Monday, November 8, 2010

Costuming: Wig Tips

If you're into cosplay or costuming and like taking it to a truly detailed level, authentic human hair Japanese wigs really perfect the whole look when it comes to traditional Japanese costumes. You can actually find them on Ebay, under "katsura", though be warned that most will technically be wedding or generic wigs rather than the higher-end ones for geisha or maiko.

However, as most Westerners don't know the difference, I don't see a problem in wearing a generic/wedding one as long as you don't claim it's a super-authentic geisha wig you yanked off a real geisha's head while on your trip to Japan. ^_^; (While maiko wigs are more distinctive, geisha ones are very similar to wedding ones in appearance.)

Should you get your hands on one of these babies, here are some tips or things you might not have known beforehand, based on my own wig purchase:

1. They are styled with camellia oil, I believe, so they have a distinct scent that I don't mind but can be a bit strong at times.

2. The wigs have a hard base, so you're more or less wearing a football helmet. I've made it eight hours in mine with some discomfort that I was able to alleviate by minutely shifting it every few hours, but I've heard the average runs more to 3-4 hours for comfortable wear.

3. For my American readers, Sally's Beauty Supply has $4 styrafoam heads, in case your wig didn't come with the traditional stand and case.

4. The wig adds a lot of mass all around your head, so if you can leave it off if you have to take any tight car rides, etc. to your destination.

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