All About Wigs
Everything you need to know about wigs!
CARE OF SYNTHETIC WIGS Printer Friendly Version



The amount of time between cleanings of your wig depends largely on your lifestyle and environment. For normal wear, a good rule of thumb to use is to wash and condition your wig every 15 to 20 wearings or so. If you work in an environment with more pollution, such as in a restaurant where you are exposed to kitchen grease, or a place where there is a lot of cigarette smoke, you may want to wash your wig more often. Remember, the nose knows, and if your wig doesn't smell fresh to you, it won't smell good to others around you either. In any case, I wouldn't wash the wig any more than about once a week as washing a wig too often can cause it to wear out more quickly.

Of course, you can always increase the life of any synthetic wig or hairpiece by using a good leave-in conditioner, such as the FIBERGUARD that I use myself and highly recommend for all synthetic hair. This product also works on human hair wigs and hairpieces.


1) Draw enough cool to lukewarm water in a large pan or bowl to immerse hairpiece well. Don't use hot water or it will remove body and may damage fiber.

2) Dissolve approximately one tablespoon of wig cleaner or shampoo, along with one tablespoon of baking soda. Swish hairpiece around in solution. If front of cap and/or hair area has makeup on it, make a paste of baking soda and shampoo and gently scrub with an old toothbrush until clean. Baking soda acts as a cleaning booster and will usually cut though the heaviest makeup or styling product residue in the hair or on the cap.

3) Rinse well in plenty of cool water.

4) Fill tub with about 3 or 4 cups of water and add a couple of tablespoons of conditioner. Work mixture through wig and leave for a few minutes. Rinse well with cool water. Gently squeeze excess water out of wet wig, without twisting. Lay piece on towel and pat to towel-dry.

5) Pin piece on wig form and pick or comb out gently, starting from ends and working up strand to root area. At this point, I recommend using the Fiberguard to refresh the wig fiber and make the wig feel soft and manageable. Arrange hair to resemble desired style. Let dry overnight for maximum curl retention. If necessary, when the wig is dry, a curling iron may be used on WARM or LOW setting.


Heat rollers or a steam setter (such as a Caruso) may be used on synthetic fiber too. Roll each strand carefully around the roller keeping the ends smooth to reduce "fish-hooking", which makes the ends look fuzzy. Using end papers is recommended. Let the curls get completely cool before brushing or combing out the wig. If using the steam setters, it's a good idea to use a "duckbill" or other similar clip to hold the curls until they're cool and dry.


Donít use expensive curling irons with settings such as 1, 2, 3, 4, etc. Even on the lowest setting, these irons are too hot for synthetic fiber. Go to a beauty supply store and buy the most inexpensive iron they carry which has a HIGH/LOW setting. On their low setting, they do not get hot enough to damage most wigs.

Mist the hair with a little plain water. Take a small strand of hair between clamp of curling iron and roll around barrel of iron. Keep hair moving around barrel, rolling evenly until all of strand has passed firmly under clamp. Don't rest iron on base of wig as it will create a roller mark. Laying a comb on the base between the cap and your iron should take care of this. A slight steaming action will not harm fiber.

After curl is formed (not necessarily dry), remove the iron carefully, leaving the curl intact and being careful not to drag the ends out of the curl as this will make the curl uneven. If a looser curl is desired, work the hair with fingers while still warm. If a firmer curl is desired, let dry before combing.

A synthetic wig is made of fine plastic filaments. Excessive heat will damage it. Use caution around oven doors, fireplaces, wall heaters, barbeques, and other uncontrolled high heat sources. The heat will melt the fiber and cause it to look frizzy. Most of the time, a curling iron can smooth it out, but the fiber will lose a certain amount of body and resilience after having been heat-frizzed. If a little extra care is taken with your wig, you will extend the life of your wig and it will look nice for a long time.


The brand-name tag goes in the back.

Grasp the wig at the back bottom with both hands, and position the front firmly at your forehead. Then pull the whole cap back and down so that it covers your head. The wig should not cover your ears. If you have ever used a latex swimming cap, the procedure is very similar.

There are two little tabs at the ears and they should be positioned so that they are equal on both sides in front of your ears. This will let you know that your wig is on straight.

Many wigs today have a small covered wire stay sewn inside the ear tabs. These should be bent a little and curved in toward your head. When the wig is positioned correctly at the sides, press gently on the stays so they lie flat against your temples. This will give you a more custom fit at the temples. The front of the wig should be positioned right at, or slightly behind, the hairline.

If you donít have hair, place your first three fingers together just above your brow bone and where the top edge of your index finger is should approximate your natural hairline.

There are adjustment straps in the back of most wigs. They may be used to tighten or loosen the wig for a comfortable fit.

If you purchase a JACQUELYN wig, check the nape area, because some shorter styles have two tiny vertical wire stays which may be curved in to achieve a good fit at the neckline.

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