(Video) My #1 Trick to Soften, Declump and Defrizz Synthetic Hair

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You know the feeling.

Your synthetic wig or topper felt great at first.

Soft. Swishy. Flowy.

But after a few washes, it gets stiff after a few wears. Or clumpy. Maybe a bit frizzy on the ends. Dry-feeling.

Sound familiar?

My synthetic wigs and toppers tend to get like this after awhile…and nobody likes a frizzy wig!

The “sweet” spot seems to be fleeting…you WANT a few washes because it helps to remove shine and feel more like “you”, but some of the softness is removed with each wash.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, right?

More frequent washes will help, but that only expedites the wear process: the more you wear the fibers down, the shorter the lifespan.

I’ve been using this awesome, awesome tool for awhile and wanted to share my experience with you. This is for straight hair – this tool will take away any wave or curl, and we don’t want that.

And hey, quick note: *ALL* of my absolute favorite products are linked on my Products I Love page. Check ’em out!

How to Make Synthetic Hair Soft Again (and Keep Synthetic Hair from Frizzing)

I’m all about quick and easy.

I work, I have kids, I have the blog…the less time it takes for me to fuss with my hair, the better (heck, that’s part of the reason why I moved to wearing hair in the first place!).

I try go about two weeks between washes. Somewhere at the 7-10 day mark, however, my synthetic hair starts to feel a little blah.

I certainly don’t want to wash it—heck, it’s midweek and I’m lazy—but it needs a little something to give it back its movement.

Maybe it’s too flat. Maybe it’s too frizzy. Maybe it’s too clumpy. And it’s definitely not feeling as soft as I’d like.

I definitely ask myself how to make synthetic hair soft again at this point!

Must-Have Tool to Defrizz a Wig and Make a Wig Soft

Enter the hot air brush.

I love, love, LOVE this brush. And yes, it uses heat. It’s perfect for use on my regular synthetic hair (of course, it can be used on heat-defiant fibers as well).

You read it right ladies. I use heat on my synthetic hair. Meet the  Helen of Troy Hot Air Brush Revlon hot air brush.

[Note: The Helen of Troy hot air brush has been discontinued and I’ve replaced mine with this Revlon option. It’s the same price (maybe even a little cheaper) but I like it because the HoT version had a rubber grip that over time rubbed off on your hands…this one does not!]

It makes the ends of my hair that looks like this (ratty, frizzy, you name it):

frizzy ends synthetic hair

instead look like this (smoooooth! soft! And while the hair visually looks better, it feels 10x better, too):

how to smooth ends synthetic hair

This is a must-have product for all synthetic hair wearers – it’s saved my life on many busy mornings when I felt that my hair wasn’t quite up to par.

It’s also fabulous to keep synthetic hair from frizzing.

It’s a great, preventive measure!

I use the 1 1/2 inch barrel so it can more easily glide through my hair, but it does come in other, smaller barrel sizes as well.

The packaging seems a little old school, but this baby does the trick.

Not only does it do a fantastic job declumping and softening synthetic hair, but the hot air brush is perfect to use at the root to add some volume.

Because synthetic hair can get flat, too, don’t you think?

The piece in the video is my very old Long Mono Top by Jon Renau.

This synthetic topper is O-L-D and is stiff and clumpy and gross.

I talk about this in the video below, but I’ve been wearing this piece on the weekends because it’s the perfect density for wearing updos.

Because it’s so ratty, that’s about all it is good for.

Trust me.

I’ll tell you a secret: I don’t even brush this thing.

I clip it in, twist it up, and there is stays until the end of the day when I take my clip-in down and fling it on my bathroom counter.

There she rests for the week while I wear my Noriko Milan.

This hot air brush is awesome, and I figured I’d demonstrate its powers on this topper to prove it.

I talk about this in the video, but I’ll give you a quick recap.

How to Use the Brush to Take the Frizz Out of Synthetic Wigs & Soften Them

The process is quite easy.

You can use the brush on hair that’s been spritzed down with water or a favorite leave-in conditioner…or on dry hair.

I personally prefer to use this after spraying my hair lightly with some leave-in, however, I do use it all the time on dry hair when I need a quick fix before heading to work.

I promise you won’t ruin your synthetic hair!

You’ll just end up with soft, better-than-before synthetic hair.

This thing almost makes synthetic hair feel new again…almost.

Just move the brush down your hair, allowing the brush to dry the fibers.

If you have the time, go as slow as you can.

If you don’t have a ton of time, a quick run-through will still do wonders.

Once it’s all dry (or if you ran through the synthetic hair dry to begin with), you can take the top layer and do another run-through.

If you use some water here, it can even help to add some body and lift.

Have your ends gone dry and frizzy?

The first pass probably helped tremendously, but you can really concentrate on these ends to “fix” them. You can even use the hot air brush to reshape the ends and add a bit of a turn-under.

Seems easy, right?

You’ll be left with synthetic hair that feels almost-new: super-soft with great movement.

I showed my husband the video, and he promptly told me I looked nothing like myself.

Thanks, dear.

Here’s a still pic of my was-frizzy-now-amazing hair.

milan-topper

Definitely check out the hot air brush to help keep your synthetic hair soft and take frizz out. It’s pretty inexpensive, and it’s a one-time investment that you’ll likely find yourself using at least a few times each month.

I know you’ll find that it saves you time, too!

Want another tip on a {super cheap} product to keep synthetic hair fabulous? Check out this post: How to Revive Synthetic Hair (Miracle Product!)

What tips do you have to help your synthetic hair look more like new?

81 thoughts on “(Video) My #1 Trick to Soften, Declump and Defrizz Synthetic Hair”

  1. Hi Lauen. just an update in my ongoing effort to defrizz my wig after it frizzed all around my face and forehead after a blast of heat when I opened the oven. It was frizzed, stiff, and crunchy. I didn’t think it could be salvaged, but thought it was worth a try. The 1st thing I did was use the hot air brush. Then the Silicon Bamboo Mix,,followed by a generous helping of John Frieda’s Extra Strength 6 Effects Serum to the ends and forehead areas. All of those things helped. But it still wasn’t the same. I finally steamed it the entire wig. Spraying each section from roots to ends, with Armor All Oriinal Protectant spray before applying the steam. It took all the frizz and crunchiness out! Only a few frizzled bits remained on the tips. I carefully snipped those off. The wig was again soft, without any crunchiness or frizz. Of course it was as straight as a bone, having been steamed. I reset it wet, using hard plastic rollers and spray setting gel, then let it air dry. I was after a gentle wave and fullness, but got a bouncy curl. I tamed that with the hot air brush. The wig now looks and feels like new…Just an FYI, if anyone is restyling/resetting their wig with hard plastic rollers and wants longer T pins than the usual 2″ ones, you can get 3# T pins at NAHANCO.com. They provide a 1/2 pound box of 3″ T pins for $1.99, while supplies last. When I last talked to them, they had 40 cartons left. Their website is a little glitchy, so I called them directly (800-426-4377) and they took my order over the phone. Super nice people. I hope this information is helpful to anyone who might be trying to repair or referprish their wig. All I can say in the end is that it worked for me. Thanks, Julie.

    Reply
  2. Hi Lauren. I know you’ve said to start the application of Silicon Mix Bamboo mix at mid-shaft, so as not to loosen knots. Does that go for all conditioners after washing, or even the leave-in type conditioners? Thanks, Julie.

    Reply
  3. Hi Lauren. My wig brush is pulling a lot of hair. In one of your videos you used a small hand-held brush (without a handle), which you said was great. I don’t remember the name. But I found something online called the Tangle Teezer. Is that the right one? It came in several versions. Please let me know the specific name of the brush you would have been using, and model information that might apply. Thanks, Julie.

    Reply
    • Hi there! Yes, that’s it. You can find the brush and most other products that I’ve spoken about here: https://cornerofhopeandmane.com/shop/. It’s the “Recommended Products” page you’ll see at the top of the site. Usually on this page I also link back to the original blog post in which I spoke about the product, so it’s a good reference.

      Reply
  4. Hi Lauren. Would you please clarify which Helen of Troy hot air brush you use? I could have sworn it was the model with the 1&1/2 ” white barrel with white plastic teeth and a blue handle. So that’s what I purchased. But now, as I scan through the postings, it shows a picture of the model you use as the Helen of Troy hot thermal hot air brush 1553. That model has a 1&1/2 metal barrel with hairbrush-type bristles, and a white handle. Now I’m not sure whether I’ve got the right one. Thanks, Julie.

    Reply
    • Hi Julie – I use the exact one I link to in this post (what postings do you mean, let me know in case there’s an error). It is indeed the one with the plastic bristles. 🙂

      Reply
      • Ahh, I see what you mean now. I fixed that so it’s more clear. You can see the one I used in my video – and you’ll recognize it with the plastic bristles.

        Reply
  5. I just bought some clip-in extensions. They are supposed to be “wavy” but are much more curly, which is a problem. Can the hot air brush be used to lessen the curls and make more of a wave on extensions? How would I use the air brush to make the waves and not straighten it all out? Do you have any suggestions?

    Reply
    • I think, yes, you could run the brush through this to lessen the curl, for sure. Just try a small section to start to see how it reacts. Run it slowly through the clip-in and see if you like it. You can always add back in curl (we are talking synthetic, yet?) but using a roller and applying hot water over it, then allowing to dry with the roller in place.

      Reply
  6. Omg this has SAVED my wigs. Thank you! I couldn’t find the exact one here in the UK so I for the Vidal Sasoon one from amazon with the same temperature settings and barrel. Amazing. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  7. Hi Lauren,

    I ordered a Helen of Troy hot air brush and I have to say it worked wonders on my synthetic hair! I’d bought a lovely long wig, $345.00 to be exact and after less than two weeks it started getting frizzy underneath for I wear it everyday. I was very upset because I’d spent so much money, a lot for me anyway. I read your article and ordered the brush, canvas head and tripod. I was sooo very happy because now it is as soft as silk, well, almost!
    I want to tell you about something else… I have a special doll I got when I was four years old, she is now 62 years old. My poor baby has had frizzy hair most of her life with me. When I was young I played with this doll so much that she had to go to the doll hospital three times for a new body. I used the hot air brush to smooth her hair and now my darling old doll has smooth pretty hair again! We were both happy!
    You do so much to help others Lauren, bless you for sharing and caring.

    Reply
  8. hi Lauren, I was hating my hair because its just getting thinner all the time. I am 62, and although I am struggling with various illnesses I still love fashion, beauty products etc. I finally thought, stuff it I’m going to buy a wig. I did a bit of research (hours of utube) then bought a short synthetic wig. I was expecting a “dead rat” for the price but it is really really nice. I ts kind of pixie with a flicked back quiff curl thing just at the front (no mummy wigs here!) I just need to restore this curl/flick thing. I am a new wigger lol so learning as I go. I will be ordering helen of troy, and let u know what happens. Am also awaiting a different style short wig. your blog really tickled me btw, how you chucked your topper in the cupboard! love it.!!

    Reply
  9. Hi,
    Just wondering if there is a equivalent to the helen of troy in Australian I cant seem to find 250w here.
    Regards Debbie

    Reply
  10. Lauren, long time no talk! Hope you are well. I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know I finally bought the Helen of Troy hot air brush and washed two of my toppers tonight and wow… Now when I tilt my head, my topper hair falls naturally over my face (you can imagine the state it was in to never do that anymore). My human toppers have been revived with this tool!! Can’t wait to drag out my super old toppers and use this on them!

    Hope you have a happy new year!

    Reply
  11. Thank you for his video! I bought a very expensive wig that got gross after three weeks. Because I have severe allergies, I couldn’t get it clean. All my “low poo” options didn’t work. I replaced it, but was soon faced with the same cleansing problem. I saw a video on using laundry detergent. My detergent is not really detergent but a gentle soap. It got it clean, but now it needs a little conditioning. I’m going to get the air brush but I’ve read in the comments here about ACV. Are people using that as a conditioner? I’m allergic to apples so my safe vinegar is cane vinegar. Think it would work? How much do you use (and assume you dilute with water)? Thank you! I’m only 5 weeks into my wig journey and so frustrated with the cleansing process with so few options. I’m hoping my soap and the air brush will revive my expensive wig too!

    Reply
  12. Hi I just ordered the hot air brush. Can’t wait. Yay My long wigs get really frizzy and crunchy fast. I have a few questions.

    Should I use a wet brush or comb for brushing my hair? I heard somewhere not to use brushes. Have you used Sexy Hair Smooth and Seal Anti Frizz and Shine Spray on synthetic hair? Does it help to use fabric softener? I’ve heard some recommend fabric softener. I tried the silicon mix on synthetic. A hair supply company mentioned that it won’t help with synthetic because it can’t absorb the moisture.

    Any thoughts? Sorry for so many questions. I’m hoping the air brush will help. I’ve been so bummed at the short life of my wigs.

    Reply
    • Fabric softener works for some. Hair won’t absorb anything, no, but the Silicon Mix leaves a coating that helps. I use the hot air brush on either dry or slightly damp hair…works great! 🙂

      Reply
  13. Hey Lauren! I don’t wear a topper but I do wear a synthetic halo extensions. I’m assuming the hot air brush would do the same result??

    Reply
  14. Hi Lauren, loved this video, thanks! Do you think this brush will work with human hair toppers also?
    I am also really interested to know which styrofoam head you are using, especially the part that looks like it screws onto your windowsill… I purchased just a styrofoam head a while ago, and then realized that there’s nothing for it to hang on to when I’m styling/ brushing out my topper, which basically doesn’t help me at all. Could you recommend what you use?? Thanks so much!!

    Reply
      • Hi Lauren, thanks SO much for the links for the wig stand. It’s going to change my life and how I style my toppers.

        One more question, and this is specifically for human hair toppers, since you mostly discuss synthetic on your site– is there any sort of leave-in hair conditioning spray that you have heard good reviews about, or have personal experience with for human hair toppers, which would be good for the preservation of the topper’s life? I’ve just noticed that after a while and repeated washings, human hair topper ends will get kind of dry and frizzy at the ends, and was wondering if spraying on some conditioning spray would help keep it healthy-looking. Just wondering… Also, I’m guessing that the hot air brush would be good for human hair also, right?

        Reply
  15. I need to start wearing a piece but my hair is curly. About 3A type curls. The hair for African American hair is too curly, and European hair is straight. What do I do, and what can I use in place of the tool in the video ( clearly meant for straight hair).?

    Reply
  16. Thanks Lauren! I was ready to throw out the HD fiber topper I’ve been wearing four months but gave this a try. I washed my topper last night and left it soaking in apple cider vinegar for several hours. This morning I used my Conair hotair brush and WOW … not exactly like it was when I got it out of the box but not too far off. Great tip.

    Reply
  17. Lauren, thanks so much for posting this one. I was on the fence about getting a hot brush, but your video convinced me that I should add this to my wig styling tools. I grabbed a canvas head and t-pins on Amazon, as well as a small steamer–these are super-useful, but I think that the hot brush is going to be another good tool to keep my wig-inventory looking its best.

    If we’re going to spend money on hairpieces, we might as well learn how to keep them looking good!

    Do you have a favorite product to add shine and protect the hair? (You likely do–I’ll go back and check your posts for advice on that.)

    Reply
    • Hi Julie! If we’re talking synthetic hair, then most girls spend their whole lives trying to mask the shine (ha), so I can’t really help with any products to ADD shine. As for protecting the hair…I do use a Kenra Heat Protectent spray every now and again, but I’m not 100% sure it’s necessary.

      Reply
  18. I’m so happy to get this new tip for my topper. Mine starts looking “old” after just a few days after I wash it. So now I’ll be able to revive it without constantly washing it. Who has time for that? I’m going to buy an airbrush right away! Thx Lauren for all the help you give us and you’re willingness to share it. There’s no other place to go for us topper wearers. Take care.

    Reply
      • Hi Lauren – OMG! This hot air brush is the bomb on the synthetic toppers. It has breathed new life into all 4 of my toppers. I’m wearing again the first two I ever bought a couple of years ago. They were smooshed up and stored in a little drawer in my bathroom as unwearable – good thing I have trouble throwing things away cuz I’m wearing them again. They are the rene of paris toppers that aren’t momofilament. Now they are close to new looking … soft, swingy, rounded. I also have a couple of toppers with monofilament that had become stuck in one direction – the side part wouldn’t “release.” Using the hot air brush releases all that and you can start over with where you want to part it on top. This tip has been invaluable as it’s saving me money on topper purchases. Thx thx thx!

        I’d also like to know if you or anyone else can recommend a human hair topper they are happy with. I’m hesitant to buy without references since they are pricey. Thanks y’all!

        Reply
  19. Thank you for this fabulous tip! After watching your video, it almost seems like one could use a blow dryer on a low setting on synthetic hair. I haven’t ever tried, but I just might since I don’t have a hot air brush. I’ll just try it on the ends, after spraying them with water. Hope you are well in Texas! Thank you again!

    Reply
  20. Thats so cool, i will try on my ROP topper which is looking a bit straggly.
    BTW how do you make your Milan look so natural. I havent worn mine much as I find hard to work with. It tends to look heavy on the side with more hair, a bit poofy if you see what I mean, do you have any tips, thanks?

    Reply
  21. I’ve been using the air brush on my 4 month old Milans too. It works miracles!! I didn’t know about the small barrel one. Where did you see it? In addition to my Milans, I have the Noriko Carrie wig which I use for “curly days” 🙂 People always, always think I’ve curled my “hair”. Its a wee bit shorter than the Milan, but just looks like it’s shorter because it’s curled. However, the Carrie has more body than curl. It will go curly if you spritz it with finishing spray and twirl it with your fingers. But this piece has a lot of hair….it’s a lot of twirling. If I could curl it with a small barrel hot brush, that would be great!

    Btw….I’ve recently (carefully) removed the bottom band, adjustment straps and ear tabs on my Carrie to turn it into a topper. It worked!! I used to have clips in the ear tabs and along the bottom band, but they got kind of painful by day’s end because the wig is quite heavy. This has worked great and makes it even easier to put up. It make a beautiful curly, tousled up-do!

    Always enjoy your blog, Lauren 🙂 I’m in your debt for introducing me to the Milan!

    Reply
  22. I have been using a clothes steamer to revive my pieces, but I think the hot air brush would work wonders! I am going to order one today!!

    Reply
    • I’d imagine any would work just as well! This one’s air outflow is just perfect – not too hot but hot enough to do the job and not cause damage.

      Reply

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