Can You Flat Iron Synthetic Hair?

All about styling your wig from A to Z

can you flat iron synthetic hair

Styling your hair is a fun thing to play with. We can straighten our locks, we can make them wavy or turn into vivid curls! However, when it comes to doing the same with artificial strands like wigs or synthetic extensions, most of us would stumble upon the same question: can synthetic hair be treated with a flat iron?

We collected the most recent data regarding this issue to share it with you. 

Can You Flat Iron Synthetic Hair?

Shortly speaking, it is possible to make artificial locks straight using a flat iron. Hurrah! Now we guess hundreds of women sighed with relief! However, it is too early to celebrate since certain exceptions do exist anyway. 

As it comes from the term “synthetic”, such wigs and hair extensions are made of fibers that are plastic, and all of us know very well how fast that material can get damaged and even melt when exposed to heat. And since flat iron is an excellent source of heat, we clearly must act carefully when applying this styling tool to any artificial hair.

This is actually the only nuance that will require specific attention when styling wigs or hair extensions, but if you don’t feel like wasting time on that, simply look for a heat-resistant wig. Fortunately, it is quite easy to find one these days!

What Makes Artificial Wigs Get Curled And Look Messy

If you ever used a wig that was made of artificial fibers, you probably noticed that it tends to become wavy even if the tresses were initially straight.

That frizzy appearance can become a huge point of concern since such a wig does not look nice at all and reminds a bird’s nest! But what makes synthetic hair curling?

Well, several reasons exist, and every owner of a synthetic wig or artificial hair extensions shall be aware of them.

  • The item is used too often, usually daily. 

Wearing such artificial manes every day is not the best idea. Even though we believe that synthetic wigs are durable, they will not retain their stylish and smooth appearance if being worn on a daily basis.

  • The wig gets in contact with heating tools/high temperature too often

That means we must not dry them or even keep them close to the hot stove or any other heat-producing objects. Artificial hair is not heat-friendly, and it is going to become messy much faster if being in direct contact with the heat. 

What Makes Artificial Wigs Get Curled And Look Messy
giphy

The explanation is simple here: unlike native human hair, artificial counterpart does not have that innate moisture that protects our locks from frizziness. This is why heat makes artificial tresses dry causing static electricity amongst the fibers which later leads to tangled tresses and a messy look.

  • Frequent styling with hot tools

 One more reason why your wig can lose that silky appearance is treating it with hot styling tools too much. Nobody says that we must not curl or flatten our artificial hair, but perhaps, it is better to know the limits, otherwise, we will get a messy bunch that is impossible to brush instead of a good-looking stylish mane.

When being aware of these nuances, it will be much simpler to take care of the wig correctly to make it keep the normal appearance so that you could make use of it longer.

How to Flat Iron Synthetic Hair Step By Step

What Makes Artificial Wigs Get Curled And Look Messyg
Photo by Dan

Since now we know that artificial hair can indeed be straightened in most cases, it is time to figure out how we can perform this procedure successfully to get the best results and keep the wig safe and sound!

Unlike a common belief, straightening a wig is not a big deal, however, we will still need certain tools for that. So prepare a blow dryer (if the wig is wet) and a flat iron (better opt for a high-quality brand tool!), and let’s begin!

  1. First of all, make sure the artificial strands are dry, otherwise, working on them will not be possible. That being said, if the item we are going to work on has just been washed, dry it first. The same goes for the item that was dampened for some reason. Blow-dry the item at the maximum temperature setting of 250 F, not higher, otherwise the fibers will become ruined.
  2. Now get the wig head and a special stand to attach it to. If you still don’t have those, we highly recommend buying them since it will significantly ease the whole process! Those items are cheap and can be purchased in any wig or costume store usually, so there will be no problems with finding them.
  3. After the mane is washed, dried, and placed onto the holder, start with detangling it using a teething comb.
  4. The second all the tresses are thoroughly brushed, set the flat iron for the heat regime that is usually used for your own natural hair. Remember that, if you touch the wig with a too hot tool, there is a huge risk of damaging it!
  5. Now take a strand a start straightening it beginning from the bottom part.
  6. Then proceed to the whole middle section, and when it is done, finish with the top sections of the mane.
How to Flat Iron Synthetic Hair Step By Step
Photo by Ali Pazani

 However, this is not done yet! When the item is fixed, let it rest for several minutes (5-10 is fine), and then finish the procedure by applying a setting spray to keep its shape better.

Also, note that if you’d like to add more volume to the artificial mane, it’s better to go for a special volumizing iron. Volumizing products, as well as a common flat iron, will not work well for this purpose. 

A Gentler Way Of Straightening a Wig

If you are in doubt whether your wig will withstand a meeting with a flat iron, we can suggest a more delicate option for straightening it. Already guessed what that is? Right, we mean steaming!

  1. For that, bring the item to the bathroom, and close all the windows and the door. This is needed for trapping as much steam as possible.
  2. Turn on hot water until the room is full of steam. It may take some time so be patient.
  3. Brush the item with a wide-teeth comb starting from the tips. Act carefully and slowly. Such brushing, when combined with the steam, will heat up the fibers and make the curls/frizz loose. 
  4. The second condensation begins to form, transfer the wig to the cool and dry room.
A Gentler Way Of Straightening a Wig
https://giphy.com/gifs/wig-cat-tech-xH7Yh3DSNvn4k

How to Deal With Heat-Resistant Wigs?

OK, we figured out how to fix the item that is non-heatproof. But what if yours is the one that can withstand high temperatures?! No worries, it is still possible to make it look good without damaging the locks.

  1. Pull most of the hair up and tie in a bun. Only the hair that is attached to the wig’s hem must be hanging loose.
  2. The hair is sewn to the wig in rows. Take a section from one row, and detangle it with a comb.
  3. Then pulverize with water, and iron it setting the flat iron to the low-heat regime (160-180 C). Comb once again, and let the section cool down.
  4. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the row dividing it into sections just like it was described above.
  5. When the bottom layer is done, proceed to the rest of the hair and repeat everything from the beginning.

But remember that this straightening method is only allowed for heat-resistant items!

Now you are well aware of how to deal with any artificial hair, both heat-resistant and not. Remember to always check the label on the wig’s box for the “heatproof” symbol prior to styling the item, and we are sure that it will serve you very long!

Frequently Asked Questions

⭐ Can you flat iron synthetic braiding hair?

Yes, you can. Use a brush, hairdryer, and flat iron, and work the hair in sections to get better results.

⭐ Can you curl synthetic hair with a flat iron?

Yes, but that can also be done with a curling iron or a roller.

⭐ Can you flat iron synthetic hair extensions?

Yes, you can, if those are heat-resistant, or if you use a gentle method.

⭐ How to flat iron synthetic hair extensions?

Just set the iron to the lowest heat and move it along the extension carefully.

Written by
Kate Holmsy
She was working in The Fashion magazine for 4 years, and she loves to consult people about their style. Her passion is hair dye and cool and trendy fashion looks. She always tries to find something new for our reader and she never stops learning and always trying to find easy answers for difficult questions.
Or editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here.
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