Cutting, Dyeing and Caring for Halloween Wigs

Halloween wigs are almost always made from synthetic fibers because it is easier to create wigs of several colors and styles at a cheaper price that way. These types of wigs are not always easy to change. Fortunately, there are a few tricks that allow you to change the style with a simple cut-and-dye job. And proper care and storage of your wig after you have worn it guarantees that you will be able to use it year after year, or even pass it on to someone else.

It is easiest to change the hairstyle of your wig when there is more hair to work with, so a long-haired wig is ideal. Using hair clips and a wig stand, divide the hair into sections to be cut, depending on the style you want to create. For example, to create bangs you would separate a small section of hair in front of the forehead. With one hand pull the hair forward between two fingers and use scissors to cut the bangs until they are about 4 inches long. Do this the same way you would cut your own bangs.

Applying heat with beauty tools such as a curling iron should be avoided; instead, steam can be used without damaging the wig. To curl or style it, use clips or curlers and then apply steam to the base of the wig and where you want the hair to curl. Styling aids such as hairspray can also be used to create and maintain a new hairdo. I always have the best results with styling when I allow the hair to remain pinned for several hours after applying steam more than once.

One of the more obvious ways to change the style is through dyeing it a different color. However, it also is the most difficult way, especially with a synthetic wig. They do not absorb color the same way as real hair, so different colored inks must be used. Alcohol based dye products are available from limited retailers -- real and online -- in a variety of colors, but it is easy to create a dye of your own.

To dye a synthetic wig, you will need rubbing alcohol, acrylic artist ink and a clean spray bottle. The best type of artist ink to use is a waterproof one because it will keep the color from running and take better. As a general rule, add four parts alcohol to every one part of artist dye. However, the easiest way to create the perfect color is to add a cup of rubbing alcohol to the spray bottle and slowly add the ink using a dropper.

Once you have achieved the color you want, spray down the entire wig. Pin up sections of the wig so that you are sure to get it all evenly covered. Once the entire wig has been dyed, allow it to dry completely. If the color is not as dark or vibrant as you want after drying, you can spray it again. I find that lighter colors such as yellow, pale greens, pink and light purple only require a single coat of ink. When I dye a wig red, blue or orange, two to three coats is necessary.

After Halloween, it is important to clean and store your wig properly if you plan on using it again in the future. When you buy your wig, it is a good idea to purchase synthetic wig cleaner. This can be added to a sink of cool water following the instructions on the bottle. Allow the wig to soak in the cleaner and water for a few minutes before removing and rinsing. It also is possible to just rinse the wig with cool water and use hand soap to spot clean the wig.

To store wigs for long periods of time, it is best to use a wig stand, which will allow the wig to best keep its shape and keep the hair from becoming tangled or misshapen. By following these simple steps and using these styling tricks, I have been able to get several years use out of my own wigs. You can, too.

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