Can I Colour a Wig?

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Can I Colour a Wig?

When dyeing any type of wig it is important to know what material the wig is made out of, but typically a person is able to dye a wig. The two most common types are synthetic wigs and human hair wigs. It is also important to know what type of wig binding the wig contains. The human hair wig is made from real human hair and the synthetic wig is made from a plastic filament. The different wigs are dyed in different ways using different types of dye.

The human hair wig often has a lace and knot wig binding, while the synthetic style of wig has a flat binding. To dye a human hair wig, use regular hair dye. To dye a wig that is synthetic, use marker or marker ink. Since the synthetic wig is plastic, regular hair dye does not work and may bleed. Wigs and hair dye can be purchased from a variety of bricks and mortar outlets, as well as from online retailers, such as eBay. There are a few different steps that should be taken when dyeing either type of wig. This process is easy to do if you know what you are doing. When choosing to dye a wig, it is important to recognise the type of wig, select the dye, and understand the process it takes to dye each wig.

General Guidelines to Colouring a Wig

Regardless of what type of wig a person is colouring, there are a few things that the different wigs have in common. The wig that is being coloured needs to be a lighter shade than the colour that is desired. One can make a wig darker, but not lighter. This is something wigs have in common with regular hair. It damages the wig if hair bleach is applied to it just as it damages regular hair. White, platinum blond, or light grey are the best colours with which to begin. The process of dyeing has to start with a good washing to nullify any styling or oily products. After washing the wig, comb it out but leave styling it for after it is dyed. The wig must be completely dry before it can be dyed so wash it a few days before dyeing it. After this step, the process begins to differ between synthetic and human hair wigs. Remember that both hair dye and ink give off fumes that can be toxic or dangerous if inhaled for an extended period of time. Use these products in a well-ventilated area.

Colouring a Human Hair Wig

The human hair wig is easily recognisable. It looks and feels like regular hair. The majority of human hair wigs have a lace front and knotted strands. There are different bindings for human hair wigs but this is the most popular and the least likely to lose hair. If the wig is a human hair wig, it can be dyed using regular hair dye.

Setting Up to Colour a Human Hair Wig

Wash the wig to remove any styling products and let it dry for a few days before beginning to dye it. Set the wig on a head stand that is non-porous. This allows you to move it around while dyeing and decreases the chance of uneven colouring. Be sure to secure the wig to the head stand using T-pins. These pins can be found at most wig and beauty supply stores. Brush out all of the tangles in the hair of the wig. Then, take the regular hair dye and set it up according to the directions on the box. A foam dye or cream dye is easier to use than a liquid dye that may spill or drip onto the head stand. Remember that hair dye often comes out a darker colour than the colour on the box. After the wig is set up and secured, put on a pair of gloves. Latex or surgical gloves are available at most pharmacies or in the medicine aisle of many department and grocery stores. The gloves prevent the dye from staining your hands.

Dyeing a Human Hair Wig

After everything is set up and your gloves are on, it is time to apply the dye. Take about an inch of the hair and separate it from the wig by using a comb and fingers. Starting at the base, apply the colour evenly to the strand making sure that no dye gets on the knots or monofilament that keeps the wig together. Comb the dye into the wig with a comb or professional dyeing tool to make sure that it is even. After that strand is done, pin the strand up. This helps to keep it out of the way while dyeing the rest of the wig. Repeat the process throughout the top of the wig.

Once the top is done, start on the hair that is under it using a slightly darker shade. To get a darker shade, follow the directions on the box for making the dye darker. Make sure that the dye is completely covering the hair on the wig and leave it on for around 10 minutes. After the colour sets, rinse the wig in warm water until no more colour bleeds off of it. Then, use the conditioner that comes with the dye package. Be sure to rinse the conditioner out of the wig thoroughly as well. Brush the wig out so there are no tangles. Then set the wig back on the head stand, secure it, and let it dry completely before wearing it. Some wigs can take a few days to dry completely. Do not use a blow dryer because blow drying can ruin the knots or monofilament at the base of the wig.

Colouring a Synthetic Wig

Many synthetic wigs look and feel like human hair wigs. Manufacturers design these wigs to appear and feel natural. The synthetic wig must be dyed with ink. If a wearer uses a regular hair dye, he or she risks the dye running off or bleeding because synthetic wigs have hair that do not absorb a regular hair dye like human hair. Most professionals suggest using COPIC ink that can be found at a local craft store and sometimes where wigs are sold. The wearer may want to purchase a lighter and a darker ink colour to add depth to the wig. Some people use marker ink instead of COPIC ink. This is easier to control but does not look as good as a wig dyed with ink. If the wearer is using marker, he or she should remember that it should be as even as possible. It is easier to dye a wig with marker in only a few strips, giving the wig a more trendy and vibrant look.

Setting Up to Colour a Synthetic Wig

Wash the wig and let it dry thoroughly to remove all of the styling products and oil that may be on the wig. Let the wig dry completely on the head stand. Secure the wig to the stand using T-pins, or another pinning system. If the wig needs to be cut, it is best to do it before dyeing the wig. Gather the tools that are needed to dye the wig. Some of the materials needed, include a small bowl, ink, a comb, the wig on a head stand, and a sponge. Pour a small amount of the ink into the bowl. Use small amounts of the ink because ink tends to dry quickly. After doing this, it is time to colour the wig. Make sure to wear gloves to prevent staining the hands. The ink is permanent, so it is very difficult to rinse off of your skin.

Dyeing a Synthetic Wig

Take about an inch-wide swatch of hair like you are going to cut it and apply the colour to the strand, starting at the root and working down to the tip of the hair with the sponge. Make sure that no ink gets on the base of the wig while doing this. Be sure to dye a swatch of hair and pin each swatch up and away from the rest of the wig to make it easier to get to all of the wig evenly dyed. Use the darker colour on some of the layers that are below the top of the wig. This creates a depth to the colour. You can also use it to create highlights and lowlights. Brush the wig out again to keep it from clumping. After dyeing the wig, make sure to set it out so it can dry. When it is dry, wash the wig to get rid of the smell of the ink or let the wig sit for a few days to make sure that the smell dissipates. After it is dry, it is safe to style the wig to suit your taste.

Buying Wigs and Wig Dyeing Supplies on eBay

Wigs can be costly, especially human hair wigs. eBay has a wide selection of wigs that are synthetic or made of human hair. Wigs can be purchased from this popular auction website for less than they cost at wig shops. Go to eBay and type "wigs" into the search box, and then click Search. This populates a large supply of wigs and wig supplies. If you search for "wig dye", eBay displays the wig dyes and detailed instruction booklets that are available for purchase. You can then narrow the search by colour or wig length by including these specifications into your search terms to find the exact wig that is desired.

When purchasing from eBay, be sure to read the reviews, star rating, and feedback of a seller from whom you are considering making a purchase. Reading these helps to guide you towards reputable sellers. There is also a Top Seller distinction. Top sellers are sellers who have an excellent reputation and comply with all of eBay’s policies. These are usually the most trustworthy sellers.


There are many different reasons why one would want to dye a wig. The reasons range from wanting a wig to match a particular hair colour, to wanting a change of appearance, or wanting an unusual hair colour, such as blue or green, temporarily and without ruining, stripping, or damaging regular hair. Each person has different styles and tastes in wigs and wig colours. It is important to understand the process of dyeing each type of wig because making mistakes can mean ruining it and having to purchase a new wig. Inks and dyes that are applied to wigs of all types are both permanent. Once the dyeing is done there is no going back. If the dye job comes out wrong, a good place to search for a new wig is through eBay. Remember, a wig can be dyed darker, but not lighter, and the colour typically darkens once it is applied.

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