Every piece of human hair needs a deep conditioning treatment at some point…it’s all part of wig care.
There is seriously no worse feeling than seeing your gorgeous and—let’s face it—expensive human hair end up frizzy and clumpy and blah.
Chances are, you didn’t do anything but wear the darn thing, and it still ends up kinda gross after a period of time.
Much like how the right products plus heat helps synthetic hair to feel its best (yes, heat! See how I revive and defrizz my synthetic hair with this must-have tool), the same can be said for human hair.
We don’t want this:
Ready to make your clumpy, frizzy human hair soft and swishy again?
Human hair deep conditioning with heat to the rescue!
Products You’ll Need:
I like to use everything listed below, but I’ve noted what products are must-haves.
1) Jon Renau Argan Smooth Luxury Shampoo
2) Jon Renau Argan Smooth Luxury Conditioner
3) Jon Renau Argan Smooth Treatment Mist – super-important for deep conditioning
4) Jon Renau Blown Away Blow Dry Balm – super-important for preventive care
5) Jon Renau Heat Treat Spray – super-important for preventive care
Psst: You can save 25% on any of the above at Wigs by Patti’s Pearls with code: hopeandmane
Not an affiliate – just sharing the goods!
Tools You’ll Need:
1) Wide-Tooth Comb
2) Round Bristle Brush
3) Canvas Head
7) Shower cap or Target bag ?
Ok, sounds like a lot…but if you own human hair, chances are you already have all the tools and at least some of the products.
With the shampoo and conditioner, just make sure you are using something sulfate- and paraben-free!
I’ll put the step-by-step below, but this video explains it all:
Step 1: Remove tangles
If your hair was anything like mine, this might be easier said than done. Come through that puppy with a wide-tooth comb.
Step 2: Rinse the hair and apply shampoo
Thoroughly wet the hair, making sure that the water is running in the direction of the hair.
Apply some shampoo to your hand, add water, and rub together until bubbles form. Apply the shampoo from root to tip (really work it into the wig cap or topper base to remove oil/product/makeup).
Rinse the shampoo out, and squeeze gently to remove excess water.
Step 3: Apply conditioner + Argan Smooth Treatment Mist
Squeeze a walnut-sized(ish) amount of conditioner (or more, depending on length…here I’m working with about 14”) into your hand. Spritz 4-5 pumps of Argan Smooth Treatment Mist to the same hand, and rub together.
Apply the mixture to your human hair wig, topper or extensions—be sure to avoid the roots. We don’t want to loosen those precious knots!
Step 4: Pin human hair to wig head
Using T-Pins, pin your topper through the clips to your canvas wig head. Working with a wig? Pin through the ear tabs and the nape to secure.
Step 5: Apply a plastic bag or shower cap
Put those Target runs to good use, baby! Use a plastic bag or a shower cap and contain that hair. The plastic will trap the heat inside to deep condition.
Step 6: Heat it up
This is the most important step! Use a blowdryer on LOW and apply heat for 1-2 minutes. If the hair is in really bad shape, you can do this for more than a few minutes.
The heat allows the conditioning treatment to really seep into the hair shaft so that your hair is rejuventated – soft, swishy and feeling more like brand new.
Rinse out the product and squeeze excess water out.
Step 7: Style
If you’re working with a human hair topper, re-pinning your hair back to your canvas head so you can begin styling. If you’ve just deep conditioned a wig, allow the wig to air dry for a bit first on a plastic wig stand.
Use Blown Away Blow Dry Balm to help you blow dry, and Heat Treat Spray to protect ahead of using a flat-iron or curling iron.
The result? No more bird’s nest:
The heat is really the star of the show of the deep conditioning process, here.
It helps to open up the hair cuticle so that the deep conditioning formula can really seep in.
Don’t be afraid to use a little heat to revitalize your human hair as part of your wig care routine…the results are SO worth it.
Ok, What if I Need More Help?
If deep conditioning doesn’t give you the results you want, then you’ll need to take it one step further.
While deep conditioning helps to add moisture into hair, sometimes you need to add protein back to it.
I know….whaaaat? Hear me out.
Moisture is great, and you’ll want to deep condition your human hair wig or toppers every 5-7 washes or so. But, while adding back moisture is often the first defense, you’ll want this product in your arsenal, too.
Pure Repair Restoring Balm by Jon Renau actually fills in protein that is missing from the hair (which, just happens over time as hair is handled and ages) to help rebuild and strengthen the hair…which is turn, allows the hair to accept ANY product you put on it much better.
If you find that your hair feels less dry after deep conditioning, but still isn’t performing the way you want, you might just need to add some strength back to it!
This treatment can be done periodically as well (every 3-5 washes), but don’t overdo it with the protein…adding in too much can actually cause the hair to become more dry and brittle.
Just apply it from mid-shaft down, and like we did with the deep conditioning treatment, wrap your hair in a shower cap (or Target bag!) and apply a bit of heat to it for anywhere from 5-20 minutes. Then, rinse with cool water and style as usual.
Wham, bam…now you have hair that is restored and strengthened and ready to perform.
10 thoughts on “How to Bring Your Human Hair Back from the Dead”
Thank you so much! I have been paying A LOT of $$$ to have someone else give my human hair wig a deep conditioning treatment but now I can do it myself thanks to you! I have one human hair wig that I wear daily. How often do you recommend washing it? Additionally, what products do you recommend using on a daily basis to keep the wig looking great in between washes? Last, have you found that your wigs get really frizzy if you are wearing a shirt with texture like a sweater? Thank you so much!!!
What other name brand products can you use to heat treat your hair other than Jon Renau products ?
The Kenra blow-dry spray is great, too!
Hi Lauren, I discovered your site while researching swimming in a wig. I live at the beach so it’s nice to know this is possible. I have tried using the process you outline above and all the expensive products for reviving a human hair wig. I even took one of my human hair wigs back to the shop where I bought it and the owner used all her tricks to fix it. I bought two Jon Renau human hair wigs this past year and both turned into huge balls of snarls on either side of my neck after only a few minutes of wearing them. I finally contacted Jon Renau directly and they agreed to take one of them back and “examine” it. I haven’t heard back from them yet but frankly, other than the loss of all that money, I don’t care. Their human hair wigs just aren’t made right. I know one wig site, Cysterwigs.com, won’t even sell Jon Renau human hair wigs because they have been nothing but problems for them. So, to anyone thinking of buying one, I would think again. Also, before paying all that money out for expensive hair products to “revive” one of their human hair wigs, take my advice and spend it on a nice synthetic wig. I love your site and have bookmarked it.
What color and brand is this topper? Thanks!
This is a custom Jon Renau piece, color 6/8/10/12.
Can you just let it air dry too? Or is there a benefit to blow drying? I try to let my human hair air dry because I think it is more gentle on the hair.
Hey you! You could let it air dry, but it depends on the piece. Some pieces really need some heat tools to ensure the cuticle lays flat (plus, it gives you a chance to use some UV protectant if you have it). You know your piece best, and how it looks best when styled!
Great video, Lauren! The plastic bag had me like, “WHAT?!?!” Not sure how you figured this out but it’s just one more reason why you’re such a pro! I will be adding this step to my routine. I have a piece I even sent into the manufacturer and they couldn’t revive. Almost threw her out but now I’m going to experiment with her. Thanks again!
Linda, Target is good for everrrrrrrrrrrrything! 😉 Yes, give heat a try! Heat it up for double, triple the team if it’s really bad.