Unless you know what you’re doing, knowing how to style wigs is one of the intimidating parts of cosplaying. There are plenty of fictional characters like Cruella De Vil, Kirishima, or Starfire that have unrealistic hair expectations that can be only achieved with a wig.
Plus, having the perfect wig can completely alter your appearance and help you immerse yourself into the character. While using your own hair might work, a wig is recommended because it will stay styled, look polished, and reduce the damage done to your hair.
Regardless of the type of wig styles, however, you will need to master the art of manipulation to have a natural look, which varies from coloring to plucking, styling, and cutting.
Today, we’ll be looking at how you can can style various kinds of wigs in different ways for cosplay.
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
Part 1: Styling Tools Needed
It’s good to remember that not all wigs are created the same. Keeping this in mind, the most common way to manipulate a wig to fit your face is by either cutting it into shape or fluffing the curls.
Still, while there are different ways to style a wig, the most crucial starting point is identifying the proper styling tools.
- A wide-tooth comb
- Paddle brush
- Fabric scissors
- Curling iron
- Sulfate-free shampoo
- Lace tint or foundation
Part 2: Variation of Wigs
The variation of wigs you can purchase is vast, and this can quickly become daunting to those who are new to cosplay. Pre-styled wigs are readily available for purchase, but may cost cosplayers an arm and a leg, which is why learning how to sew and style your own wigs will help to save so much.
However, at the end of the day, styling wigs comes down to personal preference and what makes you look great and feel comfortable.
There are several different kinds of wigs available. These include:
i. Standard wigs
These are wigs that are made to be worn down. This is the simplest wig type to find and style, and most characters with normal-looking hair will require a standard wig.
ii. Lace front wigs
Lace front wigs are more expensive, but are key to characters with a swept back look, like Elsa from Frozen.
iii. Cosplay wigs
These range from pre-parted pigtail and ponytail wigs to wigs meant to be spiked up for that Dragon Ball look.
Part 3: How To Style Different Wig Materials
Wigs are also made with various materials, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. We recommend that you balance the cost, accuracy, and effort required when choosing a wig.
Some types of wig fiber are heat-resistant, meaning you can use heat tools to style them, while others will melt or frizz. Generally, take caution when purchasing.
Below, we will introduce some of the more popular wigs used in the market, and how to style them.
1. Synthetic Wigs
Synthetic wigs also require little upkeep because they are the easiest to maintain. Most of them can be worn right after purchase and require minimal styling due to the pre-styled feature.
Follow this simple guide when styling a synthetic wig.
Step 1: Wash and dry the wig
Use a wide-tooth comb to detangle the hair fibres in your wig, then wash and spritz it using a leave-in conditioner. Use a towel to blot the wig to try and then leave it to air dry.
If the wig has a top feature or a monofilament part, use a wide-tooth comb to position it while still wet. This will ensure that cowlicked or scrunched areas disappear.
Step 2: Style the wig
Once the wig is dry, pin it on a canvas or Styrofoam wig head. Styling ensures that all the sections of the wig rightly mimics the shape of your head.
To style a short synthetic wig, you will need to rub the wig knots using your fingers and direct them backward for equal volume and height. When you need an edgy look, use a shaping cream to hold the style longer.
For a relaxed manner, comb the wig bangs towards the forehead front.
When styling a longer synthetic wig, you will first part the wig into your desired style by spraying some water on it and using a wide-tooth comb to create sections.
Next, use a low heat blow dryer to dry the wig’s roots until it holds the desired position. To detangle, use the comb to brush out the lengths of your hair.
2. Lace Front Wigs
Lace front wigs are usually natural-looking and can be styled as normal human hair. If you want to style this type of wig, all you need is learn how to bleach the knots, wear the wig, and cut it into your preferred style.
Follow this simple guide when styling a lace front wig.
Step 1: Style your baby hair
Once you wear the wig, use a comb to brush the baby hairs forward. Since the hairs are of different lengths, you can use a toothbrush to pull the hairs to the front.
Meanwhile, tie the rest of the wig back using a headband or a hair tie. Spray the baby hairs with hairspray to keep them in place and to give them a sleek look.
Step 2: Create up-dos
Although lace front wigs may look natural, at the back, they may appear like a wig. While putting a ponytail in, keep half of the hair down to cover your neck nape.
Brush your hair into the hair tie and separate it into two sections, parted in the middle.
Split the wig into two parts and braid it into French braids.
Step 3: Use heat tools to style
Dry the wig using a hairdryer then use a heat tool to run over sections of the hair. You can use flat irons to straighten the wig into a defined style or get a new cut.
You may also use a flat iron to create waves and increase volume.
3. Cosplay Wigs
Cosplay wigs bring out your intended character to life. Most of these wigs are of high quality intended for extended wear.
Follow this simple guide when styling a cosplay wig.
Step 1: Put on the wig
To put on a cosplay wig, slide it over your head using both hands. Let the back of your hands face one another, and the fingers are inside the wig to slide it easily over the cap.
Make sure that the scalp line of the wig is against the forehead. Tilt your head forward as you stretch the wig down the cap.
Step 2: Pull the wig to cover your wig cap
To ensure that the wig is worn correctly, pull it down until the wig cap’s back is appropriately covered.
The wig will accommodate any extra hair and sit just below the natural hairline. The ear tags should lay in an even line with the temples.
Step 3: Use bobby pins to hold the wig
To secure the wig in place, use bobby pins, which are usually closed. Begin piercing the pins through the wig, the cap, and the natural hair beneath.
You can use at least ten pins to secure the wig. The more pins you use, the more stable the wig will be.
Step 4: Style the wig
Once the wig is firmly secured, you can use any styling you like.
Wig styling just takes practice, and you may have to go through plenty of different styles before finding the right one for you. You should keep trying methods on how to style your cosplay wig that suit you best, and get some cheap wigs to practice cutting on.
Check out some more wig tips from Cosplay Central.
Whether you are new to wig styling, have a love-hate relationship with wigs, or are know exactly what you’re doing with wigs, we hope that you’ve learned how to style your cosplay wigs in this article. Believe us, the right wigs can really make your cosplay pop!