Why Should You Wear a Wig?

Thursday, 22 April 2010, 11:00 | Author : Kricket
Tags :

There are many reasons for a cosplayer to use their natural hair instead of a wig.  Some cosplayers might enjoy styling and coloring their hair.  Others might worry about their budget and consider wigs too expensive. But even with these considerations, there is still a significant drawback to using natural human hair; it is rarely thick enough to resemble the voluminous and extreme styles of most anime characters. I can assure you that it is much easier to style gravity-defying hair when you have the option of maintaining those styles with permanent glue.

When deciding which method is best for your needs, you must take into consideration the fact that wigs cut back on  your preparation time during the convention. My friends and I have spent hours in the hotel bathroom trying to style everybody’s hair and it often resulted in wasted time and effort.  The last time I attempted to style my natural hair was during Fanime 2007 when I cosplayed Rukia (Bleach). Even with curling irons weaving through my hair, I could not recreate Rukia’s smooth and rounded hairstyle.  To spectators it just looked like I halfheartedly tried to style my hair rather than having spent hours on it.

If you purchase a wig, it will be well worth the money.  However, I understand that for many cosplayers it is not a justifiable expenditure, leaving them with no alternatives other than dying their own hair.  For many years, I lacked the finances or the knowledge to style an anime wig, so I often bleached, dyed, and styled my own hair.  If you are in a similar situation, we would like to offer you some tips we’ve learned through personal experience.

  • Carefully consider the hair style of your character; weighted ponytails and straight-hanging hairstyles are simple enough to cosplay with natural hair.  I have seen cosplayers successfully use their own hair to cosplay Robyn (Witch Hunter Robyn), Maka (Soul Eater), Misa (Death Note), Makoto (Kanon), and Edward (Full Metal Alchemist).  Likewise, I must caution you to rethink your costume if you intend to use your natural hair for complicated hair styles such as Sora (Kingdom Hearts) or Sasuke (Naruto).
  • For characters with thicker ponytails, consider buying a clip-on hair extension to maximize the use of your natural hair.  This would be ideal for characters such as Elizabeth (Kuroshitsuji), Sexy no Jutsu (Naruto), Himawari (XXXHolic), and Rin (Fate Stay Night).
  • If your parents don’t want you to “change” your hair color, I recommend using Punky temporary hair dye.  When used on natural hair, this product will easily wash out within a few days (or sooner if you take excessive showers).  For more vibrant and longer lasting colors, use Punky on bleached hair.
  • Bleaching is best done professionally – especially if you are trying to change your hair from black to blonde, or blonde to platinum.  When I cosplayed Tsukasa, I attempted to achieve his light gray hair by bleaching at home and coloring my hair with temporary platinum dye. When this didn’t work, I used permanent platinum dye.  Despite all of my efforts, my hair failed to change color (I’m fortunate that none of it fell out) and I had to cosplay Tsukasa with dirty-blonde hair.

You can check out our cosplay advice page for tips on where to purchase wig supplies; how to dye or straighten your wig; and fitting your hair into a wig cap.

blog comments powered by Disqus