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View Full Version : Wig styling help and which materials to use?


Jess-Jess
06-22-2003, 01:17 PM
Hi guys!

I have never worn wigs before, and at Metrocon, it will be my first with a pink Merle wig from Escaflowne the Movie. I was wondering what are good materials to style a wig (i.e. can you just use normal hairspray...) and also, how do you wash a wig? I'm not sure if you have to hand wash it, or can you actually put it in a washing maschine (sorry if that's dumb, I'm just really clueless -.-).

There's not much I have to do to the wig, just seperate and lift the bangs a little, and then slick back the top of her hair (I included the pic of Merle so you know what I'm talking about...).

Well, thanks ahead of time! I really appreciate the help! ^-^

Jessie >^..^<

Koumori
06-22-2003, 05:04 PM
For minimal styling, you can probably use regular hair spray, though they do make special wig hair spray as well. You should definitely NOT put a wig in the washing machine, but you can handwash it in the sink and air dry.

Jess-Jess
06-22-2003, 07:14 PM
K! Thanks a lot :) I didn't think you should do something like toss it into the washing machine, but you never know...lol. Yeah, I don't think that I really need to do too much styling to it, but I might if I try and it doesn't work -.- So do you know where I can get wig spray? I assume at any haircare place like a Sally Beauty?

Koumori
06-22-2003, 07:40 PM
Sally's generally doesn't have wig supplies, or hasn't when I've been looking for them. Wig stores carry them. I've found the best selection of wig stuff at Wilshire Wigs (www.wilshirewigs.com) though they can be a bit pricey.

KaraokeKate
06-23-2003, 03:37 AM
The most common styling products I use with my wigs are:

"Bargain" Hairspray (You don't need and fancy moisturizers or suncreens, just the laquer...) $3 for a big can.

Paul Mitchell Styling Glue - $10 a bottle, but you only use it in small amounts, so it lasts a long time.

Pomade - $10 a tub, used to give light texturing effects.

Clear-Drying Caulk - $5 a tube... this is my most commonly used styling product, as it sticks well to synthetic fiber, dries clear, and remains flexible.

I don't use any special "wig styling" products, but you might want ot pick up some wig shampoo, as normal shampoos are too strong for synthetic fiber. (They weigh them down, and sometimes make them brittle.)

NOTE: Gel and Mousse don't work very well in synthetic fiber wigs. Both products are designed to work with your hair's natural oils and porosity, which wigs don't have.

Like Koumori said, Sally's doesn't have much in the way of wig supplies (they do have foam heads though...), but you can get non-wig styling products there, like cheap hairspray in the giant bad-for-the-environment aerosol cans.

Hope this helps. ^_^

Jess-Jess
06-23-2003, 03:57 AM
Ah! Katie! lol- what a small world :) I was the girl that asked you about the Komugi wig a couple days ago ^-^ I didn't know you were on Cosplay.com! teehee, so cool...Thank you for all the help! That actually helps out tremendously. I do need to get some foam heads, so I shall go over to Sally one of these days.

I wasn't planning on using either mousse or gel, just beacuse that seemed like a bad idea, just doesn't sound too good, lol... But that is a really good point about getting good shampoo-which I will also do. Is there any store to buy that stuff from, or do I just have to get it off the internet? Thanks again for all the advice!!!

Jessie >^..^<

number18
06-26-2003, 12:55 PM
Strange. Why do I recall someone saying that certain hairspray melted cheap wigs or something. I was afraid to put anything in my Juuhachi wig to try and get her little...thingy...the high part in her hair. I ended up sticking a tiny bit of gel in that area and it only made the fibers clump together and I had to furiously try to seperate them.

Pomeade, eh? I'll have to try it...

:D

Dewy
06-26-2003, 02:44 PM
Pomeade for texturing effects? Like what? o.o

KimikoChan
06-26-2003, 09:33 PM
I have purchased some really cheap wig hairsprays on ebay. So if you just do some searching, you'll find something. And it's been a blessing. I got a regular size bottle for about $2.00

Jess-Jess
06-26-2003, 10:39 PM
Cool! Thanks for the suggestion KimikoChan! I will definitally look. That's actually where I got my wig as well, and it is a very nice quality!

Raya
06-27-2003, 12:29 PM
I'm suprised no one has mentioned heat yet!

All the suggestions I've heard I use depending on the style I want in my wig.... As for hairspray, try using Tresemme Extra hold. The stuff is like magic! I styled a Cloud wig with it (you might have seen him, he was KH at Fanime- if anyone went there).

But another thing to make a wig do what you want it to, especially if you're styling it into a position that it doesn't seem to want to go, or if you have a wig without bangs and you need to put bangs in and better yet (make them go UP and OUT) like all Anime characters usually have... use a hairdryer! Put a little hairspray on towards the "roots," and, on the highest setting set it close to the base of the hair, and retrain the hair to fall the way you want. You're actually melting the synthetic hair just slightly enough, so that when it dries it'll go the way you want it too. The technique is also good for putting curls into a wig, or getting a wave out of a straight wig, without junking it up with too many hair styling products. For those, you should use a little hairspray as well though, it always gives it a little extra support.

Never use an iron though, that will definitely MELT the wig. Though I have heard someone used a flat iron on theirs and it worked, they must have had it on a very very low setting, and been extra careful not to leave it on too long. But I would have to see it to believe it!

Jess-Jess
06-27-2003, 01:00 PM
Wow Raya, thanks so much! I will definitally try that! Now, when you say to use a hairdryer and hairspray 1.) you mean the Tresemme, I am assuming? and 2.) about how long do you think I should hold the hairdryer towards the base of the wig and also how would I know when it's ready/how long does it usually take to melt? I assume you can just tell, but I really don't want to screw up my wig ;.; lol...If you look at my first post, you can see what I'm trying to do to the wig in my attatchment. It's a fairly simple hairdo that I am doing on a little bit long bob wig. I will definitally have to do the bang suggestion like you said. Well, thanks again! That was really helpful! Talk to you soon ^-^

Jessie >^..^<

Raya
06-27-2003, 02:44 PM
Hey! Okay- let's see how I can talk you through this... ^^;; Sometimes it's hard to explain. But I'll do my best! I've forced myself to learn a lot about wigs because I find them to be so NICE because the style is there and you plop it on your head and there you go! No junk in your own hair!

Sorry in advance, this post is REALLY long...But I hope others can benefit from it too. This is the tecnique I used with my best friend (helping A LOT) to make my Millenia bangs (the picture in my Avatar).

<<Wow Raya, thanks so much! I will definitally try that! Now, when you say to use a hairdryer and hairspray 1.) you mean the Tresemme, I am assuming? >>

Yup! That stuff will work like a charm. It's like liquid cement if you use a lot. You don't have to treat your wig like a piece of fragile glass when you use it too, your wig will survive the usual thrashing it gets when worn. You don't want to sit on it or anything tho. ^^;;;

<<and 2.) about how long do you think I should hold the hairdryer towards the base of the wig and also how would I know when it's ready/how long does it usually take to melt? I assume you can just tell, but I really don't want to screw up my wig ;.; >>

Hmm... it's a hard call to always say how long, You don't need to hold it there for more than 10 seconds though, it doesn't take much to melt the synthetic hair. You won't be able to SEE it melting (you shouldn't or that would be bad).

First, separate the sections for the bangs, then taking one side, hold up the hair vertically from the wig, and spray a little hairspray right where the roots of the wig are in front (that will be close to your forhead), then hold the hairdryer there.(You may want to do this part on a wighead if you're doing this by yourself, because you don't want to burn your skin!) If you have someone there helping you, then they can use the hairdryer and you can shield yourself with a towel or something. It's always better to style it on your own head, so you know exactly how the bangs will fall on yourself, wigheads aren't accurate in terms of placement of features, the eyes are always too high up on the forehead. So don't cut the bangs until you're wearing the wig on your own head.

After you've got the base for the bangs, then you can train the hair to go up and over with the same sort of tecnique. Hairspray the bangs at the roots on top of the head and at the place where you want them to flip down and hold the hair with your hands and use the hairdryer to dry until they stay in place.

The trickiest part is the section under the bangs at the peak of the "flip" (you know when they're turning down), you want to use a lot of hairspray in just that little area in there, because that's where the weight of the rest of the bangs will be carried. In addition to hairspray, I'll coat a little bit of Elmer's clear Glue Gel in there for extra hold. It's nice strong stuff and dries clear.

And now for the curl in the bangs. There are a few courses you can take, but my recommendation for this particular character, who has a very distinguised curl in her bangs, would be to first cut the bangs how you want them, and then coat them with a little bit of styling gel, (JUST a little bit). Then, I would wrap the hair around part of a large curler in the direction you want the bangs to curl, and then use the hairdryer on a medium heat setting and keep it there until it's dry. Finish with a cool blast to make sure the hair is cool. When you take the curler away, the hair should stay curled. If not, try it again and leave the hairdryer on longer.

The whole process takes A LOT of patience, because you're putting stuff on the wig and in order for it to stay, you need to stand there holding the hairdryer forever... it took me like... three hours to do just what I've mentioned above. Maybe more-- I don't really keep track. But it's worth the hassle!

I can't wait to see how it looks when it's done. GOOD LUCK!

Raya

Jess-Jess
06-27-2003, 04:58 PM
Raya you are awesome! Thanks soooo much for your tutorial ^-^ You are a life saver! I will definitally try this, and my boyfriend lives w/ me, so he can help with the whole blowdryer thing. Wow, there is so much work that goes into all of this, but you are right, it will be worth all the effort. I just hope that I don't chicken out and get frustrated w/ it and eventually just keep it how it is...I know I at least am going to do the bangs like you said, since that is one of the defining things of her hairstyle. I was afraid that using a hairdyryer would totally screw up the wig, but it looks like taken in moderation, it's actually what's best for your wig! ^-^ Again, thank you so much, you have helped me a TON! You're the best! Talk to you all soon!

Jessie >^..^<

carly579
06-27-2003, 08:14 PM
yes thanks a ton, I've had problems trying to style/curl wigs without making them look "nappy"

Sarcasm-hime
06-27-2003, 08:33 PM
Steam also works well on wigs for setting curls and such like. That's what was recommended to me by a friend who's worked in musical theatre and is a REALLY good drag queen.

Raya
06-28-2003, 04:16 AM
You're welcome! I wish you luck! My best advice when styling wigs, is just to have patience. =) Take your time with it like you would a work of art. Too many people just hack away at their wigs, or don't bother with styling, and a well styled wig can really make a difference sometimes between good cosplay and GREAT cosplay!

carly579
06-28-2003, 06:55 PM
yes I love styling wigs. I've been pretty good about how to cut them and have them look natural, but I've always shyed away from using stying products. I usually try to cut the right shape into the wig, and allow the person I'm shipping to to style it. Most of the time it just takes a little fluffing, but again thanks, I can't wait to try these thecniques on my Kei, Dirty Pair Flash wig.