Cosplay Wig Tutorial: Tips for Buying Your First Wig


Cosplaying as your favorite anime characters is a special part of otaku culture, and when it comes to putting the finishing touches on your costume, a wig can make or break your look. After all, many of anime’s most popular figures can be recognized by their hair alone—just think of Sailor Moon’s twintails or Goku’s gravity-defying spikes. To help you pick the perfect wig for your performance, check out FROM JAPAN’s cosplay guide on choosing the right head of hair!

Choosing a Cosplay Wig

Once you’ve decided on a character, it’s time to choose a wig that will do him or her justice—but where to begin? Here are five essential tips for choosing the ideal cosplay wig.

1. Buy your wig from Japan

Cosplaying is serious business in Japan for otaku and wig companies alike. Wigs manufactured in Japan are quite realistic—often enough to pass as natural hair—and feature a smooth, matte look rather than the glossy hair fibers commonly used for cheap costume wigs.

2. Note the length and style of your character’s hair

If your character has a somewhat “normal” look, then a standard wig will work wonders if given just a touch of extra styling. If you’re going for mega spikes or peaked bangs, however, you may want to consider either buying a pre-styled character wig; or if you plan to style the wig yourself, a longer wig will ensure you still have enough hair once the extra-strength hairstyling products are applied. When in doubt, it’s always best to select a wig that is slightly longer than necessary and slightly bigger than your head size.

3. Compare the color

Some wigs may be a different color tone in person than they appear on your computer screen. When browsing cosplay wigs, be sure your device’s display colors are on a “natural” setting. Even better: Some cosplay shops share user-submitted photos and reviews of their wig products, which is another easy way to double-check color, shape, size, and style.

4. Consider heat resistance

If your character has straight hair or other features that will require heat-shaping with a blow-dryer, curler, or straightening iron, be sure to buy a heat-resistant wig (otherwise you risk frizzing and smoldering the fibers). A high quality, heat-resistant wig should be rated to tolerate 150–180 °C (300–350 °F).

5. Choose your wig material carefully

While you can buy wigs made from real human hair, synthetic fiber, or a combination of the two, the most popular cosplay wigs are made from a synthetic material called Kanekalon invented by the Japanese company Kaneka. Why do many cosplayers choose Kanekalon wigs?

  • They offer a natural look in any lighting
  • They can tolerate low heat and more intense styling and coloring
  • They are the best balance of quality and cost compared to other wig materials.

Japanese Cosplay Wig Brands

Ready to shop? Here are our top five picks for best cosplay wig brands made in Japan.

Airily

A go-to choice for cosplayers of all experience levels, Airily sells some of the softest, most realistic anime hair in the otaku realm. With over 25 unique styles, extensions, and add-ons for all your spiking, ahoge, and twintail needs, you’re guaranteed to find the perfect wig for any character.

Browse through their official website, and search for Airily wigs on FROM JAPAN.

Search for Airily Wigs

Assist Wig

Though Assist Wig is a cosplay brand boasting over 450 matte colors of smooth synthetic hair, their true claim to fame is their anti-tangle long wigs. With a natural look and thick, heat-resistant locks, these wigs feature durable materials and construction as well as an impressive lifespan.

Browse through their official website, and search for Assist Wig wigs on FROM JAPAN.

Search for Assist Wig Wigs

Cospedia Wig

In addition to an astounding array of style-it-yourself wigs, Cospedia sells an impressive lineup of pre-styled synthetic hair, based on popular characters from over 70 Japanese anime and video game series—like Fate/Stay Night, Yuri!!! on Ice, NieR: Automata, and Attack on Titan.

Browse through their official website, and search for Cospedia Wig wigs on FROM JAPAN.

Search for Cospedia Wig Wigs

Prisila

Prisila wigs flaunt a lifelike look ideal for Hime, Gyaru, and Lolita fashionistas. These heat-resistant (180°C/300°F), trendy two-tone half-wigs, hairpieces, and extensions are so convincing that they’ve been frequently featured on the front covers of many Japanese fashion magazines.

Browse through their official website, and search for Prisila wigs on FROM JAPAN.

Search for Prisila Wigs

Swallowtail

Praised for their high-quality materials and affordable prices, Swallowtail wigs offer an adjustable, roomy fit and hassle-free styling. From cosplay cuts to fashionable outdoor looks, there’s a wig in every imaginable model and color—from the natural, to the fantastical!

Browse through their official website, and search for Swallowtail wigs on FROM JAPAN.

Search for Swallowtail Wigs

Other Popular Japanese Cosplay Wig Brands

The five Japanese cosplay wig brands featured above were selected from a long list based on quality, variety, and positive cosplayer feedback. However, there are many additional brands that deserve an honorable mention and are definitely worth checking out!

Pre-Made Cosplay Character Wigs

If your wig-styling skills need a bit more practice or the character you want to cosplay has a complex mop that’s a cut above the ordinary, there’s no need to pull your hair out! Many online Japanese cosplay shops sell pre-made wigs featuring complicated designs—gradients, braids, buns, and extensions—tailored to specific characters like Hatsune Miku, Saber, or Kenshin.

The easiest way to find a cosplay character wig for sale is to use FROM JAPAN’s search field. While you will need to search in Japanese for the best results, you can simply copy the character’s name from a wiki page and paste it into the search field followed with the katakana for “cosplay wig” (コスプレウィッグ).

For example, to find Hatsune Miku cosplay wigs, copy “初音ミク” located at the top of the character’s Wikipedia page, and then search “初音ミク コスプレウィッグ” on FROM JAPAN. If you’re searching for multiple characters, switch out the character name in the search field while keeping “コスプレウィッグ.”

How to Buy Cosplay Wigs from Japan

Buying cosplay wigs from Japan doesn’t have to be a hair-raising experience! Complete your latest look with the help of your fashion-friendly proxy service FROM JAPAN, and easily have a stylish box of curls, spikes, and locks shipped from Japan to your doorstep.

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