How to Remove Shine From a Wig (My Best, Secret Weapon)

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Looking to remove shine from a wig? Sometimes synthetic wigs and toppers come with an unnatural shine…shine that looks a little, well, too shiny and fake.

(Not all wigs come shiny–Ellen Wille hair fibers are incredibly realistic right from the start as are a few Raquel Welch colors I’ve seen.)

If your wig or topper is too shiny and you want to make a wig less shiny, then you MUST invest in dry shampoo.

But not just any dry shampoo–I’ve tested a few of them and I’ll let you in on my “dry shampoo” secret. Not all of them are created equal!

Dry-shampoo-make-wig-less-shiny

From left to right, we have Bumble & Bumble Dry Shampoo (which you’ve mostly heard me talk about as a scalp concealer for bald spots, Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo, Pantene Pro-V Blowout Extend Dry Shampoo, Batiste Dry Shampoo, and Klorane Dry Shampoo (with Oat Milk).

Quite the roundup, eh?

Before we get into the results, I wanted to check: have you grabbed my guide which details how to make your synthetic hair last damn near forever? If not, make sure you get it!

Ok, on to the results!

How to Make a Wig Less Shiny: Battle of the Dry Shampoos

The first one I tried to lessen the shine from my wigs and toppers was the Tresemme Fresh Start Dry Shampoo.

I could immediately see how this product might help to decrease the shine in synthetic wigs and toppers…just a quick spritz and it was dulled. However, the product itself is white (almost like you are spraying baby powder).

This might not be bad if I had blond hair, however, it looked chalky on my medium brown pieces. Even after brushing through, the color of my hair was changed too much for my liking.

It does wash right out, however.

I will note that this product had a really nice scent to it, though. It may be overpowering to sensitive noses, but it died down over the course of the day.

I knew I was on to something with these dry shampoos; I just had to find the right one. So, one by one I went, testing away, until I found two that worked for me.

First, let me show you the difference between a piece that is right out of the box, versus one that has been sprayed with my dry shampoo “winner” to help reduce the shine.

remove-shine-from-wig

Both toppers in the above pic are Milan by Noriko. Can you guess which one has been treated with the dry shampoo to help remove the shine?

If you guessed the hair on the right, you’d be correct.

Here’s another:

Make wig less shiny with this dry shampoo

Same two pieces, just a slightly different angle. Again, the topper on the right (note: since these are upside down…the one visually on the left!) has been sprayed with dry shampoo to help remove the shine.

remove-shine-synthetic-wig

See the difference?

dry-shampoo-on-wigs

This last photo is similar to the very first one I showed you, but again, a slightly different perspective. The piece that has had shine removed is on the bottom.

So, what do you think?

How to Make a Wig Less Shiny (or Topper!): The Winners

best-dry-shampoo

I love, love, love these two dry shampoos for removing shine from wigs and toppers, for two different reasons.

Winner 1 for removing shine from wigs:

The Klorane Dry Shampoo is a bit on the pricey side, but I consider this to be the Cadillac of dry shampoos.

Its spritz is SO fine that it doesn’t leave a white, powdery residue like some of the other, less expensive brands do. It sprays nice and evenly and doesn’t leave my hair with a “coated” feeling.

It also smells SO good.

I’m not sure if it’s the oat milk in it, or what, but it just smells…normal.

Less artificial.

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but some of the other options I tried smelled very perfume-y. I just want my hair to smell like hair, and not like I dipped my head in a dang field full of sunflowers.

Winner 2 for removing shine from wigs:

The other option I like is Batiste Dry Shampoo. The pricing of this is at drugstore levels, which is nice, and the smell isn’t too overpowering (but it’s definitely there).

This is a tinted dry shampoo – it’s similar to my Bumble & Bumble (which is what I used to use to cover my bald spots prior to wearing fake hair) in that it sprays out with a color. In my case, it’s a brown color, however it does come in blond and maybe even black.

My “problem” with this is that UNLIKE using it to cover bald spots and thinning hair (which you CAN do), you want to spray this much more diffusely throughout your synthetic hair.

Meaning, when you are focusing on covering, you are looking to spray a specific area.

If you are looking to remove shine from a wig or topper, you want to kind of spray it all over. This makes this product a wee bit messy.

As in, my counters were covered in a fine, brown film (and I should’ve taken a photo!).

Much like anything in life, nothing is 100% perfect, and both of these dry shampoos are good…they just have trade-offs.

TL;DR?:

If you want something that is very fine, smells nice, doesn’t leave a mess, but is a bit pricier? Go with the Klorane Dry Shampoo.

If you want something that is very budget-friendly but you can live with constant clean up? Consider Batiste Dry Shampoo.

Note: I did not experience any color run-off onto my clothes with this, even though it was messy in my bathroom!

In all of my photos above, I’ve actually used BOTH of these products. I like using the Batiste first as a light base coat. Then the Klorane on top of it to finish the job – the more-natural smell of the Klorane stands out then (the scent of the Batiste isn’t bad, I just much prefer the Klorane), and I use less of the more-expensive Klorane that way.

What do you use to help remove annoying shine from your wigs and toppers?

UPDATE: I recently found what I now consider to be the best dry hair shampoo (it’s super-cheap and it smells like heaven).

Check it out!

33 thoughts on “How to Remove Shine From a Wig (My Best, Secret Weapon)”

  1. Hello,, Lauren

    I have worn toppers for 20 yrs now but I am finding it hard to find and very expensive online.
    I can’t stand a full wig for fear that it will be blown away by a “strong wind” because I fell uncomfortable when I put it on my head.

    Please, please let me know who carries bob-style toppers (12 inches long) in human hair.

    Thank you so much!

  2. Hello. I read your article and decided to buy klorane. But I’m afraid that the substances inside it can ruin the synthetic fiber. It’s safe? How many times can I use it? Thank you x

    • Hi there – there’s not much that can ruin synthetic hair aside from heat since synthetic hair is basically plastic. Use it as much as you need, but any product can build up so just know if you spray too much you’ll need a wash quicker.

  3. The store that sold me my wig recommended using 1/2 teaspoon baking soda in the (wig) shampoo water. Thanks for thr tips!

  4. Thank you, thank you!
    I’ll need to go find my dry shampoo that I tucked away, from when I did have hair.
    My hair style, attained by chemo from breast cancer. It’s been ten years (a blessing) but it’s also been permanent hair loss. I have a rainbow of bandanna’s, but I want to LOOK healthy. I just bought a Ellen Wille wig ‘Tool’, didn’t want to freak people out with too much hair to start! Excited to go give it a try. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  5. What would you recommend for a human hair topper? I’ve had mine for a couple months now and while the sheen is a little duller, I’d like to get rid of it completely. I’ve seen plenty of info for synthetics, but not too much for human hair. Thanks! I am loving your blog and all the useful info here!

  6. Does normal hairspray work as well ???
    Plus someone told me spray-paint works good to. HELP I really need to know, as my supper shiny wig needs to become Matt. And I need all the BEST information regarding this.

  7. OMG I am so happy I found your site! You give wonderful tips and I love your stories. 🙂
    I started wearing full wigs and the shine is unbearable 🙁 I looked in Amazon for Klorane but there are many kinds. Is there One that you recommend? Thank you!

  8. do you brush the dry shampoo out as you put your topper or wig on? Mine requires some styling each day so do you spray it on after styling?

  9. Thanks for the helpful info, Lauren ! Would you recommend the Klorane dry shampoo in the non-aerosol version ? What do you use ? Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Ling! I wasn’t aware it came in non-aerosol, but I think I’d recommend aerosol because it comes out super fine that way (no major spurts of product). Hope that helps!

  10. In certain lighting, my hair looks like a cheap dolls, like in the fitting room at Banana Republic. I have been thinking about getting the ‘pouf’ to de-shine, but I will try the dry shampoo first.

  11. What color is the topper in the dry shampoo photo? *First photo – non shiny topper on right side.
    Thank you. I am seriously considering a topper…tired of full wigs, but I struggle as I am spoiled on great hair days every day and not sure if that can happen with toppers. Along with all that, my sparse hair from bangs down to in front of ears hanging almost to my chin is layered and I am thinking that it all needs to be one length? I need layers as straight hair looks awful on me. Is there enough hair on the topper for subtle layers and still cover some of my hair to blend in? Any input would be appreciated.

  12. This was very useful! Thank you for sharing! Once you spray it down how long does that last? Also, have you used the wig wand? I’d considered getting it but wasn’t sure bc I’m a dark haired brunette

  13. Hi Lauren,
    I love your website 🙂 I’ve been contemplating the Milan for a long time and you’ve made the decision for me ~ thank you! Also, we have the same love of Ellen Wille’s Code Mono. LOVE IT. I too am thinking of trying it in blonde, even though I’m brunette….maybe in the summer 🙂 I love the sand mix colour.
    I’ve never used dry shampoo to remove shine from hairpieces ~ I didn’t realize this would work. Good to know!
    Do you know what I’ve been using? Baby powder. Plain, old baby powder. I sprinkle a little in one hand, rub my hands together, then run them through my “hair”. If it’s still too shiny, I do it again. It looks a little powdery looking at first, but I just keep running my hands through it until you can’t see it. Works like a charm!
    Looking forward to your next adventure in hair…
    Dana

    • I’ve also used baby powder in the past – my problem with it was two-fold. 1) It smelled like baby powder, which, for me, I didn’t like, and 2) I can’t get it diffusely throughout my hair. It would always end up clumping in certain spots. Probably operator error!

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