In this article, I’ll walk you through the steps to take to dye a synthetic wig a lighter color.
Dying hair can be tricky. Dying synthetic wigs can be even trickier, especially when trying to achieve a lighter color. There are a few techniques and approaches you can take to achieve a lighter shade of hair.
Allow me to introduce myself. My name’s Katy and I’ve got some experience when it comes to dying wigs, specifically synthetic ones. While darkening a wig can be a fairly easy process, lightening one is a whole other ball game.
I’ll fill you in on lightening techniques and how to dye a synthetic wig to a lighter color easily in the steps below.
How to Dye a Synthetic Wig a Lighter Color
These are my most recommended lightening solutions:
- Lighten hair with a hydrogen peroxide mixture
- Lighten hair with traditional bleach and toner
- Tone or dye hair further to achieve the desired color
Here are the detailed steps of using the mentioned solutions to dye your synthetic wig.
Step 1: Wash the Hair
You can use your own favorite shampoo and conditioning products here or mix up a concoction of your own with baking soda, water, and a few drops of essential oil you enjoy the scent of. Washing hair prior to lightening, dying and styling will remove any packaging residues or styling treatments.
This is important because you want the hair to be as clean as possible before applying a lightening solution to strands. Once hair is washed and dried, be sure to brush it out so it’s tangle-free. Holding hair and brushing from the bottom to the top is a great way to reduce excess pulling and shedding.
Step 2: Prepare Lightening Solution
Some supplies you may need for the lighting process include a mixing bowl, a spoon, brush, or spatula to mix with, foil, a plastic bag, lightening solution, and gloves to protect your hands.
You can lighten synthetic strands with two different types of solutions. One is classic bleach and developer; I would recommend using 30 developers for this process. Another solution you can make to lighten a synthetic wig is equal parts water and 3% hydrogen peroxide.
If you’re using a bleach solution, mix it until it becomes a creamy, smooth consistency and there are no chunks or unmixed portions of the solution. A peroxide mixture will be naturally more of a liquid form.
Step 3: Apply Lightening Solution to Hair
It’s always a good idea when altering the color or texture of any wig to try a test strand first. Section out a small strand of hair, typically from the bottom layer so it’s less noticeable, and apply your lightening solution to the hair.
Allow it to process as needed and see how it turned out before proceeding with the rest of the wig. Assuming the test strand went as planned, continue on by placing the entire wig on a flat surface.
I would recommend putting down a towel you don’t care about or a plastic bag; anything to keep a protective layer between your wig and the countertop or floor.
Apply your lightening solution to the wig. You can do it all over lightening, highlights, or an ombre effect. Once the hair has had the lightening solution applied to it, wrap it up in the foil and allow it to process. This typically only takes around 10 minutes, even for very dark-colored wigs.
Step 4: Rinse, Dry, and Style the Wig
Once the hair has lightened to your liking, it’s time to rinse! A recommendation from wig-wearing pros, use fabric softener when you rinse the wig.
Due to the harsh chemicals you just applied to your wig, it can leave synthetic strands dry and over-processed. A fabric softener can help restore a smooth texture. Simply add it to the water and the wig lightly as you rinse. Be sure to rinse thoroughly so there’s no residue or build-up when you go to style it!
Fabric softener: Not just for clothes!
Of course, you can either dry your wig with a hairdryer on a low setting or leave it overnight to air dry naturally. Once dry, you can style it however you’d like! If you’re using heat to straighten or curl, do so in a low-temperature setting.
Now you could stop here if the wig lightened to the color you wanted, or you could take things a step further by toning or dying the wig.
Step 5 (Optional): Dye the Wig
If either lightening solution didn’t quite get you to the shade you were hoping for, you can take an additional step here.
You can apply toner to bleached strands or a hair dye mixture that is the shade you want. Just remember synthetic strands process much faster than human hair. This means you won’t want to leave toner or hair dye on for longer than 10 minutes.
After your 10-minute timer goes off, rinse hair thoroughly and allow to dry completely to reveal the final color.
Making a synthetic wig a lighter color can be a challenging process. My advice? Be precise in where you put your lightning solution, go little by little, and be sure to not let it sit longer than 10 minutes without checking on it!
If you follow these steps, you should be able to successfully alter the wig’s hair color.