s color but need help figuring out how? Well, in this article, I will walk you through just that. Dyeing your wig doesn’t have to be a scary or tedious process if you have the right materials to set you up for success.

My name is Lauren, and I have been wearing wigs for a long time. It is a fun way to change my hairstyles on a demand and as-needed basis. Dyeing my wigs is a bonus if I want to revamp an old wig or try a new color.

While all human hair wigs are great candidates for coloring, I suggest using one that is made with unprocessed virgin human hair. Using unprocessed human hair will be like dyeing your natural hair. It will take the color better and won’t leave you with chunks of hair falling out afterward. 

We will go through safe and effective ways to color your human hair wig, making dyeing with permanent or semi-permanent colors fun and easy. 

If you find that after you have dyed your human hair wig and want to change the color again, you can always follow these same steps. You don’t have to stick to one color once you learn how to dye a human hair wig. This process gets better the more your practice and you will be able to visibly see your hard work in the results.

Useful Tips

Before you start, you want to ensure you have all the supplies you will need from start to finish to avoid missing or not completing a step. You need to figure out which hair color you want and if you want more of a temporary or permanent color. Make sure to stick with trusted and professional brands if you are still getting familiar with the different kinds of dyes available.

Whether you purchase your hair dye online or at a beauty retail store, you want to ensure that you are familiar with the color. Box dyes will give you a color chart on the box to help you see how the final look can appear. If you are buying the color off the shelf, look at the hair sample shown on the shelf.

The color is one thing, but you will also need a developer and a decent amount of it if you are dyeing your whole wig. You will find that developers have different strengths and will be higher in volume for cases to lighten the hair. Developers can go up to 40-volume, but the one most commonly used would be a 20-volume.

Materials Needed

Here are the materials you will need to ensure a great and easy process:

  • Mixing Bowl
  • Dye brush
  • Latex or plastic gloves
  • Foil (optional)
  • Clips
  • Comb
  • Large plastic garbage bag

Detailed Steps to Dye a Human Hair Wig

Follow the steps below to dye your human hair wig.

Prepare Your Wig

Washing and drying your wig is crucial before you attempt to dye your wig. You want to ensure that your wig is free from any products that would cause the color to not be evenly distributed. Shampoos work great in this case, but ditch the conditioner and use it after you have colored the wig.

You can let the wig air dry after you wash it for the best results. Please ensure it is completely dried before you start the coloring process, even washing it a few days beforehand might be best.

Once your wig is fresh and cleaned, you can brush it out to ensure it is free from knots and tangles. This will make the hair easier to comb through when adding color to the wig. It is also best to section the hair at this time with the clips to ensure a smooth transition throughout the process.

Prepare the Dye

Most of the time, the instructions are written out on the box or bottle of the hair dye you choose. If not, it is best to determine how much of the wig you want to dye so that you can prepare an accurate ratio of color to the developer. You should be safe with a 1:1 ratio for a regular dye job. 

If you plan to lighten the wig and lift it to more than 1 to 2 levels, you will probably use more of the developer, so a 1:2 ratio would be advised.

Coloring Your Wig

Make sure you have a designated work area that you will work in before you start. You should lay out the large plastic garbage bag as your work table because that is where you will lay out your wig.

Your gloves should be on by now, and any loose clothing or hair should be tied and pulled back. Now you are ready to dye your wig, and can begin here:

Step 1: Using your dye brush, mix the hair dye and developer in the mixing bowl with the measured proportions given in the directions.

Step 2: Take the clips down from one pre-sectioned area of the wig. With the wig laying on the large plastic garbage bag, brush the dye into the hair, coating all the strands. Feel free to use foil here or not. 

Step 3: Move to the following section and repeat step 2 until you apply your hair coloring mix to the wig.

Step 5: Follow the instructions on the box, or bottle, and leave the hair color on the wig for the appointed time. This can be anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes.

Step 6: When the time is up, rinse your wig with warm water until it runs clear.

Step 7: Apply conditioner to the wig and leave it on as per instructed.

Step 8: Towel dry your hair and squeeze out any excess water. Place your wig on the wig stand and allow it to air dry afterward.

This completes the hair coloring process for your human hair wig. Please note that these steps can also be followed if you want to bleach your wig.


Now that you have learned to dye your human hair wig, you may still have some questions you need help answering. Check out some frequently asked topics that I will cover below.

How long does semi-permanent color last?

Temporary or semi-permanent colors are usually meant to last after a couple of washes. Every time you wash a wig dyed with semi-permanent color, you will notice that the color begins to fade gradually.

You can use hair paints or wax for colors you want to wear for a day and wash off immediately. They are more for special occasions and dressing up into characters.

Is toning your wigs important?

If you aren’t satisfied with the color of your wig, you could attempt to tone the hair to neutralize any brassy or unwanted undertones.

If you are going lighter, using blonde colors, or lifting the hair a few levels, then a toner would be recommended to give the hair a cool and refreshed natural tone. You won’t need this step to dye your wigs, but it is another option if you aren’t entirely in love with the final color.

Can you dye dark hair very light?

The short answer is yes. This is doable but will require time and experience, and only virgin, very healthy hair can tolerate this. Every time you dye your hair will damage some of the hair cuticles. If you need to bleach your hair or dye it to a very light color, it will cause more harm to the hair strands.

Leave this with the professionals for now until you have practiced coloring your wigs for some time.

Wrapping Up

This beginner-friendly guide will take you from a newbie to an expert with just a little time and patience. This dyeing process is fun because the color possibilities are endless when it comes to changing your hair.

Follow the instructions and stay diligent no matter what. Experiment with color options that you are unsure of. You can always dye your hair back.

Please share your thoughts on this article below or tell us your experience with dyeing human hair wigs. We have written another article about how to dye a synthetic wig, do check it out!


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