Cosplay Wig 101

Cathy Ngo Cosplay

Wigs are an essential part of any cosplayer’s arsenal. I have over 30+ individual wig pieces from my 5+ years of dressing up. Here’s some advice I have for people looking to buy wigs for cosplay or photoshoots.


Definitive Ranking of Wig Types & Uses

  1. High fashion shoots and lolita fashion – highest quality, realistic ($50+)
  2. Cosplay / convention – low mid to high quality ($25 – $45)
  3. Halloween – lowest quality, usually shiny and inexpensive (< $20)

Extra things you’ll need: Wig cap, hair tie(s), bobby pins, hairspray/gel, wide tooth wig comb

Feelin' #witchy in my newest blog post. #AHScoven #coven

A post shared by Cathy Ngo (@fairyflux) on

Popular North American wig suppliers: 

  • Arda-Wigs: One of the most popular wig stores around. A huge number of cosplayers buy their wigs from Arda. Lots to choose from.
  • Epic Cosplay Wigs: One of my favorite wig suppliers! They offer free shipping and a huge range of wig colors/styles. Their quality is consistent
  • Gothic Lolita Wigs: This wig range has some pricey products but their styles are super unique. If you’re into lolita fashion, their wigs are worth investing in. Rockstar Wigs (edgy line) is part of their brand (quality is inconsistent though).
  • Purple Plum: Endorsed by cosplayers like Jessica Nigiri and Yaya Han. I have not ordered from this brand yet. Smaller selection than others but still pretty solid.
  • The Five Wits: I’ve heard good things about this store but I haven’t bought anything from them yet. They’re known for their accurate and inexpensive character wigs.
  • eBay: Definitely the cheapest place to get wigs but you’re taking a risk! Most wigs will ship from Asia and many use stolen photos for the listing. Sometimes you’ll get an amazing cheap wig, while other times all you’ll end up with is a tangled mess.

There are a plethora of wig tutorials out there. Arda-Wigs and Epic Cosplay Wigs are a good place to start.

Dolly photoshoot today with my #btssb #lolita dress!

A post shared by darlingstrawberry (@darlingstrawberry) on

If you’re looking at natural hair colors (blonde, light brown, etc.), go for a more expensive wig. I’ve gotten some cheap blonde wigs that look well…cheap. But one of my favorite wigs is this red one I got from eBay (see below).  If you know you’re drawn to a certain hair color, it might be worth to invest in a high quality wig that you can heat style.

Black widow cosplay

Common Wig Styles:

  • Straight
  • Curly – variants of tight to loose curls, ringlets are less common
  • Wavy
  • Bob
  • “Boy style” – think shaggy boy haircut or pixie
  • Ponytail – usually comes as a bob with attachable ponytail extension
  • Lacefront – has no bangs, requires special procedures to attach to head but worth it, fake a natural hairline

Final notes:

  • Once you start collecting wigs, you’ll probably get addicted. There are thousands of color choices, style and length.
  • A good wig cap is key. Make sure it isn’t too tight and holds all your hair in.
  • Buy a ton of bobby pins, you’ll need them. Thick hair girls – buy the super long ones!


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