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How do you dye and color a synthetic wig?

Synthetic wigs have become increasingly popular in recent years as an affordable and easy way to change up your hairstyle. While human hair wigs can be dyed and colored just like real hair, the process is a bit different for synthetic wigs. The synthetic fibers that these wigs are made from do not absorb dye in the same way. However, with the right products and techniques, you can absolutely dye a synthetic wig and give it a whole new look! In this article, we’ll walk through everything you need to know about dying synthetic wigs, from choosing the right types of dye to application tips and tricks.

Should You Dye a Synthetic Wig?

Before jumping right into dyeing your synthetic wig, it’s important to understand what is and isn’t possible when it comes to coloring synthetic hair. Here are some key things to keep in mind:

  • It is possible to dye a synthetic wig, but the color results will not be as vivid or rich as they would be on human hair.
  • The synthetic fibers only coat the surface of the hair strands, so the color will not penetrate through the way it does with human hair.
  • You cannot bleach or lighten a synthetic wig with dye. The coloring process only deposits color, it does not remove it.
  • The dye may fade faster than it would on human hair.
  • Excessive dyeing runs the risk of damaging the synthetic fibers.

As long as you go into the dyeing process understanding these limitations, you can absolutely experiment with synthetic wig color! Just don’t expect an exact match to the results you’d get on human hair.

Choosing a Dye for Synthetic Wigs

The type of dye you use to color your synthetic wig is extremely important! Regular hair dye that you’d use in your own hair is not formulated for the different texture and construction of synthetic wigs. Instead, you’ll need to use a specially designed synthetic wig dye. Here are the key things to look for:

  • Semi-permanent or temporary color – Do not use permanent hair dye on a synthetic wig. The harsh chemicals can damage the fibers.
  • Made for synthetic material – Ensure the packaging specifies it is safe for use on synthetic wigs.
  • Liquid-based – Powder or gel dyes do not work as well on synthetic wigs.
  • Light to medium colors – Vibrant fashion colors tend to work better than darker shades.

Some top recommended brands for synthetic wig dye include:

  • Adore
  • Rit DyeMore
  • Manic Panic
  • Special Effects
  • RAW

Getting Started with Dyeing

Before you start applying any dye to your wig, there are a few important steps to prepare:

  1. Wash and dry the wig thoroughly before dyeing. Any residual oils or dirt can interfere with dye absorption.
  2. Detangle the fibers and hair knots using a wide-tooth comb to allow for even dye application.
  3. Cover your work surface with towels, newspaper or a plastic tablecloth to avoid dye stains.
  4. Wear old clothes and gloves to protect your skin and clothing.
  5. Do a strand test first if possible. Dye a small section in the back of the wig before commencing with full dye application.
  6. Follow the product instructions carefully regarding required dye to water ratios and processing times.

Once you are set up with all your supplies and materials, you’re ready to get dyeing!

How to Apply Dye to a Synthetic Wig

Here is a step-by-step guide to applying semi-permanent synthetic wig dye:

  1. Section the hair: Divide the wig into multiple sections using hair clips. This will make the application process easier.
  2. Mix the dye: In a bowl or bottle, mix the dye cream or liquid as directed on the packaging. Mix just enough for one section at a time.
  3. Saturate each section: Using a tint or bottle brush, apply the dye thoroughly from root to tip in each section.
  4. Massage it in: After saturating each section, massage the dye into the fibers using your gloved hands to ensure maximum coverage.
  5. Leave on for processing time: Once the entire wig is covered in dye, allow it to sit for the directed processing time.
  6. Rinse thoroughly: When done, rinse under lukewarm running water until the water runs clear.
  7. Towel dry: Gently squeeze out excess moisture with a towel. Do not rub.
  8. Air dry: Allow the wig to fully and completely air dry before wearing or styling.

Be extremely careful rinsing the dye out – you want to rinse thoroughly until no more excess color comes out. Leftover dye can transfer onto clothing, sheets, furniture, etc if not properly rinsed.

Tips for Even Color Results

Getting an all-over smooth and even color application on a synthetic wig takes a little finesse. Here are some handy tips:

  • Work in small sections 1-2 inches wide.
  • Use a tint brush or foam dye applicator.
  • Wipe excess dye from the tips to avoid splotchiness.
  • Flip the wig upside down during application to get the back evenly.
  • Go section by section and don’t move to the next until it’s fully saturated.
  • Apply heavier coats of dye to the wig roots and caps for fuller coverage.

Taking your time to fully saturate each section of the wig will pay off with a flawless, vivid color from top to bottom!

Avoiding Dye Mistakes

Dyeing synthetic wigs takes precision and care to avoid ending up with splotchy, uneven color. Here are some key mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t apply dye right on top of a wig cap – dye the hair first, then go back to the cap.
  • Don’t rub or mash down on the fibers while dyeing – gently massage it in.
  • Don’t combine multiple dye colors in one step – dye it all one color first.
  • Don’t overlap sections – keep them neatly separated for full coverage.
  • Don’t skimp on rinsing – keep rinsing until the water is 100% clear.
  • Don’t dye the lace or knots – use a q-tip for precision.

Taking your time and paying close attention as you apply the dye will help you achieve beautiful, vibrant color from root to tip!

Coloring Wig Lace and Hair Knots

The lace front and knots along the wig’s hair part require extra care when dyeing. The lace and knots are more delicate than the wefts of the wig. Here are some tips:

  • Use a cotton swab or small brush to gently apply dye just to the knots and lace, not saturating the whole wig.
  • Be very precise – don’t get dye on the skin of the forehead area.
  • Clean up drips or splotches immediately with a damp cotton swab.
  • Dye knots and lace after doing the main wig for more control.
  • Skip dyeing knots and lace altogether if you want to avoid the risk of drips and blotchiness.

Take your time dyeing the wig lace and knots separately for the best results.

How Long Will the Color Last?

When done properly, you can expect your synthetic wig color to last for quite a while. However, it won’t be as long-lasting as dye on human hair. Here are some general guidelines:

  • With proper care, expect the color to last 15-20 washes.
  • How long it lasts also depends on the original color of the wig and what shade you are dyeing it.
  • Darker colors tend to fade faster than lighter ones.
  • Avoiding heat styling helps protect the color.
  • Use color-protecting shampoo and conditioner to make it last longer.
  • You can refresh the color again when it starts to fade.

While the dye won’t be permanent, you can extend the life of the color and have fun switching up shades!

Caring for Dyed Synthetic Wigs

To help maintain your wig’s vibrant new color, be sure to care for it properly after dyeing:

  • Wash with cool or lukewarm water only.
  • Use a gentle, color-safe shampoo and conditioner.
  • Avoid shampoos with sulfate surfactants as these can fade color faster.
  • Let air dry fully and avoid heat styling tools.
  • Keep hair brushed and tangle-free.
  • Avoid exposing to direct sunlight or chlorine.
  • Use a wig stand or mannequin head for storage.

With some extra TLC, you can keep your synthetic wig looking freshly dyed and fabulous!

Dyeing Synthetic Wigs Like a Pro

Dyeing synthetic wigs allows you to experiment with fun colors and styles, but getting flawless results does take some practice. Follow these pro tips for dyeing like an expert:

  • Wash with clarifying shampoo before dyeing.
  • Mix up more dye than you think you’ll need.
  • Work in a circular motion when applying dye.
  • Process a bit longer than minimum time for saturated color.
  • Pre-color hair knots for a seamless finish.
  • Rinse until water is 100% clear.
  • Set dyed wigs with rollers or flexi rods while drying.

With some trial and error, you’ll get the hang of perfectly dyeing synthetic wigs in any fun color you choose!

Common Questions

Can I dye a synthetic wig with regular hair dye?

No, you should never use regular permanent or semi-permanent hair dye meant for human hair on a synthetic wig. The chemicals can be too harsh and cause damage to the synthetic fibers. Be sure to only use dyes specifically made for use on synthetic wigs.

What’s the difference between temporary, semi-permanent, and permanent dye?

Here’s a quick breakdown:

  • Temporary – Lasts 1-2 shampoos. Safe for synthetics.
  • Semi-permanent – Lasts 4-8 weeks. Must be specifically for synthetic wigs.
  • Permanent – Avoid! Too harsh for synthetic wigs.

Can I dye a blonde wig darker or add highlights?

It’s best to only use semi-permanent dyes to go lighter or add highlights. You cannot permanently dye a synthetic wig darker than its original color. The darker dye will coat the fibers but it won’t be able to penetrate or remove the original base color.

How light can I dye a dark wig?

You’ll get the best color vibrancy by choosing a wig color that is as close to your desired shade as possible. Dyeing a dark wig a lighter color is possible, but the results will be subtle – you won’t achieve platinum blonde from black. The original undertones will still show through.

In Conclusion

Dyeing synthetic wigs opens up so many fun sty