How to Wash a Wig Without Wig Shampoo

In the realm of versatile fashion and self-expression, human hair wigs stand as captivating tools that allow us to effortlessly switch up our looks and embrace new identities.

However, maintaining the beauty and longevity of these wigs requires careful consideration, especially when it comes to washing them. While wig shampoos are often recommended, there are times when they might not be readily available or suitable for your wig’s needs.

In this guide, we embark on a journey to explore alternative methods of washing human hair wigs without the traditional wig shampoo. Whether you’re facing a last-minute situation or looking for more accessible options, the techniques we’ll delve into here will ensure that your wig stays clean, lustrous, and ready to complement your style.

How to Wash a Wig without Wig Shampoo

How to Wash a Wig without Wig Shampoo

Washing a wig without wig shampoo is possible and can be done using alternative methods that are gentle and effective. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to wash your human hair wig without traditional wig shampoo:

Step 1: Prepare the Wig

Brush the wig using a wig brush or a wide-tooth comb to remove tangles and knots.

Secure the wig on a wig stand or mannequin head to prevent tangling during the washing process.

Step 2: Prepare the Cleaning Solution

Choose one of the alternative cleaning solutions mentioned earlier: mild shampoo and water mixture, diluted conditioner solution, baby shampoo, and water solution, or gentle soap and water mixture.

Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add the chosen alternative cleaning solution. Gently mix to create a diluted solution.

Step 3: Cleanse the Wig

Submerge the wig in the cleaning solution, ensuring that it’s evenly soaked.

Gently swish the wig in the solution to distribute the cleaning mixture. Avoid rubbing or twisting the wig, as this can cause tangling.

Use your fingertips to softly massage the wig, paying attention to areas that might have accumulated oils or product residue.

Step 4: Rinse the Wig

Hold the wig under lukewarm running water to rinse off the cleaning solution. Gently squeeze the wig while rinsing to ensure thorough removal of the solution.

Continue rinsing until the water runs clear and there’s no residue left in the wig.

Step 5: Apply Conditioner (Optional)

If desired, you can apply a lightweight conditioner to the wig to add moisture and enhance softness. Avoid applying conditioner to the wig’s roots.

Let the conditioner sit for a few minutes, then rinse it out thoroughly under lukewarm water.

Step 6: Gently Dry the Wig

Gently blot excess water from the wig using a soft towel. Do not rub the wig, as it can cause friction and tangling.

Place the wig back on the wig stand or mannequin head to air dry. Avoid using heat sources like hair dryers, as they can damage the wig’s fibers.

Step 7: Styling and Final Touches

Once the wig is completely dry, use a wide-tooth comb or wig brush to gently style and detangle it.

Style the wig as desired, whether you want to keep its natural texture or use heat styling tools on low settings.

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4 Best Alternatives for a Wig Shampoo

The purpose of a wig shampoo is to remove any dirt or oils that may be in it. Below are some alternatives to wig shampoo:

Alternative 1: Baking Soda

This is an excellent alternative to wig shampoo. It is the best option if your wig has absorbed any smells from cooking, cigarette smoke, or other odors. It eradicates all these odors fast. 

Step1: Pour three quarts of warm water into the sink and add half to ¾ cups of baking soda. 

Step 2: Once the baking soda dissolves completely in the warm water, dip your wig in. Saturate it for about 4 hours or throughout the night.

Step 3: Take out your wig and rinse it, gently squeeze the water out, then place it on a wig stand to air dry.

Alternative 2: Using Dish Soap

This is ideal for getting rid of oil and makeup from your wig cap. 

Step 1: Put a bit of mild dish soap in a sink containing cold water. 

Step 2: Brush your wig, then dip it in the water mixture and compress the soapy water through your wig tenderly. Avoid rough perturbation so that your wig doesn’t tangle. 

Step 3: Empty the soapy water and use clean chilly water to rinse your wig. Again, take out the wig and squeeze the water out gently, then place it on a wig stand to air dry.

Alternative 3: Using Woolite

This is a gentle detergent that will clean your wig safely. 

Step 1: Fill your sink with cold water, and add one cupful of Woolite to it. 

Step 2: Brush your wig, and swish it in the water delicately. 

Step 3: After swishing your wig, drain the water and replace it with clean and chilly water. Immerse the wig in the water, rinse, and then dry it with the method mentioned above.

Alternative 4: Use Baby Shampoo

I know I’ve said not to use regular shampoo to wash your synthetic wig, but baby shampoos are very gentle, and if you have none of the mentioned products, you can use them.

Step 1: Add a small amount of baby shampoo to the cold water in the sink. 

Step 2: Swish your wig gently in soapy water to get rid of the dirt and oil. 

Step 3: Immerse your wig in a sink with clean chilly water to rinse the shampoo off. Swish it gently to get rid of any soap residue. Then follow step 3 in the above method to dry it.

How Often Should You Wash Your Synthetic Wig?

The frequency of washing your synthetic wig depends on factors such as how often you wear it, your personal comfort level, and the styling products you use. Generally, synthetic wigs don’t need to be washed as frequently as natural hair, as they don’t produce natural oils. Here are some guidelines to help you determine how often to wash your synthetic wig:

1. Occasional Wear:

  • If you wear your synthetic wig occasionally or for special occasions, you may only need to wash it every 15-20 wears. This allows you to maintain its appearance without excessive washing.
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2. Regular Wear:

  • For those who wear their synthetic wig regularly, such as daily or a few times a week, washing every 8-12 wears is recommended. Regular wear can lead to the accumulation of sweat, dust, and styling products.

3. Use of Styling Products:

  • If you use styling products like hairspray, mousse, or gels on your wig, it might need more frequent washing. Styling products can build up on the fibers and affect the wig’s appearance.

4. Heat Styling:

  • If you frequently use heat styling tools on your synthetic wig, the heat can cause frizz and damage over time. To minimize the need for washing, consider heat-free styling options.

5. Personal Comfort:

  • Trust your intuition. If your wig feels uncomfortable, looks dull, or appears dirty, it’s a sign that it might be time for a wash.

6. Climate and Environment:

  • Consider the climate and environment you’re in. Hot, humid conditions might require more frequent washing due to sweat and oil buildup.

7. Washing Technique:

  • Proper washing technique also plays a role. Gently washing and avoiding excessive scrubbing or rubbing will help maintain the wig’s quality.

8. Maintenance and Care:

  • Regular maintenance, such as brushing and storing the wig properly, can help prolong the time between washes.

When washing a synthetic wig, use a wig-friendly shampoo designed for synthetic fibers and follow the manufacturer’s care instructions. Avoid using regular shampoo or conditioner meant for human hair, as they can damage synthetic fibers.

Can you Use Regular Shampoo to Wash a Wig?

Synthetic wigs should be washed using shampoos specifically formulated for synthetic hair. These shampoos are designed to cleanse the fibers gently without stripping away the wig’s color or texture. They also contain conditioning agents that help keep the synthetic fibers soft and manageable.

When washing a synthetic wig, it’s best to follow these guidelines:

  1. Use Wig-Friendly Shampoo: Choose a shampoo that is specifically labeled for synthetic wigs. These shampoos are mild and won’t damage the synthetic fibers.
  2. Dilute the Shampoo: Mix the wig shampoo with lukewarm water in a basin or sink. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the shampoo bottle for proper dilution.
  3. Gently Cleanse: Submerge the wig in the shampoo mixture and gently swish it around. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the wig, as this can cause tangling.
  4. Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the wig under lukewarm running water until the shampoo is completely washed out. Squeeze the wig gently while rinsing to ensure thorough cleansing.
  5. Avoid Excessive Manipulation: Handle the wig with care throughout the washing process. Gently squeeze out excess water and never twist or wring the wig.
  6. Use Wig Conditioner (Optional): Some wig shampoos come with matching conditioners specifically designed for synthetic wigs. If you choose to use a conditioner, apply it according to the instructions and rinse it out thoroughly.
  7. Air Dry: Place the wig on a wig stand or mannequin head to air dry. Avoid using heat sources like hair dryers or heated styling tools, as these can damage synthetic fibers.
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What Can I Use To Wash My Human Hair Wig?

When it comes to washing your human hair wig, it’s important to use products that are specifically designed for human hair wigs. Using the right products helps maintain the wig’s quality, texture, and appearance. Here’s what you can use to wash your human hair wig:

1. Human Hair Wig Shampoo:

  • Human hair wig shampoos are formulated to cleanse the wig’s hair without stripping away its natural oils. They are gentle and won’t damage the hair or the wig’s construction.

2. Conditioner:

  • Human hair wig conditioners help keep the hair soft, manageable, and hydrated. Look for conditioners that are specifically designed for human hair wigs.

3. Leave-In Conditioner:

  • A leave-in conditioner can help detangle the hair and provide extra moisture after washing. It can be especially helpful for preventing tangling and maintaining the wig’s natural shine.

4. Wig Detangler Spray:

  • A detangler spray specifically formulated for human hair wigs can make combing and styling easier, reducing the risk of damaging the hair.

5. Wig Brushes and Combs:

  • Use a wig brush with soft bristles or a wide-tooth comb to detangle the wig’s hair gently before and after washing.

6. Wig Stand or Mannequin Head:

  • These tools are essential for holding the wig securely during washing and allowing it to air dry properly.

7. Basin or Sink with Lukewarm Water:

  • You’ll need a clean basin or sink filled with lukewarm water to dilute the shampoo and rinse the wig.

8. Towel:

  • A soft towel is useful for blotting excess water from the wig after washing.

Steps to Wash Your Human Hair Wig:

  1. Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water.
  2. Add a small amount of human hair wig shampoo to the water and mix gently to create a diluted solution.
  3. Submerge the wig in the water and gently swish it to distribute the shampoo.
  4. Use your fingertips to massage the hair gently, focusing on areas that might have accumulated oils or product residue.
  5. Rinse the wig thoroughly under lukewarm running water until the shampoo is completely washed out.
  6. Apply a small amount of human hair wig conditioner if desired, focusing on the mid-lengths and ends.
  7. Rinse the conditioner thoroughly under lukewarm water.
  8. Gently blot excess water from the wig using a soft towel.
  9. Place the wig on a wig stand or mannequin head to air dry. Avoid using heat sources.

Remember, using the right products and techniques ensures that your human hair wig remains in optimal condition, giving you a long-lasting and natural look.


In the world of wig care, the importance of using the right products cannot be overstated. As we bid adieu to our exploration, it’s evident that the journey to maintaining the beauty of synthetic wigs is paved with thoughtful choices and careful considerations.

While the joy of convenience might tempt us to reach for regular shampoos, the wisdom lies in using shampoos and conditioners specifically tailored for synthetic wigs. These specialized formulations harmonize with the unique fibers, preserving colors, textures, and shapes that make synthetic wigs a cherished accessory.

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