You can straighten almost any type of hair, but when it comes to synthetic fibres, you are required to be extra careful. You must remember that the fibres in the hair are made of plastic and are very heat sensitive, Therefore, they cannot be straightened with a regular hair straightener.
The exception is if the hair is made from heat-resistant fibre. If so, you are good to use your ordinary flat iron to achieve the desired style.
I am about to teach you how you can straighten typical synthetic hair using three simple methods. Additionally, I’ll show you two methods of how to straighten hair made from synthetic heat-resistant fibres properly without damaging the hair.
Method One: Prep
First, you need to prepare the hair or the wig, get yourself one of those Styrofoam wig heads. You also need a very secure stand so the hair can hang freely. Put the wig on the wig head and secure it with some t-pins or sewing pins. As it is Styrofoam, the pins can go right through. Secure it at the temples, at the nape at the top, and along the sides.
Gently detangle the hair using a wire wig brush or a wide-tooth comb. Try running the comb of the brush through the fibres of the hair. It is best to work in small sections starting at the ends and working your way up to the roots.
Ensure the brush or comb you are using is clean and free from oils as the said oils can damage the fibres. Regular hair and paddle brushes have boar bristles that only mar the finish and damage the hair. This tip should give you a straightened look without causing any kind of damage and break-off.
Method Two: Hot Water
Start by gently detangling the hair with a wide-tooth comb. Place a large pot on the stove with some water and a thermometer inside it. The water must come to a boil at a specific temperature range of 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit. The size of the pot depends on the length of the hair. The water mustn’t be too hot as it can melt the fibres.
Pour the hot water over the wig but extremely careful when doing this. If it is a long wig or bundle, consider dipping it into the water and removing it after about 10 – 15 seconds.
Do not brush the hair. If there are any tangles, use your fingers to smooth them out. Allow the hair to air dry. If you are in a hurry, you can use a fan or a blow dryer on a cool setting.
Repeat the process where necessary. It is normally successful the first time on hair with a wavy curl pattern.
However, if the hair or bundle is very curly, you may want to repeat the process one or two more times to achieve the straightness you desire. Before trying again, allow the air to dry completely.
Method Three: Steam
Take the wig or hair on the wig stand to the bathroom, close all the windows as you want to trap as much steam as you possibly can. Turn the hot water on in the shower and allow the room to get steamy. This may take a few minutes. Using a wired wig brush or a wide-tooth comb, brush the hair gently from the ends to the roots.
Once there is steam, the fibres can heat up and the curls can start loosening. As soon as condensation starts building, remove the wig from the bathroom and transfer it to a dry cool place.
Straightening Heat-resistant Synthetic Hair
These methods work if the hair is heat resistant. If it’s not, you risk damaging the hair by singeing and melting it.
Method Four: Hair Dryer
While it’s still on the Styrofoam wig stand, you can gather the hair into a loose half bun and secure it with a hair tie, leaving the back section out. If you’re using bundles, tie most of the hair away leaving a small section. The hair was sewn in rows called wefts. These are going to be your guide, so pay close attention to them. Using a spray bottle, spray a layer of water on the section of hair that you left out. This is to keep the fibres from overheating.
Take out one to two inches of hair from the back temple and smooth it out using your wide-tooth comb or wig brush to ensure that it is free from tangles. Turn your hair dryer on its warm setting because you do not want to melt the fibres.
This step requires you to use the brush or comb simultaneously. After the hair has been dangled, place the brush or comb at the root of the hair. Ensure the bristles and the fibres are aligned. Hold the hairdryer three inches away, pointing it towards the hair, and slowly move downwards to the end of the section. Check that the fibres are always between the brush or comb and the hairdryer.
Method Five: Straightening with a Flat Iron
Not all hair is heat-resistant, which means the regular methods of straightening the fibres might not work. Do some research on your hair. Check the packaging to see if the hair is heat-resistant or not.
In most cases, it is not stated by the manufacturer or packaging. In those cases, it is made from regular synthetic fibre if it is not heat resistant. Using the wig stand, put the hair up in a loose half-bun, leaving the bottom-weft out. This is the first section of hair to be straightened, and again we are using the rows as guides.
Remove a small section mostly from the back temples, using your fingers to smooth out the detangling from end to root. Use your spray bottle filled with water to damp the section of the hair. Get out your flat iron, turn it on to the lowest heat setting you have.
As you would straighten your natural hair, run the flat iron through the sections of the synthetic hair carefully over the fibres until they are as straight as you desire.
Give the fibres a chance to cool down, comb through them gently and let them hang naturally. Repeat the steps above for the rest of the hair or wig. After finishing the back sections, you can undo the loose bun and do the entire head of hair, using the rows as guides until you are finished.