I had made a tutorial on how to dye wigs with ink and since then, I have learned another technique on dying wigs: Using Synthetic Fabric Dye.
The reason synthetic fabric dye works is because wigs are synthetic as well! Convient! Now, there are a variety of synthetic dyes out there that you can use. I have used the two dyes I just linked and they both have worked quite well for me.
So, here’s the process on how to do this. In most cases, just read the directions on the bottle and follow them.
Step one: Add the dye to the pot of water and mix.
I actually have a pot I use specifically for my dyes that we got. At the time of these photos, I was living in an apartment and I used the pot on the stove and did my best to clean any splashes so they can’t dye anything. In the future, the goal is to have a spot outside to do this.
As for what I use for stirring the dye and wig, I tend to just grab a few skewers and call it good.
Step Two: Insert your wig and make sure it’s all soaked.
I can already hear the questions popping up on the comments so let me answer it here: The color of the wig will affect the final color! The lighter the wig, the richer the color. No, you cannot dye a black wig another color, you cannot lighten a wig, and asking to change a red wig blue will end up purple. You treat wig colors like fabric colors when dying them.
Step three: Stir, stir, stir; wait, wait, wait
Friendly reminder that the pot of water needs to be hot! You will have the heat on and you need to keep mixing the wig! The longer you soak the wig, the more color will soak in. Also, remember that the color you see when the wig is wet will be lighter after it is dried. So if you see the perfect color, give it another few minutes to be just a little too dark. You will thank yourself.
Step four: Pour and rinse
I cannot stress the importance of rinsing the wig in a metal container. YOU ARE WORKING WITH SYNTHETIC DYE YOU WILL END UP DYING YOUR PLASTIC SINK OR SHOWER IF YOU POUR THE DYE. There is a reason fabric ends up in a washing machine to get rinsed out: they’re made of metal. Metal won’t take to the dye. Do not blame me if you get a colored sink. I just warned you.
Now, dye rinsing on wigs will take forever. FOREVER. Just let the cold water run through the wig. Once the wig is cool enough to pick up, you can start moving the fibers around and help. Also, yes, your wig will be a ratty tangled mess. I will show you how to fix that.
Step five: wash, wash, wash.
The amount of washing needed is pretty crazy, but you need to make sure all the dye is out of the wig. What I tend to do is wash, add shampoo, rinse out, shampoo again, rinse out. If the water is still colored, do it again. If it’s clear, start putting in the conditioner. However, leave the conditioner in.
Note: To answer the pending question: You can use your own shampoo and conditioner. You do not have to use wig shampoo and conditioner if you do not want to. I personally have not seen much of a difference if I use normal shampoo or wig shampoo.
Step six: Comb, detangle, rinse.
After the water is running clear, place the wig onto a wig head and stand and start GENTLY combing out the tangles. I tend to add more conditioner in this step and slowly, SLOWLY work my way up the wig and remove all the tangles. I cannot emphasize this enough, but you need to TAKE YOUR TIME when removing tangles. It’s better to work one tangle at a time, work from the bottom of the wig up, and do NOT pull on the fibers. Wigs cannot grow hair back. You lose fibers, they’re gone. So TAKE IT EASY.
Once all the tangles are gone, rinse out the conditioner and let the wig dry.
Step seven: Style and enjoy!
(Photo courtesy of Lochlan O’Niel)
As you can see, the wig is much lighter than the photos of when the wig was wet. This is why it’s important to wait out the color just a little longer than what you think. A lot of coloring is trail and error.
Happy wig coloring!