Originally posted on May 07, 2013 by Heather Hershey
Cosplay has been a popular activity at ComiCon and other conventions for many years. You may have noticed a recent glut of cosplay wigs available on Ebay, Amazon, and other retailers. So what gives? Here’s a brief rundown of some of the major differences between Halloween and other costume wigs, cosplay wigs, and the every day kind of wigs that we sell here at CysterWigs.
THE LEAST DURABLE: HALLOWEEN WIGS
About: These are the sort of wigs you can buy from WalMart and costume stores certain times of the year.
Price: They can range from the extremely cheap to somewhat convincing, with prices that range around $15 – $40.
Usefulness: These wigs are primarily meant for one time use.
Hair Fibers: Always synthetic. The fibers tend to be really cheap and will tangle and break at the ends with little wear.
Cap Construction: These are the cheapest wigs you can possibly buy. As a result, the caps tend to be very cheaply made. You don’t get a lot of hair, which means that the wefts (or tracks of hair sewn into the cap) are easily visible. The caps have no fancy features: no monofilament or lace fronts, heat-friendly fibers, or anything like that. The caps tend to run really small or really large. They also lose their cap shape pretty easily.
Wearability: As anyone who’s worn one of these can attest to, they are very itchy to wear because of the shoddy cap construction and scratchy doll-like hair used.
Overall Realism: These wigs are definitely not intended to look realistic. Everyone will know they’re part of a costume. The front hair lines, for example, are often atrocious and the fibers are ultra-mega shiny.
Wearable Life: These are basically intended for one time use, but perhaps they’ll get you through a weekend.
Conclusion: As long as you wear them as intended — as part of an obvious costume you only wear once or twice — then you will be fine with this kind of hair.
DA NOISE AND DA FUNK: COSPLAY WIGS
About: These wigs are worn by cosplayers, people who go to conventions or parties dressed like their favorite (or sometimes the most obscure favorite) character from Anime, video games, or some other cool pop culture source. They come in natural shades and, most often, fun, super bright color combinations reminiscent of a cartoon…on purpose. 😉
Price: Ranges from $17 – $50. These are relatively inexpensive, but since most of the people who cosplay tend to be younger buyers who are unaware of the overall wig market (because they don’t have to wear them every day), you’ll see a lot of message board posts where they complain about $35 being “expensive”. (God love ’em.)
Usefulness: These wigs can be used multiple times, but are not intended for daily use.
Hair Fibers: Mostly synthetic, occasionally made of cheap human hair (from generally unethical sources). These synthetics are almost always silky Kanekalon, but some are Futura, meaning that they’re heat resistant.
Cap Construction: These are slightly better than Halloween wigs, with a better fit. They still lack any fancy cap options that lend to the overall realism (like mono tops or lace fronts). They may still have issues with obvious wefting. Occasionally they will have skin parts on top of the rose lace.
Wearability: These wigs tend to be heavy (especially longer ones) and can hold heat in very well. They are available in elaborate designs and colors that may not hold up during extended usage. Due to the cheap cap construction, many have crazy bangs that will need to be trimmed or otherwise altered. Even high quality synthetics have a wearable life with everyday wear of about 3 – 6 months. The wearable life of a cosplay wig is about a month of everyday wear.
Overall Realism: These can sometimes look very realistic. Most don’t on purpose.
Wearable Life: About a month of every day wear.
Conclusion: These wigs come in cool, fun colors and styles that can look great as part of a cosplay or as a means of switching up your look for a night out. Not recommended for every day use unless you intend to dispose of it after a few weeks.