Alternatives for Synthetic Wig Shampoos

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Wigs are made of real hair and synthetic materials; the latter of which requires specific cleaning and maintenance. For example, do not subject your synthetic wig to heat from hairdryers or styling tools as they will damage the fibres.

If you are active, live in a humid and hot place, or like to use a lot of product when styling your wig, wash it every six to eight times you wear it. If the wig is not subjected to perspiration, humidity and excessive hairspray, it only needs to be washed after 12 to 15 uses. Synthetic wig shampoos are recommended for this purpose because regular shampoos are too stringent, but there are alternatives.


Always use cool water, never hot as the heat can destroy the integrity of the fibre styling. Plain, clean water will simply rinse any dirt or dust from the wig, but will not remove skin oil or some styling products (soaking can help remove hairspray). However, a fresh water rinse will give your wig renewed shine and bounce without stripping any colour.

Baby Shampoo

Although wig professionals warn against using anything but synthetic wig shampoo for cleansing your wig or hairpiece, if you have to use a regular shampoo for any reason, use an unscented baby shampoo. Baby shampoo is designed to be less acidic so as not to hurt if it gets into a youngster's eyes, thereby making it a gentler cleanser for emergency wig cleaning.


If you do not have access to water or wig shampoo, but your wig needs to be freshened up, you might get decent results with cornstarch. Make sure the wig is completely dry, then sprinkle the wig with cornstarch and let it sit for five minutes or so. Shake out the cornstarch and brush the wig as you usually do. This substance is recommended for cleaning synthetic stuffed animals and pets; it is harmless and removes unpleasant scents.

Baking Soda

Baking soda in cool water can also refresh your wig without causing damage. Although it will not remove any oily substance, it will remove dust, dirt and odours. Simply dissolve a spoonful of baking soda in a big bowl of water, soak the wig for a few minutes, rinse well and style as usual.

Vinegar and Water

Vinegar will remove some of the oil and heavier dirt in your synthetic wig. It is acidic though, so you want to use very little of it mixed well into cool water. Clean the wig or hairpiece quickly and rinse it well. Do not soak the wig, just swish it a few times before rinsing.