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Tut: HOMEMADE WIG DETANGLER

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So, you may have seen wig detanglers sold in real wig shops and online. Sure, they work on cosplay wigs as well, but shipping can also be a monster for your 1-item order. Or maybe you are at an event and your long wig is now a tangled mess. You retreat to your hotel room to try and salvage your wig, but what can you do?!

Here is a cheap and easy way to make your own wig detangler. An old beauty trick to calm fly-aways and detangle knotted hair is using lotion. This is one of those "if it works for real hair, it works on plastic hair" moments, so soak it in. These moments do not come often.

The tut is pretty straight forward, please check out my thoughts (below the materials box) if you have custom dyed your wig. Otherwise, have a field day. The solution not only detangles your wig but it helps keep new knots and tangles from forming, rather like using silicone spray sans strong chemical odors. My wigs all smell like Lucky 7 perfume now, lol. You also can't really "ruin" a wig doing this. If your wig feels greasy, have too much lotion on the fibers. Wash it out and either add more water to your current solution or do not apply as much to the wig.

EDIT: This does work on curly wigs too! See Tifaia's comment.

Questions/comments/suggestions always welcome. Thanks bros!
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anonymous's avatar
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FrostRose31's avatar
You are a god/goddess
Vannilliaify's avatar
 Does it matter whether or not it's like, hand lotion or skin lotion or...? (Also, where did you get that radical bust stand from?? Er, im new to cosplaying and i have a pretty long wig, so im really curious)
ThatOneFemaleGamer's avatar
I saw that stand on Arda. It's pretty cheap and I could totally use it right about now 😂
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Any lotion will do. That said, if the formula is more milky/watery, you may want to use less water to achieve the same effects. If the formula is thicker than normal lotion e.g. you use body butter, then you may want to adjust and use more water. Basically it just needs to be cut with enough water to be sprayable and not look too greasy.

The wig holder is something I purchased on eBay ages ago. They should still be sold for under $10USD though. Hope this helps.
shiranui1295's avatar
i have a cheap wig that tangles just by slightly shifting and i can't keep brushing it like i have been or all the fibers are gonna fall out - w - so i'll give your method a go, thanks!
StellarFairy's avatar
I tried this method to detangle a long blue wig I'm planning to wear for my Wendy Marvell cosplay this weekend and it worked! I also watched a tutorial on how to detangle wigs on YouTube and it really helped as well. Thanks so much for making this tutorial! :D
Fiji-Firefox's avatar
Detangled my horrible mess of a wig for the most part! Thank you so much for the help! :) :)
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
You are most welcome. I am glad you were able to save your wig!
EpicsunShineELLIE's avatar
thanks for this! its helps out a lot!!
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Glad it was of use to you! Thanks for taking the time to comment. :D
TaishaIsochor's avatar
I know this is super old, but I figured I might as well ask... do you think this would work as well in a doll or figurine's hair? My daughter has a my little pony figurine who's mane and tail have gotten very knotted and nasty (favorite toy, pretty much goes everywhere with her. >.<) It seems to be made of the same synthetic material that my wigs are made from. 
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
It works well on dolls/barbies. I used this formula on my niece's dolls and their hair looked new.
I think, given the scale of a MLP toy, you would only need to spray the mane and tail once or twice each and work on combing it out. Hope this helps!
Sailor-Aria's avatar
Hi! I wanna try this on a long curly wig that looks pretty dry and horrible and it's all tangled (it makes me wanna cry every time I see it)...but my question is... since it is a curly wig, will it work on it? Can I just do everything you say in this tutorial and my wig will go back to be curly and beautiful?
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Another cosplayer used it on her pre-curled heat resistant wig with no problem. I think it all depends on how you go about working the detangler through your wig. If it is super tangled, you may want to go the "soak in a bit of fabric softener and water" route. There are plenty of tutorials around for that. 

If your wig just needs some detangling and neatening up, you ought to be able to finger comb through the wig or carefully work a wide-toothed comb through to detangle fibers while preserving the curls.
Harleykitty15's avatar
I love this, it worked great with my ratnest of a wig
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Glad you were able to revive your wig!
Bloodsong13T's avatar
are you brushing/combing it while it's wet?  i was told NEVER EVER even LOOK AT IT with a comb while it is wet.   is it safe?  or is it supposed to be just 'damp'?  how wet is it?  or how dry?
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
The wig is not supposed to be sopping wet, you are just spritzing it with enough solution to help detangle the fibers - so the wig will be damp. All wigs need to be treated with care and working from the bottom of the wig toward the crown will be a lot gentler. If you hit a snag, carefully work it out with your fingers instead of pulling with the comb etc.

For the record, black and white rules like "NEVER EVER this or that" are rather one of those situations where mileage may vary. As you gain experience and knowledge working with any materials, you can bend the rules without harming anything to achieve the desired results. 
Bloodsong13T's avatar
ahhh. 


i did spray it quite a bit, but of course, it never got to be dripping wet.  and i did dare to comb it VERY gently (paranoidly), while it was a little damp.

i had washed the wig and i couldn't do a thing with it.  the fibers had dried out just so dry... and they tended to try to loop up or kink up.  i was trying to comb it and wishing i could 'grease' the hairs somehow, but had no idea what to use on a synthetic wig.


well, another very happy customer!  because this worked WONDERS!  thank you so much, because i was really really lost!
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Glad you were able to save the wig. :)
Bloodsong13T's avatar
oh hey...!  if you don't mind, can i ask your advice...?

the wig... i had found a care tip from a wig diva online about using diluted fabric softener on synthetic wigs to keep down the static electricity.  i think i used that one too many times, or a bit too much, because the wig fibers got all sticky, and that's why i decided to wash it.

well... as you know, i washed it (and got it detangled!) but now that it is dry again...  the hairs are still a little sticky and not... soft and smooth like they used to be.  i'm guessing when i washed it, i didn't wash that all out?

so my QUESTION is... can i just wash it under a shower hose?  my friend told me no, and i tried washing it in a pot (i don't have any stoppers on my sinks), but of course i had to accordion fold it to get it to fit in there, and... well, wouldn't using a stream of water keep it from tangling so much?  or is that just an all-around bad idea?

what do you think?  thanks a bunch!
Stealthos-Aurion's avatar
Frankly, if you are careful, you can definitely wash it under a shower hose or sink sprayer hose. Just spray the water from the crown working down toward the ends of the hair. I generally wash all my wigs in the shower if they are long or in the kitchen sink if they're short.

If you are trying to remove more residue, I would suggest using Dawn dish soap or similar as it is known to cut through grease. If it is gentle enough to use on wildlife after oil spills, it is fine on a synthetic wig. Also, for what it is worth, fabric softener tends to be a lot "heavier" than lotion. Fabric softener is a great solution if your long wig is horribly tangled, like you're about to throw the wig out because it is THAT bad but this is a last ditch effort. The recipe above with lotion is a lot lighter and as a result tends not to be as greasy or sticky unless you really build up a TON of it. The lotion solution works better for wigs you can conceivably detangle with some work. 
InnocentInako's avatar
my god thank you so much * ^ * -bows-
Pie-Likes-Me's avatar
This works on synthetic wigs, right?
anonymous's avatar
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