Crepe wool, liquid latex and rubber bald caps are available at most local costume shops. They can be combined to create a simple wig that works well for theatrical shows, Halloween and cosplay events. Because the cost of these wigs is relatively low, you can experiment with multiple variations without breaking the bank. The technique is not complicated, but it will take some practice to become proficient.
Put on a rubber bald cap to see how it fits. Trim away the rubber covering your ears with a sharp pair of scissors.
Draw a hairline onto the bald cap with a flesh-coloured make-up pencil, starting at the centre of the forehead. Go all the way around your head to the nape of your neck (where your hair ends and your neck begins) and back to your forehead again. You should barely be able to see the line.
Stretch the bald cap onto a large styrofoam head. Pin it in place in areas outside of the hairline.
Stretch ropes of crepe wool to access the strings that they are braided on. Cut these strings and pull them out, allowing the wool to unravel slightly. The ropes will still be held together because of the shape of the braiding.
Drop each rope into boiling water to soften the wool. Immediately fish the wool out of the water with a wooden spoon, which does not transmit heat, and hang it to dry.
Pull the dried ropes apart so that you have loose bunches of hair.
Pull as much loose wool from the bunch as you can comfortably grip between your thumb and first two fingers. Hold the wool at one end of the bunch and spread the tips out. Cut the tips even with a sharp pair of scissors.
Brush a stripe of liquid latex onto the bald cap with a cotton swab. The latex should be positioned at the nape of the neck, and the thickness of the stripe depends on how much wool you can hold between your fingers. You will have to experiment to find the right thickness for you.
Press the cut tips of the wool into the latex. Hold them there until the latex has dried enough to hold the wool in place. When it dries fully it will bond to the bald cap, permanently attaching the wool.
Apply another stripe of liquid latex above the first.
Press another bunch of wool into the latex. Hold it in place until the latex dries.
Continue layering crepe wool onto the bald cap, working up the back of the head, over the crown and down to the hairline. Each layer will lay on top of the last. Look at your own hair to see the directions that it grows, then follow that pattern.
Allow all of the latex to dry overnight to ensure that the wool is completely attached.
Gently cut and style the wig as needed. Crepe wool holds its shape very well, but if you tug at it too hard it will break.
Be careful not to get liquid latex into your hair or clothing; it will not come out.
Tips and warnings
- Be careful not to get liquid latex into your hair or clothing; it will not come out.