Unpleasant or distinctive odours can linger in a synthetic wig much like your natural hair. There’s nothing more off-putting to the confident wig wearer than the constant whiff of must, smoke or chemical-like aroma – particularly when you’re slaying it with the hair flip.
We’ve been busy swapping tips to prevent your wig from smelling, as well as quick fixes to mask a noticeable pong. Lastly, we have some pretty nifty formulas to fully remove odours from your synthetic wig. So, before dousing your synthetic hair in half a bottle of perfume or Febrezing it to within an inch of its life, check out our 9 tips for removing odours from wigs.
1. Don't Store Your Wig While It's Wet
After washing your wig, ensure that it’s completely dry before folding and storing away in a box or packet. Similar to clothing, failing to fully air dry a wig before storage will result in a damp, musty smell accumulating around both the synthetic hair fibre and the internal wig cap.
2. Ensure All Natural Hair Is Dry Before Applying Your Wig
For similar reasons to our first fresh smelling wig tip, it’s important to make sure that your natural hair is thoroughly dry before applying a wig. A mass of wet or even damp human hair gathered under a wig cap can produce that musty odour and attach itself to the base of your wig.
3. Dry Your Wig Outside
Once you have completed the wig washing process, and weather permitting (our UK based compatriots may struggle with this), allow your wig to air dry in the great outdoors. Hanging on a washing line or makeshift stand on a sunny day will result in a beautifully fresh wig with the most natural of aromas.
Mili wears the Afro Fashion Wig
4. Apply A DIY Synthetic Hair Treatment To Your Wig
The DIY leave-in-conditioner for wigs that we swear by is comprised of equal parts water and fabric conditioner. This easy to mix concoction not only softens and revitalises synthetic hair, it also leaves behind a super fresh scent. If your wig is particularly pongy, opt for a fabric conditioner with a more intense fragrance and spritz through the hair lengths and the cap. Avoid the temptation to overdo it with the application. Product build up over time can cause odour issues with your wig in itself.
5. Make Use Of Fabric Softener Sheets On Your Wig
One of our wig storage tips is to place a fabric softener laundry sheet inside the wig before folding into a box. You’ll enjoy a lovely whiff of freshness with every outing of your synthetic hair. For a quick fix solution to removing an unpleasant odour from your wig, place the hairpiece on a hanger and tear a laundry sheet over the hair. This will release the scented particles through the wig and doubles up as a nifty shine remover for synthetic hair. Shake out the wig to remove any excess and brush through.
6. Use Scented Sprays On Your Wig
We are fully in love with the multiple benefits of dry shampoo. This wonder spray adds a human like texture to synthetic hair and removes shine from new wigs, while imparting a glorious smell. With so many brands and scents available, you’re spoiled for choice with this go-to product for wigs. Alternatively, the Wig Control Sprays by African Essence are ideal for smoothing out any frizz and leave the hair smelling like a coconutty paradise. Find the specialist wig control range on Amazon and EBay in the UK.
Elly wears the Silver Lace Front Wig
7. Give Your Wig A Deep Clean
A thorough wash of your wig may be the answer to removing any icky or unnatural smell. Fill a spray bottle with a touch of gentle shampoo, conditioner and fabric conditioner, diluted with water. Spritz the entire wig with the mixture and allow a few minutes for the potion to be absorbed. Next, fill a basin or bath with lukewarm water (if the water is too hot it can relax the style of a synthetic wig). Place your wig into the water and slowly swirl it around to begin rinsing the product. Finally, run cold water over the wig to fully rinse.
Perform a smell test on both the hair lengths and the cap after allowing the wig to drip dry for a few seconds. If any trace of the odour remains, repeat the above steps as many times as required. Synthetic hair dries considerably faster than human hair so you should be good to go in a few hours.
8. Use Baking Soda On Your Wig
Baking Soda is ideal for neutralising nasty odours and has the added benefit of softening synthetic hair. Either add a teaspoon of the soda to your wig washing mixture (see above) or fully dilute a few teaspoons in a basin and leave the wig to soak for 10-30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and complete a full wash of your wig to ensure any chalky residue is removed.
9. Apply The Apple Cider Vinegar Solution To Your Wig
The most dynamic of our wig odour removing tips, and the solution to actually stripping the hair of potentially funky chemicals.
Synthetic wigs are usually coated with an alkaline during the manufacturing process. This chemical sets the hair fibres in place and enforces the wig’s heat resistant properties. Depending on how much of this alkaline has been applied and how dense the wig is, the chemical smell can be offensive to the noses of some.
Furthermore, a small percentage of wig wearers can have an adverse reaction to this alkaline, causing the scalp and neck error to become irritated.
Apple Cider Vinegar is the answer to removing that ‘new smell’ or any lingering aroma that is not fully masked or dispelled by the other methods listed.
Simply fill a basin with lukewarm water and stir in a cup of Apple Cider Vinegar. Soak your synthetic wig until a white film is visible in the basin (this is the alkaline dispensing). Rinse off and leave to dry for a couple of hours. It’s recommended to undertake a standard wash with shampoo and fabric conditioner after this step if you are still able to smell any remnants of the vinegar.
Isabelle wears the Yellow Lace Front Wig