How To Wash A Human Hair Wig Without Shampoo

Are you wondering how to wash a human hair wig without shampoo?

If so, you are in the right place because this article will teach you all the tips and tricks you need on the topic!

Washing a human hair wig without using commercial shampoo preserves the wig and saves it from damage caused by harmful sulfates and paraben. Cleaning solutions like apple cider vinegar and baking soda clean human hair wigs effectively without damaging them.

Keep reading to learn about washing human hair wigs using gentle, wig-safe methods.

You will also discover tips on how frequently to wash wigs, what the best washing methods are, and more!

How To Wash A Human Hair Wig Without Shampoo

Keeping a wig clean is one thing, but how to wash a wig without wig shampoo is another worthy challenge.

Avoiding commercial shampoos with sulfates and parabens helps your wig stay intact and look better for longer periods.

Below are effective wig-washing methods to prolong a wig’s lifespan while keeping it fresh:

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

If you are wondering, what can I use to wash my human hair wig, then consider this household substance.

Removing product build-up and residue from a human hair wig is simple with apple cider vinegar (ACV).

The acidity of this substance clears away stubborn oils locked into a dirty wig without harming the wig.

Use this natural cleanser by mixing one part apple cider vinegar with four parts water, wetting the wig, and rinsing it in the ACV substance.

Allow the ACV to soak into the hair for several minutes, then rinse it out thoroughly.

Baking Soda Wash

Human hair wigs that are odorous from exposure to smoke, cooking fumes, or outdoor pollutants benefit from a baking soda rinse.

Using baking soda on a human hair wig is cost-effective and allows you to skip the wig shampoo.

Create a baking soda bath for your wig using a ratio of one cup of baking soda to three quarts of water.

Saturate the wig with this baking soda mixture and let it soak in for about four hours before rinsing.

Baby Shampoo Wash

This is technically shampoo, but it is much gentler than wig shampoo or regular adult shampoo.

Baby shampoos have milder chemicals designed to lather up without harsh foaming agents.

Gently wash the wig’s hair from top to bottom in diluted baby shampoo and water.

Rinse it out thoroughly with cool water to remove any leftover baby shampoo.


One method to clean a human hair wig is called “co-washing” or conditioner washing.

Rinsing the wig with warm water and adding a sulfate-free conditioner helps it stay hydrated.

When co-washing a human hair wig, rinse the conditioner thoroughly after letting it soak into the hair.

You should then comb the wig gently when it is wet to help rinse and detangle it.


If you are opting out of wig shampoo, Woolite is a safe option to clean human hair wigs (source 1).

It is a gentle detergent designed to safely wash delicate items without inflicting harm.

Woolite is:

  • Paraben-free
  • Nickel-free
  • Allergen-free

Wash your wig using Woolite by filling up a tub or sink with cool water.

Then add a small capful of Woolite into the water.

Dip the wig into the water mixture and carefully swish it around.

Wash the wig’s hair length, rinse it out completely with cool water, and let it air dry.

How Often To Wash Human Hair Wig

The frequency of washing a human hair wig varies depending on how often it is worn.

For example, if you wear the same human hair wig every day, it should be washed every two weeks.

Human hair wigs that are styled with various hair products every day or every few days should be washed more frequently than two weeks.

Depending on how much hair product is being used, human hair wigs may need washing once per week.

One rule of thumb is to wash a human hair wig after wearing it about 7 to 10 times, which may only be every several weeks (source 1).

If you wear a human hair wig for outdoor activities, water activities, or physically challenging activities that cause you to sweat, you should do a quick wash immediately afterward.

How To Properly Wash A Human Hair Wig

Cleaning a human hair wig correctly helps it look as new and healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Here are the steps to wash a human hair wig correctly at home:

Step 1: Detangle Your Wig

The first thing to know when learning how to wash human hair wigs at home is that detangling is a must.

Tangled, dirty wigs should not be immediately dunked into the sudsy water.

If the human hair wig is tangled and knotted, use a wide-tooth comb to gently remove tangles.

Start at the ends of the hair to avoid making matted, knotty hair worse.

Work the comb up toward the top of the wig, careful to avoid breakage.

Do not use a hard-bristled brush or a comb with tiny, narrow teeth, as this will likely damage the wig.

Step 2: Pre-Wash Soak

Fill up a tub or sink with lukewarm water. Add your ACV, baking soda, or other alternative cleansing solution.

Mix the cleaning solution into the water thoroughly, then submerge the wig.

Let it soak in the water for a few minutes before moving on to the washing cycle.

Allowing the wig to soak in the wig-washing solution helps dirt and oils break down before you begin manually washing the wig.

Step 3: Cleanse

Gently work your fingers through the wig’s hair length, covering every section.

You may need to add a bit more of the cleaning agent you are using to work it into the hair fibers.

Delicately handle the wig as you wash it in the sink or tub.

Avoid getting the hairs tangled by washing slowly and methodically.

Step 4: Rinse

Once the washing is complete, it is time to rinse the wig.

Ensure that the rinsing water is clean and not too hot. Lukewarm water is ideal, and cool water is perfectly fine, too.

Rinse in the direction of the hair so you do not tangle the wig during this step.

If possible, use a medium-pressure water flow to avoid having hard water pressure damage the wig.

Step 5: Condition

Human hair wigs should be conditioned after washing, just like regular human hair.

Add a bit of high-quality conditioner on the ends of the wig.

Do not apply conditioner to the top of the wig (near the wig cap). Let the conditioner settle in for a few minutes, then rinse it out.

Step 6: Rinse Again

Give the wig one more thorough rinse under running water to remove the conditioner and any lingering cleaning solution.

Step 7: Dry

Avoid using heat or a blow dryer to dry a human hair wig. Instead, blot it with a soft towel and allow it to air dry.

Do not wring out human hair wigs as you would a wet towel.

Remember, when human hair is wet, it is more susceptible to damage.

Step 8: Style

Wait patiently until the wig is completely dry before styling it as you please.

Try to avoid using heat styling too often so the wig lasts longer.

Step 9: Clean As Needed

Help preserve your human hair wig’s natural texture by cleaning it carefully and as needed.

Avoid cleaning it too much, but do not wait to clean it until it is caked with hair products or extremely matted.

How To Get Smell Out Of Wig Without Washing It

Wigs might become smelly for various reasons.

For the sake of preserving the wig’s form and making it last longer, there are a few tips to remove odors from wigs without having to do a full wash:

  • Use Fabric Softener Sheets: If you store your wig in a wig box, always put a fresh fabric softener tissue with it while it is stored. This helps the wig from becoming musty and helps it smell fresher (source 1)
  • Air It Out: Lay out the wig or hang it in a non-musty room with ample air circulation. If you have a ceiling fan, turn it on to help air out the human hair wig as best you can to reduce its odor.
  • Don’t Store It Wet: This tip helps lower the number of washes necessary for your wig. Allow your wig to completely dry before putting it in a cabinet or wig box.
  • Rinse With Baking Soda or ACV: Human hair wig odors can be stubborn, so the best method to thoroughly remove smells is to rinse it with clean water and either baking soda or ACV.


Now that you have several tips and methods about how to wash a human hair wig without shampoo, you will be equipped to help your wig look and smell better while lasting longer.

Use these handy tips to continue enjoying your human hair wig for years to come.

Related Questions

Can I Wash My Human Hair Wig In The Washing Machine?

No, washing a human hair wig in the washing machine will damage and tangle a human hair wig, possibly beyond repair. Always hand-wash human hair wigs.

Can You Wash A Human Hair Wig With Regular Shampoo?

Yes, but consistent washes with regular shampoo are harsher on human hair wigs than alternatives like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, or baby shampoo because they are sulfate and paraben-free.

Katrina Stewardson

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I've been obsessed for almost ever with discovering the best natural hair methods for my own hair. For years I longed for one website to tell me everything I needed to know about the amazing No Poo Method movement. I just couldn't find one though, so I decided to create it myself! I dearly hope this website will save all you lovely ladies (and gents!) from wasting hours scrolling the internet looking for natural hair-related information like I did.

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