Synthetic wigs are popular for their convenience, color diversity, and reasonable market price. While the advantages of synthetic wigs are plenty, they also come with their own set of drawbacks. The most common is synthetic wigs do not stay smooth and silky for long as strands get rough and damaged over time.
I am Lori, a frequent wig wearer well-acquainted with this problem. In this article, I will be discussing ways to address it.
Interested? Read on.
What is Synthetic Hair?
Synthetic hair is made of synthetic fibers that undergo many processing stages to imitate human hair. This means that the nature of this hair is different from natural hair.
Real human hair is covered in cuticles that protect it and provide the hair with nutrients. Synthetic hair, on the other hand, is only processed chemical fibers. This results in a very dry texture when finished. To cover this up, factories apply a temporary shine effect that makes the hair fibers of synthetic hair more attractive.
This is why, when purchasing synthetic wigs for the first time, they appear soft and smooth. However, the effect can only last for so long before the strands eventually go back to being dry and wiry.
What Degrades Synthetic Hair Quality
Apart from the number of chemicals added to the hair fibers during the production process, outside factors like dust, wind, and sunlight also degrade the quality of synthetic wigs.
The plastic fibers that synthetic wigs are made of tend to become drier over time due to wear and tear. In addition to excess exposure to the elements, here are other contributing factors to the diminishing quality of your wig:
- showering or sleeping with your wig on
- oil buildup
- rigorous washing and wringing
- excess heat application
- improper care
- mechanical abuse
It’s important to recognize these bad habits to maintain the health and texture of your synthetic wigs. Most of these are self-explanatory, but I would like to draw your attention to mechanical abuse, which also applies to natural hair.
Mechanical stress or abuse weakens the hair and causes severe damage to hair health. Examples include donning hairstyles that are too tight, like ponytails, or rough styling, like backcombing. These habits stress the hair and scalp and damage them in the long run.
If you must do it, do it in moderation.
Best Ways to Soften Synthetic Hair
We believe that washing your synthetic hairpiece and using appropriate hair care products are the best ways to soften synthetic hair.
Washing the Hair
To soften the hair immediately, washing the wig is a must. Doing this will remove dust particles from the strands and smoothen them out. It also helps synthetic wigs lose their unnatural shine.
Step 1: Wash the hair with cold water
Before anything else, be gentle in handling the wig. Brush out the tangles using a wide-tooth comb or a specially designed wig brush, and only use cold water in washing because hot water will damage the strands. Also, your shampoo should be suitable for synthetic hair since regular shampoo will make it dry and brittle. Dip the wig in and out of the water to rinse it.
Step 2: Soak the hair in the softener
After washing, soak the wig in a water-filled basin and softening liquid. The recommended ratio of water to softener and the soaking duration varies depending on the type of softener you are using. So, make sure to check the instructions on the package for details.
Step 3: Dry the hair
If you dry a synthetic wig under high temperatures, the heat will immediately dry out the hair strands, rendering the softener you applied useless. Instead, squeeze out any excess water, dry the hair with a mild breeze, or air dry it.
Step 4: Moisturize
Spray an appropriate leave-in conditioner onto the wig to keep it soft and moisturized. This is an optional step but the effects with and without are very pronounced.
Using Appropriate Hair Care Products
As explained above, synthetic hair isn’t like regular human hair, so using proper hair care products is essential in softening the wig hair.
Human hair care products are not effective and will sometimes damage the strands instead. Since synthetic wigs lack cuticles to absorb nutrients for moisture, refrain from using regular hair serums, hair masks, or hair conditioners.
Instead, use synthetic hair care products like fabric softeners and fiber washers. These usually have strong chemicals specifically made for synthetic fibers. They are not as gentle as those designed for human hair, so avoid direct skin contact and use gloves for protection.
More Tips on Maintaining Synthetic Hair
Aside from the solutions listed above, the most effective way to ensure the longevity of your wigs is to build good habits in caring for them. The following are a few more tips on maintaining your synthetic wigs.
Comb the Hair Regularly
Your natural hair requires the care of a comb to prevent strands from tangling, and wigs are no different. Making a habit of combing your wigs regularly will result in smoother hair that looks softer. Be gentle when combing, as doing it too harshly may cause unnecessary shedding.
Take Good Care of your Hair Outdoors
Prolonged exposure to the elements decreases the quality of your wig. Ensure your faux hair is well-protected from outside factors like heat, wind, and rain. Things like bringing an umbrella, applying heat protectant, or trying damage-free hairstyles like French braids or Flexi rods can do wonders for your wig’s longevity.
Avoid Over-Washing the Hair
Although washing the wig is important, washing it too often can be harmful. It may wash away all the chemicals added during hair production and result in raw hair fibers when overdone.
Moderation is always the key. The recommended frequency of washing is between 4 – 14 days.
Avoid Styling the Hair too Often
When you think about it, caring for something requires a loving hand and a lot of moderation. Taking care of your wigs requires the same gentle treatment. Now that I’ve taught you all the steps, I hope you learned a lot about softening and maintaining your synthetic wigs.
If you have any more inquiries or tips to share, feel free to leave a comment down below.