Tag Archives: wigs

Tutorial Tuesday: Sprucing Up a Wig

29 Nov

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Tutorial Tuesday: Spikey Wig!

20 Sep

You will do it at one time or another.

You just don’t know it yet.

Tutorial by TwinFools @ DeviantArt

Cosplay Tutorial: Shiva Wig

6 Sep

This was also featured on a blog I co-write called Cosplay Blog,

It merits attention here as well!

Anyone else notice that the photos were done at Otakon? ^^

Made by Gerodere

Tuesday Tutorial: Wig Updo

28 Jun

This week we’re starting Tutorial Tuesday, showcasing a new tutorial every week! This week’s tutorial is brought to you from Kukki-san.

High ponytails and updo’s are one of the most essential, yet tricky wig-styling techniques. You really need to wrap your mind around how wigs work, as opposed to real hair, and you’ll need a lot of patience and precision if you want a ponytail wig that is neat and clean looking, fits your head well, and will last throughout more than one convention.

I compiled a tutorial with photos from different projects I completed over the last year or so, and some that I made specifically for this tutorial. So the wig colors, styles, and photo quality will vary throughout the tut, but they all illustrate the same basic styling technique.

The tutorial will conclude with a few examples of how to evolve the basic ponytail shape into completely different styles. (In progress.)

While this tutorial is for wigs with a SINGLE ponytail (or hairbun) and does NOT show how to make a back part for two or more pigtails, the technique for pulling up the hair into the ponytail(s) is the same. Only where and how you add the extra hair to fill up the bald spots in the wig will differ.

Supplies

1. Clips and Combs

2. Glue/Adhesive Caulk

3. Cut open elastics (should be with metal bands)

4. Scissors

5. Extra Hair

6. Base Wig

7. Wig Head and Stand

1. Finding the Right Base

The basic idea here is to STUB the base wig (i.e., make a ponytail, seal it at the base, and cut it off!) – then ADD long extensions to create the actual ponytail.

So you DO NOT need to start with a LONG wig at all!

For most ponytail and updo styles, a shoulder length through shoulder blade length base wig (16-24″ / 40-60cm) is perfect. It should be as thick as possible, and you’ll probably want it to have a large skin top and a versatile front so you can either pull all of the hair back into the ponytail, or style all kinds of bangs and side bangs known in the world of anime^^

The wig should be non-layered, meaning all of the hair in the wig will come down to the same length and there should be no short, frizzy hair at the nape of the neck (this is a trick used in some wigs to add volume.)

I usually recommend the Femme Fatale from Amphigory.com, as well as the Angela 750 and the longer Ashley 850 from New Look brand (available at cosworx, Amphigory, and a bunch of other stores.) Look out for this type of wig from other brands too. They all come in a slightly wavy style, but they can easily be straightened using hot water (160-185°F / 70-85°C.)

DO NOT use a LONG base wig unless the character has full, long side bangs that you cannot possibly create by adding extensions.

Why not use a long wig? Putting it in a ponytail is a pain because it tangles like hell and the weight pulling on the roots makes it difficult to style the hair or even fix it in the desired position. You will probably not be satisfied with the result (you might even ruin the wig in the process) if this is your first time putting a wig into a high ponytail.

Plus, extra long wigs are usually way thinner than shorter wigs, so you will need to add more extensions for overall thickness and to conceal the undermesh in the back. You’ll end up investing more time and money compared to a mid-length wig.

2. Making the Wig Fit

 With a ponytail or updo, the size and fit of the wig is vital, because the updo reduces the ability of the wig to stretch and relax in the back and to adjust to any head size and shape.

Measure your maximum head circumference (preferably over a wig cap, with your own hair put up in the back like you would when wearing a wig!) and compare that to the size of the wig head you’re using. If the wig head is too small (most wig heads are), you will need to stuff paper between the wig and head when you style it.

While it’s usually a good idea to use a laaaaaarge wig and simply stretch the wig to the max in the back while styling it, this may not work for people with smaller heads. Ponytail wigs will look lumpy in the back if they are too big.

If you have a small head, put on the wig you’ll be using. If it’s big on your head and you need to adjust the hooks in the back to keep it from shifting, you will have to take it in before making a ponytail. Cut open the elastic and the lower rows of wefts on both sides (a few inches behind the ears) and sew them together again so that the wig fits you just fine without needing to adjust the hooks at all.

Wigs are designed to be worn with their hair down. Whenever you pull them up into some sort of high ponytail or updo, the undermesh will show in the back. Ugh!

In order to prevent that, you will need to sew an extra weft or two along the bottom of the wig. This is done BEFORE you make the actual ponytail, so let’s take a look at how it’s done and what you need to get started…

3. Finding Wefts to Sew

How to obtain matching wefts to cover up the bald spots in your wig?

1.) You can make them yourself from loose extensions (silky straight kanekalon) using one of several no-sew or sewing techniques. Take a look at my tutorial: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1079221/
or at this thread: http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=113387

You must use extensions that MATCH the color of your wig, so you need to be aware of the color number or color code (e.g., 12; 613; KAF1) when ordering both the wig and the extensions. Color numbers are a standard across the industry, color names – like “medium brown” or “blue” – are not!!!

Extensions are available in a limited range of colors, so be aware of what colors your supplier carries before you order the base wig.

2.) You can buy pre-made wefts (e.g., at the cosplay.com store or amphigory.com) or harvest an existing wig for wefts (use a seam ripper or sharp scissors to disconnect the wefts from the elastic or undermesh without cutting into the hair.) Again, make sure the colors match.

If your base wig is fairly thick, you can also rip a few wefts off of the back of the wig without leaving a bald spot!

Your weft(s) need(s) to be at least 15″ wide (the number of layers/wefts depends on how thick they are), and the fiber should be at least 12″ long.

4. Attaching Wefts

Using a ribbon or cut-open (!) elastic, tie the hair into a loose ponytail (simply to get it out of your way and keep it from tangling; claw clips are also helpful.) Turn the wig inside out. The elastic along the bottom back of the wig is where your weft(s) will go, and possibly the tabs and side front of the wig too. How much you need to conceal depends on how much coverage the hairstyle is going to give you – i.e., how tight and high the ponytail is supposed to be, and on how much hair from the front and sides is supposed to be pulled up into the ponytail.

Stretching the elastic TO THE MAX (!!!), pin the weft to the INSIDE of the elastic, pointing OUTWARDS.

Making a zigzag pattern will keep the weft from being too tight or bulging out when relaxed. A little bulging is fine, though, because the elastic will be stretched while it’s on your head later! If you don’t stretch the elastic enough while sewing on the weft, the wig will end up being too small!

Sew the weft on by hand, using matching thread. Make small, elastic (zigzag) stitches and be sure to catch the full width of the weft so it does not shift or flip.

Depending on the color and fullness of the wig and on how thick the wefts are (home-made, sewn wefts being thickest), you may need more than one weft to conceal the undermesh. Simply sew them on top of each other.

5. Attaching Wefts (Pt. 2)

Pin the wig to a wig head. The head MUST be your size; if it’s too small, stuff the wig with paper pin it down until it’s stretched to the max in the back. Pin down the edges of the skin top too if it looks like it’s warping.

Make sure the wig is centered on the head – use the center seam underneath the scalp, the elastic and tags in the back, and the tabs on the temples as guidelines!

Put lots of pins in the back of the wig to hold the elastic down and keep it from flipping or relaxing when you pull the fiber up into a ponytail.

6. Sectioning the Bangs

Separate the hair for the bangs from whatever you want pulled up / back into the ponytail. Make sure the undermesh does not show when the bangs are brushed forward and the rest of the hair is in a ponytail. Use a thick needle or the handle of a comb to section off the strands precisely. It’s usually a good idea to take some hair from the tabs / temple area and pull it back into the ponytail, while leaving the hair on top to hang over it and cover up any bald spots. In general, the loose hair should arch over the hair that is tied back.

If needed, sew more wefts to the sides of the wig, inbetween the existing wefts, to thicken up the base wig and cover up any bald spots.

Brush the hair forward and tie / clip it out of your way. You will cut and style the bangs last, after the ponytail is finished. Continue reading