Navigating the World of Hairpieces and Wigs: A Hairdresser’s Guide to Proper Shampooing


Wigs and hairpieces have evolved from being just mere fashion accessories to indispensable tools for those undergoing medical treatments, battling hair loss, or simply desiring a fresh look. As a professional hairdresser, it’s crucial to understand the unique care regimen these synthetic and natural hairpieces require, especially when it comes to shampooing. This article offers a comprehensive guide to shampooing wigs and hairpieces correctly to ensure their longevity and pristine condition.

A Hairdresser's Guide to Proper Shampooing

Understanding the Fabrication of Hairpieces and Wigs

Before diving into the shampooing process, it’s essential to grasp the distinction between synthetic and natural hair wigs:

  1. Synthetic Hair Wigs: Made from man-made fibers, these wigs offer the convenience of retaining their style after washing. However, they tend to be less versatile when it comes to heat styling and have a shorter lifespan compared to their natural counterparts.
  2. Natural Hair Wigs: Crafted from real human hair, these wigs look and feel more natural and offer greater styling flexibility. However, they require a haircare routine akin to one’s natural hair.

The Art of Shampooing Hairpieces and Wigs

1. Choosing the Right Shampoo:

Not all shampoos are created equal, especially when it comes to wigs and hairpieces. Given their unique fabrication:

  • For Synthetic Hair Wigs: Opt for shampoos specially developed for synthetic wigs. These are formulated to cleanse without causing damage or affecting the wig’s structural integrity.
  • For Natural Hair Wigs: A gentle shampoo, like those designed for color-treated hair, is ideal. These shampoos are mild and don’t strip the hair of its natural oils, ensuring the wig remains soft and tangle-free.

2. The Shampooing Process:

  • Pre-wash: Before shampooing, gently detangle the wig using a wide-toothed comb. Start at the ends and work your way up to avoid any breakage.
  • Washing: Submerge the wig in a basin filled with cold water. Add a small amount of your chosen shampoo and gently agitate the water. Immerse the wig, allowing it to soak for a few minutes. Avoid rubbing or twisting the wig as this can lead to damage.
  • Rinsing: Rinse the wig thoroughly in cold water until all the shampoo is removed. Gently squeeze out any excess water, being cautious not to wring or twist.
  • Conditioning (for natural hair wigs): Apply a lightweight conditioner, avoiding the wig’s roots or cap. Rinse after a few minutes.

3. Drying and Storage:

Lay the wig flat on a towel and gently pat dry. Allow it to air dry on a wig stand, keeping it away from direct sunlight or heat. Once dry, store in a cool, dry place.

A Word on Manufacturer’s Instructions

While the above steps offer a generalized guide, it’s paramount to adhere to the manufacturer’s specific care instructions for each wig or hairpiece. Different brands might have unique recommendations or specific products they advise using to ensure the best care.


Hairpieces and wigs bring joy, confidence, and convenience to many. As hairdressers, ensuring their optimal care is both a duty and a privilege. By understanding and implementing the right shampooing techniques, we can help our clients prolong the life and beauty of their cherished hairpieces.

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