CosPlay Wig Tutorial

Short tutorial on wig for cosplayer, taken from

So you want to try styling your own wig? Good for you! I don't consider myself an expert, but love helping and have written the following to share what I know. This is not a complex tutorial, but it shares the basics about styling wigs and provides some helpful information that I haven't seen elsewhere.

Purchasing a Wig
This is one of the trickiest parts, in my opinion. I purchase off of Cosworx, Amphigory, and when I'm feeling risky, eBay. Look for wigs that are made with Japanese synthetics, or Kanekalon for the highest quality wig. Quality pays off, trust me!

Wig care
Have a wig but don't need to do much to it? There are some easy things you can do that won't change the shape, but will make it look better!
  1. Layer-cut: By using a razor(the kind you shave with) and "brushing" it against the bottom fibers of your wig, you can thin out the edges and give them that anime/video game look.
  2. Motion's sheen oil spray: This stuff is the best. It's the final coating to a wig. Oil spray keeps your wig from tangling and gives it a nice sheen. And, it smells like bananas! Oil spray is not a detangler. To use, spray from a 1-foot distance on your finished/brushed wig. Don't spray too much that the liquid forms beads on the fiber. The important part is to let your wig dry for 6-8 hours. Once it's dry, it will be silky soft!
If your wig is curly or the part is not in the right place, I can help you! First, place pins at the top of your wig to a styrofoam head. Brush the wig fiber to how you would like it to stay naturally - I recommend using a chopstick or other straight round instrument for moving a part. Use a stabbing motion at the base of the wig where you want the part, and bring the fiber to the other side. If you are making big fluffy bangs, make a horizontal part (a couple inches) at the top of the head and bring the fiber towards the front. When you're done, place it in your bathtub or somewhere where water can drain. Get the biggest pot you have, and heat water until it's nearly boiling. Remember to use gloves if the handles are hot! When it's ready, slowly pour the hot water over the top of your wig, making sure that all the fiber gets wet. Next, you allow the wig to drip-dry. You can press the fiber against a towel in a few hours if you get anxious, or put it on a towel in front of a dehumidifier (only if you have one). When your wig is dry or nearly dry, brush it out. If it's still wavy, repeat the process several times until it straightens.

Wig Styling
That impossibly-spiky-haired character giving you trouble? I can help!
Here's what I recommend:
  • Wig with lots of fiber (or extensions added)
  • Wig Head and pins
  • Reference pictures
  • Aqua Net Hairspray
  • Got2B Glued Styling Spiking Gel (4:Screaming Hold)
  • Hair Dryer (low setting used)
  • Good scissors for cutting
  • (Elmer's Glue? This does work, but I don't recommend it because it is damaging to a wig and cannot be washed out)
  • (Tile Caulk? This will reinforce tips at the tops so that they never come apart, but you won't be able to wash out your wig.)
I can't stress enough that you will need multiple references as you're working; they help you get the spikes right where you need them.

Natural Fluffy Spikes:
The key to styling spikes is to work lightly, and do one spike at a time. This means that you cut each spike individually, hold it into position, apply a little bit of spiking gel along the length of the spike (or none at all for a totally natural, fluffy spike), and use a hair dryer on LOW setting for each spike. Every few spikes, use a little hair spray from a distance and try to spray them only. Try not to let the spray bead up; it means you're spraying too close or too much. If you want more product in it, let it dry before you put more in.

Flat Spikes:
These must be styled one at a time as well. I do recommend cutting them individually, but you don't have to. They do need to be styled individually, though. These spikes require a lot of spiking glue and a hair dryer on LOW setting, with hair spray at the very end. When using hair spray, spray from 9-12 inches away from the wig, and lightly so that the spray does not bead up on the wig.

Recommended tutorials:
Wigs Tutorials:

Props and Accessories Tutorials:
Vinyl over foam: