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Behind the scenes look at wig styling...

One of the most time-consuming parts of character development is wig styling. The Snow Queen wig has been the most challenging to date. First we ordered a blonde wig that clashed terribly with the white sparkly fabric of her dress. So after many hours of research, we found a post by a cosplayer (a cosplayer is a person who develops character costumes as a hobby and typically attends cosplay conventions) who had purchased a silver wig (mostly white, actually) and tea-dyed it. So that's what we did; purchased an Arda lace-front wig (Tauriel in silver) and tea-dyed in a large stock pot using lots of tea bags. We used the most golden tea color that we had on hand (can't remember the flavor, but it was a warm honey brown color in the pot). The tea-dying gave the wig a warm, slightly golden white blonde color that works perfectly with the dress. 

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Our original style was teased at the top to build volume, braided to the side, and embellished with rhinestone snowflake buttons wired into the braid. This original style worked well for many parties, but had to be re-combed and braided for each party because the braid got a little ratty on the underneath side. We were never completely satisfied with this original style, so this past week decided to restyle the wig. This turned out to be quite the project. 

After watching several YouTube videos on different braiding techniques, we realized that the wig needed to be curled to create more volume. Curling a thick wig of this length is no easy task; you can't roll it all at once because all the curlers won't fit. So, working from the bottom up, we detangled and flat-ironed and combed and rolled about the bottom third of the wig, keeping the other hair clipped away. We had to experiment with several sizes of curlers to get the right curl; we ended up with 7/8" snap-on plastic rollers. We could only roll about two wefts at at time about 2" wide; otherwise the hair would be too thick to snap on the roller cover. We ended up sticking plastic picks through the rollers to hold them in place on the styrofoam wig head because some of the snap-on covers came off. 

After rolling one section, we heated each roller with a hair dryer and then allowed to cool; this is how to curl a heat-resistant wig (Arda wigs has several tutorials). After unrolling the first section and being satisfied with the outcome, the trick was how to roll the next section and heat without relaxing the curls in the first section. To accomplish this, we put the first curled section in a plastic grocery bag and pinned the bag to the wig form, basically covering it completely but leaving the uncurled hair exposed. Then we rolled the next section; when we heated it, we used a piece of cardboard cut with a curve to fit the wig form as a shield to keep the heat away from the hair in the plastic bag. This worked fairly well. 

So, after many tedious hours, here's the curled wig. It's not restyled yet, but we intend to basically put it in a loose side braid for a pretty, windswept look that is much fuller than the original style. 

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