How to Make Wigs Less Shiny: 8 Easy Tips (Step-by-Step)

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Despite their desirable styles, synthetic wigs are usually too shiny looking than natural hair. This can be a giveaway that it is a cheap wig.

You should know that it can attain a more natural, realistic, and authentic look. All you require is a few tools and the right procedure.

Besides, most of the materials and tools needed are household items that you can easily find in your home.

Today, we listed out some tips and step-by-step instructions to help you learn how to quickly make wigs less shiny.

Let’s get to it!

1. Wash and Condition

It is best not to wear a synthetic wig straight from the box without first washing it. In most cases, new wigs are shiniest when new, and you wouldn’t want that plastic shine look when after putting it on.

Washing it is a good way of removing the shine and making it look more natural.

wash Synthetic Hair

What You Need:

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Soak

First, detangle the wig gently to separate the hair strands.

Next, fill the bowl halfway with cold water and mix it with two tablespoons of wig shampoo. Dip the wig and soak it for about 10 minutes.

Step 2: Wash and Rinse

After soaking, gently wash it by dipping it in and out of the cold water. Then run cold water on the wig and rinse thoroughly.

Step 3: Condition

Then conditions the wig and rinse out well. Finally, hang it on a wig stand and let it air dry.

You can learn the best way to wash synthetic wigs.

Best Shampoos for Synthetic Hair-1

2. Dry Shampoo

Using dry shampoo is one of the most widely used methods to eliminate wig shine. It has a powdery substance that can remove greasiness from the roots of the hair. [1]

Plus, I do not recommend using tinted ones to blend with blonde or brown hair. Unless the wig is blonde, dark brown, or brown, they can alter the color of your wig.

You can use them occasionally if necessary, but you are always safer with the regular or scented ones.

What You Need:

  • Dry shampoo 
  • Wig stand
  • Wig comb

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Secure the Wig

Place the wig carefully on a wig stand, then secure it using bobby pins. This will keep it firm and prevent it from slipping.

You can comb the wig gently and detangle it in case of any knots.

Step 2: Spray

Take a can of dry shampoo and shake it well before application. Then spray it evenly all over the wig.

Use your fingers to lift the layers of the wig to ensure the dry shampoo spreads through all the strands. Spritz a small amount at a time without missing any spot until you get a desirable look. 

Step 3: Comb the Wig

Once done, use a wig comb to brush through the wig gently. This removes any excess white residues, leaving you with a less shiny wig.

Baby Powder

3. Baby Powder

You can use any powder to tone down a shiny wig. Effective ones include baby powder, baking powder, Talc, or cornstarch.

On top of that, some people may not like the smell of baby powder.

What You Need:

  • Powder
  • Wig stand
  • Makeup brush (Optional)
  • Wig brush

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Apply Powder

Place the wig on a stand and set it in place. Beginning from the nape of the wig, take some powder in your hands, and put it on that section. Add powder and dab the entire wig.

Be careful not to apply too much powder, as this can dull your wig. Besides, a makeup brush can make the process easier and less messy.

Note: Ensure the wig is dry; otherwise, it will form too many residues.

Step 2: Shake

After applying the powder, shake the wig outside over a trash can to remove excess powder. Be careful not to shake it vigorously to avoid creating tangles.

Step 3: Brush the Wig

Then use your fingers or a wig comb to brush the wig out gently. This will spread the powder evenly throughout the wig, giving you a more natural shine.

It takes a long time to brush through the powder. So don’t rush until you achieve an even result.

Foundation Powder

4. Foundation Powder

Using a foundation or eyeshadow powder is another cool way to dull a synthetic wig. It is less messy, reversible, and more controllable than other methods.

This method is good for a quick fix. Moreover, it is best done on shorter wigs because they have less surface area.

It is best to choose a foundation powder that is similar to the wig shade to avoid noticeable concealing tints.

What You Need:

  • Foundation/eyeshadow powder
  • Wig stand
  • Applicator

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Set the Wig

Secure the wig on a stand to keep it firm and steady. Ensure it is completely dry; otherwise, it will form undesirable residues.

Step 2: Apply Foundation

Carefully use a pillow applicator to apply the powder along the entire length of the wig. Lightly dab the foundation along the strands until it evens out. Now, the wig should look natural with less shine.

5. Baking Soda Bath

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, comprises salt that can strip away dirt and oil from hair strands. [2]

This technique can help reduce the shine on your synthetic hair and fix it instantly. It is safe for synthetic wigs and would not cause any damage.

What You Need:

  • Baking soda
  • Measuring cup
  • Cold water
  • Synthetic hair shampoo and conditioner
  • Paddle brush
  • Large bowl/sink
  • Towel 
  • Wig stand

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Detangle

Use the paddle brush to comb through the wig and separate the fibers. This allows the baking soda to reach all the hair strands.

Step 2: Mix

Fill the large bowl with cold water and add about half a cup of baking soda. Stir the water until all the baking soda dissolves.

Step 3: Soak

Once the cloudiness disappears and there are no more granules, submerge the wig.

Ensure the cap side faces upwards to expose all the hair fibers to the solution. Soak it for about 2-4 hours, but if you want to leave it longer, that’s fine.

Note: Do not swirl or swish it to avoid tangling.

Step 4: Wash

After soaking, rinse the wig thoroughly, wash using a synthetic wig shampoo and condition it as normal. Next, rinse it again thoroughly until the final water is clear.

Step 5: Dry

Pat the wig on a clean towel to remove excess water. Then put it on a wig stand and allow it to air dry.


6. Apple Cider Vinegar

The abrasive nature of vinegar acid works to wear the coating on each hair strand and breaks down its shine barrier. Rinsing the extensions in a solution of apple cider vinegar helps tone down synthetic hair’s shine. [3]

To be safe, I recommend wearing a wig cap after an apple cider vinegar rinse. The cap creates a protective barrier between the hair and the wig.

Otherwise, prolonged direct contact with vinegar to your natural hair can make them dry and even damage your hair.

ACV and baking soda for dread detox

What You Need:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Warm water
  • Large bowl
  • Wig stand
  • Wig brush

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Mix.

Fill the bowl with warm water and pour in a cup of apple cider vinegar. Stir the solution to mix evenly.

Step 2: Soak

Dip your wig into the bowl and allow it to sit for about 15-20 minutes. You might notice traces of white around the wig. This indicates that the vinegar acid created a chemical reaction with the wig fiber chemicals.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

Then rinse out the wig thoroughly using cold water. Put it on a wig stand and let it fully air dry. Then comb it after to remove tangles or knots. This would leave the wig looking more realistic.

7. Fabric Softener

You can also deshine a wig using a fabric softener if you can’t find apple cider vinegar. This product contains chemical substances that effectively remove shine from your synthetic wig.

Note: If you worry about ruining the wig, you can first try it with some unnoticeable wig fiber before getting it on the entire wig.

What You Need:

  • Fabric Softener
  • Measuring cup
  • Large bowl
  • Wig stand
  • Cold water
  • Detangler
  • Wig brush

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Mix

Mix one cup of liquid fabric softener with three cups of water in a bowl. The solution you create should be enough to submerge the wig.

Step 2: Soak

Insert the wig into the solution and let it sit without any disturbances. Leave it to soak overnight for the best outcome.

Step 3: Rinse and Dry

Remove the wig from the water and rinse it under running water. However, you don’t have to rinse it if you do not mind the strong smell of the fabric softener.

Or, you could use a non-scented fabric softener to skip this step. Next, allow it to air dry fully. You will notice that the wig becomes less shiny once it is dry.


8. Go to Hairdresser

If you are unsure what to do, please consider getting customization from a hairstylist. This is because, in most cases, your wig shine seems more noticeable when it is straight. 

A hairstylist can create a wispier look for the wig by styling it with waves or curls. As a result, this can help to hide the shine of your synthetic wig.

Hair Salon

Final Thoughts

Now, you can make wigs less shiny by following the tricks above. However, nothing can fully take out the shine due to the wig fiber quality. Mostly, a synthetic wig looks more natural the more you wear it due to wear and tear. So you can use it as a cosplay or Halloween wig before wearing it on a daily wearing.

Otherwise, you can buy quality synthetic or human hair wigs if you want the most natural look.

Author: Charity Nasike


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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