Unlike synthetic wigs, human Hair wigs can be dyed relatively easily. You can use the same hair dye, the same developer, and even the same tools to dye your wig as you would normal hair. Simply mix your dye before gently applying it directly to the wig. Wash the wig after dyeing it to keep it clean and shiny. Keep in mind that hair dye will not work on synthetic wigs.
EditMixing the Dye
- Choose a normal hair dye. You can use any hair color available at a drug store. Keep in mind, however, that you should only darken human hair wigs. Don’t try to lighten the hair, as the bleach used in lighter hair colors can weaken the hair on the wig.
- Do not use fabric dye on human hair wigs. Use hair dye only.
- Find a 20 volume hair developer. A lower volume may be too weak. A 20 volume developer will let you change the color by one or two shades while a volume 30 will let you make the hair even darker. In most cases, a 20 volume developer will be sufficient.
- Put on rubber gloves. Gloves will protect your skin from irritation and staining left by the dye. Use rubber gloves that you don’t mind tossing afterwards.
- Mix the dye and the developer in a plastic bowl. Read the instructions on your dye to see how much dye you should combine with the developer. Mix with a plastic spoon. If the dye looks a little light, don’t worry. It will darken over time.
- If your wig goes down below your shoulders, you may need two boxes of hair dye.
- Do not use a metal bowl or spoon to mix your dye. The metal can oxidize the dye, causing it to change colors.
EditApplying the Dye
- Test the dye on a few strands of hair. With your fingers or a small paintbrush, apply the dye to a small section of hair. This should be somewhere that is not easily seen. Wait thirty or forty minutes. If you like the color, apply it to the rest of the wig. If you don’t like the color, try a different shade of hair dye.
- Soak the wig in the dye. Place the wig in the bowl with the dye. With your hands, gently scoop the dye over the wig and spread it through the layers of the wig. Be gentle. Try not to roughly rub the dye into the wig.
- Set the wig onto a wig stand. A wig stand will keep your wig's shape and style intact after you dye it. Place the wig on the stand as you would put it on your own head. Secure the wig to the stand using T-pins.
- The dye might drip off of the wig. To prevent any stains on your furniture, you can put a towel or plastic tarp around the wig stand.
- Brush through the hair. Use a comb or a wig brush to distribute the dye throughout the wig. Make sure that the dye is evenly applied to the entire wig. This will help the dyed hair look more natural.
- Leave the wig to let the color set. Read the package on the dye to see how long you should leave it. In most cases, this will be thirty or forty minutes. If you can’t find this information, check the wig every ten minutes. When it has reached the right color, you can wash it.
- If you do not have a wig stand, leave the wig in the bowl to set. Cover it with plastic wrap.
EditWashing the Hair
- Shampoo the wig. Use a color-safe shampoo or a special wig shampoo. Place the wig under a tap with warm water to get rid of any excess dye before lathering the wig with shampoo. Rinse out the shampoo when you are done.
- Apply conditioner to the tips of the wig. This will give extra shine to your wig. Avoid using any conditioner near the roots of your wig or else the hair might fall out. Rinse out the conditioner with cool or lukewarm water.
- Pat the hair dry with a towel. Gently squeeze the wig with the towel to remove excess water. Place it back on the wig stand to dry.
- Let the wig dry. You can let it air dry or you can use a hair dryer on a low setting. If you are air drying the wig, leave it on the stand until it is completely dry. If you are blow drying it, run the hair dryer up and down through your hair. Make sure that the wig does not overheat.
- If you're nervous about dyeing your wig, take it to a hair stylist. They may be willing to dye it for you.
- If you want to ombre your wig, add streaks, or apply highlights, use the same techniques that you would use on normal hair.
- Hair that has already been dyed may not pick up color as easily as virgin hair.
- The more you dye your wig, the more brittle the hair will become. Dying your wig can shorten its lifespan.
EditThings You'll Need
- Hair dye
- Plastic mixing bowl
- Plastic spoon
- Rubber gloves
- Wig stand