Shiki Anti-Gravity Wig Tutorial
Disclaimer: I am by no means a professional hair-stylist so this may not be the absolute best way to go about doing a wig like this. This just happens to be how I did it and it has worked pretty well for me so far. I have worn the wig now at 3 separate cons for up to 6 hours at a time with very little ware on it (minus some minor flyaways created from forgetting that my wig has a turn radius).
Sadly I do not have a ton of photos available since honestly I didn’t expect things to turn out as well as they did the first time around so sorry for that in advance. I tried my best to ad diagrams where I could to help.
What you are going to need:
- A short base wig
I used a 14” Ice Blue Chronos wig from Epic Cosplay
- A lot of wig wefts in the same color as your base
The amount you need will depend on the size of the hair pieces you’re making as well as you the hairstyle you want. To save money I bought a matching 24” wig and then cut out the wefts individually. It takes a lot more time and effort but it also gives you a variety of wefts in different lengths/with or without layering
- Hot glue gun
I just used a standard $5 gun from a craft store. If you are not using heat-resistant fibers you WILL NOT be able to use hot glue or else your wig fibers will melt, frizzle or burn. This is why I like Epic Cosplay wigs because they are heat resistant and hot glue will work fine on them.
- Pack of spare hot glue sticks.
The wig pictures above used 16+ glue sticks to give you a rough estimate.
- 1/2 yard of fleece fabric (color-matched as close as possible to your base wig)
- 1 spool of regular purpose sewing thread (color-matched to your fleece)
- Poly-fil stuffing
- Generic craft store pipecleaners
I used Aussie brand but a lot of people prefer Got2BGlued
- 1 foam wig head
Pick a head size closest to your own. Despite being a girl, I use man heads because my head is the equivalent to a men’s L in hats. You may have to build your head up in parts with paper/packing tape to best get a wig fit closest to your own.
- A lot of patience
This is the planning step. This is where you figure out what your hairpiece is supposed to look like, how big it needs to be, how it will sit on the wig base, etc.
You will want to cut your base wig (if it needs it) before you start your hairpiece because once the hairpiece is attached it makes things a lot more difficult (and fragile).
First off you are going to want to find a good reference of the hairpiece you are about to create. I used the photo below for my reference.
Hairpiece: This only includes the hair in the front of the wig (or as I like to call them “the antlers.” The base wig will cover the rest of the hair.
You are going to want to scale the hairpiece in the reference drawing to fit your head size and sketch it out onto a piece of paper. This give you a pattern of sorts of your hairpiece. Be sure to check it out in a mirror by holding it up into place where it should rest and make sure it looks properly sized to fit your head. It’s best to try and make all your sizing changes now before you actually start making the hair piece. Once everything is sized properly and you have cut out your hair piece pattern, it’s time to move onto construction.
You are going to want to take your paper hairpiece pattern and trace it onto the fleece. Make sure you trace it twice so you have 2 pieces to sew together to make your full hairpiece.
Cut out your hairpieces pieces and place them on top of each other so all the edges line up and pin them together. You will basically be making a hairpiece plushie from this point on. You will want to carefully sew around the edges leaving a few gaps so that you can insert your stuffing and wires later. I sewed this with a sewing machine but you might be more comfortable sewing this by hand instead. Make sure to use a tight stitch because you don’t want any busted seams when stuffing.
You should end up with something looking like this:
Next you are going to want to stuff your hairpiece. Once it’s about halfway stuffed, you’ll want to insert your pipecleaners into the sections that will need reinforcements. To make things extra sturdy, I twisted 2 pipcleaners together for each section and then carefully inserted them, bending them to the desired gravity-defying shape. After the pipecleaners are inserted, finish stuffing. You want the hairpiece to be really firm to the touch when it is stuffed. If anything is still floppy, it needs more stuffing or extra pipecleaners in that section.
The red areas are where I left open to stuff and the purple areas show where I inserted pipecleaners.
Once everything is stuffed and wired, hand stitch the openings closed and you should be left with a hairpiece-shaped plushie.
Next is the tricky part which might take a lot of experimentation on your part. You are now ready to add the hair wefts. Below is a picture of what a weft looks like. The base is the part sewn across the top.
I started from the ends are worked my way towards the center as I went as the ends need the more attention to detail.
When gluing the wefts into place, I used just a little glue on the weft base and then carefully wrapped the strands around the plushie. With the exception of the thick top center piece, I cut all my wefts into 1-2 inch wide sections make it easier to work with as they won’t tangle as much. You’ll want to be sure to cover any weft bases as you go so they won’t be seen later on.
Remember, you want to make your hair to look natural so when gluing things in place, you want to follow a natural (well, as natural as possible for anime hair) flow. I marked the directions I laid the hair in the base drawing below.
If you’re unsure about how to glue things down right away, you might just want to experiment pinning and wrapping some wefts first to see how it will look before gluing it down.
I can’t really get into much more detail about laying down the wefts as I was learning as I was going.
DON’T GO CRAZY WITH THE HOT GLUE. USE IT SPARINGLY OR IT WILL SHOW.
Hairspray. You’re probably going to use a lot of hairspray as you go to hold things in place and you’re probably going to want to use even more after to smooth out any flyaways that may pop up.
Depending on how precise you want the little spikes to be, you might was to use a bit of hair glue on the tips just to make them more sturdy and keep them in place.
Attaching the monstrosity to the wig. This is where your wig head will come in handy.
Take out your base wig and flip it inside out. You’ll see across the top that rests along your forehead, there is a wider strip of fabric. This is what you are going to attach your hairpiece too (but on the outside, not the inside.
You’ll want to flip your wig so it’s the right way again and carefully pin your finished plushie hairpiece to that strip. To make sure it is sitting right, place the wig on the wig head and make any pinning adjustments so the hair piece sits where you want it to.
Next you are going to hand sew the hairpiece to the wig about 4-5 inches along that strip on the wig. It will not be the easiest task in the world and you’ll have to go very slowly so as not to mess up your hairpiece hair or tangle the base wig hair into the stitching. You will want to go back and forth several times to make sure things are really secure and that your hairpiece won’t fall off.
The last step is to try on the wig, make sure everything is in place, looks right and make any minor changes to the base wig in order to accommodate the hairpiece better.
More detailed wig pictures from different angles can be found here for reference: http://www.acparadise.com/acp/display.php?c=65242
And that’s about it! You should have a wig with a gravity-defying hairstyle. Hopefully this will help someone somewhere in their crazy wig-styling adventures!
Sorry if this isn’t the most clear or concise thing in the world but if you have any questions, feel free to ASK and I will try my best to better explain them.
Everything I’ve learned about wigs has been self-taught so I’m not a pro, I just experimented around and found something that worked. Everyone needs to start somewhere!