maroonpantaloons asked: Hi there! I'm trying to put together a slightly last minute ishimaru cosplay for a group, and I came across your cosplay while researching for it. I was wondering if you had any tip on buying/styling a wig for him? Yours looks absolutely perfect!!!! It's ok if you can't but I'd really love some pointers <3
(Also answering a similar ask from user stonebullet)
Hello! Thanks for the compliments! I wish I had some work-in-progress photos to show you, but I was in such a hurry to style this wig, I just went for it lol;; But below are some tips on how I went about styling Ishimaru’s wig!
Which wig to buy?
- NEVER buy pre-styled wigs for characters with spiky hair. Everyone’s face and head shape/sizes are different, so what might look great on a mannequin might actually look very unflattering and even proportionally inaccurate on yourself. I highly suggest to style it yourself so you can always check how much you need to hack off to frame your face properly.
Above is what the wig looked like before I styled it. You may want to buy something with a little more length just in case you stuff up or would like to have some more spare hair to glue back on for more volume.
- PVA glue: I only used this to create Ishimaru’s hair line, I don’t use it for anything else as it’s rather runny to handle and leaves some faint white stains if used excessively. PVA glue is a good option if you don’t want to spend too much money. You can opt to use a stronger glue that dries clear, but PVA glue is strong enough to last the day if you’re careful with the wig.
- GATSBY Styling Clay: Gatsby is great for sculpting spikes on hair. Make sure you get the hard, clay kind, not the gooey wax if you don’t want your spikes looking too thin and glossy.
- Thinning scissors: Make sure you get a pair that includes one blade with ‘teeth’ on it and the other a regular blade. Kinda obvious what you need this for.
- Hairdryer: This is essential if you want your wig to defy gravity.
- Other tools not included in this photo: mirror, mannequin, and VO5 extra hold hairspray.
- Firstly, I started by trimming the wig- I don’t hack off too much at the start, just enough to get some thin layers going. I generally make the layer at the top the shortest and work my way down. When I trim the sides, I put the wig on to judge how much I should chop off. This is important because Ishimaru’s hair is very short and hardly frames your face at all, it can be very unflattering for
people like me who have long faces.
NOTE: Don’t throw out the off-cuts of hair!! You’ll be gluing some back on!
- This is roughly how it looked like at the initial cutting stage:
Be careful with how much you cut off at the sides and the fringe- you need some length to use as foundation for when you want to stick extra hair on for the hairline (I’ll explain this step later.)
- To get hair spiking up, you need to think of pushing it in the opposite direction it’s growing in. I basically grabbed the wig, hung it upside down and used the hairdryer to flick the hair upwards:
This should lift the hair up- it might look a bit wonky but that’s okay, now you can really start trimming it to the correct length now that you know how high the hair can stand up.
- Once you’ve trimmed it to a reasonable length, use the Gatsby styling clay to really sculpt those spikes. This part is fiddly but also one of the more satisfying steps of the process as his character finally begins to take form. I use this method of ‘teasing’ tips of hair to get those spikes going. Here’s an example of what this process looks like:
Starting with some flat, untextured hair. Let’s try to get some of that animu spikiness happening…
Rub some gatsby styling clay between your thumb and index finger. Grab a thin strip of hair and twist at the tips. While you’re twisting, pull the hair in the direction of where you want it to ‘flick’ towards. (My hair is a little long to spike upwards, but it should be easier with the Ishimaru wig if you’ve cut it short enough.)
You don’t want to twist it too thin so it looks stringy- make the strip of hair taper smoothly and not abruptly.
Grabbing larger strips of hair to tease gives you more defined and larger layer of spikes. (my hair is too long to spike upwards, but this is the gist of the teasing method.)
With Ishimaru’s wig, I didn’t tease out EVERY SINGLE SPIKE (that would take too long), only the ones that really needed defining, specifically the ones at the top and sides that would shape my head silhouette. You might find yourself going back and forth between applying Gatsby clay and trimming the spikes too.
- Creating the hair line- as I mentioned in step 2, you’ll be using the remaining hair of the fringe as building blocks for the hair line. Using the off-cuts of hair you’ve hacked off in step 1, you’ll be making strips of hair and gluing them right onto the hair line.
This part is quite annoying, messy and tries your patience, so don’t fret if you can’t get it right away. You’ll be making quite a few of these little strips to cover up the awkward hair line you’ve left after hacking off the original fringe of the wig and to recreate Ishimaru’s ridiculous hairline. When you make these strips of hair, some strands will definitely fall out, so make sure you make these strips thin enough for the PVA glue to completely cover at the ends.
- When you glue the strips of hair onto the hairline, you’ll want to let it overhang:
If you stick the strips by aligning the ends to the wig cap line, the new hairline might not sit on your forehead well and likely hover above awkwardly. By having a slight excess of hair at the ends, it should sit on your forehead nicely.
Try not to use too much PVA glue on top of any exposed surface of hair as it might leave a white stain. The best way to glue these hair strips on is to apply the glue on the wig first, and then press the strips on TOP of the glue. PVA glue is a little runny so try not to touch it too much once you’ve set it in place and let it dry for a minute or so.
- Here is a photo of the new hairline:
I’ve indicated the individual strips I glued on
- Set everything together by applying hairspray over the wig. Just like the blowdrying step, spray it in the direction you want the hair to lean towards.
You’re free to add more volume into the wig by creating more hair strips and gluing it onto the scalp of the wig if you wish :)
I hope this wasn’t too confusing, but I hope it helps!!