All wigs are subject to the same strays, curls, and general messiness that exists on our natural hair. With time, even a straight hair wig can gain some undesired waves. Also, depending on the type of wig, the flattening methods will be different, in order to preserve its quality and overall look.
The good news is that, although it’s a complex process, wigs can be straightened! However, the process differs significantly if we’re dealing with a wig made of plastic fibers, or if you have a heat-resistant fiber wig. We’re here to let you know the 2 different ways of flattening your wigs for each of these materials – while maintaining its smoothness and quality. Let’s jump in!
Heat-resistant fibers, or human hair wigs
Heat-resistant wigs are all wigs made from plastic fibers that are moderately resistant to high temperatures. Although they can handle a lot of styling, these fibers also require some care and proper methods to change their appearance.
On the other hand, human hair wigs are made of the material your own natural hair is made of. Although they don’t regenerate, nor receive the nourishment and maintenance that your scalp gives to your natural hair, human hair wigs can be styled and receive the same treatment for straightening that heat-resistant synthetic fibers will tolerate.
- Heat-resistant wig (curly, wavy, or whatever hairstyle)
- Hair straightening iron
- A rod for attaching the wig
- Hair clips
Place the wig: First, find an object in which you can hang your wig so that it stays still and at hand for this treatment. Try to find a place where you can sit next to it. Hint: usually this process can be easier, less messy, and more hygienic if you do it in a bathroom – some strands will be dropped while pulling, and they might drop to the floor without even noticing it.
Separate strands: You’ll see that your wig is made in a sort of “layer overlap”, or strands of sewn yarn. Attach the top yarns and tie them all together over the wig, leaving only the lower curls of the wig aside.
Start to flatten: Heat up the styling iron, take the bunch as close to the hair roots as you can, and slowly start pulling it down. Be careful! Don’t touch the cord for at least 30 seconds. As it’s made of synthetic material, the temperature will be very high and may even burn the skin.
Repeat: Continue passing the iron at the same place, waiting for the previous bunch to cool down to the next, picking up the wires below, and then moving to the upper layers.
In a few minutes, you’ll have your flattened wig, just like that! No one would’ve ever guessed it was once curled.
Tips and warnings:
The temperature should never exceed 400 degrees F! When it passes this temperature, the wire begins to stretch and as it cools, it contracts. After that, your fiber breaks down and the result might be a disaster!
Never use plank on low quality wigs. They will melt, burn, stink, and may even ruin your board.
Non Heat-Resistant Wigs
Synthetic, non heat-resistant wigs are built out of plastic or plastic-like fibers. When you apply extreme heat to synthetic fibers, they melt, or even burn. Therefore, you can not use a flattening iron, curling iron or any kind of iron to straighten a curly synthetic wig. Also, chemical treatments used on curly human hair wigs can damage synthetic fibers.
Fortunately, if your wig has good quality when heating these fibers with warm water, you will allow gravity to do this job for you easily! It will straighten the synthetic wig for you, as you can control the amount of heat applied, and avoid damaging your wig by any means.
- 2 liter bottle filled with water
- Pot of heated water
- Comb it: Groom the synthetic wig using a comb with big teeth to disentangle the strands.
Place it: Place the wig on a stand, allowing the hair to flow along its entire length. For shorter shoulders or hairstyles, a 2-liter bottle filled with water is enough. For longer styles, use a camera tripod. Place the wig and stand in the bathtub.
Heat water: Boil a large pot of water. Use a thermometer and keep the water at between 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not get to the point when you boil the water, because it will melt the synthetic fibers.
Pull of the magic!: Pour water carefully onto the wig from the crown. Let the water run down through the length of the wig. If the wig is extremely curly, you may need to pour several pots of water to get a perfectly straight wig.
Finish it: Spray the wig with a detangler for synthetic hair. Use a coarse tooth comb and work carefully through the wig to completely flatten the hair.
Wait for it to dry: Let the wig dry naturally. Depending on the length and thickness of the wig, it may take several hours. Don’t fall into the temptation of drying the wig with any hairdryer.
Appreciate!: Once dry, comb the wig again. If the wig’s not smoothed to your satisfaction, repeat the steps from 5 to 8 times.
Tips and Warnings
The more hot water you pour onto your wig, the more straight it will become
Do not be tempted to pour warmer water for a faster process.
Once straightened, a synthetic wig does not return to its curly state like naturally curly hair.
There is no problem with using a hair dryer on non-resistant wigs. Guide yourself by common sense so as not to let the hot wind blow too long on the same spot.
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