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    Wigstock – Finding the One Wig to Rule Them All

    There are two reasons to wear a wig. Either it helps you look more like your character, or you’re tired of torturing your hair. So your wig should either look better than your hair, or look reasonably good and be easier to maintain. I bought my first wig when I got tired of putting my hair into 35 tiny braids every week.

    What should I look for in a wig?

    The easiest way to get a wig that looks like your character is to buy from one of the fans who styles wigs for Rocky Horror people. Check out the links page and review the caveats in the Tailors section (get references, trust your own eyes, etc. etc.).

    Similar to costume shopping, look at shape first, then worry about color. Wig colors tend to be standardized. Consider length (buy long; you can always cut some off), amount of curl, etc. If your character parts their hair, consider a skin top wig, which has a fake plastic scalp that shows through. (I love these.) If you can, buy a wig parted on the correct side; this can be changed but it’s a pain in the ass.

    TIP: The wig will ALWAYS look shorter on you than on the wighead – and it may look really different on you. Buy longer than you think you need. Better to buy too curly than not curly enough: You may be able to brush out a curly wig, but you probably can’t tighten the curls. Many Franks wear wigs that are too short (and too damn curly. Brush them out, boys! Frank does not have an Afro.).

    If you are buying on the internet, read the previous paragraph again, and good luck. It is very difficult to properly gauge the length of a wig on-line, and I have yet to find a good online keyword search method. And wig styles change often because hairstyle fashions change…

    If you plan to buy a wig in person and you’re not an experienced wig stylist, call around first. You want a wigshop that does at least some theatrical work. Take reference photos with you to the store (or pull them up on your phone). Bring a wigcap or be prepared to buy one onsite – they’re required for reasons of hygiene if you want to try the wigs on (and YOU DO). Most shops will sell you a cap for $2 or so, but they’ll be cheap, tight and uncomfortable. (I like the fishnet-type “weave caps” and they pack small.) The stylist may have helpful suggestions and be able to do things you probably don’t want to try, such as steaming the bangs on a wig to blend them into the hair. S/he will also know the store’s stock.

    So… price. Generally a cheap Halloween store type wig is made of cheaper materials, may be less adjustable, will have less hair and thus be more see-through, and won’t last as long. I buy streetwear type wigs: in theory they look good enought to wear in public, and finding a good wig is a pain in the ass so I prefer ones that last.

    Synthetic hair is much cheaper than human hair. It’s easier to care for and the style is pretty much programmed in (though a knowledgable stylist can alter it). Human hair is, well, human. It can be dyed, styled with a curling iron, etc. It looks more natural, is usually MUCH more expensive, and is probably Asian or Indian hair stripped of its color, dyed and styled. If you wash it, you must completely restyle it.

    Finally, some wigs come with a lace front that is glued to the forehead. Broadway actors wear them to get a very natural hairline; I don’t know much about them, so you’re on your own – ask Google.

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