Wigs are another case of “invest your money wisely”; they’re easily one of the most expensive pieces for cosplay and they are the hardest items to get discounts on.
gif by tumblr user appleshrapnel
When buying a wig, you need to keep a few things in mind:
- How many cosplays can you get out of this wig?
- How much money are you willing to spend?
If you’re only planning on using a wig for one character one time/for one con, you’re better off trying to find something cheap (read: ebay) that will serve its purpose and then can be passed off to other friends or sold used online.
If you think you can get multiple uses out of the same wig (even if it’s for different variants of the same character), then it might be time to invest your money into a wig that can handle being worn a lot and restyled.
This Chibi in Bubblegum Pink from Arda-Wigs is used for the Princess Small Lady Serenity & Eternal Sailor Chibi Moon variants of Chibi-Usa, (along with any other versions of her that I decide to do in the future), and because I made the odangos removable, it’s also PrettyDeer’s Madoka wig! At $55 for the wig + extensions, this pans out to about $18 per costume, much cheaper than if I’d done two separate wigs for Madoka and Chibi-Moon.
The cheap route is usually ebay, but that’s not to say that there’s not high quality wigs on there. Look for things that are heat-resistant, and whatever you do, avoid anything with the phrase “party wig” in the listing title. There is a 99.9999999% chance that that is some cheap iparty stuff and will look like junk. Also, milanoo is the devil!! Stay far, far, FAR away!!
Other things to pay attention to on ebay are the seller’s feedback rating (don’t buy from anyone with less than 95%), and also important, how many people have bought from them (you’re better off buying from places that have a lot of people). Try to find wigs with free shipping, & if you can’t find a wig for your character specifically, try searching for another character that has the same hairstyle or “red bob cosplay wig” or whatever style/color combo you’re looking for. Finally, check the watermark of their photos – if it doesn’t match their store title, chances are the photos’ been stolen and the wig you get will be nothing like the picture.
For “investment wigs”, there are four main companies in the US that really cater to cosplayers:
I’ve only ever purchased wigs from ebay, now defunct companies, amphigory, and Arda, so I can’t really speak to the other two companies listed. (Arda’s definitely my fav in terms of price, comfort, and quality). However, same dealio applies to saving money with these guys: sign up for their emails and follow them on social media to be alerted to sales, new products, contests, etc. Arda and Epic Cosplay have reward points systems, so making an account with them means $$$ off future purchases.
Go forth and create some beautiful wig projects on the cheap!!