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Unread 11-24-2007, 05:44 PM   #1
Ghost613
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Common Questions About Wig Styling

Hear ye, hear ye! I've been aware for quite some time that half the questions I'm answering here are the same questions I've answered time and again. Well quite frankly, I'm getting kind of tired of answering the same questions. It's irritating. So, for your reading pleasure and your knowledge, I present a list!

Wig FAQ's I'm tired of answering:

1.Can I put gel in a wig?

NO. Gel does not work in wig hair. Gel works with the structure of human hair, and wigs are made of completely different stuff. Please just stick to hair glue and hairspray.

2.How do I spike a wig?
You use either hairspray or spiking glue.
http://www.folica.com/got2b_Glued_Sty_d1479.html
http://www.folica.com/got2b_Glued_Spi_d1489.html
Most stylers will recommend starting uber spiky styles with Punky.
http://www.cosworx.com/product.php?p...cat=295&page=1
Also, along these lines:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kukkii-san View Post
Here's a very helpful tutorial for a spiky Kingdom Hearts wig:
http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=97834

3.I got this wig and it's too dark. How do I lighten it?
There is NO way to lighten a wig if it's too dark. I'm sorry. This is one of those "tough toenails" situations.

4.How do I straighten a wig?
With hot water.
http://www.pettingzoowigs.com/wigtut...ightening.html
Now how hard is that?
However, you can use a straightener or blowdryer as well WITH EXTREME CAUTION (!!)

5.Where is a good place to buy a wig?
There are only two places I ever recommend; Amphigory and Cosworx. You can sometimes get lucky with eBay, but I would just stick with these two for the most part.
www.amphigory.com/wigs.html
http://cosworx.com/home.php?cat=1

on a wiggy note, i realized i addressed where to get wigs but not extensions. amphigory actually sells extension hair (http://amphigory.com/hair_kanekalon_silky_braid.html), but the color choices are limited-ish. doctored locks is the main go to for extensions.
http://www.doctoredlocks.com/store/silky_braid.html
to match colors from amphigory, katie bair made this really useful chart. it has color numbers as well which is helpful when trying to match with cosworx.
http://www.pettingzoowigs.com/wigs_colorchart.html

6.How can I cut bangs into a wig?
You bring the hair forward and cut it.
www.amphigory.com/wig_how_to_cut_bangs.html
http://www.tristencitrine.com/tutorials/wigbangs.html
http://www.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=138993


7.I want to make my wig a different color. Can I just spray it with colored hairspray? If I dye it, will I be able to take the color out later?
If I EVER catch you spraying your hair, not to mention your WIG with that stuff, I'll set my minions on you!
Dye your wigs with wig dye. Please. There are a couple different options here:
FW Ink:
http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=57484
Sharpies:
http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=82947
Katie Bair:
http://www.pettingzoowigs.com/wigsupplies_dye.html
Wig dye does NOT work as well on wigs made of Elora fiber (Mostly the New Look line). Please keep that in mind.
Wig dye, for the most part, is permanent. You can remove sharpie and FW dye by using a higher concentration of alcohol then what you used to make the dye.

8.I don't want to spend money on an expensive wig. Why can't I just get one at Party City?
There is nothing I can do to stop you from buying a crap wig, but keep in mind, you will NEVER be truly satisfied with a wig of such poor quality, and it will make your costume appear cheap (even if you poured hours of your time and effort into it). You don't want to have your efforts wasted, so believe me, spending just a bit more money for a quality wig is totally worth it.

Also, some advice:
If you don't see the answer to your question on the first page, use the search function. Most questions have been asked already.
Provide reference pictures with you question. Cosplay.com forum goers are not psychic. You have to help us in order for us to help you.
Use proper sentence structure and MINIMAL SMILIES.

With that being said, thank you for your time and good luck.

Other Useful Tidbits (provided by other members):

Can't I just use my own hair? How do I dye it just for the weekend?

You don't. I'm not saying you can't use your own hair and that you cannot dye it, but you cannot dye it pink for the weekend and have your hair return to your natural color by Monday. Dye doesn't work like that. And the "temporary" dye won't wash out for a month or more. And the hairsrapy Halloween stuff 1) looks terrible 2) is horrible to use 3) does not coat evenly 4) rubs off on your clothes 5) stains your clothes and 6) interferes with your style if you are trying to coat all of your hair.
Provided by D001

Long character hair ≠ long wig

If the character has long hair, but it's heavily styled - put into a ponytail, pigtails, braids, an updo, etc. - start with a shoulder length base wig and add extensions for the lengths. (Search the forum for 'ponytail', 'pigtails', 'braids', 'extensions' and you'll find tons of advice and tutorials on how to do that.) And even if they have super long, undone hair, you may want to think twice before you get a tangling monster of a butt-length or ankle-length wig and don't know how to handle it.

Along the same lines, a link to some 'detangling' FAQS would be helpful for beginners^^
Provided by Kukkii-san
On that note, here are some useful detangling threads (and mind you, long wigs tangle like a b!7ch):
http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=118976
http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=118867
http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?p=2248959

Does anyone have a good tutorial link or something in regards to putting a regular wig into pigtails without it looking horrible? For example, for those making Etna or Sailor Moon/Chibi Moon/Chibi Chibi/Black Lady/etc?


the one and only: http://www.pettingzoowigs.com/wigtutorial_parting.html
Again, Kukkii-san

I would like to add that if you are making a Sailor moon style wig, you might want to know about stubbing and odangos as well.
http://www.pettingzoowigs.com/wigtutorial_stubbing.html
http://www.pettingzoowigs.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=20
http://charmedseed.livejournal.com/10260.html

Also from CapsuleCorp
"No, you cannot dye a synthetic wig with any dye meant to be used on human hair. Period. It no work that way."
(may i add a few exclamation points?)

Last edited by Ghost613 : 03-04-2008 at 07:45 PM.
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Unread 11-24-2007, 08:35 PM   #2
Kuro Yue
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Rebuttal time!

1. I've used gel in wigs for the construction of spikes, and gel is designed to stick to itself as well as the hair, so it makes for easy spikes. To solidify the spikes I used a layer of hairspray. Washes out with a bit of effort, but you can throw the wig across the room and the spikes won't get wrecked.

4. Hair straighteners can be used too - as long as they have settings and are kept on low. It takes a while longer than the hot water method, but it gives you more control over what's straightened and how it's straightened.
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Unread 11-24-2007, 10:35 PM   #3
D001
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OMG Please please please sticky this someone! *begs*

Also:

Can't I just use my own hair? How do I dye it just for the weekend?

You don't. I'm not saying you can't use your own hair and that you cannot dye it, but you cannot dye it pink for the weekend and have your hair return to your natural color by Monday. Dye doesn't work like that. And the "temporary" dye won't wash out for a month or more. And the hairsrapy Halloween stuff 1) looks terrible 2) is horrible to use 3) does not coat evenly 4) rubs off on your clothes 5) stains your clothes and 6) interferes with your style if you are trying to coat all of your hair.

Also, if you have dark hair, you'll need to bleach it before dying in order to make it accept color better and you'll have to dye and/or let your hair grow out.

D
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Unread 11-24-2007, 11:09 PM   #4
Ghost613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mukino Kuneka
1. I've used gel in wigs for the construction of spikes, and gel is designed to stick to itself as well as the hair, so it makes for easy spikes. To solidify the spikes I used a layer of hairspray. Washes out with a bit of effort, but you can throw the wig across the room and the spikes won't get wrecked.
gel works with the protein structure of hair as well as the natural oils produced in your scalp. wigs are made of plastic and i'm pretty sure they don't make their own oils. you may have gotten you spikes to work, but even though the gel didn't hurt your spikes, it didn't help (maybe it has something to with the hairspray?).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mukino Kuneka
4. Hair straighteners can be used too - as long as they have settings and are kept on low. It takes a while longer than the hot water method, but it gives you more control over what's straightened and how it's straightened.
wasn't saying they can't be love. however, it is common knowledge that the hot water method is the easiest and most readily available to wig n00bs. most aren't going to use an heat adjustable straightener and they're going to end up wrecking their wig.
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Unread 11-25-2007, 05:41 PM   #5
Kuro Yue
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I managed to style my wig into spikes using the gel. I don't know how it would have fared with just the gel, as I immediately used the hairspray on it. When it comes to wigs with just hairspray, though, its very difficult to get large clumps of hair to stick together long enough to be able to spray it all without it being deformed in some way, either by clips holding it up or otherwise. Not only that, but hair is still victim to gravity after being styled with spray, and the stronger gels, again, stick to themselves and, being gels, cover more area with less grunt work. Gel would also give the person the time and ability to hand-mold larger spikes, and then the spray can be used to set it.

And I'm speaking from the 'use gobs and gobs of gel to saturate the spike' standpoint.

Doesn't hair glue conform to the same interactivity as gel?

I'm very quick to jump on any straightening method that has no mention of straighteners or actually condemns them as absolutely the worst way to straighten a wig. I feel that a lot of cosplayers, especially the new ones, end up being somewhat brainwashed by this theory and then, without any real experience in the matter, tell other people the same thing, and it spreads like some kind of terrible virus. I was like this, too. >< So I just thought that it was worth mentioning such.
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Unread 11-25-2007, 07:38 PM   #6
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There are also some trust worthy wig sellers off of ebay and possibly some in said searcher's area. You might also want to put that some of the questions are usually directed from newbs and that some of the answers are not complete absolutes.

Can I bleach my hair? (along those lines)

Probably not a good idea as it's practically killing your hair. And if your hair's dark, it'll probably turn orange. Not very attractive.

This is kinda more in depth but along the lines of dying: sharpie dying *when attempted* doesn't work on all wigs. Remember that wigs are made of different fibers and react differently.
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Unread 11-25-2007, 09:53 PM   #7
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Why use gel when you can use a spiking glue? It probably works a whole lot better.
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Unread 11-26-2007, 02:45 PM   #8
Kuro Yue
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I used a gel because that was what I had on hand at the time. That's all.
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Unread 11-26-2007, 04:08 PM   #9
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Using gel or hair glue or anything has to be better than what I did on my very first costume and assume Elmers glue would do the trick....

Or try and use a rubber playground ball as a wig stand....

Or use a wig from Oriental Trading Company....

You get the gist
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Unread 11-26-2007, 04:43 PM   #10
Ghost613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amerikaijin View Post
Using gel or hair glue or anything has to be better than what I did on my very first costume and assume Elmers glue would do the trick....

Or try and use a rubber playground ball as a wig stand....

Or use a wig from Oriental Trading Company....

You get the gist
ouch.
lol, first time i ever styled a wig (about a year ago) i didn't have a wig head so i used a trombone stand with stocking filled with socks duct taped to the top.
it sorta worked... sorta.
in regards to the gel, i didn't realize it would be such a hot topic! but with styling glue, you use so little that one bottle will last you a LONG time. i'm still on my first. it's not that hard to get yourself a tube (it's sold at almost every drugstore in the country) so it's just a good idea to do so, if you going to attempt anything remotely "jrock". however, i'm not saying it's the only way to spike. there are various methods, most using combinations of hair glue, hairspray (cheap or otherwise) and sometimes even clear drying caulk (only in very special cases).
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Unread 11-26-2007, 04:53 PM   #11
jaoqinchik
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tristen citrine also has a nice bang cutting tutorial to make poufy bangs
http://www.tristencitrine.com/tutorials/wigbangs.html

p.s. thank you for finally making this thread, its brilliant
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Unread 11-27-2007, 03:47 PM   #12
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Finally someone made a thread to answer all those common questions!! It should get stickied.

Edit: Here's a great tutorial from Amphigory on how to curl a wig. Hopefully someone will find it useful. http://amphigory.com/wig_how_to_curl.html

Last edited by Goddess Iduna : 11-27-2007 at 03:51 PM.
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Unread 11-27-2007, 09:14 PM   #13
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I think it's about time to also add:

No, you cannot dye a synthetic wig with any dye meant to be used on human hair. Period. It no work that way.
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Unread 11-28-2007, 07:25 AM   #14
caelanarcher
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Along those lines, let's also add "How do I lighten a wig?"

Answer: You don't.
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Unread 11-28-2007, 04:56 PM   #15
Ghost613
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caelanarcher View Post
Along those lines, let's also add "How do I lighten a wig?"

Answer: You don't.
yah, i already said that. its my biggest pet peeve.
as somebody else said before me (i think it was in the FW thread) wigs are made of plastic. the only way to lighten plastic is to melt it and blend in lighter colors of melted plastic.
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