How to Dye a Human Hair Wig: Step by Step Guide and Expert Tips

It is interesting to experiment with hair colors. But you also want to give your hair a break. There are no reasons why you should not change the colors. You have a few wigs in the closet, right? We will discuss with you how to dye a human hair wig: step by step guide and expert tips.

Human hair wigs are quite pricey. However, every lady strives to have one because they look natural; they are of high quality and are durable.

How to Dye a Human Hair Wig

You can experiment with human hair wigs. Unlike synthetic wigs, you can dye or style human hair with ease.  

If you have ever dyed your hair before, dying a human hair wig should be easy. You will use the same tools, dye and developer you used on your hair. Well, but you will add a mannequin to support your wig.

Questions to Ask Before Dying a Wig

There are a variety of human hair wigs in the market. They are sourced from different parts of the world. The processing of the hair gives the wigs the different qualities they have. Some have added synthetic or animal fiber.

It is important to understand the following.

Do all human hair wigs hold color?

Yes, all human hair wig hold color. But virgin human hair-that has no additives- holds the colors best.

The hair is just like your hair. It is porous, hence holds the color better than semi-human hair.

Is professional wig coloring similar to DIY wig coloring?

No, that is very different. Professionals who dye wigs have a deep understanding of the art of coloring. They follow a color system to, achieve the various colors of the wigs in the market.

A non-professional like you will use the ‘box dyes’ available in the market. The results achieved are different.

Is there a difference between hair dyeing and wig dyeing?

Yes, there is a difference. Dyes are chemicals, and you want to protect your scalp. You cannot dye your hair in often occasions. Again, you will need to grow out the dyed hair before trying out another color.

A wig gives you versatility. You can change the colors as much as you want without fear of hurting yourself.

How do you choose a color that matches your skin tone?

Your skin complexion is the first thing you should consider when choosing a dye for your wig. If you are lighter in complexion, darker dyes will go well with your skin tone.

how to dye a human hair wig

If you are dark in complexion, consider brighter colors such as blonde, auburn, maroon or any other color that will make your face more radiant.

However, do not fear wearing bright colors if you have a light complexion. The occasions you intend to wear the wig should correspond with the color you choose.

Check out our helpful guide to bleaching hair extensions here.

What are the myths about Dying wigs?

Maybe you have heard people saying dyes damages human hair wigs. There is no truth in that. What damages your wig is applying the color without following the right procedure. 

Are there any dyeing tips you should know before coloring your wig?

You spend quite a lot on your human hair wig. You sure don’t want to destroy it in the process of coloring. Have these tips in your fingertips, and everything will be alright. 

  • Carefully read and understand the instructions on the dye packaging. 
  • Choose a color that does not contrast your wigs original color. If they contrast a lot, the results may not be as expected.
  • Curly human hair wigs are delicate. They also absorb the dye better than straight human hair wigs. To avoid damaging the curly wig, reduce the dye component when applying.
  • Have enough dye supply with you. One can of hair dye is enough to color a shoulder-length wig. For longer or thicker wigs, you need to have extra cans in case one is not enough.

Are there any tools you should use to color your wig?

dummies wearing blond wigs

You will need to have the following tools with you

  • A mixing bowl
  • A spatula
  • A mannequin
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Color brush
  • Rubber gloves
  • Aluminum foil
  • Coloring products
  • A clean surface

When the above questions are answered and understood, you can proceed to coloring your wig. Follow the steps below to achieve the desired results.

Wash the Wig

For you to decide coloring your human hair wig, you must have used it for some time, and you want a change without purchasing another one. It is therefore obvious that it is dirty- it has a buildup of products you used previously to style it.

Pour some water and clarifying shampoo in a basin

Gently wash your wig. Dry it without conditioning or applying other products.

Secure the Wig

Place your wig on a mannequin or a wig stand

Use t-pins or bobby pins to secure the wig.

Separate the wig into smaller sections. About 4 to 8 sections are enough.

Detangle the Wig

Use a wide-tooth comb or a wig brush to comb your wig.

Be gentle while combing to avoid pulling the hair strands.

A wig free from knots and snags will allow you to have a smooth dyeing process.

Wear the Gloves

Dyeing is a messy process. You do not want to leave your hands maroon or green. The dye takes long to fade. To protect your hands from the dye, wear some clean rubber gloves.

You are not the only one who needs protection. Use aluminum foil, a newspaper or an old towel to cover your working surface.

Choose a Dye

You are at liberty to select any color of your liking. However, the color you use should darken your wig. Any dye with bleach can weaken your wig strands.

Another thing you should know only use hair dye on a human hair wig. Fabric dyes will cause irreversible damage to your lovely wig.

Choose a Developer

Developers are packages in different volumes. Low volume developers are generally weaker than high volume developers.

20 volume developer is the common concentration for hair. Treat a human hair wig should be treated like natural hair, then this concentration will be sufficient. However, if you want a deeper color, you can use a 30 volume developer.

Mix the Dye and the Developer.

Before mixing the dye and the developer, read the instruction carefully. If you have not understood, reread.

In a clean bowl, mix your dye with the developer. Use a plastic spoon or spatula to mix. Do not use metallic material to avoid reaction of the chemical with the metal. Avoid wooden spatulas as they may leach some elements into the dye.

One box of dye is enough for any wig that goes up to shoulder length. For any wig longer than shoulder length, use two boxes. 

Apply on Few Strands to Test

Before coloring your whole wig, it is important to test the dye. 

Separate some few strands of the wig. Select a section that is easy to hide like the inner back of the wig.

 Dip your fingers in the dye and apply on the separated strands. You can use a small paintbrush in place of fingers. 

Leave the color there for about 40 minutes. Check the outcome. If it pleases you, then proceed to dye the whole wig. If the color is not pleasing, you can try out a different shade.

Read the 5 best ways to store extensions here!

Soak the Wig

When you are satisfied with the dye shade, soak the wig into the bowl with the dye.

Use your hand to scoop the dye and gently spread it over the wig layers. Do not rub in the dye with your hands.

Set your Wig on a Mannequin

Set your wig on a mannequin. It will help not preserve the shape of your wig. Place the wig as you would on your head.

Secure the wig with some pins.

Ensure that the mannequin is placed on a safe surface to avoid knocking it off or a child pulling it down, remember it looks like a doll.

Cover the surface in which you place the mannequin with a towel, Foil or old newspapers.

Comb or Brush the Wig

The dye did not reach all the sections of the wig at once. Distribute the dye using a comb or a wig brush.

Be very gentle because a wet wig is very delicate.

 When the dye distributes evenly, the outcome will look natural. 

Let the Color Set

In the dye packaging, there are instructions on the time you should let the dye set. If you have forgotten, be free to refer.

Generally, the setting time is between 30 to 40 minutes. However, check the wig at intervals of 10mminutes. It allows you to finish the process once you achieve your desired color.

If you do not have a mannequin or a wig stand, you can leave it to set in the bowl. Use a paper foil to wrap cover the bowl.

Shampoo the Wig

Remove your wig from the mannequin. Place it under a shower or a tap, of running warm water. Let the excess dry run down with the water.

Use Biolage Colorlast Shampoo, available here or any other color-safe shampoo of your choice to wash your wig.

Rinse out all the shampoo with warm water.

Condition the Tips of the Wig

When conditioning your wig, only apply from nod length to the tips. Avoid conditioning the roots to prevent the hair from falling out.

Leave the conditioner for about 5 minutes. Use lukewarm water to rinse out the conditioner. 

Pat Dry with a Towel

Use a clean towel to blot out excess water from the wig. Use a large towel so that it does not get wet easily. If you have small towels, replace them once they get wet until you blot out enough water.  Return the wig on the mannequin and secure it with T-pins.

Once again, comb your wig gently. Be extra careful not to pull the strands. 

Dry the Wig

It is advisable to let the wig air-dry until it is completely dry. If you are in a hurry to wear it, you can dry it using a  hairdryer. Set it at low to avoid heat damage on your wig.

When you are using a hairdryer, blow the wig in an up-down motion. Be careful not to overheat the wig.


  • Do not soak the wig in the dye for more than one hour. 
  • Do not bleach your wig. In case you need your wig bleached, take it to the professionals, they know how to handle any hair emergencies that hair bleaching cause.
  • Do not dye a tangled wig; the color will be uneven and unnatural
  • If you want to dye a wig to a brighter shade, consider dyeing it blonde first before dyeing it to your desired color.
  • Use high quality ‘box dyes’ to ensure it is safe for your wig.

Read professional advice here on how to wear a wig with thick hair.

Wig Care expert tips

  1. Use recommended hair products for your human hair wig. They help prolong the life of your wig
  2. Do not cleanse your wig daily. If it is detachable, place it on a mannequin every evening.
  3. If you want a wig that looks completely natural, choose a frontal lace wig.
  4. Never wash your human hair wig without combing.
  5. Before washing a wig, place it under a tap of running water. It prevents tangling.
  6. Always handle your wig gently. The hairs may fall off if you are rough.
  7. Do not expose your wig to direct sunlight for long. The sunlight fades the hair color
  8. Do not go to bed with your human hair wig. If you must, wear a protective bonnet
  9. Keep your human hair wig away from hot water, chlorinated water or seawater. These three are capable of discoloring your wig.
  10. To preserve the shape of your wig, store it on a mannequin with a narrower head.
a variety of wigs in different colors

How to Dye a Human Hair Wig

It is possible to dye a human hair wig. Do not throw away your expensive wig because it has discolored. Give it a new look by applying the color of your choice.

Learn how to straighten hair without heat damage here.