As a wig reseller, your customers are going to have the expectation you will know some basic information on how to care for a quality wig.  Sourcing Nova has discussed how to wash a wig properly – a very important part of overall wig care.  Another very important thing to know that you will share with your customers – How do you detangle hair in the wig if it is knotted up?

Synthetic hair wigs are inexpensive and come in a variety of styles.  These are ideal for those ladies who have hair loss, alopecia, and allow the ladies to modify their specific looks without compromising their health.  (Hair transplant surgery does come with a degree of health risk like all surgeries.)

Wigs, synthetic wigs in particular, like everything else in the world, are not 100 percent perfect.

All wigs, in particular long hair wigs, are easily tangled.  Both synthetic and natural human hair wigs will get tangles at some point.  It is naïve for a customer to assume an expensive wig will not become tangled, nor is it right for you, the seller, to tell them this.  The best possible care will not change the fact the wig will get tangles at some point.

Sourcing Nova has created this guide on how to detangle wig hair to share with your customers.  Read the information, and share it with your customer base.  This will accomplish several things on your behalf:

1. Teach customers to take preventative measures;

2. Provide proper instruction on how to detangle hair in a wig;

3. Avoid tangles and knots;

4. Extend the life of the wig;

5. Keep the wig looking great;

6. Create a sense of trust between you and your customers.

All of these things will have your customer seeing you not only as a quality merchant but also an expert on wigs and wig care.  This will keep them coming to you for additional products.


Reasons for tangles

You, the merchant, need to recognize the causes of tangles first.  Then you will know and be able to share the specific steps based on the situation on how to detangle the wig and its hair.  The last thing you want to do is take a stab at what to do, ruin the wig and lose a customer.

Wigs can become tangled for any number of reasons.  All tangles come down to one or more of the following:


Poor quality wig

– The production level and quality of raw materials does have a factor in the wig becoming tangled.  As a rule, the lower quality of raw materials mean the wig will tangle much more easily and frequently.

Natural human hair wigs can tangle as well.  Using a variety of different hairs with variable scales and acidified wigs will tangle in water and at high temperatures.


Poor maintenance

– A wig keep poorly will certainly tangle.  Teach your customers when they purchase to clean the wig with only wig shampoo and conditioner.  All wigs should be stored properly in a safe location and away from heat.


Natural oils

– The scalp produces oil that lubricates the hair strands.  This gives the hair a smooth, soft feel and keep the hair from drying out.  A wig does not contain any natural oils and will become tangles from static electricity due to friction.  A wig is much more likely to tangle because of this lack of natural oil.

Sourcing Nova recommends a spray conditioner used on the back of the wig after each use.  Friction and static electricity occur on this part of the wig.  It is important the customer not saturate the wig as conditioner will accumulate – a light spritz is all that is necessary.


Chemical damage

– The more a wig is treated with shampoo, perms and dyes the more the wig will take damage.  This will increase tangles.


Sweat and friction

– The back of the neck is the most common place for a wig to tangle.  The neck sweats a great deal, making the wig stick to the neck and rub collars.  Those customers who wear necklaces with their wigs will have even more friction and more tangles.

These are the main reasons for wigs to tangle.  To help customers understand how to minimize tangles, it is important for you to inform the customer of the following:

·         The better the raw materials and craftsmanship, the less the wig will tangle

·         Do not use heat on the wig

·         Only use care products designed for wigs

·         Spritz conditioner on the wig after each use for the best look and maintenance

·         Keep the wig clean

·         Reduce damage from static electricity

Now that you understand how the wig can become tangled, Sourcing Nova has the tips you need on how to store the wig correctly and important things  never to do when wearing a wig.


Wig storage

After a long day or evening, carefully remove the wig, and place on a wig holder for overnight storage.  It may be a good time to lightly spray the wig with wig spray at this point as well.

Make sure the customer understands to keep all original packaging that came with the wig.  Comb the wig slightly, and return to its net cover.  Wigs with long hair can be loosely braided to minimize tangles during storage.

Always store the wig properly in a wig box or on the wig head.  Sourcing Nova recommends the wig be stored on a shelf, the wig mannequin head or the original box.  The wig should always be stored in way for the hair to fall and hang naturally.  The wig should be in a place where it will not be messed up, tangled or rubbed.  Once dry, place the wig in a well ventilated room.  Additionally:

·         Never store a wig in a hot car or suitcase

·         Do not store near heat or direct sunlight


Wig don’ts

Never sleep in the wig.  Always use products and accessories designed specifically for wigs.

Do not swim in chlorinated or salt water pools.  Do not bathe, use a hot tub, swim in a lake or ocean with your wig on.

Always clean the wig according to Sourcing Nova’s guide on washing a wig.

Always untangle the wig using the steps Sourcing Nova shares in this guide.


Assisting customers with tangled wigs

The answer depends on how badly the wig is tangled.

In the case of minor tangles, inform the customer to do the following to untangle the hair:

·         Make a wig spray – mix one-part wig conditioner and four parts water in a spray bottle.  Shake well;

·         Place wig on a wig rack;

·         Spray a small portion of the tangles – no more than 1.5 inches in width;

·         Take the hair into one hand;

·         Using the free hand, comb the tangles with a wig comb;

·         Repeat with another 1.5 inch section of the tangles

·         Wrap the hair into a hair roller; let dry;

·         Remove the roller after drying;

·         Spray the entire wig with the mixture;

·         Brush hair with a wig brush.

If the wig has severe tangles, Sourcing Nova recommends you advise the customers to wash the wig completely first before explaining how to detangle the wig.  Use the How to Wash a Wig guide Sourcing Nova has provided elsewhere on the site.  Before washing, the tangles must be undone.  Washing a wig with tangles will only result in more tangles.


Detangle a wig

Does the customer use a standard wig brush or comb for severe tangles?

Sourcing Nova has explained previously a wig comb has wider teeth than a standard comb.  Does this mean wider tooth combs are better?

Not always.

A wide tooth comb will do less damage to a wig but cannot comb out small knots as some smaller knots will not comb out properly.  Sourcing Nova recommends a wide-toothed comb for large areas and follow up with a wooden wig brush to comb out the smaller knots.  A fine tooth comb is fine for bangs if the wig has them.

Be sure the customer understands to comb slowly the entire time.  This is likely the most important piece of advice you can give your customer on how to detangle hair in a wig.  Here are the three most important elements you can share with your customer:


Use a wig holder

Using a wig holder will keep the wig style and minimize tangles.  Put the wig on a flat surface as this makes the combing process easier.  This is especially important for long hair wigs.  Customers who do not have a wig holder can put their wigs on a counter or table.


Be exceptionally gentle

Customers need to know a wig hair is not like their own hair.  Wig hair is considerably more fragile and delicate than regular hair.  Hair that is tangled into a ball and is uncombable should be cut away.  Never pull a comb through hair with force.  This pulling will pull hair from the ‘cap’ and make synthetic hair curly.  Combing hair slowly and gently is a time consuming process but necessary and worth it.  Sprinkle some light oil luster on synthetic wigs after combing to restore natural lusters.


Start from the bottom

Just like combing knots out of your own hair, start at the bottom of the wig and work up.  Doing so will reduce breakage, prevent tangles and keeps the wig looking healthy and easy to care for.  Anytime the customer cannot run their fingers through the entire wig means it is time to comb the wig.


Minimize tangles

The neck pillow, where the hair lies, is the most common location for tangles.  This part of the head sweats throughout the day.  Necklaces, as we said before, can cause tangles.  Shirt collars can bunch hair together and tangle.  Some tangles are going to happen.

The customer can help minimize tangled with a simple trick.  Several times a day, the back of the wig needs combing with a wig brush.  If the customer does not have a wig brush with them, running fingers through the hair will suffice until the wig can be combed properly.  This will help drastically reduce the number and severity of the tangles.

If you are not wearing your wig, store it properly.  There is no need to comb a wig often if the customer does not wear it often.  Over combing can damage the wig.

Spray synthetic wigs with detangling spray.  More spray will often help the wig untangle more easily.

Make sure your customer understands there is a big difference between a straight hair wig and a curly hair wig.  Each one requires special care when brushing.


Straight hair

Brush the wig lightly with a proper wig brush.  Place the wig on a frame or table.  Make certain the customer understands not to brush the lace cap.

Curly hair

Use fingers to remove knots and separate fibers.  Never comb a curly hair wig.


Average wig lifespan

A human hair wig will last a few years with proper maintenance.  A synthetic hair wig worn, styled, cleaned and stored correctly will last more than six months.  After a few months, synthetic hair wigs will curl and become less attractive to wear.

If used properly, synthetic fiber wigs can last for more than half a year. Some wig wearers find that they can make their human hair wigs live for several years. But after several months of use, the synthetic fiber wig will curl slowly and become too bad to be worn. At this time, we can take some last resort measures to save the wig.

Your customer can do a few things to extend the synthetic wig’s life.


Use the correct wig shampoo

Shampoo and conditioner, liquid soap, laundry detergent, fabric softener and the like are never a good idea.  Some guides tell visitors these products are safe, but Sourcing Nova disagrees.  Be certain your customers understand this as well.

Synthetic hair has a different porosity than human hair.  Using anything but a wig shampoo and conditioner can make the wig hair fragile, harden and lose its soft touch and feel.

Lastly, never brush a wet wig.  The wig needs to air dry completely.  Brushing a wet wig will stretch the hair fibers and pull the knots off of the base of the cap.  Hairs will fall out.


Minimize styling

It is okay to style the wig on occasion, but do not overdo it.  Use hairspray infrequently and only light amounts.  Customers should use detangler spray after drying the wig.


Hot steam

Synthetic wigs can be heat resistant.  Make certain your customer knows if the wig they purchase is or not.  If so, a wig steamer can straighten knots in the fibers.  However, too much heat is not good for the strands.  The customer should know this and use heat sparingly when smoothing kinked and frizzy hair fibers.

The customer should not attempt to heat treat a wig unless they have a new one to wear.  If they only have one wig, do not take the chance of steaming the wig.  Any heat resistant wig should be pre-treated with a special heat protectant for wigs.

Customer tip – Only heat steam the wig when knots are tangled badly.  The steam will straighten the kinks in the fibers, untangle the wig and be ready for washing.  Be sure to wash in cool water and the wig does not contain any residual heat.

Again, inform the customer to be exceptionally careful.


Hair trim

If the tips are frizzy and the customer is comfortable with trimming the wig of a few inches, cutting the tips is a last resort.  Longer hair wigs are better for this, since small amounts can be removed over the life of the wig before replacement is necessary.

Any trimming of the wig is an absolute last resort.  The customer needs to be aware of this because once trimmed, there is no going back.



There will be a time when the wig is simply worn out.  When the wig no longer has its style, is boring, constantly tangled and wig servicing is not helping, it is time to replace the wig.


Final thoughts

Have you had customers use these techniques on their wigs?  Were they successful?  Do you have any other solutions for detangling a wig?  Drop us at Sourcing Nova a comment.  We would love to hear from you.