Curling Synthetic Hair (How I Do It)

*To cover all legal schmegal bases: I may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article and around this site. Particularly, as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you.*

As much as I love my Milan toppers, they are a straight style and sometimes a girl wants a little curl.

It’s been a long time since I finagled a curling iron, and I’ve been itching to give my Milan a little style. Yes, my *synthetic* Milan, people! You know, the hair you’re not supposed to use heat on?

I know you’re not technically supposed to, but what fun is that? Sometimes you just gotta live on the edge.

I posted about the fabulous hot air brush that I use to make my synthetic hair soft and swishy…my pieces have been fine with that tool, so why not turn up the heat a bit?

Pun intended.

One of my hair-friends has been using a curling iron on her synthetic hair and it looks fabulous, so I decided to give it a whirl!

While you could curl it on your head, I recommend using a canvas head to pin to. Why? It does take a little while for this process and it’s far easier to have a seat to curl your hair.

Ok, let’s get started.

I used the Conair Instant Heat curling iron on my synthetic hair—this iron heats up instantly and has a zillion heat settings. For these curls, I used the level 2 setting.

Simply take a section of your hair and wind it around the curling iron’s barrel. Don’t take too large of a section, as you want the heat to spread evenly throughout the synthetic fiber.

curl a synthetic wig

I let the hair heat up for about 20 seconds or so. Gently work the clamp to loosen the hair from the curling iron. Remove the curling iron from the synthetic hair and keep the hair in place with your hand while the hair cools.

I hope that makes sense! The cooling part is really what sets the curl and is 100% necessary to get this to work. It should only take 10 seconds or so.

how to curl synthetic hair

I found it easier to pin up the top layer of my hair and curl the bottom sections first. Then, unclip and do the top layers. Here it is partially done:

curl synthetic hair

The whole process took about 45 minutes but here is the finished result.

curled synthetic hair

Kinda pretty, right? I don’t own a waving wand but I think I’ll give one of those a whirl next time. The ringlets are stunning but moreso something I would use for a night out rather than an everyday look. I do love this curling iron though (and loved it when I used to curl my bio hair).

My bio hair is about 16″ or so right now, and the Milan is 12″ long. The curls brought up the length far too much to wear in contrast with my bio hair, so, there’s no “on me” pic. Sorry ladies!

Once the curls are in place, try your very best not to touch them. You can carefully rake your fingers through them, but any sort of brushing will result in a bush-whacked look.

P.S. Thank you to everyone that responded to the email I sent earlier this week. If you’re on my list, you know what I’m talking about. I’m totally amazed at the level of interest there! I’ll be in touch with the two ladies shortly.

18 thoughts on “Curling Synthetic Hair (How I Do It)”

  1. I tried this on my TopNotch from JR and it completed melted my hair. 🙁 I ended up having to actually cut the hair that melted. Luckily I tried it on a deeper layer, so you can’t tell with my hair down, but I wanted to warn that maybe this doesn’t work on the topnotch?!
    I’m not sure if I did something wrong – my curling iron wasn’t too hot, I had just turned it on. I had recently put some leave in conditioner and a little bit of Moroccan oil on it ( I find that it can help with some frizz when used very lightly). I don’t think either of those should have caused the terrible reaction.

    Reply
    • Oh no! The fiber is supposedly all the same from all the manufacturers, so I’m just not sure! I do know “low” on one curling iron could be completely different than “low” on another…I’m very glad it was the underside!

      Reply
      • It was worth the try! I will probably just invest in the new Top Wave by JR so I can get the waviness/curls that I have been missing! 🙂

        Reply
  2. This is a lifesaver. I’ve read numerous tips and yet still lost curls and volume because of the warnings about using a curling iron. Between this and another site, it has actually restored it back to even better than new. I used a heat protectant and small barrel iron and got back the full curls it had. And I used a trick from another site and mixed half and half water and fabric softener in a spray bottle. You can lightly spray it each night and it removes the cling and softens the hair while maintaining the shape.

    Reply
  3. Hi,

    Front clip irritation…….ouch!!

    I recently bough a JR Easipart xl 18″ HD. Love it!! But the clip in the front is pulling at my bio hair and hurts.

    Sooo, I came up with a solution I’d like to share.
    I’m sure you ladies know and have those clear bra straps for you strapless tops..
    Well I attached the middle of the strap to the clip in the front, and fasten underneath my bio hair at the nape of my neck. Then I clip the side and back slips.

    I no longer have the irritation, damage and pain I did using just the clip in the front.
    Feels soo comfortable,

    Hope someone can use this trick!
    ;-D

    Reply
  4. Hi,

    Front clip irritation…….ouch!!

    I recently bough a JR Easipart xl 18″ HD. Love it!! But the clip in the front is pulling at my bio hair and hurts. Sooo, I came up with a solution I’d like to share.
    I’m sure you ladies know those clear bra straps you can get? We’ll I attached one to the clip in the front, and fasten underneath my bio hair at the nape of my neck. Then I clip the side and back slips. I no longer have the irritation, damage and pain I did using the clip in the front.
    Feels soo comfortable,

    Hope someone can use this trick!
    ;-D

    Reply
  5. Looks great! I love curling my wigs and toppers with beachy waves (I look horrible in straight hair). I bought a curling iron from Patti’s Pearls which has a synthetic setting on it. I agree, anyone can take an ugly wig, as I did, and restyle it into a style that looks so much better than the started product. How many of us have had poorly cut bangs cut into our hair pieces? A curling iron will help to make them look better. *I did use Jon Renau’s thermal heat protection spray to protect the fibers and it will help to prohibit the speeding up of fiber wear out from the heat. Big plus here: The curl stays until you wash it. On a rainy day my hair still looked great 🙂 Thank you for telling ladies that they “can” do what they have been told they “cannot” do! You really are empowering and setting wig/topper wearers free.

    Reply
  6. That looks really cute! I’ll have to give it a try. I have a curly topper, and I was wondering if the opposite would work. I was considering straightening it one day. So once it’s curled, will it always be curly? Or when you wash it does it go back to being straight? Also, I loved the email you sent out. I didn’t want to clog your inbox with my “awesome idea!” message. I wish I was in that stage, but I already took the plunge and experimented, and I can’t tell you how awesome life has been!

    Reply
    • Once it’s curled, when washed it will relax to a wave. If you want to straighten a curly topper, boil water and let it cool off a bit. Then swish your topper in the hot water. Heat will take it one way or the other!

      Reply

Leave a Comment