Hairspray Buildup on Synthetic Hair

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Y’all have heard me talk about my long-lived Milan. She lasted a little over a year before I made the switch to my Top Secret by Jon Renau…and she could’ve lasted a lot longer.

There was a time, about halfway through our “relationship”, when I thought she was wearing out on me.

I didn’t get it—she still felt great and was swishy, but, she was looking…worn out…on her left side. I thought her fiber might be wearing away, as even six months is a long time for a synthetic to last.

You couldn’t see it at a normal distance, but I’d notice it looking at her up close. She almost looked speckled in one area, but ONLY one area.

Because I wear my hair tucked behind my ear, I sometimes use hairspray on one side…and THAT was what was causing this phenomenon.

Duh. It was hairspray buildup.

Every few washes, I would spend a few minutes flicking off the hairspray buildup from my piece. It was mildly annoying, but became part of my routine.

Community member Jessie (who is amazing and refers to her helper hair as “mermaid hair”, how cool is that? Hi Jessie!), filled us in on the method she uses to remove hairspray buildup from synthetic hair, and graciously let me steal her tip and photo to share with you all.

Step 1: Fill a basin with a small amount of water (she suggested about 2″).
Step 2: Dissolve approximately 1 tablespoon of baking soda into the basin.
Step 3: Swish the piece in the water a few times.
Step 4: Take a bit of baking soda onto your finger and add a drop of water to form a paste. Apply it to the area that has hairspray buildup and gently wipe it in the direction of the synthetic fiber.
Step 5: Allow your hair to soak for 20 minutes.
Step 6: Rinse and follow with your favorite conditioning method.

Here’s a pic Jessie took of her piece. You can see how the left side, which has the hairspray buildup, looks spotted.

hairspray buildup on synthetic hair

Of course, the right side is after the baking soda treatment. 10,000% better, right?

Bonus: The baking soda is a super-mild detergent so it serves as a great shampoo, and, it’s a great softener as well.

This is an incredibly easy way to remove hairspray buildup from your synthetic hair, but do know that synthetic-friendly hairsprays are available. Because I like their leave-in conditioner so much, I might give the Hair U Wear hairspray a try (anyone have any feedback on this? It’s got a ton of great reviews).

Thanks, Jessie, for sharing this fabulous tip with the Community and everyone else!

P.S. Let Jessie and I know if you’ve tried this tip. Or, do you have any other tricks to combat hairspray buildup on your synthetic pieces? What do you human hair wearers do to help?

13 thoughts on “Hairspray Buildup on Synthetic Hair”

  1. Thank you so much I see a great improvement using the baking soda! I just used the baking soda in the water and next I will use the paste! When I tried on my wig after washing it, it had a gray cast to it . I was devastated. Going online and reading your article it was truly a god send! Did you hear if anyone had tried Hair U Wear Hairspray. I can only use unscented. That seems to be a problem for me. Thank you for all your help!

  2. Hi Lauren! I washed my brand new JR topper twice since i received it a couple of weeks ago as I wanted to get as much shine out as possible, I used regular conditioner in some water and left the piece in it for a bit (maybe not long enough(?) and I found both times, the piece was no longer soft AT ALL once it dried – it looks fine so I don’t mind too much but I was wondering if you always use a leave in conditioner like the one by HearUWear you mentioned in this post? I also used the hot air brush but it didn’t make it a ton softer and it seemed to go back to being kind of clumpy and seemingly more shiny looking within a very short period of time…appreciate any guidance you may have :):):) Thanks so much for having this site – thanks to you, I felt more like myself again for the first time in 2 years with my new topper on at Christmas!

    • Hi Nerissa! Hmmm. Did you rinse super well? What strikes me as odd is you dulled the shine a bit but then it came back – that typically doesn’t happen with synthetics. This leads me to believe it was coated with something?? How does it feel…I know you said it’s “no longer soft”. What topper is it? Sorry for the 20Q.

      Yes, I always use the Hair U Wear leave-in after washing!

  3. Recently I tried to revive a HD easipart with boiling water. It is now sleeker but has lost its umph. Does anyone know what I can try next to get it closer to original condition or is it a lost cause?

    • Hi Theresa – boiling water is both a blessing and a curse. 🙂 You can use it to add some oomph back in, but you’ll need to use rollers and allow the hair to dry on them. If they are big enough, you might get some big waves, but I know it’s risky. You could also try a curling iron or waving tool on low to see if that helps. If all else fails, Patti from Wigs by Patti’s Pearl will revive pieces back to their former glory.

    • You might just try a clarifying shampoo, but this wouldn’t harm it (so worth a try?) – many people use baking soda/water to clean their bio hair. It’s known to be super gentle.

  4. Thanks for the graciously unselfish information sent my way. I was able to significantly revive one of my favorite wigs, wore it yesterday and felt beautiful again. Thanks ladies and God Bless You!

    P.S. From now on, this is the only way I will shampoo my wigs.

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