Best Care & Maintenance for Alternative Hair: Wigs, Toppers & Hair Systems

This blog was submitted by Jerry Holt & Jessica Catalde, IHI Educators

You've invested your cash flow, extensive time & expertise, and emotional care in your wig & toppers to provide the best options for your clients. So, it only makes good sense to educate your client on the best options to care for this mutual investment.

With proper gentle wearing & care, your client's investment will last longer with the proper home care liquid lines specifically designed for Human or Synthetic Fibers.

This is like buying a high-end-high-quality garment and just dumping it into the regular laundry and dryer without a second thought. Proper home care will make the cap structure hold its shape longer along with protecting the knotting of the hair or fiber into the base.  

You should not use regular shampoo for wigs. One of the biggest myths about human hair wigs is that they require the same products you’d use on your natural hair. This is simply not the case.

While you may be able to use one of your usual hair products on both your natural hair and your wig, this is an exception rather than the rule. The issue with regular shampoos is that they often contain chemicals that are appropriate for your natural hair and detrimental to your wig.

For instance, regular shampoos contain surfactants (sulfates and sulfate alternatives) that are meant to remove oils from your natural hair.

While these surfactants are great oil removers, your wig won’t like them. Regular shampoo can leave your wig dry and dull and increase its shedding rate – this goes for both human hair and synthetic wigs. And even if your shampoo doesn’t contain the harshest surfactants out there (sulfates), it could still ruin your wig over time.

What Makes a Good Wig Shampoo?

All wigs human or  a synthetic require specially formulated shampoos and conditioners that contain gentle, effective cleansers that can remove makeup, glue, gel, oil, and more from your unit. The formula should be lightweight, buildup free, and non-drying. The shampoo should also contain specialized smoothers and emollients that keep the wig looking shiny and healthy without giving off an overly greasy sheen. 

Using C-Formula for Alternative Hair & Human Hair Systems

Your alternative hair client – whether they're wearing wigs and toppers (human hair or synthetic) or wearing human/synthetic hair systems, is making a sizable investment in themselves. 

Just like with natural growing hair, using the best care products is imperative to protect that investment.

The Clear Enemy For All Alternative Hair Is Dryness And Static.

  • When not properly cared for, human hair systems will commonly lose moisture. Constant replenishment of moisture is needed! 
  • Both human hair and synthetic fibers have a tendency for tangling and matting when not properly cared for. Again, using the best possible maintenance products (in addition to using the correct brushing/combing techniques) will go a long way to maintain your alternative hair AND keep it looking its best for a longer period of time
  • Alternative hair can also frizz and the color may fade or oxidize. All of these common problems can be mitigated or delayed with proper use of C-Formula products
  • “Regular” shampoos may increase hair shedding due to harsh ingredients

C-Formula products were developed specifically to address these challenges! 

These products are specially formulated to be gentle, but effective.

Formulated to be ULTRA-MOISTURIZING & STATIC MINIMIZING, C-Formula optimizes care for created & alternative hair and helps protect your client’s investment in wigs and hair systems.

144 Cleanse

Gentle cleanser for wigs, hair toppers, and hair systems.  Gives slip to Cyberhair and other created fibers, and human hair.

For bonded hair systems, your client may prefer to wash daily, but it’s recommended to try not to wash everyday, but instead every other or every third day.  Conditioning is recommended if your client gets the hair wet.

With wigs, toppers, and daily wear hair systems, best recommendation is to wash and condition every five wearings, or as needed.

274 Deep Conditioner

Ultimate moisturization and nourishment for daily wear or bonded Cyberhair, created fibers, and human hair systems and top pieces.

For bonded human hair systems, your client can condition every time the hair gets wet.

With wigs, toppers, and daily wear hair systems, best recommendation is to wash and condition every five wearings, or as needed.

355 Special Effects Crème

This dual purpose, daily use styling and conditioning crème is lightweight and tactile-friendly.  A nourishing alternative for styling with flexibility!

355 Special Effects Crème can be used daily or as needed – even if the hair isn’t washed in between.

444 Final Protection

Wearing long or medium length hair?  Don’t walk out the door without spritzing 444 Final Protection!  The must-have item to minimize static and tangles.  Using 444 Final Protection daily is better than an insurance policy on your Cyberhair or synthetic wig.

Looking for directions on how to shampoo, etc?  Let’s discuss…

For bonded hair systems and toppers, shampoo and condition in the shower as directed above.  Note that conditioning if the hair is wet – even if you don’t shampoo – is a good idea.  Note that use of 355 Special Effects Crème is always recommended for use when styling and 444 Final Protection is a must for any medium-length or long hair that reaches the shoulders and beyond.

For hair you can remove (Wigs, Toppers, Hair Systems), please see the following recommendations…

  1. Gently brush out any tangles using 444 Final Protection and a large, toothed comb or vent brush. Always work from the bottom to the top. Do not put un-necessary stress at the root area while brushing to prevent pulling at the knots.
  2. Wash and condition the alternative hair about every 5 wearings.
  3. Wash in cold water in a sink basin partially with the 144 Cleanse added into the water to make a sudsy wash.
  4. Swish the alternative hair around for a minute or so.
  5. Rinse thoroughly with cold water until cleanser is completely rinsed out. Gently use your fingers to organize the hair.
  6. Drain the water and refill the basin with cold water and add 274 Deep Conditioner to the water and dip the style into the water mixture and let sit for a few minutes.
  7. Rinse thoroughly
  8. Always use 444 Final Protection on wigs/toppers to protect the fiber from damaging static.
  9. 444 Final Protection can be used every wear to keep the hair fiber lubricated.


All types of alternative hair are investments which require special care, but when using the correct products, they will look and feel amazing!

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