Choosing the right wig:
- First of all.... DO RESEARCH ON YOUR CHARACTER FIRST! :D Look at a crap ton of pictures. Are you being manga-accurate or anime-accurate? Make sure you decide exactly how you want it to look :) Pick a color scheme that works.
- You want to make sure you get a "kanekalon" fiber wig, those are the best. If it just says "synthetic" and doesn't say anything like "kanekalon" or "made with the best japanese synthetic fibers" it may be crappy.
- "Heat Resistant" is good in wigs. This means you can heat the wig on low with a hair dryer and then apply gel/spray to style. This helps hold the style. You may also be able to straighten or curl very good heat resistant wigs :)
- Also you want to look for ones that have an adjustable strap in the back. Some wigs are only for the average (SMALL!!!) Japanese head, so make sure it's adjustable and says "can fit most/average sized head. (not 'can fit average female head).
- When seeking a short size wig be very cautious. I got a Roxas wig once that was way too small in the first place, and because the hair was cut so short already, it didn't look right. A better thing to look for is a wig slightly longer in the back that you could cut down later. The head mannequins that model wigs almost never correctly show how the wig will look on you. If your head is bigger, the hair will end at a shorter point. Better to have too much and cut, than not enough.
- Don't be afraid to have to cut a wig. Really, it's not the end of the world, you'll do fine :). When I can't find the right style of wig, I just get one that's too long and cut and style it myself. You can buy cutters at a salon or walgreens that will cut your wig to make it look natural (rather than a flat scissor cut line).
- Styling gels and sprays can work wonders. Find a gel that is strong enough to keep your wig in place without making it look greasy. Find a spray that is strong enough for ANIMEEE HAIRRR. Avoid it being so hard it pokes peoples eyes out though :). You can tell how strong a spray/gel is by the number it has on it, usually. A higher number is better, but you usually do not want the max.
- PAY ATTENTION TO COLOR! I know we're talkin Anime here... but sometimes you don't NEED to have the brightest color in the rainbow to look right. Sometimes the color is more subtle than that. Check what the pictures look like and what the text says it is. Also sometimes sites have a 'color guide' where you can see the name of a wig color next to the fibers of the wig to see it's true color (not distored by a nice picture of some girl modeling the wig). One of the keys to a good cosplay is to not overdo the color. Cloud looks silly with sunflower bright yellow hair, he'd look better with a subtle light blonde (mixed color wigs are great for realism). Also remember to get a wig color that is suited to your cosplay clothing colors. Bright fabric, bright wig. More realistic subtle colored fabric, darker/lighter realistic mixed wig.
- Please note that pigtails are usually clips that you can take off/rearrange/ect.
- Avoid anything that seems too American or Halloween... and stuff that says "model" or "sexy". A lot of times these are low-quality american costume wigs. :) I always search either "cosplay wig" or "Lolita wig" and then narrow down my search with the eBay sidebar. :)
- Picture vs Reality: The picture is going to show a wig that has been prepared, and is very fluffed and full. When you recieve a wig in the mail it has been packed and will not be as full. "some assembly required" is sometimes a part of getting a wig. If there's a loose hair, cut it. If it's not as full as the picture, fluff it out or spray + style it a bit. You cannot expect a wig out of a package from china to look exactly like the model photo.
- Picture vs Reality 2: The cut of the wig may be deceiving. Pay attention to how the wig looks in pictures with different angles. Compare how it looks on a person vs a head mannequin if they have those pictures as well.
- Picture vs Reality 3: The color may be totally different. You want to see as many pictures as you can before you buy. Often times I do not even consider an item that only has one photo. You can develop an eye for this. Consider how the wig looks in sunlight photos as apposed to warm or cool inside photos. This will reveal it's true color. Also see if the site has a color guide for the names of colors they use. Sometimes names can be misleading. Note that computer monitors vary widely in color presentation, this web page's background looks banana yellow on my boyfriend's monitor, and on my laptop looks peach.
- Co$t: Good cosplay wigs are gonna cost somewhere from (rarely $20) $30-$40ish. Lolita wigs are more expensive (probably because of ALL DAT HAIR, curles, quality, ect) more around $40-$50
- Where to NOT buy: Anyplace that is "Halloween" or "Party" oriented. Also, you'll probably have no luck at actual "Wig Shoppes" because they tend to sell very good quality real human hair wigs that cost hundreds! These usually sell cheap wig caps and head mannequins though, which is cheaper than buying online. OH and i would say NEVER get a wig from carrotanime.com, they totally took forever and screwed up my friends order twice.
- Wig caps are usually $2-5 and styrafoam head mannequins are usually $5-10. Michaels craft store now sells styrafoam heads. Sometimes when you buy a wig you get a wig cap for free! You need one with elastic that feels strong, not those flimsy cobwebs you get when you buy cheap wigs :D. Also you want to get a skin tone wig cap, this makes life SO MUCH EASIER! Black wig caps are good for black wigs too.
- eBay is where I always go. The best dealers have shops on there. You can find good stuff not on eBay, just make sure the site is fairly focused on wigs, lolita, or cosplay, to make sure they have good quality. See links below
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Thank you. :) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Please let me know if you would like to add to this list, or if you know of some sellers that are bad. :)