Hello internet! Ashbrie here, and today I would like to demonstrate the basics of wearing a wig. I often see cosplayers at conventions who are constantly adjusting their wigs, or their wigs are slipping back, or have their own hair sticking out, and then they get frustrated with wearing wigs all together because they seem like such a huge inconvenience! But they don’t have to be at all. That’s why I want to share how to comfortably wear wigs without feeling like it needs constant adjustment—because wigs, like cosplay, should be fun, damnit!
Before I get into actually putting the wig on, I want to talk a little about wig sizes. Not all wigs are made alike, and not everybody has the same size head. For example, my head size measures around 23”. In the world of hats, that is considered an extra large head. I literally cannot wear women’s hats because they are made for smaller head sizes.
Likewise, many wigs are made only for smaller headsizes. Pretty much anything you buy on ebay is going to be made only for smaller heads. I suspect the reason for this is so those particular companies can make cheaper wigs. Smaller wig size means less materials used, meaning cheaper prices. If your head measures in the 21”-22” range, you’re pretty safe to buy from ebay.
If you’re like me and have a larger head, those ebay wigs will literally not fit. At all. On me, they will –not- cover my whole head at all, and they will squeeze so tightly that they give me a headache—and I don’t want a headache when I am flouncing around enjoying a con!
So, that’s why I have this major love affair with Arda Wigs—they intentionally make their wigs for bigger heads. Epic Cosplay’s wigs are a little on the smaller side, but they are a safe choice for a larger headsize. A little tighter than Arda, but not ebay-tight.
It especially helps to not use the hooks in the back of the wig when wearing Epic Cosplay’s wigs. It will allow for the elastic to stretch as much as possible.
Figuring out your headsize before ordering wigs is very important, so you don’t wind up with a wig that is unbearable to wear! To measure your head, use a measuring tape around your head from the back to the very top of your forehead.
Now, how to actually wear your wig. First I would like to start with how to wear a basic, low-maintenance wig—and then later I will talk about wearing more complex, heavier wigs. This particular wig is a Dark Green Magnum Long from Arda Wigs.
You will need: a wig cap, snap clips, and hair pins.
I’ve met a lot of people who don’t like wearing wig caps, and I honestly do not understand this at all. Wearing a wig cap makes wearing your wig a hundred times easier! They keep your hair from falling out from the wig, and they help keep your wig on. You can buy wig caps at most online wig stores, and I think you might even be able to get them at Sally’s Beauty Supply.
I don’t want to seem like an Arda Wigs advertiser or something here, but I do have to add that I REALLY like Arda’s wig caps.
I like Arda’s wig caps because they are made from this netting material—making it easier to attach the wig to your head with hairpins. Also, they are open at the top—so you can slide the wig cap over your head, down to your neck, and back up to your head. Easy!
Most wig caps are typically made out of nylon and are closed at the top, like the one above. For my large head, they tend to be a tighter and less comfortable fit.
For hair as short as mine, putting on a wig cap regardless of whether it is open or closed at the top is pretty easy. For those with longer hair, putting on a wig cap can be a bit more of a complicated ordeal. I suggest putting your hair into pin curls, or at the very least a braid, before putting on your wig cap. Obviously, I cannot demonstrate how to do pin curls myself because my hair is so short! But you can find pin curl tutorials elsewhere online.
So once you have your wig cap on, use the snap clips to keep the wig cap clipped to your hair. I tend to use 6 snap clips on the front of my head and 4 on the back to make sure I get as much of my hair into the cap as possible. As you can see in the pictures, the hair around my temples is too short to pull up. Depending on the wig, this may or may not be an issue. If your try on your wig and find your sideburns are really exposed, you can cut sideburns into your wig in order to cover them!
Once your wig cap is secure, you can put on your wig! Hold the front and the back and slide it over your head, holding the front secure at your hairline while pulling the back down as far as you can.
Then, find the ear tags, and make sure they lay evenly at your temples. Yay, you got your wig on!
BUT you are not done yet! Use your hairpins to secure your wig to your wig cap. Basically, just put a few in until you feel that your wig is comfortably secure. Make sure you hide your hairpins into the wig as best you can.
By the way, the ‘closed’ pin is a bobby pin. The ‘open’ pin is a hair pin. Please use closed hairpins when securing your wig. Open pins have an entirely other use and will not secure your wig as well.
Once you’ve got your hair pins in, fix up the style of your wig until you’re satisfied with how it looks. Congratulations, you now have a wig that is most definitely not going to fall off your head! Hooray!
Now, that’s all you really need if you’re wearing a simple, wig. But what if you make or buy something that’s more complex? For example, my Eredar costume shown above has very heavy horns that are attached to the wig with a metal headband.
(Photo credit: Scifianimeheroes)
Or you might have something like my Pearl wig, where most of the weight of the wig is in the back. As a result, the wig is going to want to slide back and off your head. Wigs that have any sort of updo—ponytails, pigtails, or whatever the hell this style is—are going to have most of their weight in the back. This means that, when worn, they are going to want to slide right off your head.
In the case of wigs like these, I strongly recommend sewing a hair comb or toupee clips inside the front of the wig.
Arda already adds small hair combs inside their updo wigs. They even put them in the back as shown above, but it’s the ones in the front that are really going to hold your wig on.
When you put on your wig cap, make sure you don’t put snap clips on the forehead that may obstruct the wig comb.
When you put the wig on, make sure the wig comb slides into the wig cap. As long as your wig cap is secure, that hair comb is going to help keep your wig from slipping back from the weight.
Once you adjust your wig onto your head properly, you will again want to start using hairpins–probably more than you would put into a regular wig. Basically you just want to keep pining and pining and pining until that wig feels like it is going nowhere. Carefully tilting your head around is a good way to gauge how secure your wig is. If it feels like it is slipping in any direction, just pin some more!
Hooray! You now have a wig that is heavy but isn’t about to slip off any time soon!
Thank you for reading my tutorial! I hope it was useful and helps you enjoy your wigs in your future cosplaying endeavors!
If you would like see more of my cosplay work, or ask me a question, or anything! Check out my facebook fanpage: http://www.facebook.com/Ashbrie.Cosplayer