About a month ago I was given the awesome opportunity to make a Sailor Moon wig as a commission for a friend of a friend. I’ve always wanted to make a Sailor Moon wig; I’d have made one for myself by now if I had enough money to take it to another convention (as it stands, we only really have the money to either go to several small conventions, or go all out at one large one, and we really, really like Blizzcon!) just because I think it’s an awesome wig to make.
(The picture is of the wig nearly finished, the bangs need a bit more work, and I’ll be curling the side hair coming out of the wig to be manga style, so I’ll update with a better picture once it’s completely done)
Now, I usually scour the internet searching for tips and tricks to do certain styles if it’s not something I’ve done before, just because I don’t feel like wasting a whole lot of money and material with the learning process. I found a couple of wig stubbing tutorials, and a few odango tutorials, and then came across a pretty good wig tutorial for Sailor moon. Don’t get me wrong, this is a good tutorial, but I used different materials, and there were several things I messed up on with this wig while making it because the tutorial I linked isn’t very in depth. I’m going to expand upon that, show you some different techniques, materials, and tips and hopefully you can get your wig made perfectly on the first try. I’m going to take you from start to finish, and will even cover trimming the bangs, curling the hair on the side of the wig (and will tell you how to curl the hair at the ends of the ponytails if you like) and even how to make the red and white hair clips.
Base wig: Chibi in Ash blond
Long tails: Two long pony clips in Ash blond
2 Three inch (or 2 1/2, if you’re really sure of your odango making skills) styrofoam balls (I bought a pack of six in case of screw ups)
Two part epoxy resin or caulk
Hot glue gun and lots of hot glue
Small rubber bands
Wide tooth wig comb
Wig stand (with the clamp, so you can stick it on the table) and wig head
Heavy thread and large needle
Not necessarily needed, but strongly suggested: Hot Glue Gun Helper
First: the base wig. Pin it very securely to the foam head, with pins going all the way around the wig and a few on the part as well. If needed, stuff some crumpled paper in between the wig head and the wig, so that it’s more full, because this wig tends to be a bit larger than the wig head.
The ponytails on this wig are pretty low, so stick your wig stand sideways, on a door or bookcase, and make sure it’s secure, then stick your foam head on there. I had to wrap a rubber band around the pole the head goes on to so that it wouldn’t slide around from the weight of the hair.
Undo the elastic holding the ponytail in place, and carefully comb out the hair and make the ponytail higher and tighter on the head. A quick tip: don’t wear any rings that might snag on the hairs in this process, and you may want to make sure your nails are trim as well. My rings caught on the hair several times while I was trying to make the ponytail nice and smooth, so I finally took them off and things went much more smoothly.
Do the same with both ponytails, and make sure they’re both high and tight, as well as even so that they aren’t sitting lopsided. Then (not pictured) you’ll want to take a needle and thick thread about the same color as your wig (actually it doesn’t matter what color it is, people don’t see it anyway, but it helps) and weave it in and out and around each ponytail on the side of the hairband closest to the scalp. I cannot stress enough how important this step is; if you don’t get enough thread in there, the hair will fall down later. You want it to be strong enough to hold up even after you take the hairband off.
This is a bun that I messed up on. I didn’t get enough thread in there, thought the elastic was enough, and then tried to seal it with hot glue. Hot glue will not stick to this type of hair, it peels right off and doesn’t bond at all, so not a good choice for stubbing on this type of wig.
Then you want to take off the elastic holding the ponytail up, and hack off the hair as close as possible to the thread that’s wrapped around without cutting the thread. The easiest way I’ve found to do this is do it small bits at a time, with a very sharp pair of scissors. If you have a pair of electric hair clippers laying around, use those to clean up the stub so that the hair is completely flat on the cut. Make sure to save the hair that you cut off, we’re going to use it later for the odangos.
Now the long ponytails: take them out of the packaging (carefully, they’re very long) and before you do anything else, braid it. Do a very loose braid towards the top, because you’re going to be putting thread through and then cutting it and you don’t want the hair being twisted after you’ve threaded and glued all the hairs together. Make sure you brush it all out nicely first, starting from the bottom, then the braid, loose at the top and going tighter as you get to the bottom. Now put an elastic at the top of the hair, right below where you want to cut it (these come on clips that you can just clip to your wig or hair, we’re going to cut the hair right below where the clip ends).
Now, cut the hair several inches above the elastic, or wait until you get the thread nice and tight in there to cut it right above the thread. Wrap the thread around, in and out, until you can’t push the thread through anymore- that’s usually a good sign that it’s going to hold really well. If you didn’t cut the hair before, do it now, right above the thread, and set the braid aside and do the second one. You want to have everything ready to have resin (or caulk, if you don’t have resin) put onto the stub, it’s easier to do them all at once.
Let’s review: we’ve got the wig threaded tightly and cut (stubbed) as shortly as possible, and we’ve done the same with the braids. Now we want to take the ponytails that we’ve cut off, and choose some sections with long pieces of hair. Because the hair in the ponytail was cut for the wig, not all of the pieces are the same length, so grab some long sections. We want to make at least two bundles of hair, maybe half an inch in diameter, enough for each to wrap around the foam balls for the odangos. Feel free to make more if you feel you might mess up one; I did two odangos before I got the hang of it and figured out exactly how to get the hair on there right.
You want to do the same thing as with the wig and the braids (but first make sure you have the amount of hair you feel is right to cover the odangos): make sure the elastic is tightly on, then thread your needle and heavy thread in and out until you can’t anymore and it’s secure. Oh, another tip: if you can take the elastic off and brush out the hair without a ton coming out when you comb it (a bit of hair is fine, as I said, not all the hairs in the ponytails are the same length, so a bit is fine) then you’ve done a good job with the thread, and it’s secure. Stub the bundles right above the thread again, right above the thread.
Now. If you’re doing two part epoxy to secure the stubs, go ahead and take it out, and measure out enough to cover all of your stubs. You may want a friend for this, it’s kind of hard to dip the whole wig into epoxy without getting some where it doesn’t need to be without having a second set of hands. Very carefully use a shallow bowl (we use paper bowls, don’t want to ruin our good stuff, do we?) and dip each of the stubbed hair pieces into the bowl, using a wooden craft stick to make sure the epoxy is pushed into the middle of the stub as well, so that it’s not just sitting on top.
Alternately, if you don’t have epoxy on hand or you’d rather not use it, I’m told caulk works just fine as well, it just takes longer to dry, and you have less of a chance of messing up the wig with epoxy. You may only want to use two part epoxy if you’ve used it before, and if you’re sure of your ability to only get the epoxy where it needs to be (hey, I didn’t even do the epoxy myself, Mario did it for me).
Let those cure for however long they need to (it depends on your epoxy, we used five minute) and when it’s all set and hard, you can move on to the next steps.
…Which I will tell you about in part two of the Sailor Moon wig tutorial. Sorry, I was planning on doing this all in one post, but it is turning out to be entirely too long.
Hi I’ve been following your blog for awhile now – found through a link to the shoulder armor tutorial on cosplay.com and continued to follow through your progress on your Tyri wig because it was purple and like a magpie drawn to all things shiny I just had to.
I have a quick wig question, well a couple actually. My husband and I are working on making “Darkspear Pride” versions of our troll alts for Blizzcon. While he doesn’t need a wig due to playing a hunter and being more than happy to wear the helmet, (I swear he got giddy at the thought of finally being able to work on something that lights up! lol!) I get claustrophobic so the idea of a helmet has me back-peddling. I also play a shaman so we’re already doing some alterations to the look of the costume to take that into account so why not delete the need for the helmet too and just wear a wig, body paint and tusks to get the look. My question is that my character has the high ponytail hairstyle. Would you recommend following the same method as the one you used on the sailor moon wig? I was considering using a cylindrical foam core to get the necessary height for the tail and as thick and gorgeous as my wig is, it isn’t thick enough with just pulling the hair up. I was considering either getting a 2nd wig in the same color and hacking it to death for the extra hair or attempting to find emerald green extensions. Which do you think would work best? If it at all helps, here’s a link to my character: http://us.battle.net/wow/en/character/shadow-council/deynarra/simple
For the hairstyle you’re talking about, I would probably add wefts to the wig like I did in the Tyrigosa tutorial. It will help prevent the wefts from showing when you pull it up into the ponytail, and add extra volume to the ponytail, and it looks like you’ve got braids on the hairstyle too (or part of the hair is down) so you would definitely want to be adding wefts. I do agree that buying another wig would give you a ton of wefts, but if you can find a bag of hair in the exact color of your wig (it can be hard to get it exact unless they’re from the same company) then you may want to make your own wefts to add on to the wig. Here is a pretty good tutorial on making high ponytails that might help you with yours (you click on the left image each time to go to the next step): http://www.cosplay.com/photo/1856065/
Thanks for the link to that tutorial! Its going to be a huge help. Sadly finding a bag of emerald green hair is proving remarkably difficult so I’m probably going to have to go the way of hacking up another wig for the extra hair. *sadface* These wigs are gorgeous. Its a travesty that I have to sacrifice one so. Its funny how when I didn’t need it, I found bags of hair in a rainbow of colors (including emerald) but now that I need it, I can’t find it anywhere! lol Thankfully my husband was able to find the teal he needed for the tufts of hair that stick up from the top of his helmet and from the bottom.
Would you mind horribly if I continue to message you with any questions I may have? While not new to cosplay, I am new to wig styling and these costumes are a step above anything we’ve ever attempted before so I’m kind of feeling my way along and would appreciate the advice. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
No problem! I’m sorry you can’t find a bag of hair in the right color :( It is sad to have to cut up a beautiful wig but you’re making another beautiful wig out of the pieces! Of course you’re welcome to message us with any questions, at tripleacosplay(at)gmail(dot)com!
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