Give Your Synthetic Wig a More Natural Look by CysterWigs’ Contributor

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With hair loss, there are many things that are out of your control. But the one thing that can help bring back a sense of normalcy is purchasing a wig. With the wide variety of wigs on the market today, you can choose a style or two–or ten without breaking the bank. However, many people worry about how realistic they look–especially with the synthetic varieties. So here are a few tips to help you take that distinctive shine out of your new wig.

1. Try before you buy.

When selecting your wig, try on a few styles at a quality wig store. Start with a style that is similar to your hair before you started losing it. Also, step outside and take pictures in natural light so you can really see how the wig looks. The lighting in stores can be harsh so you want to make sure you’re looking at your wig in a more realistic setting.

2. If you buy cheap, you’ll buy twice.

Although expensive isn’t always better, you will get what you pay for. Wigs vary drastically in price. Human hair wigs look more realistic and give you more styling options, but they are a huge investment. Synthetic wigs are a more affordable, and a good option if you’re looking to wear a variety of styles regularly. Price-wise, they can range from $80 to a few hundred dollars. When buying synthetic wigs, make sure the texture feels real and not too plastic or rough–so that means if it’s not Halloween, costume shop wigs are definitely out!

3. Give it a wash and style.

With this step, if you’re nervous about styling your wig, take it to a salon that specializes in wig styling to have it washed and styled. Not only will this help “break in” the wig, but your stylist can customize your wig more so it suits you perfectly. Also, let your stylist know up front if your wig can be heat styled. This will prevent any damage from curling irons, blow dryers, etc.

4. Oh (dryer) sheet!

While many people swear by dry shampoo, it can actually leave a lot of build up on the hair which can make your wig look worse in the long run. Placing a dryer sheet on a paddle brush, then gently brushing the hair can help remove that noticeable shine most wigs have. It will also reduce static and help smooth the strands of hair.

5. Use quality products.

If you have a synthetic wig, avoid using anything oily or greasy since the hair cannot absorb anything. Instead, use a basic shampoo and conditioner and take your time when detangling. Allow it to air dry flat in between a towel.

6. Soak out the shine.

If you’ve tried the prior steps and your wig still looks a little too shiny for your liking, soak it for up to 10 mins in an apple cider vinegar (ACV) and warm water solution. Fill your sink or a large bowl with warm water and add a few capfuls of ACV (use an unfiltered brand with the ‘mother’ like Braggs). The ratio should be about one part ACV to four parts warm water. Let the wig soak in the solution for two minutes and then rinse with cool water. Repeat this process until the wig loses its shine. Allow the wig to air dry and then style it.

We hope you find these tips useful. We love hearing from you, so leave your feedback in the comments or share some of your tips to help a Cyster out!


  1. Kathleen Ryan
    July 10, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    Oh wow! Ha! I hate dry shhampoo for the reasons you described…I am trying the dryer sweet and vineger..excellent..I am excited. There are wig brands I avoid because they are so shiny. I have a few really shiny wigs I don’t wear because of the shine..thank you!

  2. July 10, 2018 / 10:05 pm

    This is wonderful and very much appreciated advice!!! Thank you, I am going to save this article!!!

  3. July 13, 2018 / 11:52 am

    I never brush my faux hair. I use the Jon Renau comb gently to detangle and wipe with a dryer sheet. I’ve tried different brushes and it caused the fibers to frizzle faster.

  4. Tessa
    July 15, 2018 / 8:18 am

    Oh my, what about the smell? Mine smell awful now lol 🤮

    • Gina
      July 15, 2018 / 6:44 pm

      Hi there Tessa! Thank you for commenting!

      After washing your wig, storing the hair with a dryer sheet with a scent you love really helps! (Plus dryer sheets have anti-static properties that deter friction build up.) I have a special box of Downy Infusions Dryer Sheets in Lavender Serenity that I only use for my wigs. This helps so the wigs don’t smell like laundry that I’m use to.

      I hope this helps.

      Please let us know in the CCHD if you have any further questions. 🙂

      Our CCHD team is available 10 am – 6pm (EST/EDT)
      Monday – Friday (excluding most major US holidays)
      Phone: 1-888-992-9447

      Thank you for choosing CysterWigs, and have a lovely day!

  5. Jeannette
    May 26, 2019 / 6:49 pm

    Thank you so much for this very useful advice!
    Although the artificial shine on synthetic wigs are a dead give away, having absolutely no shine isn’t natural looking either. I’ll try to be careful not to go too far.

    • Gina
      May 27, 2019 / 7:00 pm

      It’s different for everyone. I hope you find the right amount of shine for you. 🙂

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