A basic guide to wig wear and care

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Downloadable PDF version: 2017 02 10 – A basic guide to wig wear and care by Nomes – Volume 1

A basic guide to wig wear and care

by Nomes

Copyright © 2017 by Naomi Thorne

All rights reserved. This document or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review. The author does not take any responsibility for any harm or damages causes whilst attempting the techniques outlined in this document. Scissors and razors are sharp; all due care should be taken whilst using these, and other wig styling products (e.g. glues and hairsprays).

First Release, 2017

Author: Naomi Thorne

Editor: Amy Bennett

Creative Consultant: Chris Minney

United Kingdom




Here you will find a short guide to help maintain, store and wear your wig.

The ideas shared in this document have been gathered over time since I began cosplaying in 2010. They are gleaned both from my own experiences and through tutorials. These are by no means the be all and end all of wig styling but I hope they will offer you a start.




To untangle wigs and wig hair use a soft bristled brush OR a wide toothed comb OR your fingers to slowly and gently ease out any knots. Work from the bottom of the wig towards the top. Try to avoid pulling on the fibres as this can lead to hairs breaking and frizzing. Persistent knots may need to be trimmed out of the wig. Silicone spray can help reduce static and tangling and straighteners applies to heat resistant wigs can reduce any frizzing that does occur.

For curly wigs, comb one curl at a time and wrap the hair around your fingers to restore the curl once any tangles have been removed.

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Maintaining a styled wig

It is not always possible to brush heavily styled wig.

Flyaway hairs can be restyled by carefully repositioning the hairs and fixing them in place with wig-suitable hairspray. For particularly stubborn strays use a little heat from a hairdryer combined with hairspray to train them back into position. Got2B glued hairspray by Schwarzkopf is particularly effective on wigs.

Spray the hairspray from at least 4-6 inches away. Overuse of hairspray can cause the hairs to clump together and appear greasy. Gently surface combing with a soft bristled brush can help break up any clumps. Be careful not to pull on the hair as tension can cause breakage and frizzing.

Excess hairspray can affect the colour of wigs. This is more noticeable in dark coloured wigs. If discolouration occurs, it may be possible to remove the excess product with a little water and then restyle. If this is still unsuccessful it may be necessary to recolour the wig or wash the wig and restyle.

Spike tips are finished with hi-tack fabric glue or Got2B spiking glue depending on teh level of permanence desired.

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Storing your wig

Properly storing and transporting a wig can help extend its lifespan. When not in use styled wigs are best stored by pinning them to wig heads (I recommend a minimum of three round/pearl head pins: one on each ear tab and one at the nape of the neck. Heavier wigs may require additional pinning. Keep your wig head upright in a safe place such as on top of a dresser or in a cupboard or even in the box in which you received it.

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Transporting your wig

Transporting a wig can be a challenge They can be delicate and unwieldy. Below you’ll find a few methods I’ve used or seen used during my time in the cosplay community:

A zip lock bag

Wigs which have only a small amount of product in their styling will often survive short trips in a bag. I recommend stuffing the inside of the wig with tissue paper if using this method to help the wig retain its shape. You can then remove the wig from the bag and place it on a wig head or collapsible wig stand once you reach your destination.

A hardshell suitcase

Personally I like to use hard shell hand luggage sized suitcases to transport wigs to and from events. I use carefully positioned underwear and socks to support the wig in the case but bubble wrap would be a suitable alternative.

On a wig head in a carrier bag

Many people swear by large carrier bags with broad bases in which they stand wig heads. With this method the wig can be in sight at all times. If the wig is tipping or suffering excess pressure it will be possible to spot quickly and rectify problem.

On a wig head in a box

This method is much like the carrier bag except the wig is enclosed on all sides and can be stabilised within the box with so that nothing is in contact with the wig. You can add straps to your box and either carry it in one hand or on your back.


Step 1: The wig cap

  1. Take your wig cap.
  2. If you have long or thick hair you may want to pre-style your hair in order to keep it as flat to the head and smooth as possible. Heidi plaits are a popular method for keeping long hair out of the way under wigs.
  3. Pull the wig cap over your head until it is around your neck.
  4. Pull wig cap up and over your hair positioning elasticated band at the hairline.
  5. Encourage any stray hair under the wig cap. A little hairspray may help keep particularly stubborn sections of hair under control. You may choose to seal the hole in the wig cap shut with a bobby pin.
  6. If you have thick or long hair you may choose to wear a second wig cap for added security.
  7. You are now ready to put on your wig!


Step 2: The wig

Standard wig (please note application technique can vary for heavily styled/weighted wigs)

  1. Remove the wig from the wig head on which it arrived. You will find 3 bobble-head pins attaching the wig to the wig head: one at each ear tab and one at the nape of the neck.
  2. Adjust the tightness of the wig using the elastic tabs in the back of the wig.
  3. Hold of the ear tabs, one with each hand.
  4. Place the centre front of the wig half way down your forehead.
  5. Ease the wig over your head tucking your hair underneath with your thumbs as you go.
  6. Slide the hairline point up your forehead until it reaches a natural position. The wig should cover your natural hairline.
  7. Check that the ear tabs are level and the wig is even. Ensure that the wig is pulled down securely at the back to cover your hair.
  8. Secure the wig in place with bobby pins that match the colour of the wig. For basic wigs, I recommend a minimum of four bobby pins: one at each temple and one behind each ear.
  9. If your wig has side burns position them against the sides of your face with your fingers and fix them in place with hairspray.


  1. Begin by putting on the wig as described above for a standard wig
  2. The lace section should end just in front of the hairline

If the lace and wig feels secure I usually stop at this stage however if you wish to further secure your wig please read on:

  1. Take prosaide, lace tape or wig glue and apply it to the hairline underneath the edge of the lace hairline.
  2. Hold the lace still until your chosen adhesive has dried.
  3. When the time comes to take off the wig be sure to clean off any residual adhesive using the appropriate materials to prolong the life expectancy of the wig


Bobby pins and hairclips are the most popular way to secure wigs to your head. Both are available fairly cheaply at most pharmacies. You can buy them in a range of colours. I recommend choosing a shade that is complementary to your wig so that it will blend in during use.

As a minimum I like to use four bobby pins to secure a wig – one at each temple and one behind each ear. Wigs which are weighted, such as ponytail wigs, may require many more. No matter how many clips and pins you buy you will probably find yourself buying more fairly regularly. Bobby pins are to wigs as socks are to washing machines.

Some wigs come with built in wig clips. If present you will find these stitched into the underside of the wig usually at the hairline and the nape of the neck. Alternatively, you can buy these clips for a few pounds online and sew them in yourself.

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Author: Nomes

I began cosplaying in 2010 with no prior skills in sewing or crafting. Almost 40 costumes later I’m still going. I have represented the UK in cosplay competitions on multiple occasions including the European Cosplay Gathering (ECG) finals in 2012 (solo category) and 2015 (group category). On this blog I hope to share cosplay articles, tutorials, guides and works in progress from my ongoing adventure into the art of cosplay and costume making.

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