Introduction: How to Refresh a Tired, Tangled Wig

About: I’m a teacher and life-long learner who specializes in cosplay, needlework, props, and accessories! I am currently learning digital art, fashion illustration, and foam armor construction.

Do you have a tired, old, tangled wig in desperate need of refreshing? Have no fear! With just a few simple supplies and a little patience, you can have your old, silky-smooth wig back, ready for styling!


To refresh your wig, you will need:

  • A tangled wig that hasn't been through too many restyles (5, maximum)
  • A wig stand or clamp
  • A wig head
  • Pins
  • A wide tooth comb or wig brush
  • A hand steamer and water

Step 1: Tangles, Begone!

Secure the wig to the wig head with pins. I like to put one in the crown of the wig, one at each temple, and one on the lower-back portion.

Begin by very gently brushing out as many tangles as possible with a wide-tooth comb. Begin from the very bottom of the hair, and slowly work your way up. Patience and persistence will lead to a smoother and silkier wig in the end! Don't forget to comb through the underside. You can also use your fingers to gently separate stubborn areas.

The wig may become quite poofy. This will be fixed very soon!

Step 2: Steam the Poof Away!

Fill up your hand steamer with water, being careful not to go past the recommended fill line. Plug it in and turn it on, allowing the water to heat. I have found my hand steamer to be an extremely versatile tool in wig styling and refreshing. Mine was purchased from Walmart and was quite inexpensive. It still works well after four years of heavy use!

Once steam is being produced, direct the steam at the ends of your wig. Starting about six inches from the bottom, work the steam towards the tips of the wig. After each pass through, carefully brush the steamed hair with a wig brush or wide-tooth comb.

If your wig is not heat resistant, be very careful not to put the steam too close as you risk warping and crinkling the fibers. With a heat resistant wig like the one above, I like to put the steam nozzle directly against the fibers with a brush on the other side, brushing as I steam. However, you must be very cautious not to burn yourself with the steam this way.

Continue to work your way up the wig as the bottom becomes more straight and less tangled. Don't forget to check the inside for frizzy sections!

Step 3: Hung Out to Dry!

Once all sections are straight and tangle-free, do one final, gentle brushing with your wide-tooth comb or wig brush. Take care to not yank or pull on wet, tangled fibers with the brush as this can damage the fiber!

The wig will be very damp at this point. Allow the wig several hours to dry.

Step 4: Refreshed and Ready for Restyle!

Voila! Once the wig has dried completely, brush through once more. The wig is now ready to be worn or restyled! Great Job!