When I decided to be Merida For Halloween this year (and clearly afterward as a cosplay) I knew that I was going to need a wig. A lot of wig. A lot of really orange based red wig. And curls. I didn’t want the wig to look too red, so I bought a fire orange wig from Arda Wigs and I plan to dye it more red. I thought I’d avoid the typical issue of the dye rubbing off the wig and try out using oil based sharpies instead of FW ink or regular sharpies. I did a small test on a bit of the wig by applying the sharpie directly to the hair and it didn’t rub off after a minute of drying. I figured it was full steam ahead so I assembled my materials:
Unfortunately, this didn’t work. I broke open the markers, added the dye to the alcohol … and the dye turned orange. Bright, eye bleeding, orange. I didn’t even bother testing it on the wig as the dye was nearly the same colour the wig is right now. Sigh. So, all that dye went in the bin and I made my way out to Michaels craft store to get some red Liquitex acrylic dye to use instead.
I used 3/4 of each bottle of alcohol (I dumped the extra into a third bottle) and I split the pot of dye between the two bottles of alcohol. After shaking both bottles to combine the dye and alcohol, I dumped one bottle of the dye mixture into the bowl (that I’d lined with a plastic bag). I then placed the wig into the bowl and dumped the second bottle of dye mix onto it.
I let the wig sit in the bowl for about 10 minutes, during which time I gently massaged the wig making sure that the hairs were all covered in dye, and that the roots were thoroughly covered.
After I was happy with the colour, I took the wig out, put it on the wig head, and let it drip dry.
Best part is the dye didn’t stain the bathtub!
This is what it looks like now that it’s 99% dry:
It’s less flaming red and more orange based red than in the pictures, and since the wig I started with had highlights and lowlights, the dyed wig has them too! I can’t wait to get the extra wefts and dye, curl, and sew them in! I used my fingers to detangle the wig and hardly any of the dye came off on my hands and I didn’t even rinse it! I’m pretty impressed!
The next day when it was completely dry, I lightly hairsprayed the wig to add volume to the curls and I found that very, very little dye came off on my hands once the hairspray dried.
Have you dyed a wig? What did you use?
It Takes A Village To Cosplay!