Tutorial: How to Judge Wig Quality!

With all the wig companies floating around on the internet and at convention, I decided that I should do a quick write up about how to look around for wigs and the pros and cons of different wig sellers. I know some of you will read this and think “Oh, this is a written statement from an Epic Cosplay employee”. While I am employed by EpicCosplay I am writing this blog as a cosplayer of seven years to cosplayers who are seeking information and advice. I’ve had multiple incidents where I’ve worked extremely hard on a cosplay and had the entire look ruined because the wig that I purchased came in looking nothing like the picture. I know others who have dealt with similar situations or others (wigs showing up late, etc.) and I would like to help people avoid this scenario if possible. It is extremely saddening to find out that your hours of work creating a cosplay for a convention might be for naught because you’ll have to postpone the debut for a wig (I even had this happen for me at C2E2 2012. I ordered a cheap wig because I was in a pinch and I regretted it after).

This blog post will specifically analyze different ways to judge wigs and wig sellers on Ebay. I, along with EpicCosplay, want to get the word out to cosplayers about choosing a wig and choosing it right because we want you, the fans, to be happy with your experiences. If it isn’t with us; well, that’s sad. However, we’d much rather you have the knowledge and tools to look around the market so you can find what you’re looking for than be upset with a purchase you made. Please note, this blog post is not an end all be all. I’m sure there are wig companies that I do not know about and tips other cosplayers will give you. The opinions stated in this blog post are just my own created from my own experiences.

Judging wigs can sometimes be difficult. On websites like Ebay, make sure you do your research first for the following reasons.

1. Sellers have been known to take competitor pictures and use them as their own. Check to see if you see the image of the wig you’re looking for multiple times in a search. If a specific picture is coming up multiple times in a general color and length description search and there are multiple sellers, that should set off a red flag. Make sure you look to see what kind of fibers the wigs are being constructed out of. Most ebay sellers will list the fiber used in the description and it is important to check this fact before purchasing (I will cover wig fibers a little later in this blog).
2. Check to see what the seller’s feedback rating is. If they have a few negative ratings, check to see why they got the rating. Sometimes these negative ratings are on products they sold which weren’t cosplay related and it might be safe to get a wig there. Sometimes these negative ratings do relate to wig quality, in which case you may want to avoid purchasing from that seller.
3. Pictures of wigs on a mannequin are much better than pictures of wigs on cosplayers. It is easy to take any random picture on the internet, post it to ebay, and say you have that wig. Wigs pictured on mannequins are much more credible because there should be a consistency with the seller and how they photograph their wigs. This isn’t to say that all sellers who use cosplay pictures of wigs are dangerous. However, it certainly helps more when the wig is on a mannequin.

Another key thing to note is that there are different types of wig fibers and their quality differs immensely.

The most common (and cheapest wigs) on Ebay are usually constructed from kanekalon. This fiber is not heat resistant. As such, you cannot put heat near these types of wigs because the fibers will melt easily. Also, because of the material’s brittle nature, a lot of wig styling materials will cause these wigs to melt, break, etc. In addition, these wigs often get tangled quickly and will become messy fast. While you can brush them out gently with a wig brush, these wigs are easily damaged but can be good in some situations.

EpicCosplay, Arda Wigs, and a few Ebay sellers have opted to use different heat resistant fibers in their wigs. These thicker, stronger fibers can withstand high heat and look sleeker, shiner, and smoother than kanekalon. These types of wigs are able to be styled with normal styling irons, straighteners or even boiling water. The fibers are strong enough to withstand normal hair products and can be styled much more easily than other materials. However, you need to be careful about Ebay sellers who claim that their wigs are made out of heat resistant fibers. Some are actually constructed from kanekalon so do your research to avoid the chance that you accidentally destroy your wig!

That’s all for this blog post. If you have any tips that you would like to share that we didn’t cover, feel free to add a comment! Thanks for reading. We hope that this blog helps you out!

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