• When investing in a human hair wig, many people are concerned about how to properly take of them to ensure long wear. Fortunately, because they are composed entirely of real human hair, these wigs are relatively easy to care for and you can even change the hair color without fear. The strands are remarkably resilient and will hold the new color much better than a synthetic wig would.

    Preparing the Wig

    When you first buy a wig, regardless of whether it is made up of synthetic or human hair, it will be styled with products and, likely, a straightener. Before coloring, you must wash the wig with shampoo and remove all added products; if the strands are coated with any waxy substance, the dye will not absorb properly. Unlike with your own hair, do not add conditioner. Just like hairspray or gel, the conditioner will prevent thorough color absorption. Comb through the wig after washing, smoothing out any knots or tangles. Allow the wig to air dry; do not use an electric blow dryer, as this may further dry out the wig. Once dry, separate hair into manageable sections; you cannot color all of the hair at the same time, so make sure you do this in an organized fashion to avoid missing chunks of the wig.

    Coloring the Wig

    Put on disposable, plastic gloves and mix the color according to manufacturer instructions. Some colors are a 1:1 developer/color ratio, while others use a 2:1 ratio, so read carefully. Using a flat coloring brush (available at a beauty supply store), apply color evenly, section by section. Be careful not to miss any strands, and avoid the wig cap, as the hair color may eat away at the adhesive glue. Allow color to process for 10 to 20 minutes, but no longer. Desired color cannot be determined during this process, as most dyes are brighter than their end result. Rinse out the dye thoroughly until the water runs clear. Apply a heavy-duty conditioner to replenish moisture after the dyeing process.

    Care of the New Color

    Again, do not use an electric blow dryer. After conditioning, carefully comb the wig and then set on the wig stand to air dry. Once the newly colored wig is completely dry, style as normal.


    Shay Sanford-Fong; Hairstylist, Brothers and Sisters; Los Angeles, CA.

    Amy Hateley; Hairstylist, Trinity Salon; Los Angeles, CA.

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