How To Bleach Bath A Wig – Without Ruining It.

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Whether you’re a wig-wearing newbie or a seasoned pro, we bet you’ve had moments where you’ve looked at your wig and thought, “This could do with a little sprucing up!”

Wigs can be one of the most versatile and fun accessories to have in your collection. They allow you to try out different hairstyles and colors without committing to a drastic chop or dye job. But what if you’ve found a wig that’s just a little too dark for your liking?

Well, have you ever considered a bleach bath? No, we’re not suggesting you drop your wig in a tub of Clorox and hope for the best. We’re talking about a specific method designed to rejuvenate tired and dull wigs.

If term ‘bleach bath’ makes you a bit nervous, don’t worry – we’re here to break it down for you. We’ll tell you all about what a bleach bath is, how to whip up the perfect formula, and guide you through the process, step by step.

Let’s go!

What is a bleach bath and how does it work on wigs?

A bleach bath is a gentler alternative to using pure bleach, which can be damaging to hair – and wigs!

The shampoo in the mixture helps dilute the bleach, making it less harsh on the hair fibers.

Bleach baths are commonly used to lighten previously dyed hair, but they can also be used on wigs to lighten them. If your wig is very dark though, this may not be the process for you.

A bleach bath can remove buildup and gradually lightens hair, creating a more natural blonde tone. So it’s more for refreshing blonde wigs – that’s what we find works best.

Depending on how long you leave it in for, a bleach bath can achieve anything from subtle highlights to an all-over bleached look.

Bleaching Human Hair Wigs vs Synthetic Hair Wigs

Bleaching human hair wigs and synthetic hair wigs are two different processes.

Human hair wigs can be bleached using regular hair bleach, while synthetic hair wigs require a special type of bleach that is formulated for synthetic fibers.

Why bleach a wig?

Create a more natural looking blonde tone: A bleach bath can help you achieve an ultra-realistic, all-over blonde color without damaging the wig fibers.

Remove buildup: If you use styling products on your wigs frequently, it can cause buildup, which can make them look dull and lifeless. A bleach bath helps strip away all that buildup and restore the wig’s natural shine.

Lighten previously dyed wigs: Have a wig that’s been over-dyed? A bleach bath can help lighten it up to create a more natural color.

Refresh dull or damaged hair: If your wig is looking tired and dull, a bleach bath may be just what it needs to restore its natural shine!

Add subtle highlights: If you’re looking to add some subtle highlights to an otherwise plain-colored wig, a bleach bath is a great way to do that without having to go through the hassle of full-on bleaching.

How To Prep Your Wig for A Bleach Bath

  1. Start by shampooing and deep conditioning the wig: This will help remove any buildup and ensure that your bleach bath gets to every strand of hair.
  2. Use a clarifying shampoo if you want a more intense result: If you’re looking for an even lighter color, a clarifying shampoo can help strip away any stubborn stains or buildup.
  3. Let the wig air dry: This will help the bleach penetrate the fibers more evenly and also ensure that there’s no excess moisture in the hair, which can cause it to become brittle or break off.

How To Bleach Bath A Wig Step by Step

What you’ll need:

  • Mild shampoo
  • 40 to 50 volume hydrogen peroxide developer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Gloves
  • Timer

Step 1: Prepare the bleach bath mixture.

Mix one part hydrogen peroxide with two parts mild shampoo in a bowl.

It’s important that you use high quality products, as cheap ingredients can damage your wig.

Bleach bath mixture 1

Step 2: Massage the mixture into hair.

Put the gloves on and start to gently massage the mixture throughout the wig.

Be sure to saturate all of the strands evenly, paying special attention to areas that may have heavier dye buildup or need more lightening. The amount of time you leave it in for determines the degree of lightening.

Step 3: Allow the mixture to work its magic.

Set your timer for 10-20 minutes, depending on how light you want your wig to be.

Keep an eye on it and make sure that you don’t leave in the bleach bath too long – overprocessing can damage hair fibers and ruin your wig.

Step 4: Rinse the mixture out of the wig.

Once the time is up, rinse out the bleach bath with lukewarm water.

Make sure that you thoroughly wash out all traces of the mixture, as any leftovers might cause irritation or dryness.

Step 5: Shampoo and condition the wig.

Once you’ve rinsed out all of the bleach bath, shampoo and condition your wig as you usually would.

Use a high quality product designed specifically for wigs to ensure that your hair fibers remain shiny and healthy-looking.

bleach bath hair

Step 6: Style and admire!

Finally, style your wig however you’d like and admire it’s new fabulous color!

Remember, every wig is unique and may react differently to bleach.

Always perform a strand test before fully committing to the bleach bath. It’s all about trial, observation, and learning what works best for your wig.


  1. Use a Large Washing Up Bowl: We find that a large washing up bowl is ideal for the bleach bath process. It provides enough space for the wig to be submerged which means the bleach can be absorbed into the hair evenly.
  2. Pre-Wash Your Wig: Before proceeding with the bleach bath, wash your wig to remove any product buildup or residue.
  3. Safety First: Always remember to wear gloves while handling bleach. It can be quite harsh on the skin and cause irritation or dryness.
  4. Dry Wig Before Bleaching: While this might seem counter-intuitive, bleach works best on dry hair. Ensure your wig is fully dry before starting the bleaching process. This will enable the bleach to get into the hair strands and break down the color molecules easier, leading to a more noticeable color lift.
  5. Bleaching Time: Monitor the bleaching process closely. Leaving the bleach on for too long can cause damage, while not enough time might not give the right left. Regularly check the color during the process to get it right.

Watch and learn: How to bleach bath a wig using the watercolor method.

Here’s a great video tutorial that guides you through how to bleach bath a wig in just 10 mins using the watercolor hair dye method!

Can you bleach bath a synthetic wig?

Sure! You can totally bleach bath a synthetic wig.

Although synthetic wigs and hair extensions are made of plastic fibers, so they can get damaged if exposed to high temperatures.

That’s why it’s super important to use a gentle bleach solution and keep a close eye on the wig during the bleaching process to prevent any mishaps.

How to bleach bath a synthetic wig Step-by-Step

  1. Gather Your Supplies: You’ll need a bleach solution specifically made for synthetic fibers. This usually consists of hydrogen peroxide and water, and it’s much milder than regular bleach.
  2. Prepare the Wig: Ensure the wig is dry before you start. Wetting it can lead to the bleach solution seeping into the wig cap and causing damage.
  3. Mix the Bleach Solution: Follow the instructions on the bleach solution to get the correct bleach-to-water ratio.
  4. Apply the Bleach Solution: Start applying the bleach solution to the wig. Be careful not to get any on the wig cap or parts that aren’t meant to be bleached.
  5. Monitor the Process: The duration of the bleach bath depends on the strength of the bleach solution and the color of the wig. Keep a close eye on the wig, and don’t leave it in the bleach bath for more than 30 minutes.
  6. Rinse and Dry: Once the time’s up, rinse the wig and let it dry.

Remember, patience is key when it comes to bleach bathing your synthetic wig.

It’s a gentler method of lightening the wig compared to traditional bleach, reducing the risk of damage. Always follow the instructions on the bleach solution and make sure to avoid areas that aren’t meant to be bleached. Enjoy your newly lightened wig!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you bleach a wig with regular bleach?

Regular bleach isn’t the best choice when it comes to bleaching wigs.

It contains harsh chemicals that can really damage those delicate wig fibers, making them brittle and prone to breakage.

Plus, it can totally mess up the color, turning your wig yellow or orange. But hey, no worries! There’s a better solution.

Using a bleach bath solution specifically designed for wigs is the way to go. It’ll safely and effectively lighten your wig without causing any damage or discoloration.

Can you bleach bath human hair wigs?

Yes, you can bleach bath human hair wigs, but with caution.

Unlike synthetic wigs, human hair wigs are composed of real hair and are much more delicate. That means they’re prone to damage if the bleach solution is too strong or left in for too long.

When bleaching a human hair wig, start off with a weaker bleach solution and always keep an eye on it. It’s also important to use a deep conditioning treatment after bleaching to add moisture back into the wig fibers. That way, your human hair wig will stay looking healthy and shiny!

And as long as you’re careful and follow the right steps, you’ll be able to enjoy your newly lightened wig in no time.

Do you bleach bath on wet or dry hair?

It’s best to bleach bath on dry hair. That way, the bleach solution will be easily absorbed and won’t cause any extra damage to your wig fibers.

When bleaching a synthetic wig, make sure it’s completely dry before applying the solution. For human hair wigs, you don’t need to wait until it’s totally dry. Just make sure it’s damp and not too wet before bleaching.

Once you’ve applied the solution, let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing it out with cold water. This will ensure that the bleach bath is effective without causing any damage to your wig!

How often can you bleach bath a wig?

It depends on the kind of wig you have. If you’re bleaching a synthetic wig, then it can be done up to three times a year. Human hair wigs require more caution, so they should only be bleached once or twice a year at most.

When it comes to bleaching your wig, always err on the side of caution. It’s best to use a weaker bleach solution and keep an eye on it as you go. That way, you can make sure your wig isn’t damaged in the process!

How long should I leave my wig in a bleach bath?

The length of time you should leave your wig in a bleach bath depends on how light you want it and the type of wig you’re working with.

Synthetic wigs should only be left in for a few minutes to avoid damaging the fibers.

Human hair wigs can be left in longer, but keep a close eye on it to prevent over-bleaching.

Start with 5-10 minutes, check regularly, and add more time if needed.

Remember, it’s better to be cautious and check frequently to avoid damage. Once you reach the desired lightness, rinse with cool water and condition to keep it looking fab!

How to care for my wig after bleaching.

Once you’ve finished bleaching your wig, it’s important to give it some extra TLC.

Start by rinsing with cool water for a few minutes and then using a moisturizing conditioner that’s specifically formulated for wigs. This will help keep the fibers looking smooth and hydrated.

If you’re using human hair wigs, you’ll also want to use a deep conditioning treatment once or twice a month. This will help keep your wig looking healthy and beautiful.

When it comes to styling, avoid using heat tools on the bleached sections of your wig. Heat can damage fibers over time, so opt for air-drying instead!

Finally, always store your wig in a cool, dry place to keep it looking its best. With proper care, your bleached wig can stay looking fabulous for years to come!

Parting words

Bleach washing your wig is a great way to get the lightness you want without having to commit to permanent damage.

With the right mixture, process, and care, you can have beautiful blonde locks that will be sure to turn heads.

Good luck and happy styling!

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!