View Full Version : Hair Antenna Tutorial: aka the Bonsai Wig

04-25-2007, 09:21 PM
Since this is such a popular topic and this is my second time making one I’ve compiled the info I’ve learned as well as what others have done in the past.

For Cow Licks (cowlicks) and ahoges.

The Tools

Holding Products
Hair Spray – Got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Spray, AquaNet or other cheap hair spray
Hair Glue – Got2B Glued Spiking Glue (my favorite for making antenna’s and has a stronger hold then hair spray)
Silicon Glue/Caulk – for advanced users (there is no way to fix mistakes if you mess up)
Acrylic Glue – Jewel-It glue and Golden Soft Gel Matte (acrylic medium) – for advanced users (there is no way to fix mistakes if you mess up)
Thin steel wire – I use an 18gauge or thinner floral/jewelry wire
Felt and Craft foam/foamies – used to for large hair antennas or to create more volume in an antenna.

Support items
T-pins and hairpins or floral arrangement pins – to holding wig in place
Bobby pins and Styling clips or Gator clips – to hold hair in place
Saran Wrap – to cover and protect the rest of the wig from hair products
Blow-dryer – set to low temp to help dry the hair products
Barber Shears/scissors – you can buy barber shears from a dollar store but a good sharp pair of scissors it necessary.
Wig Head – if you want to keep your friends and family from killing you by accidentally pining them.
Ribbons – use to hold and compress hair

Note: you will not need everything that is listed but this covers all of this stuff that is used on different antennas.

Making wefts
Here are some of the best topics cover different ways to make wefts if you want to add extensions to your wig or make the antenna separate from the wig first.

First antenna style: The Whale Spout
This the most common and simplest style you will see and was a common style seen in shojo manga. Think Card Captor Sakura or Hetalia.

All there is to it is to use hair glue to make the base of the antenna rigid and the hair will hang down in an arc naturally. If you want to style it more you can use hair spray or if the antenna needs to be thick use hair glue again.

Here is a short ahoge tutorial as well for more flat curls.

Second antenna style: The Alien Whale Spout aka long and thin loops
Just a continuation of the first one but longer. Example: Maya from Tenjho Tenge.
Now there are three different ways to do this but I’ll start with the two wire methods.

The first way is to have the wire act as an internal structure where you use hair spray or glue to mat the wig hair to the wire and let is dry.

The second one dose not requite too much hair spray or glue but needs really thin jewelry wire of the same colour as the wig hair. In this case you could use a Pomade to keep the hair sticking together. The idea behind this one is to keep it flexible by looping the wire around the hair on the outside. The wire will hold it’s shape and can be reshaped and move when you want. This is one of my favorite methods because you can’t really damage it in transport.


Both of these methods need the wire to be secured to the wig mesh on the inside of the wig by having a bit of the wire to run parallel with the top of your head, then you glue it in place with a silicon glue to the wig mesh. Silicon is an ideal glue since it’s flexible and creates a soft pad that won’t irritate your scalp.

The last one is to us hair glue and blow-dry method and depending on how thin the antenna is you may not need a blow-dryer to speed up the drying process. And as above you first need to make the base of the antenna first and allow it to dry completely, it can take up to 6 hours for all the moister to seep out but make sure its rigid before you continue. Then work your way down with the glue in sections and use the blow-dryer on low but I found that the glue would dry faster if the hair was thin and didn’t need you use it. I found this worked well for thin antenna and it gives them a bit of springing motion when you walk. ^_^

Edit: I could not find this link for the life of me >.> her antenna is a hair wrapped wire.

Third antenna style: Fat Bastard aka thick and insanely large
Now these are the ones that cannot be considered hairstyle but more like modern sculptures. Gravity defying dreadlocks and Super Alien antennas! This was first mentioned by Annie-Mei (http://www.cosplay.com/costume/97779/) so give her your love on her Darcia costume.

To get the size and thickness you want these ones need an internal support structure. These can be made from Felt with wire or Craft foam and craft foam with wire.

How to build the structures

My favorite one is felt and wire due to the fact felt has more texture to it, which helps the hair glue or hair spray to stick better. But for super lager structures Craft foam is stronger and should be used. Once you have the structure(s) all you have to do is sandwich the structure inside of the wigs hair with Hair Glue or Hair Spray.

Forth antenna style: Bonsai Wig aka wtf is that thing!
Time consuming, no internal structure and just plan craziness. Relies on hair glue and felt to add volume if needed.

To make things a little bit more easy to understand I’m going to refer to each section of this antenna as a branch.

For this tutorial I’m using my Magna Carta character Carian antenna as an example, it’s really complex but small.

There are to options when doing complex antennas when you first start, one is to protect the rest of the wig buy covering it with plastic wrap or foil with the wig pinned on to a wig head. The other is make the antenna separate from the wig then add it later to the wig or your real hair, which was the route I took. With this one I turning the wig hair into wefts first then pinning it to my wig head with the floral pins I got from a Dollar Store.

You can see the floral pin sticking out of the wig head.

The next step is to make a strong base for your antenna which in this case I added a thin strip of felt to the inside of the antenna to create more volume and saturated the whole thing in hair glue. Half of this base was pined down flat to the wig head while the other half was arc upward by laying on top of two other pins I placed to act as a crutch. Because of how thick it was I left it to dry for 24 hour to insure it was rock hard before I continued.


At this point I sectioned off my first branch to the side with ribbon to style later, then I worked the arc back forward with more glue and use a bit of 18 gauge wire to act as a rest while it dried in place. I also tied the rest of the lose hair off so it would not get tangled.


Now I needed to break the lose hair into three more braches and styled the two front ones with more glue and wires to hold the new arc shape of the antennas in place while it dried.


Then I created the back antenna by fallowing the to front ones arc and hold it in place again with more wire.


When they dried I cut them to the shape and length I wanted, then I arched the last antenna I left at the beginning into place.

Corrections with splints
It was at the point where I needed to go back and fix the angle of the antenna near the base. To do that I first worked in some water into the section of the antenna I wanted to change. By doing this it dissolved the glue in that one spot and loosen the wig hair so it was soft again. Then I created a splint by shaping wire to the curve I wanted the antenna to be then worked in more hair glue into the wig fibers that I had loosened. Then I tired the splint to the section of hair I wanted to change with enough ribbons to cover the section and tied tightly to hold the splint in place and left it to dry over night.


And after all this work this was the finished product.

I would like to point out this past year is the first time I’ve tried to style a wig and I have not been trained to style hair. So don’t fine the task of styling a wig to daunting and both hair spray and hair glue can be washed out of the wig hair and restyled if you mess up

More interesting tutorials and topics

Spikes of DOOM: Roxas hair

It came from Otaku Land! aka gravity defying wigs styles from old school to cyber punk.

04-26-2007, 02:05 AM
Wow! Great tutorial Ani_BEE!! Thanks for posting it! ^_^

10-31-2007, 08:24 PM
Oh wow!! I"m so glad I came across this thread. Thank you for posting this. I'll definitely be using it next year. :D


10-11-2008, 01:54 PM
domo arigato

10-11-2008, 11:52 PM
<--- insane spider-like antennae....

Thanks for this tutorial as well as showing hte different types of antenna that can be achieved.

And, the Darcia wig was actually my first time styling a wig. Yes a huge undertaking, and one I had to figure out, but awesome when it was done. Its my pride and joy. More pics of the process in my Darcia ver 2 Gallery.

07-11-2009, 02:55 AM
I think I'm going to have to necro-post in this thread. I spent FOREVER looking for it since I'd read it forever ago and needed to again see how it was done.

Somebody, sticky!!

07-13-2009, 10:23 AM
hehe I don't think this will get a sticky but there should be a link in the FAQ

...I'm still confused about the spam, one post up.

03-24-2011, 09:19 PM
Which one do you recommend for Blair from Soul Eater?


06-03-2011, 03:39 PM
felt and wire listed in the Third antenna style. ^__^