It's no secret that I wear wigs from time to time while I am growing out my natural hair. I mean, who doesn’t these days? Beyoncé has a wig stash that I would die to get my hands on. But since human hair wigs can cost as much as $2,000 per unit, most people buy synthetic wigs as a budget friendly alternative.
Although affordable, synthetic pieces don’t last as long as human hair; they become dry and matted with wear, and can only be manipulated for so long before you have to shelve it. But with the advancing technology of high heat synthetic fibers, there are many different methods to extend the lifespan of synthetic hair.
Today I’m going to show you how to use a clothing steamer to add waves or curls to a synthetic unit.
Steaming a worn-out, dry, and frizzy synthetic wig is a great way to quickly restyle, revitalize, and condition it. Since synthetic wigs have style memory, they can easily retain their shape until they are steamed or styled again. To achieve this look, I used flexi rods and a handheld clothing steamer.
Step 1: Detangle
Brush out the unit completely to eliminate any knots and tangles. If you are having trouble getting through a matted unit, generously spray it with a fabric softener/water mixture. Run a paddle brush from tip to root to avoid harshly snagging and tearing away hair.
Step 2: Flexi Rods
Take as many flexi rods as you would like and apply them to the unit. Having the unit on my head makes it easier for me to determine where I want the flexi rods and where I want the curls to fall. I used the blue flexi rods for tighter curls at the front and the back, and the gray rods everywhere else for larger waves. Note: The more rods you use, the tighter the curls will be.
Step 3: Steam
DO NOT steam the unit while she is on your head, as the steam can cause serious burns. Rather, take it off and pin it to a wig head or place it on a wig stand. Hold the steamer directly on top of the hair, holding it there for about 15 to 20 seconds per rod (depending on the thickness).
Step 4: Dry
With the rods still in place, allow the unit to cool and completely dry to get the desired shape. If you are in a rush, hold the blow dryer about two inches away from the wig to speed up this process.
Step 5: Remove the Flexi Rods
Place the wig on your head and begin to remove the rods. Do not pull the hair straight out of the flexi rods because it will create frizz. Instead, slowly unravel the hair from the rods to preserve the curl pattern.
Step 6: Style
Use your hands--not a brush--to shape the unit. If you want defined curls, leave as is and smooth and structure the hair with your hands. If you don’t want full curls, gently separate each coil with your fingers to add volume.
- How do you keep your wigs or synthetic hair in ship-shape?
- Anyone else using a wig while transitioning to natural hair?