Can You Wash Synthetic Hair?

Can You Wash Synthetic Hair

Can you wash synthetic hair? This is one of the questions that make taking care of synthetic hair can seem like a mystery. However, anyone who deals with synthetic hair has to know the specifics, particularly, keeping it clean. When it comes to protecting it, whether they be extensions, wigs, or dreads, we have to know, can you wash synthetic hair?

Can You Wash Synthetic Hair with Regular Shampoo?

It is always recommended that you use hair products made for synthetic hair. However, it is inevitable that most people won’t always have the option to spend money on specialized products.

When it comes to using regular shampoo, certain brands can have damaging effects on both real and synthetic hair. Oftentimes, regular shampoos and conditioners have harsh chemicals and can separate strands, causing breakage.

Even regular shampoos that promote themselves as ‘natural,’ can cause synthetic hair to look matted, frizzy, or greasy.

Can You Wash Synthetic Hair Wigs?

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Wigs have been worn for centuries and only recently has synthetic hair become readily used. The hygiene of our wigs, however, has increased in importance, as wigs in the past have been more or less valued in how they hold extravagant shapes.

This makes washing them a bit counterintuitive. So do you just let it sit and gather dirt? Since that would be extremely unpleasant, washing techniques for wigs have been developed that are certified to work.

Rushing through washing your wig will leave you with a bird’s nest, rather than fresh locks, which is why it’s important to reserve several hours for washing. Wigs should be washed 1 to 2 times per week.

In addition, synthetic wigs do well in humid environments, where they can be washed, while not simultaneously being subjected to dry climates. The humidity allows the wig to keep its shape.

Furthermore, always wash synthetic wigs in cold or lukewarm water. Hot water can scald the hair and cause the man-made fibers to swell and break.

How Do You Wash Synthetic Wigs?

When you’re finally able to carve out some time for you and your wigs, you can start to set up and begin the washing process. Synthetic wigs have something called a ‘style memory,’ where its purpose is to mimic the natural waves of real hair and keep its bounce.

Since these style memories are essential to their appearance, it is of utmost importance that you preserve them.

First and foremost, begin with placing the wig down on a stable surface, preferably its stand. Then, gently detangle with a specialty wig comb, which has wide spacing in between teeth to prevent tearing. If the wig is in a straight style, using a comb is best, but use your fingers instead for curlier styles.

Next, combine a tablespoon of synthetic wig shampoo with cold water in a small bowl. Then, carefully flip the wig inside out and dunk it into the solution. Gently move the wig around in the water and let it sit for five minutes.

Afterward, retrieve the wig and run cold water over it until the water is clear. Apply a tablespoon of wig conditioner onto the hair and gently massage the product with your fingers.

Let the wig sit in a clean bowl for roughly two minutes, then rinse in cold water until the conditioner is completely out. Rubbing the hair together to dry can cause breakage and frizz, so always stick to gently squeezing and patting in sections.

Finally, set with a finishing spray and leave on its stand to dry. Always make sure before styling it next or even combing, that the wig is completely dry.

Can You Wash Synthetic Hair Extensions?

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Since extensions are installed and thus become part of the natural hair, washing the two as separates are impractical. Because they are finer, extensions can usually handle some regular products, but you shouldn’t just use any shampoo and conditioner off the shelf.

Rather, always use a product that’s sulfate-free, fragrance-free, and labeled as mild. Using a milder product helps prolong the extension’s lifespan, as well as its ability to blend in instead of dulling.

Additionally, the wash cycle really must follow the same cycle as your own hair. If you can, try to wash your hair/extensions only when it’s visibly dirty, as this lets the extensions breathe.

Extensions can become frizzy and tangled more than natural hair, so ensure that you brush through before washing. After detangling, drench the hair in cold water, then massage in a tablespoon of shampoo in downward motions.

Then rinse with cold water and repeat the process with a tablespoon of conditioner. Afterward, pat the hair dry with a microfiber towel. Allow the hair extensions to dry before any styling.

Can You Wash Synthetic Hair Braids?

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Synthetic braids revolve around a very similar washing process to hair extensions. However, it should be noted that it’s perhaps even more important to keep synthetic braids clean, as the closely-knit hair can be a hotbed for bacteria.

To wash, use a teaspoon of specially formulated shampoo and dilute with 2/4 of cold water. Then, massage the mixture on the braids to release the dirt. After thoroughly rinsing, dry with a microfiber towel and apply a moisture replenishing braid spray.

Let the braids dry completely, as styling before then can create mildew.

Can You Wash Synthetic Hair with Dish Soap?

Although specialized synthetic hair products should always be the preferred option, there are other products available when niche and often expensive items just aren’t possible.

For instance, dish soap can be used to wash synthetic hair. In a tub of cold water, mix in a tablespoon of mild, fragrance-free dish soap and let the synthetic hair sit for several hours, avoiding agitating the hair.

As dish soap is designed to cut through grease and grime, the soap easily acts upon the synthetic fibers without stripping the strands. After washing, though, just make sure to apply a moisture replenishing spray to the hair.

Can You Wash Synthetic Dreads?

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Synthetic dreads can be washed two different ways. When they’re attached to the scalp, it’s best to wash them at most once a week; wetting them too frequently can weigh dreads down and make them look dull.

Unlike other synthetic hair care routines, you should specifically try to use a residue-free dreadlock shampoo. After letting the product sit, rinse out completely, and wrap the dreads in a microfiber towel.

Secondly, when the synthetic dreads are off your scalp, you can soak them in shampoo and lukewarm water mixture for 1 to 2 hours and then let them air dry.

What Can You Wash Synthetic Hair With?

You can actually wash your synthetic hair with several different types of products other than specialized shampoo/conditioner. As previously mentioned, you can wash with a diluted mixture of one part mild shampoo or specialized shampoo and two parts cold water and then repeat with the conditioner.

Additionally, you can also use dish soap and for that matter, a combination of half mild dish soap and half fabric softener. As the dish soap cuts into greasy buildup, the fabric softener combats any brittleness. After detangling and soaking the hair in a tub with dish soap and rinsing until clean, repeat with a fabric softener.

A mild detergent that is safe to use on synthetic hair is Woolite. Using a tub-full of cold water, add 2 tablespoons or a cap full of Woolite. Thoroughly detangle the hair and then swish around in the mixture. Then, place the hair in fresh cold water and rinse it until the water is clear.

Furthermore, you can also use baking soda as it’s fantastic at eliminating odors. Fill a sink with 3 quarts of warm water and add half a cup of baking soda. It should be dissolved completely before dunking the hair in and soaking overnight. Then, rinse well and let it air dry.

Finally, you can use baby shampoo, since its gentle qualities mimic synthetic hair shampoo the best. Fill a sink with cold water and add a teaspoon of baby shampoo.

Then, dunk the wig in the solution and move it around in circular motions, which removes any build-up. Thoroughly rinse in clean cold water and let air dry completely.

Can You Wash and Blow-Dry Synthetic Hair?

Always let synthetic hair air dry whenever possible. Synthetic materials and the fibers within them react quite badly when they come into contact with non-centralized heat. Rather than molding and setting, a blow dryer is likely to cause frizz, breakage, and even melt synthetic fibers.

Instead, letting the hair air dry for one to two hours (depending on the thickness) is ideal, as it has time to return to its manufactured style memory.


There’s no question that taking care of synthetic hair is a commitment, but ultimately, we get what we put in. So yes, you can wash synthetic hair, in fact as we’ve learned, it’s very necessary.

More often than not though, you don’t even need fancy hair care to ensure quality, although it should always be the first choice if possible. Keeping your synthetic hair in tip-top shape with the practice of proper washing and drying techniques will not only expand its lifespan but keep you looking as fresh as can be for as long as can be.

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