How to wash your synthetic wig or topper.

How to wash your synthetic wig or topper.

Synthetic wigs and toppers have come a very long way since I first wore one 25 years ago.

Back then they only came in the one cap size and were pretty much all machine made on very bulky bases. The closest you got to a natural parting was something called a “skin top” which, honestly, looked anything but natural.

The colours were very basic and the fibre felt very thick and heavy. All in all they were pretty awful!

Thankfully these days synthetic wigs and toppers are pretty awesome! They come on all types of bases, in various sizes and the selection of beautiful colours available is vast.

One of the most asked questions from my customers is this – “How do I wash my synthetic wigs?”.

In today’s blog post I am going to be covering everything you need to know on washing your new synthetic wig or topper so that when the time comes, you know EXACTLY what you will need to be doing.

Lets jump right on in!


How to wash your synthetic wig or topper.

Synthetic wigs and toppers need washing after around 7-10 days of wear.

You can usually tell when a wash is needed as the hair will start to look and feel a little clumpy in longer styles or may start to sit much flatter on the head in shorter styles. After 7-10 days of everyday wear you will also begin to notice that your synthetic wig or topper is starting to smell a bit “heady”.

We all sweat at the end of the day so it’s not unthinkable to accept that your wig or topper will start getting a bit smelly after a while.

If in doubt do the sniff test. If your synthetic wig or topper is not smelling all that fresh anymore then you know it’s time for a wash 😊

I’m going to run through exactly how I wash my own and clients synthetic wigs and toppers for you below. The steps are simple so there is no need to be overwhelmed by this. One of the pros of wearing a synthetic wig or topper is that when it comes to washing and styling them the piece itself does pretty much all of the work.


  1. Fill the sink or a clean washing up bowl with cold water. Make sure the water is cold and don’t be tempted to add any hot water in there. Hot water can damage the synthetic fibre on your wig or topper.
  2. Add a capful of wig shampoo. I always recommend going for a shampoo that has been specifically designed to be used with synthetic fibre. Human hair shampoos often require warm/hot water to successfully cleanse the hair and we are using cold water so it’s not going to be the best thing for your synthetic wig or topper. Once you’ve added the shampoo tp the bowl of COLD water use your hand to swirl the shampoo in. I like to move my hand back and forth in the water to create some bubbles.
  3. Now, take your synthetic wig or topper and gentle remove any tangles it may have using either a wide tooth comb or a wig brush.
  4. Once the wig or topper is detangled, simply submerge the wig or topper into the cold water / shampoo mix and leave to soak for 5-10 minutes. Don’t worry too much if it soaks for longer. I once stepped away from my sink and forgot my hair was soaking for 2 hours and my wig was absolutely fine!
  5. Once your wig has had a good old soak, remove it from the sink or bowl and rinse off any bubbles under a cold water tap.
  6. Give the hair a good squeeze to remove any excess water and lay in a clean, dry towel. I like to wrap my wig up like a little parcel and leave it in the towel for around 15 minutes. It gives it time for the towel to absorb any excess water.

And that’s it! You have successfully washed your synthetic wig or topper 😊 I told you it wasn’t that hard, right!?

Once your synthetic wig or topper has stopped dripping you can leave it to air dry anyway you’d like.

I tend to pop mine on a care head I have or dry it upside down on a coat hanger to give it some extra body and volume.

Once your wig or topper is dry all that’s left to do is give it a good shake, pop her on and style using your fingers, comb or a hair brush.

I like to wash my synthetic wig at night to be sure the hair and cap is dry for the following day.

I hope today's blog has been helpful!


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Hi Em, should I use a conditioner after shampoo. Thanks x

Barbara Pendrill

It was very helpful I have had my topper for 3yrs and just lately it started to make my head very itchy
Thank you


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