Saturday, November 26, 2011

Guest Post on Wig Styling by Cosplay Tutorials

Hello readers, this is Gaby from Cosplay Tutorials to give you some helpful hints and tips to style wigs.

Wig styling is a trial and error process. With patience, hard work, and a lot of references, you will get your desired end product.

Common products used for styling wigs are hairspray and hair glue. In my experience got2b Glued Blasting Freeze Spray and got2b Glued Styling Spiking Glue get the job done.

Setting Up the Wig Before Styling 
It's a good idea to buy a wig head to rest your wig on when you're styling it, but there is also a downside to this. The wig head is smaller than your head size, and what looks good on the wig head, might not look that good on you. I recommend buying the male wig heads instead of the female ones. The female ones are smaller and are at an angled pose.  

Cutting Wigs 
Sometimes, all you have to do to style your wig is to cut it. Look at official references and if possible, look at how other cosplayers style their wigs to get an idea on how to cut yours. 

Before you begin cutting, you have to pick out your scissors. Cosplay wig fibers are usually made by synthetic plastic fibers, and the plastic will dull the scissors blades fast. Choose your scissors wisely, do you want to spend the money on an expensive pair that allow you to sharpen it or cheap scissors that will dull after a few uses. 1 

Determine whether you want the edges of your wig to be blunt on soft from looking at your references. Characters with hair with blunt edges requires you to cut your wig straight across, while characters with hair with softer edges requires you to cut your wig at an angle. 

If you are cutting your wig on a wig head, please be careful of the length. The length on the wig head might be perfect, but it will run a bit short on you.  

Creating Spikes
It's important to have hairspray and spiking glue ready when spiking wigs. Hairspray will hold the spikes up while the spiking glue will keep the edge of the spikes clean and crisp. 

Different characters will have different spikes, but Malindachan at deviantArt created a great tutorial to help you get your spikes looking clean. 2  

Creating Curls 
You can create curls on a wig just like how you curl human hair, but there are some precautions. There are heat resistance wigs that you can buy, but using a curling iron on the wrong setting will damage your wig. Be sure to look at all of the information of your wig before doing anything to it. 

God Save the Queen Fashions created a great tutorial on how to create curls using a sponge roller and blow dryer. 3 
  1. Kama. (2006, June 23). Does it matter what scissors you use when cutting wig hair?. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from
  2. Malindachan. (2011, September 20). Yusei Fudo Wig tutorial v2. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from
  3. God Save the Queen Fashions. (2011). How to Curl a Wig. Retrieved November 24, 2011, from

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Attending a Convention Podcast

Hey guys, just wanted to give you some tips about attending a convention with a podcast this time.
In the podcast I discuss
  • Shoes at a convention
  • Staying in character
  • Posing for pictures
  • Storing your convention goodies

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Choosing a Convention

Chances are that if you are choosing to cosplay you are planning to wear you costume to a convention. This post is to help those of you who are unsure of where you plan to go for your convention.

Things to Consider
  • Distance you are willing to drive
  • Which conventions your fellow cosplayers attend (especially important if doing a group cosplay)
  • Size of the convention
  • What you want out of the convention
  • Price of the convention
  • Type of cosplay you plan to wear
  • Time of year (it can be better to avoid cosplaying a character with a very warm jacket in the heat of the summer) 
  • Distance from home
  • Cost of hotels
Word of Mouth
One of the best ways to find out which conventions are good in your area is through your fellow cosplayers. Chances are, if you are new to cosplaying you have either attended a convention or know someone who has, so asking around can give you a great perspective into different people's experiences at different conventions. Their experience may not branch out past local conventions, though. I have known people who have gone to conventions in Texas and Indiana in the same year.

Another upside to asking around is that if you choose a convention a friend or acquaintance likes then you may be able to attend the convention with them, which can often be more fun and less intimidating for someone new the cosplay.

Internet Searching
Using sites such as Google can be useful to finding out conventions in your area. Search terms such as "Dallas anime convention" can lead you to which conventions are in the area.

Plan Ahead
Many conventions offer a lower rate the earlier you buy tickets. If you know you plan to attend a specific convention then buying tickets early is one of the best ways to save up to 50% off of the day of price.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Interview with an Experienced Cosplayer

Miles was one of the first people to introduce me to cosplay and has been consistent with it over the years. I asked him a few questions to gain some insight from a more experienced cosplayer.

How long have you been cosplaying?
Since June 2006, so a bit over five years.

How did you come to start cosplaying?
I was invited to attend my first convention in mid-2006 by a good friend. He convinced me to cosplay as was tradition for those attending the anime convention.

Why do you like to cosplay?
To be brutally honest, I did it at first for the attention (Hey, I was fifteen). Now it's more about the challenge involved in making the costumes and the fun behind devising the different ways of creating a real-life version of a fictional, two-dimensional character.

How many different characters have you cosplayed as?
About 10.

Do you have any particular favorites, and if so, which ones?
My favorite would have to be my Wakka costume [from Final Fantasy X]. I feel like I look and act like the character, so it's easier to don the costume than some of the others. If you don't feel comfortable with the character you're trying to portray, a big part of the experience is diminished.

What types of places do you cosplay at and which have been your favorites?

I cosplay at conventions, mostly. I used to wear a costume or two out in public places, but after some issues with security at a mall I have not worn a costume outside of a convention. Honestly, it's a bit silly to go around in public dressed in a costume. I guess I feel too old for it these days.

Do you prefer group or individual cosplay? Why?
Group. It's no fun if you're doing it alone.

Do you make your own costumes, buy them, or have help with them?
I make as much of my costume as I possibly can. For some of the more complex items, I will purchase them and when it comes to a question about sewing I'll ask my wonderful seamstress of a girlfriend to assist me.

In your opinion, what are the most important elements to a good cosplay?
It comes from the heart. If you're not having a good time, you're doing it wrong.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Choosing and Styling Wigs

Hair color and style are elements that can really make or break a cosplay. If you can dye and cut your hair to fit a character, you can get some amazing results, but for those blue haired or very long (or short) haired characters wigs are often a much better.

What to Consider When Choosing a Wig
When choosing a wig you will want to keep in mind your desired
  • Hair color
  • Hair style
  • Hair length
  • Cost
Types of Wigs
The two main wig types are synthetic and human hair.

Human hair wigs are the most natural looking wigs. They are made from hair people sell and as a result tend to be quite expensive.

Synthetic wigs are cheaper than human hair wigs. In addition, they hold their style very well and need little upkeep.1 Synthetic wigs also come in lots of bright colors that are commonly use in anime.

Because synthetic wigs lend themselves so well to cosplay the follow suggestions will be geared towards the use of synthetic wigs.

Styling a Wig
When styling a wig it is very important to remember not to use a blow drier or any heated device, as temperatures above 160 degrees Fahrenheit can melt the wig fibers. Make sure you also never brush a wet wig and use brushes specifically designed for wigs.2

Products recommended for styling wigs include hairspray and hair glue, like got2b spiking glue.3 If you aren't skilled at styling hair you can get a friend who is good at styling and cutting hair or a professional wig stylist to help you out. I have a sister who styles hair and have always had her style my wigs. Chances are, someone you know is good at styling hair even if you aren't.

Keep references of you character on hand or up on a nearby computer when styling a wig so you can get all of the details. Some character's hair is very dramatic and you may choose to take a more realistic approach and style the hair in a similar, but more natural fashion.

Coloring a Wig
In order to color synthetic wigs, liquid fabric dyes, such as Rit, can be used. Use four ounces of dye for a gallon of warm water and let the wig sit under the water until the desired color is reached.4

Sharpies can also be used with decent results, but the dyeing process can be a bit of a hassle and  is fairly messy.5 Figure 1 shows and example of a wig that was bought dyed, and a blonde wig that was colored using sharpies.

Figure 1 - The top wig was originally blonde and dyed with red sharpies, while the second was bought dyed.

Where to Buy a Wig
Wigs can be found many places online, such as eBay, but most veteran cosplayers suggest online sellers such as amphigory and cosworx.

  1. FAQs | (n.d.). Wigs - Human Hair Wigs | Lace Front Wigs | Hairpieces | Monofilament Wigs. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from
  2. How to care for your wig - Wig care instructions - Directions on how to wash, comb, cut a wig. (n.d.). Hats, Turbans & Wigs for Hair Loss & Cancer Chemotherapy Patients. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from
  3. ghost613. (2007, November 24). Common Questions About Wig Styling - Retrieved November 14, 2011, from 
  4. Coloring Synthetic Wigs. (n.d.). All About Wigs. Retrieved November 14, 2011, from
  5. ButterflyPanic. (2006, May 21). Dyeing w/ Sharpies. . Retrieved November 14, 2011, from

Friday, November 11, 2011

Interview with Potential Cosplayer

I interviewed my friend Jeff who has been considering cosplaying for an outside perspective on what a beginner is looking for and considers.

How do you define cosplay?
Dressing up as something you can't be in real life.  

What about cosplay interests you?
It's fun to be something more than normal every once in a while.

How did you hear about cosplay?
I went to an anime convention and noticed how much fun all of the cosplayers were having and wanted to try it out for myself.

How many conventions have you been to?
I have been to the same convention for three consecutive years.
What kinds of characters have you considered cosplaying?
I have thought about cosplaying Roy Mustang. I've been interested in cosplaying the Master Chief [from the Halo games and novels].

What are you most curious about in reference cosplay?
Not just dressing up, but the whole act of pretending that you are the person you are cosplaying.

What is your view of the make vs. buy cosplay debate?
It's much more impressive if you can make a costume. Buying one is like cheating.

What kinds of construction methods do you think you will use for making your costumes?
I don't know a lot about construction methods at the moment since I don't currently have any experience making costumes. I've been doing a lot of research online to try to find out which methods are best for making different types of costumes.

Hopefully this blog can help with finding the kind of information you and Jeff need in regards to construction and putting costumes together.

Interview with Fellow Cosplayer

To give you some insight into the minds of cosplayers other than myself I interviewed one of my fellow cosplayers who is another college student and casual cosplayer to get his take on cosplay.

What was your first cosplay?
Mr. Popo (from Dragon Ball)
How do you choose a character to cosplay?
Ease of costume creation and silliness of the character.

How many conventions have you attended?

Which one was your favorite?
I don't have a favorite.

What is your next planned cosplay?
Probably a character walking around with a school jacket on, carrying a clipboard, and wearing glasses.*

Have you ever cosplayed in a group?
I tried it once, but it was too much trouble.

What anime/manga was the group supposed to cosplay from?

Would you consider cosplaying with a different group?
*Shrugs* I would consider it.

*He is referring to Kyoya Ootori from Ouran High School Host Club.

Tyler is the kind of person that proves that you don't have to take cosplay super seriously in order to have fun with it.