How to Reduce Shine on a Synthetic Wig – 6 Tips and Recommendations

Christine Steuber
May 20, 2022
Have you bought a synthetic wig but the unnatural shine of it annoys you? No worries, I've got six tips to remove the shine quickly!

All of us have bought synthetic wigs at one point, right? Different carnivals, Halloween, and birthday parties are great opportunities to wear this super-chic accessory. I wore the purple wig during one summer festival, and it looked fantastic in combination with my pink swimsuit and stylish sunglasses. 

It all surely sounds perfect, but there’s one thing that most people don’t like about wigs. The unrealistic shine they have is the biggest downside, especially when you freshly purchase them. 

This is happening because of the conditioning agents and nature of the fibers. Although the sheen disappears with time, I want to share how to reduce shine on a synthetic wig as soon as possible.

This helpful guide is packed with instant fixes, recommendations, and tips. You can implement these tips to make the synthetic wig look more natural. 

Let’s begin!

Why Do Synthetic Wigs Shine?

Have you ever wondered: “Why do my shiny wigs look so fake?” It’s important to discuss the cause before solving it. The sheen appears because synthetic colors demand less hackling and fewer shades. 

Hackling is a procedure in which different bundles of hair colors are taken and manually blended to achieve various tones and levels. In simple words, hackling is primarily a huge brush having long teeth. 

A professional takes the bundles of shades, flips them, and combs them together. This is how the luster on a synthetic wig appears. We can’t say it’s ugly, but it’s definitely unnatural. This is why I will explain how to make a wig less shiny in the following sections. 

6 Tips to Reduce Wig Shine

As I said in the intro, the synthetic wig will lose its shine after some time. But if you have to go to a fun event soon, you want to get the shine off as soon as possible. 

The below six cost-effective tips are the best quick fixes to bring out that natural look. And don’t worry, none of these methods will ever harm your wig if you do them correctly! The end result will make it look like actual human hair. 

So, let’s get started.

1. Dry shampoo

The first hack we have is the most popular and straightforward. Dry shampoo is highly effective if you want to reduce shine. Simply spray the product evenly over the synthetic wig and gently comb it.

There is a powdery mixture in a dry shampoo that brings a sudden result. This tip is useful even if you have to leave your home in a jiffy.

However, as easy as it may be, dry shampoo comes with a common downside – it temporarily discolors the wig due to the white powdery tone. In order to prevent this, pick a high-quality product. 

For instance, if you have to dull a brunette wig, pick a dry shampoo made for dark hair. Another prevention method is to rub the shampoo into the wig. 

If you have never purchased this product before, it can be tricky to find the best one. But I have chosen the top three dry shampoos to save your time. To make sure these products are suitable, you can read the cited customer reviews as well.

1) Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk

Boasting an award-winning formula, this dry shampoo by Klorane provides maximum boost and volume to hair. It will work equally well on a wig, too, as the ultra-gentle composition and vegan formula are perfect for all types of synthetic wigs. Below you can read the comment of one satisfied customer:

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk Amazon review
Review taken from Klorane Amazon page, on May 17, 2022

As the reviewer says, this shampoo is an ideal choice to get amazing hair results, so it will definitely work perfectly with your wig as well!

2) TRESemmé Pro Pure Dry Shampoo

If you don’t want to spend too much on dry shampoo, this TRESemmè product is very affordable. People love it due to the invisible finish – there is no temporary white cast.

TRESemmé Pro Pure Dry Shampoo Amazon review
Review taken from TRESemmé Amazon page, on May 17, 2022

So, this shampoo will be a particularly good choice for a dark wig because it won’t be ruined with a powdery residue. In addition, the product has a very nice and refreshing scent.

3) Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo

This is another dry shampoo giving an invisible finish. Plus, the fruity vanilla scent will delight you and make your wig smell lovely! For more details, read this review:

Amika Perk Up Dry Shampoo Amazon review
Review taken from Amika Amazon page, on May 17, 2022

Choose the product you like the most, but as I mentioned above, take care of one important thing before you opt for something specific – your wig’s color must match with dry shampoo’s shade.

2. Washing, rinsing, conditioning

Although a bit more time-consuming than the previous method, this solution is also quite effective. The synthetic wig is the shiniest when you just bought it, so it’s a good idea not to wear it immediately after taking it out of the box. Instead, wash the wig beforehand to eliminate most of the luster and impart a natural look.

In fact, washing and conditioning should be the first step before going to other methods. Only use wig shampoo and wig conditioner for this purpose. Using products not meant for synthetic wigs will do more harm than good. It’s recommended to wash your wig every six to eight wears. 

Here’s how to give your wig a proper wash.

  • Pre-wash

Slowly comb through the wig to remove tangles.

  • Shampooing the wig

Add a tablespoon of wig shampoo to a basin of cold water. Sink the wig for a minute. Instead of rubbing, run your fingers on the inner cap, where it will touch your forehead. Rinse the shampoo out with cold water. Without squeezing, blot the wig slowly with a towel.

  • Conditioning the wig

While the wig is still wet, take a small amount of wig conditioner in your hands. Put the product through the synthetic hair. Keep the conditioner away from the cap. Now you can rinse out the conditioner with cold water.

3. Fabric softener

Remove wig shine with a fabric softener! It not only removes shine but frizz as well. 

The chemicals in a fabric softener are adept at removing more than half the shine instead of erasing it altogether. To make this method work, simply fill a big bowl or sink with water. Add a few tablespoons of your favorite fabric softener and allow the synthetic wig to immerse in this liquid. 

Next, gently comb through the wig with your fingers. Take the wig out from the solution, and let it dry naturally. To let you pick the best fabric softener, I have listed the top three products that worked for me personally.

1) Seventh Generation Lavender Fabric Softener

This product contains a naturally derived and septic-safe formula, which does not come with static cling. The refreshing lavender scent is an added bonus of this fantastic fabric softener. Check out the review from one happy buyer:

4_Seventh Generation Lavender Fabric Softener Amazon review
Review taken from Seventh Generation Store‘s Amazon page, on May 17, 2022

Since your hands will be covered with the product, it is very important that the ingredients are natural in order to not damage your skin.

2) Snuggle SuperCare Liquid Fabric Softener

A great value for money, this fabric softener is as strong as other formulas but costs way less. It will retain the shape of your wig, shield it from harm, and prevent the fading of color. Here’s the review of one satisfied customer who describes its softness and wonderful smell:

Snuggle SuperCare Liquid Fabric Softener Amazon review
Review taken from Snuggle Store‘s Amazon page, on May 17, 2022

Since this product protects colors from fading, it should protect your wig as well and keep its original shape and look.

3) Gain Liquid Fabric Softener Original

This is an all-rounder fabric softener that diminishes static cling. It features an airy scent with an affordable price tag, so you can try it for your wig’s treatment. Read the positive feedback from one customer:

Gain Liquid Fabric Softener Original Amazon review
Review taken from The Gain Store on Amazon, on May 17, 2022

So, focus on choosing the fabric softeners with natural ingredients and avoid those with bleach because these can ruin the color of your wig.

4. Tactical styling

If using products isn’t your cup of tea, consider tactical styling. This video by Brad Mondo is a great start to learning how to style your wig like human hair. 

Basically, he recommends taking a razor to cut some strands of hair from the front if you don’t have naturally thick hair. This tactic will make the wig look more real.

He also mentions that the shine is way more obvious when the hair is straight. So, making curls or waves can easily hide the undesirable sheen. 

In short, it is a wise idea to make a wispier look. If you have a heat-friendly synthetic wig, simply use tongs or curling irons to create beautiful waves. 

But if it isn’t heat-friendly, just go for hair rollers, which will take more effort and time. Tactical styling will not only hide the unneeded shine but will make the wig look much more appealing. 

5. Wig shampoos

Similar to natural hair, many shampoos are particularly made for synthetic wigs. Wig shampoos include chemical agents to eliminate unnatural shine. You can also purchase this shampoo in the same store in which you buy your wigs.

Just wash the wig with the shampoo, and let it dry. Below are the best specialty synthetic wig shampoos (in my opinion) to get rid of shine.

1) Awesome Synthetic Wig Shampoo [pH6]

If you want to extend the lifetime of your wig, look no further. This wig shampoo is here to boost volume and avoid dryness. With a pH of 6, your synthetic wig will never dry out because this value helps maintain acidity. In other words, products that contain more alkali will release needed moisture. Read the comment of one super-happy customer:

Awesome Synthetic Wig Shampoo [pH6] Amazon review
Review taken from Awesome Store on Amazon, on May 17, 2022

As you can see in the feedback above, this person is very satisfied with its formula, smell, and the way it works.

2) Hairobics Unlimited All Day Synthetic Wig Shampoo

As a gentle cleanser for your wig, Hairobics wig shampoo purifies, moisturizes, and reawakens the synthetic hair, quickly removing all the dirt buildup. Let’s see what a satisfied buyer says about it:

Hairobics Unlimited All Day Synthetic Wig Shampoo Amazon review
Review taken from AllDay Locks Store on Amazon, on May 17, 2022

As we can see, this product delivers perfect results on a wig, and it renews it in some way. So here’s the big plus for this shampoo!

3) Jon Renau Cleanse Fiber Love Shampoo

With a sulfate-free and paraben-free formula, this shampoo will pamper the wig. The gentle composition elongates the lifetime, and, as the satisfied customer says – it’s undoubtedly worth buying!

Jon Renau Cleanse Fiber Love Shampoo Amazon review
Review taken from Jon Renau page on Amazon, on May 17, 2022

Here, I should note that although the early shine will be removed, all great wig shampoos add shine when it starts to decrease with time. However, this time the shine will look more natural.

6. Baking soda bath

To get shine out of a wig, many experts suggest immersing it in a baking soda bath. TAZS explains everything about this last hack on the list. Check out her video:

Baking soda is basically salt, and people use it to clean their clothes, homes, and jewelry. I even explained the option of cleaning the wedding ring with baking soda in one of my previous articles. It’s known for stripping away dirt and oil. 

According to TAZS’ recipe, you need half a cup of baking soda, shampoo, conditioner, and a towel. First, comb through the wig if it’s not new so that baking soda can get to every nook and cranny of your wig. 

Next, fill your bowl or sink with cold water and baking soda. Agitate the solution with your hands so that no granules of baking soda are left. You need to make sure that the baking soda solution is completely clear. Pull out the cap outside and dip the synthetic hair in the solution. 

Remember to just submerge the wig instead of rubbing or tugging the hair. Soak it for four hours minimum. Afterward, rinse it thoroughly. Use shampoo and conditioner after the baking soda bath. Let it dry normally in the air. 

That’s it! This method is somewhat time-consuming, but since baking soda is something we all have in our homes, you won’t have to buy anything new. However, if possible, use a specialty wig shampoo and wig conditioner.

What Not to Use to Remove Wig Shine

We have discussed the most effective methods to remove shine. But is there something you should avoid? Well, we all love to experiment and solve problems using things we already have in our homes.

However, sometimes at-home products aren’t suitable for synthetic hair. To make sure you don’t make a mistake and damage your wig, keep reading.

1) Baby powder

Baby powder is great to take the shine off. But on the other hand, it can be messy as baby powder can spread everywhere and leave white traces on your wig. People usually use this method when they run out of dry shampoo.

In case you decide to give a chance to baby powder, here’s how to use it. Just take some baby powder in your palms, and dab it on the wig. Afterward, shake the wig off to remove the excess product. 

Next, with your fingers or a comb, distribute the powder throughout. To have better control over the process, use a wig or makeup brush.

2) Vinegar

Vinegar leaves a nasty and potent smell, which is exactly why I dislike this method. In my opinion, leave the vinegar in its rightful place – the kitchen. Synthetic wigs absorb all types of odors, and vinegar isn’t the best smell.

Vinegar also dries out the synthetic hair, which will require another solution then. It’s cheaper to only stick with your wig shampoo. If you wouldn’t apply it to your hair, don’t put it on your wig as well.

Wrapping Up

So, this concludes my guide on how to dull a shiny wig. Whenever you buy wigs, make sure to follow the recommendations I have given in this article. To sum up, these are the key tips and hacks mentioned in the guide:

  • Use a dry and wig shampoo.
  • Simply wash, condition, and dry the synthetic hair.
  • Execute some tactical styling.
  • Immerse the wig in a baking soda bath.

And something that I don’t recommend using on synthetic wigs is vinegar. When it comes to baby powder, use it only in urgent situations. If you liked this guide, take a look at more beauty and home improvement articles on my blog.

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