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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

A brief guide to wigs, part 1 - Fiber types

Halloween is just around the corner, and I am sure a lot of you guys are planning your costumes already :) I figure that now is a good time to talk about something that I love as much as makeup: WIGS!

I am obsessed with wigs, and I own over 20 of them (not counting those that I threw away over the years!). There are different types of fibers that make up the "hairs" of the wigs, and I will talk about three of the big varieties today. 

The first type, which tend to pop up a lot around this time of the year, is your party-store variety nylon-like fibers. For folks that don't normally wear costumes, this is what comes to mind when they think of wigs: Shiny, coarse and fake-looking. Obviously I don't own many of this variety, as I really hate how they look, but I did get this fun punk wig for $1 that I plan to style extensively for a joke costume. 

 As you can see in the above photos, party-store wigs look quite tragic in most lighting, and not like real hair at all. :\

The second type of fiber, which can be easily found in most wig stores and online, is Japanese Kanekalon. They are a lot less shiny and much softer than the party-store wig fiber, and looks quite good in most light. They also come in every color under the rainbow, and can be easily dyed using oil-based dyes like Sharpie markers.

This gorgeous cyan wig is provided by KKCenterHK, by the way.

Kanekalon wigs are comparable to real hair in most light, but the fiber is not heat-resistant, and cannot be styled with hair irons and similar tools (the fiber will shrivel up and become kinky under heat).

The final type of fiber I am showing you today is Futura. It is a heat-resistant fiber that looks and feels like real hair, but they usually only come in natural hair colors. Similarly heat-resistant wigs in crazy colors can be found on eBay, but they don't have a specific name for the fiber.

Futura wigs are sold in beauty supply stores and online, with plenty of everyday styles available.

Here are all three wigs side by side:


Next time I will show you how to properly prepare your own hair for wearing wigs. I have long hair that goes all the way to my butt, and I can wear wigs with no problem, it just takes a bit of time and effort!


l-article said...

Love this post!! I just bought a red kanekalon wig for my poison ivy costume~ Not a big wig pro but I will be looking forward to future wig posts!! Thanks lots!! :3

MoodiBunni said...

Yayyy this was helpful =D thanks!

Amyteee said...

Thankyou for this post! I'm about to buy a long pink wig for everyday wear and its comforting to know it won't look terrible and plasticy :D x

♥ Noxin ♥ said...

I agree with MBunni: this post is REALLY helpful.

Especially since I'm looking at TONS of wigs right now. @_@

Sutoroberi Sheku said...

Thank you for this post; it's really helpful. ^__^ I own several Kanekalon wigs, but I've never tried the Futura ones. At this moment I browsing, looking for some nice ones, but all I can find right now are wigs for African Americans. Do you have any website recommendations? Thank you!

❤ Piggy ❤ said...

Sutoroberi Sheku: Try adding the word "cosplay" when you search for wigs. As I said, there is no specific name for heat-resistant wigs that are for cosplay, but just look carefully at the description and photos (the fiber should have low shine and looks silky soft).

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