Can you dye synthetic hair and how do you do it?

Synthetic hair is made up of polymers and plastic that react with chemical or heat processes to reduce the quality of it's synthetic fabric. This is why it's not advisable to use hair dyes to color synthetic hair.

So what can you use to color your hair? Keep reading to learn how to color your synthetic hair and why using hair dye is not advisable.

Can you dye synthetic hair?

Curlfit customer using bronze temporary hair makeup from Curlfit to color black wig

Synthetic hair can be dyed but it is not advisable, especially if you are planning to keep the wig for a long time. The strands of synthetic hair are made up of various man-made or natural polymers, acrylic, and plastics ( PVC, polyester) which react with bleach or hair dye to become rough and less in quality. 

Synthetic hair is a type of fabric constructed in the form of hair strands. It doesn't take after the natural structure of real hair, so hair dye technology won't work on it. To use permanent or semi-permanent hair dye, the outer layer of your hair(hair cuticle) has to be lifted for the pigment to be deposited in the inner layers of the hair strands. Synthetic hair is made of plastic and isn't penetrable. It doesn't have layers for the hair dye to work.

The pigment may hang onto the surface of the hair but higher-grade synthetic wigs are smoother in texture and will not even be able to hold the dye on its surface. This where temporary hair makeup comes in. Temporary hair makeup can hold onto any texture or type of hair, to give it a burst of color without the need for bleach- even synthetic hair!

If you want to know more about how hair dye works vs. hair makeup, you can check out this blog post.

How to dye synthetic hair

If you want to add color to your synthetic hair, opt for temporary hair makeup. It adds a burst of color to your hair by coating the surface of the individual strands. It doesn't need bleach or hair dye technology and you can use any color on every shade of hair (even jet black!). Curlfit hair makeup has so many other benefits; 

  •  It doesn't contain bad alcohols or harsh chemicals that would react with your synthetic hair. This means the quality of your hair fabric is maintained.
  • It washes off after one shampoo. So you can try out a variety of colors and designs.
  • It is vegan & cruelty-free 🐰
  • It is super easy to use 

How do you dye synthetic hair with hair makeup

You will just need two things to use temporary hair makeup;

And that's it! 

You can use hair makeup at home, even if it's your first time coloring your hair. It is a one process application, super DIY friendly, and really fast to do. 

Step 1: Wash your hair

It's best to use hair makeup on clean detangled hair. This will make the process seamless and easier to apply. Plus, it will last longer. Curlfit hair makeup works perfectly on both wet and dry hair, but for synthetic wigs we suggest you dry it before applying your color. 

Optional Step: Mix your colors (if it implies)

Hair makeup is super flexible and customizable. If you don't find the color you want, you can just mix two hair makeup colors to get your desired color- almost like mixing colors before painting. If Aquamarine is out of stock in the array of Curlfit hair color waxes colors, you can simply mix dark green and blue hair makeup to get that shade. To get rosegold, mix gold hair makeup with pink hair makeup in equal portions. There are so many other combinations you can try! For more hair makeup mixes, you can check out the Curlfit community across all social medias.

Step 2: Apply hair makeup

You can do absolutely anything with hair makeup - a subtle tint of your favorite colors, contrasting highlights, a colored twist out, a glorious colored afro - anything you can think of! Unleash your creativity with hair makeup and express yourself on your synthetic hair. 

Every drop of Curlfit hair color wax is super-pigmented. So a little goes a long way. Start applying the hair color, section by section. If you want to increase the vibrancy, you can just apply more color.

Step 3: Air dry/ blow dry

We know your hair is super cute and you're probably super pumped to try the wig on, but not yet! Your hair has to be completely dry to avoid color transfer. Air drying or blow drying your hair will ensure the color sets. Depending on your hair porosity and the amount of hair makeup used, it may take between 30 minutes to 2 hours for it to dry. 

That's it! Easy, isn't it?

Pretty Black girl in burgundy hair makeup

Curlfit customer using burgundy hair makeup on brown synthetic hair

Other Alternatives to dye synthetic hair 

  1. Fabric dyes

Because synthetic hair is a material, fabric dye is popularly used in replace of hair dye. We suggest this as an alternative because most fabric pigments are derived from natural sources like seaweed, nuts, roots, etc., but there are limitations to it.

  • The results are never certain because they blend with the color of your wig to produce a different result, e.g Red fabric dye will turn a green wig or brown.
  • You can't lighten your synthetic hair. So most times fabric dyes are used on silver, white, blonde or pastel hair to get the right hue. 
  • To use fabric dyes you need a heat-resistant wig since the application process is done with hot water. According to a study, synthetic wigs when introduced to heating or burning can emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds) and can make it difficult to breathe; in the long run, potentially cause asthma. When you dip synthetic hair into hot water, your hair fabric might also melt.
  1. Acrylic paint

The acrylic formula is very simple and quick to use. The only disadvantage is the result may be stiff, unnatural, and stick together in clumps.

NT: it can be tempting to use alcohol ink/sharpie ink to dye your hair, as suggested by some DIY enthusiasts, but Sharpies contain too much alcohol and make your wig lose its luster and softness. Alcohol ink only vibrantly shows on white/platinum gold hair and it is very tedious to apply.


With Curlfit hair makeup, you can dye your synthetic hair, no matter the color. It's your sure bet to give your wig a "safe" burst of color and still maintain its luster, shine, and quality. We hope we were able to answer your pending questions and don't forget to tag us @curlfitofficial when you color your wig! 🤍

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