After spending your hard-earned money on your wig, maintaining the luster and longevity of your human hair wig requires regular care and attention. While professional wig maintenance services are available (check out our maintenance services here), mastering the art of washing your wig can be achieved in the comfort of your home.

How to Properly Shampoo Your Wig

Step 1: Preparation

Gather Supplies: Assemble the necessary materials, including a wide-tooth comb, wig stand or mannequin head (optional), mild shampoo, conditioner, lukewarm water, and a clean towel. Lukewarm water is the best temperature because it helps contain hair frizz and prevents drying. 

Inspect Your Wig: Prior to washing, carefully examine the wig for any tangles, knots, or visible debris. Gently detangle the hair using a wide-tooth comb, starting from the ends and working your way up to the roots to minimize breakage.

Step 2: Pre-Wash Treatment

Pre-Soak: Fill a basin or sink with lukewarm water and add a small amount of mild shampoo. Submerge the wig in the water, gently swishing it around to ensure even saturation. Allow the wig to soak for 5-10 minutes to loosen any dirt or product buildup.

Spot Cleaning: For stubborn stains or areas of heavy buildup, apply a small amount of shampoo directly to the affected areas and gently massage with your fingertips to lift the debris.

Step 3: Shampooing 

Shampoo Application: After pre-soaking, carefully rinse the wig under lukewarm running water to remove excess shampoo. Apply a small amount of shampoo to your palms and gently lather the wig, focusing on the hair strands while avoiding excessive rubbing or agitation. Always work in a downward motion as this avoids any tangling. 

As you shampoo your wig, do NOT ball it up. Remember, we wash clothes, and we shampoo wigs. Repeat that with me again, we wash clothes and we shampoo wigs. Last tip: don’t forget to get within your wefts as you shampoo. This is VERY important because the wefts are the part of the wig that gets close to your scalp. 

Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse the wig under cool running water until the water runs clear, ensuring complete removal of shampoo residue. 

Repeat these steps two more times. 

Shampoo Recommendations

When washing a colored wig, remember to use purple shampoo as well to keep the vibrancy of your colored wig. 

For a visual depiction of the steps discussed above, we created this video just for you!

Step 4: Conditioning

Conditioner Application: Apply a generous amount of conditioner to the hair, focusing primarily on the mid-lengths and ends. Avoid the closure area when it comes to conditioner to prevent the shedding of your closure. Use your fingers or a wide-tooth comb/paddle brush to distribute the conditioner evenly, combing from the bottom to the top, ensuring thorough coverage.

Deep Conditioning (Optional): For an extra dose of hydration and nourishment, consider applying a deep conditioning treatment to the wig. Cover the wig with a shower cap or plastic wrap and allow the conditioner to penetrate the hair for 15-30 minutes before rinsing.

Remember to ALWAYS rinse with cold water.

Conditioner Recommendations

Step 5: Drying and Styling

Blot Excess Water: Gently blot the wig with a clean towel to remove excess water, being mindful not to rub or wring the hair, which can cause damage and tangling.

Air-Dry: Place the wig on a wig stand or mannequin head and allow it to air-dry naturally in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight or heat sources. Avoid using a hairdryer or heat-styling tools, as excessive heat can damage the hair fibers.

Final Touches: Once the wig is completely dry, gently comb or brush through the hair to restore its natural texture and shape. Style as desired using heat styling tools on low heat settings if necessary.


Can I wash a wig without shampoo?

Though it is possible to wash a wig without shampoo, using shampoo is typically the preferred method for effectively removing dirt, oils, and product buildup. If you do not want to go through the whole process of shampooing, dry shampoo is another option for refreshing and cleansing the wig between washes. It helps absorb excess oil and refresh the hair without the need for water.

How should I care for my wig after shampooing?

Use Dry Shampoo: Between washes, dry shampoo can absorb excess oil and refresh the hair, extending the time between washes.

Avoid Excessive Product Use: Minimize the use of styling products, as they can contribute to buildup and the need for more frequent washing.

Store Properly: When not in use, store your wig on a wig stand or mannequin head in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources to help maintain its freshness.

How often should I wash my wig?

For most wigs, washing every 6-8 wears or every 2-3 weeks is recommended. Adjust the frequency based on wear, environment, and personal preference.

When should I replace my wig? 

You know it is time to replace your wig when it starts showing signs of wear, such as fraying, thinning, or loss of shape, or if it becomes difficult to style or maintain.

With diligent care, the longevity and quality of your wig is guaranteed. Following these tips and implementing them consistently will make you a wig-washing pro in no time! 

If, after reading this, you realize washing wigs may not be your ministry or there are times when you can’t get it done yourself, we offer wig maintenance services at our Rose Style Studio. We will be more than happy to take care of your hair maintenance for you!