Synthetic wigs are all the raves right now. Why not? They’re easy to care for. And you won’t have a single bad hair day. You can also experiment with tons of hairstyles. You can go sleek and straight today and have luscious curls tomorrow.
Can you use the same wig for two different hairstyles? Yes, you can. That’s why we’re going to help you learn how to straighten a synthetic wig. And not all synthetic wigs are heat resistant so we’re going to list down several methods.
Synthetic wigs can be bent and are flexible. But there’s still a proper way of strengthening them. You’ll learn the tricks and trade so that you don’t have to go to the salon. That’ll save you money too.
Method 1: How to Straighten a Synthetic Wig Using a Brush
In most cases, when learning how to straighten a synthetic wig, using a brush should be enough. Make sure that the comb you choose is brand new and has never been used on your hair before. You will need the wig itself; a wig head; a stable stand; pins; and a wide-tooth comb or wig brush.
- Preparing the Wig
You’ll need a Styrofoam wig head (or a willing volunteer to sit still). The wig heads can be found online or in costume shops, wig stores, beauty supply stores, and well-equipped arts and crafts shops. They are created from white Styrofoam and emulate human heads in size and general shape.
- Get a Wig Stand
If your wig is long, you’ll need to mount it on a stand to let the hair hang freely. This may be a secure wig stand, a simple wooden stick with a hole to stick the head, a camera tripod stand, or a glass bottle filled with sand to make it stable.
- Secure the Wig
Put the wig over the head and pin it down securely with sewing pins, pushed into the styrofoam head. Secure it at the temples, and all sound the head so that it doesn’t move when you start brushing.
- Detangle the Wig With a Wig Brush
Make sure you use an appropriate wig brush or a wide-tooth comb to brush your wig. Gently move the brush through the strands, working in tiny sections at a time. Start from the ends and work your way up, thoroughly running the comb through. Don’t rush and rip through the fibers from the roots or use an everyday brush because the oils from your hair ruin the threads.
Method 2: How to Straighten a Synthetic Wig With a Warm Water Bath
If you’re wondering how to curl a wig, then this next method is excellent for revamping your hair. Fortunately, if the hair quality is good, all you’ll have to do is straighten it with warm water, hang it straight, and let it dry that way. This method is excellent because it allows you to monitor the heat you apply to your hair without ruining it. You’ll need a wig brush, hot water, a thermometer, a wig head, and the wig itself.
- Start by Detangling the Wig
Slowly comb through with a wig brush or a new wide-tooth comb to undo the tangling. Do this while the wig is still dry as combing a wet wig will make it frizz up and ruin the strands.
- Heat Your Water to A Specific Temperature
Use a pot and heat it on a stovetop where you can monitor the temperature the water heats up to. Use a large pot to heat up a large volume of water, depending on the wig length. Boil the water to about 170°C (340°F). Watch the thermometer closely since if the temperature is too low, your wig won’t stretch, and if it’s too high, it’ll irreparably damage the fibers.
- Pour the Hot Water Over the Hair
If your wig is extra-long, try dunking the entire wig (while on the wig head) into hot water for up to fifteen seconds. Take the hair out and place it upright on a stand and let it air dry.
- Do Not Brush the Wig
If there is any tangling, gently run your fingers through the strands and smooth it out. Do not use a brush. When figuring out how to straighten a wig, it’s essential to know that you should never brush a wig when it’s wet as this will ruin your hair. Let the wig air dry or use a fan to speed up the process. Repeat the procedure if it’s not straightened to your liking. Wavy wigs will conform the first time, but if it’s curly, you can do it several times until it works.
Method 3: Using Steam for Gentle Straightening
This following method works like a charm and needs minimal effort. You’ll need your wig and the head and stand, and place them in your bathroom and your wig brush.
- Put the Wig Stand in the Bathroom.
You could do this while you run your bath to kill two birds with one stone. Close all the windows to your bathroom to trap all the steam inside.
- Open the Tap with Hot Water
Run your hot shower until steam fills the room. The hotter the water, the quicker it’ll be to steam up the room.
- Brush the Hair With Gentle Strokes
Smoothly comb through the wig with a wide-toothed comb or a specific wire wig brush. Take care always to start your brushing strokes from the ends and work your way upwards. The steam in the room will soften up the fibers because of the heat, loosening the curls.
- Move the Wig After a Few Minutes
Once the steam starts to condense, take the wig out of the bathroom since you only want the “heat” to be transferred, not the moisture. Remember that once wet, your wig shouldn’t be combed, so stay alert. Place the hair in a cool, airy room.
Method 4: Using a Hairdryer for Extreme Straightening
Taking a step further in the controlled heat application, the next method includes a hairdryer. Make sure your dryer has a switch to set the heat to an acceptable level. If you can’t alter the temperature, then try a small portion first to test it out. To get ready, gather your tools before you start: synthetic wig, Styrofoam head, stand, hairdryer, and a wig brush or wide-tooth comb.
- Section the Hair
Grab the hair and gather it into a loose bun, leaving out a bottom piece to start with. Secure the hair on top of the head and handle a “weft” at a time. These are the lines/rows that the hair is sewn in.
- Moisten Each Layer
Isolate each layer and work in sections. Start by spraying the base layer with water to cool the fibers and prevent them from overheating. You can choose to start at the temples and gradually work your way around the head. Smooth the strands down and run your fingers through every tangle.
- Set the Heat to Warm
Before you start straightening the synthetic hair, adjust the temperature settings to warm. If your dryer only has a hot option, the wig hair fibers will melt and be irreversibly ruined. Hold the dryer a safe distance from the hair and blow-dry the hair until it is completely dry.
Run a comb through the hair while continuing to blow-dry and gently brush it straight down. Keep the wig strands between the brush and the dryer.
- Repeat Until Your Synthetic Wig is Straightened
Go over all the laters, working in sections, around the head. Release a single layer from the secured bun at a time, guided by the wefts. Gather the rest of the hair up in a bun and repeat the process all over again.
Method 5: Straightening a Heat-Resistant Synthetic Wig
Can you straighten synthetic hair using a curling iron? Absolutely, provided the wig is made from a heat-tolerant material—WebMD reviews what effective hair straightening looks like.
The package your wig comes in will state whether your hair is heat-resistant or not. If not specified, then it’s most likely ordinary synthetic strands, so keep it away from a straightening iron. Get your necessary tools ready: the wig and the Styrofoam head to place it on, the stand, a wide-tooth comb or wig brush, and heat-adjustable straightening iron.
- Pull Hair Into a Loose Bun
Gather the hair into a loose bunch and secure it with a hair clip, leaving the bottom layer to hang. Start with that portion when ironing the hair and use the rows (wefts) to guide you.
- Detangle and Section Off The Hair
Work in about 5cm sized sections and undo any tangling that may be there. Starting from the temples and rotating around the head in wefts, from one side to the other. Once one section is parted, detangle it with a wide-tooth comb. Work from the end, moving up to the roots gradually.
- Wet the Section to Prepare It
Spray the section you’re working on with water to make it more heat-resistant. With your curling iron adjusted to the lowest possible heat level (about 170°C). This is the safest temperature to work from since it’s hot enough to iron it bone straight without damaging it. Heat tolerant wigs can have the heat of up to 210°C used on them, so consult with your supplier to find out what the ideal temperature is.
- Gently Flat Iron Each Section
With the rest of the head pinned up, slide the iron down the sections slowly and carefully. There’ll be steam as seen when ironing hair. Go over the fibers a couple of times as necessary to get it to the straightness you want. Let it cool the comb through. Repeat for the rest of the hair, working in sections to get the best results.
How Do I Know If My Wig Is Heat-Resistant?
The easiest way to determine if your synthetic hair is heat tolerant or not is to inquire from your supplier when you’re purchasing the wig. That way, you’ll be able to make an informed decision and compare the benefits and find one that’s perfect for you.
If you’re trying to find out if the wig you already have is tolerant of heat, just run your fingers through the fibers. The strands of heat-resistant synthetic hair feel less coarse than those of a non-heat resistant wig.
Another reliable way to differentiate between the two is to style a portion of the hair. Pick a hidden section and blow dry it using medium heat. If the synthetic hair is successfully smoothed over, then it can handle the heat, and if it shrinks when exposed to heat, then it isn’t.
Learning how to straighten a synthetic wig at home allows you to save time and money you’d have spent going to the hair salon. You’ll also have an opportunity to style it in a way that’s “you” and express your own style. So grab your favorite hair and start styling.