Cosplay wigs: Soft core spikes vs Hard core spikes

In many cases the choice whether to go for hard core or soft core spikes feels obvious to me. A Cloud from Final Fantasy VII I’d soft spike for instance. Well unless I was going for the classic pixel look from the original game… But some wigs can very much swing both ways. Either hard core or soft core and it’s up to the maker to choose the look.

Soft core spikes

Soft core spikes are made entirely off hair. They are often densely wefted to double, triple or even quadruple the density of a standard base wig before teasing and taming to generate the shape.

Hard core spikes

Hard core spikes have a core built from stiffened felt (Alternatives I’ve seen used would be EVA foam, upholstery foam or styrofoam) to which the hair is attached.


To a certain degree the pros and cons of a hard core and soft core spiked wigs depends on what you wish to do while wearing it.

For instance, if you want to do a handstand you have a better chance of securing a soft spiked wig.

1. Weight: Hard core wigs are heavier than soft wigs. Generally people don’t have an issue with this but if someone had neck or back issues then it might be worth considering.

2. Spike integrity: Soft spikes can over time begin to deflate whereas hard cored wigs are supported by their understructure.

3. Transportation: Spike integrity can be both a pro and a con when it comes to transporting the wigs. Soft core wigs can stand a little compression whereas hard core wigs don’t appreciate being squashed. For the same reason if you are planning any photos laying down on your back this lack of compression can make it awkward.

4. Maintenance: Both types need occasional maintenance to at least tame flyways. From my personal collection, I find my cored wigs more durable but I do have a bad habit of mistreating my soft styled wigs because I know I can fix them if I want to wear them. Minn’s Super Saiyan Goku wig has been rocking since October 2015 and has traveled to the US, Japan and around Europe in that time.

5. The Look: Both styles are quite cartoony but I’m inclined to say soft spiked wigs look softer/gentler. The cored wigs have sharper angles in line with the Dragonball figures or game sprites.


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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