You’ve planned a killer costume, spending hours scouring the web, looking for just the right accessories. You’ve covered every detail and managed to locate that oh-so-perfect costume wig.
Your notifications alert you that your new wig has arrived. Excited, you race to grab your mail. Hmmm, no box. But, wait. What’s this flat plastic mailer thing? That can’t be it.
You tear into the package and find your character-making piece flat and lifeless inside a clear plastic bag. Wah wah wah!
You feel disappointed, miffed, and, like your new wig, crushed. You pull the limp locks from their transparent tomb and hold them out in front of you by two fingers wrinkling your nose and swearing off all future online purchases.
Maybe we can help. After 20 years in the costume business, we’ve learned a thing or two on how to get those character tresses to behave.
First, let’s talk about expectations. The wig you see in the photo is the one you will receive, but the wig on the model has been trimmed and styled for the photo shoot. To get the same look, you’re going to need to do a bit of fluffing and primping to the wig. And, perhaps a trim here and there.
So, let’s get started.
Remove the wig from the package. If your wig comes wrapped in a hairnet, carefully remove it. You can save it if you plan to reuse it to store your wig.
Holding your wig by the cap, gently shake the wig to loosen it up. For wigs pinned into a specific style, skip this step as shaking can ruin the look.
A foam wig head comes in handy here, so if you have one, place your wig over the top and pin it in place with a couple of wig pins. As an alternative, grab a friend but skip the wig pins.
Speaking of frizz or static cling, if needed, run a dryer sheet over the wig to smooth the hairs.
You can style synthetic wigs like your real hair, but there are some specific do’s, and dont’s to consider.
Now that you’ve styled your wig let’s get ready to wear it.
First, grab a wig cap. I know this is something most people will want to skip, but there are several benefits such as it:
- Makes wearing the wig more comfortable.
- Keeps your real hair from escaping and showing from underneath the wig.
- Keeps your wig from shifting on your head.
- Gives the wig a more natural look free from visible bumps and lumps.
To wear, pin up your hair into small pin curls or ponytails (make several if you have a lot of hair). Dampen your hair for better control if desired.
Next, line the wig cap up along your front hairline and stretch up and back over your pinned-up hair to your back hairline.
Wait, did you cover your ears? I always manage to do that. If you did that, too, uncover those ears.
If you have super short hair or feel that a wig cap will be too hot, smooth your natural hair as much as possible and place it in pin curls or ponytails. Strategically tuck and smooth hair and secure with hairpins before wearing your wig.
While washing your wig after each wear isn’t necessary, at some point, your wig may need to hit the shower. Here are some quick tips on how to wash your wig.
- Fill a sink or basin with cool water. (Hot water can damage your wig.)
- Add a small amount of mild shampoo or wig shampoo for synthetic wigs.
- Place the wig in the water and let sit for 5-10 minutes. You can swirl, but don’t rub as the fibers will tangle.
- Rinse with cool water.
- Gently shake off excess water and place on a wig head or lay flat to dry.
- Dry completely before styling or storing.
Congratulations! You’ve rocked your look! And, now that you have the perfect wig for your character, you’ll want to save it to wear again.
The best way to store your wig is to place it on a wig head or stand. As an alternative, stuff the wig’s cap with tissue paper, wrap it in a hairnet, place it in a fabric bag and tuck it away in a cool, dry spot.
Costume wigs can make your character come to life, and now that you know how to handle those lifeless locks, you can resume your online shopping with confidence.