The Ultimate Guide to Dye Synthetic Hair

Charity-Nasike-author
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How To Style Synthetic Wigs

Synthetic hair is an ideal way to increase hair length and volume. They comprise fibers of different textures and colors.

Do you know that you can dye synthetic hair? But, you should know that there are procedures for dying synthetic hair differently.

This guide will give you insights on some tips to help you do it correctly.

Let’s begin!

5 Things You Should Know Before Dying

Synthetic hair is dyeable. You should achieve good results without causing any damage to the synthetic fibers. So, before you begin, here are a few things you should know.

Choose Lighter Color

Light-colored synthetic hair is most preferred for dyeing to get vibrant results. They are more receptive to color and would exhibit the exact color you dye. The colors include pastel-colored hair, white hair, and silver hair. [1]

On the contrary, you can not dye dark-colored synthetic hair into a lighter color. Changing the color of dark synthetic hair is much more challenging.

For instance, if you color blue hair using a pink dye, the resulting color will be purple but not pink.

Dying Synthetic Hair Colors

Start with Cheap Synthetic Hair

If you want to dye, maybe using cheaper synthetic hair is better. When dying, there is a possibility of you damaging the synthetic hair in the process. You wouldn’t want to take that chance using costly synthetic hair.

Besides, expensive synthetic hair wigs are often high quality and have a smooth texture. The smooth fibers are not good at accommodating dye colors as they wash off easily.

Don’t Use Regular Hair Dyes

Regular hair dyes won’t work with synthetic hair. The reason is that synthetic hair lacks natural pigments found in human hair.

They come from artificial fibers such as nylon, polyvinyl, polyester, or acrylic, making them hard to dye.

Moreover, synthetic fibers can get damaged by the chemicals used to make these dyes. Instead, you can use fabric dyes meant for synthetic and polyester materials.

Detangle Before Dying

Brush the synthetic hair before dyeing to get rid of tangles and knots. You need to use a wide-toothed wig brush to limit breakage by ripping off the fibers. 

Brushing through the hair also loosens the strands for a more even color result. You can brush starting from the tips of the strands as you go upwards.

Detangle Synthetic Hair

Wash Properly

Don’t wash after 24 hours after dyeing; the color will fade.

And avoid frequently washing your synthetic hair after dyeing. You should limit the wash sessions to about once or twice a week. That way, the color will not fade away so fast.

Again, never wash synthetic hair using hot water since it can quickly drain the dye from the fibers. Hot water will also damage the synthetic fibers, making them more frizzy.

Dying Synthetic Hair Choose Color

3 Best Methods To Dye Synthetic Hair

There are some affordable and practical ways to dye synthetic hair. Below is how to dye a synthetic hair wig with acrylic paint, fabric dye, and a sharpie marker.

Note: Work in an area with free airflow and take your time to cover each strand in the hair dye for them to absorb the color effectively.

Method 1: Acrylic Ink

What You Need:

  • Acrylic ink
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Disposable gloves
  • Newspapers/ covers
  • Comb

Here is a tutorial to watch

Step 1: Mix

Add acrylic ink into the spray bottle and pour a few tablespoons of rubbing alcohol. Use approximately ¼ tablespoon of the acrylic ink forever 3 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.

Shake the spray bottle thoroughly to mix the content.

Note: The more the rubbing alcohol you use, the lighter the wig color will be.

Step 2: Spray

Spray the mixture on the synthetic hair wig and ensure you coat each strand. Use your fingers to work the ink through the hair, lift the strands, and dye underneath. Then comb through gently to make the coating even on each hair.

Before spraying, cover the working space with a newspaper and wear gloves to avoid staining.

Step 3: Air Dry

Hang your synthetic wig and let it air dry. Depending on how thick and long the wig is, it might take 45 minutes to 2 hours.

Also, do not use any heat source to fasten the drying process, as this can damage the fibers. 

Step 4: Rinse

After the dye dries up, wash the synthetic wig with cold water until the water runs clear. Then let it air dry again.

Method 2: Fabric Dye

What You Need:

  • Fabric dye
  • Heat-friendly synthetic hair
  • Heat source
  • A pot
  • Disposable gloves
  • Apron
  • Newspapers/ covers
  • Comb

Here is a tutorial to watch

Step 1: Boil Water and Add Fabric Dye

Boil enough water to cover your synthetic hair wig with the heat source. Then add fabric dye to the water once it has boiled and stir. 

You need to cover your working space with a newspaper to avoid staining. Also, put on gloves and an apron since the process can be messy.

Note: Add 3 teaspoons of fabric dye to every cup of water.

Step 2: Color the Synthetic Hair

Dip the synthetic wig in the pot and leave it for a few minutes. If you want a richer color, leave it for a longer period, about 10 minutes.

Step 3: Rinse

Rinse with cold water to minimize the dye fading. Ensure the water runs clear, and then hang the synthetic hair wig to air dry at room temperature.

Method 3: Sharpie Ink

What You Need:

  • Sharpie pens
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Spray bottle
  • Disposable gloves
  • Newspapers/ covers
  • Pliers
  • Sharp knife

Here is a tutorial to watch

Step 1: Take the Sharpie Pen Apart

Take the pliers and use it to take the sharpie pens apart to remove the ink tube on the inside. You also need to pull out the sharpie tip to get more ink. Then slice the ink tube using a sharp knife to allow ink to flow. [2]

Ensure you cover your working space with a newspaper and wear gloves to avoid staining.

Step 2: Mix

Drain the sharpie ink into a spray bottle, add rubbing alcohol, and leave it to sit. It would be best to leave it overnight because the longer it stays, the more vibrant color you will get.

A 70% rubbing alcohol is preferable, but you can also use 91% rubbing alcohol.

Step 3: Spray

Spray the mixture on the synthetic hair wig and use your fingers to work the ink through the hair. Then comb through gently to make the coating even on each hair.

Step 4: Air dry

Hang your synthetic wig and let it air dry. Depending on how thick and long the wig is, it might take about 2 hours to dry.

Step 5: Rinse

After the dye dries up, wash the synthetic wig with cold water until the water runs clear. Then let it air dry again.

Dying Synthetic Hair

FAQs about Dying Synthetic Hair

Can You Dye Synthetic Hair With Box Dye?

You can’t dye synthetic hair with a box dye. This permanent dye contains ammonia and other ingredients meant for human hair. It penetrates the hair cuticle to deposit color molecules within the hair strand. [3]

Thus, the harsh chemical will destroy the fibers when used on synthetic hair, completely ruining it.

How Long Will the Dye Last?

The dye should last 1-3 weeks as long as you don’t wash it frequently. It is also possible to wash off the dye entirely. If you need the color to come off, you need to use warm water when washing synthetic hair.

Can You Use Temporary Hair Dye on Synthetic Hair?

Temporary hair dye can work if you apply it well. The production of temporary hair colors is in the form of hair make-up sprays or hair chalk. You could also use tissue paper, but this does not work for synthetic hair. 

These dyes work by staining the hair and can be readily washed off. You can use temporary hair dye on synthetic hair to add streaks, an ombre look, dipped ends, and highlights.

Note that you will not achieve natural colors.

Can You Dye Synthetic Hair Use Food Coloring?

Certainly! You can use food color to dye synthetic hair. However, food coloring only enhances the pre-existing color of your synthetic hair. Thus, if the hair is darker, you will not notice the dyed color.

To dye your synthetic hair with food coloring, mix a small amount of food coloring with hair mousse. Apply the mixture to the synthetic hair, let it sit for about 30-45 minutes, then rinse with cool water. The less hair mousse you add, the more vibrant the color turns out.

Final Thoughts

This article addresses the question, “Can you dye synthetic hair?” You can dye synthetic hair using the methods provided above. However, coloring synthetic hair is not yet a mainstream idea, as they are cheap and have many colors to choose from in the market. Consider getting quality wigs to save you the hassle.

Author: Charity Nasike

AUTHOR

Charity Nasike is a passionate wig wearer and basically has diverse knowledge related to wigs' care and maintenance. When she's not writing, she's either in the kitchen trying out new recipes or on social media advising fellow ladies tricks to apply on their wigs.

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