DIY Dread Wig from cheap costume wig

So, it’s August! Last month of Winter for us aussies & Spring is right around the corner – yeah! I just wanted to say hello to all the new alternative, goth & psychobilly chicky babes who’ve started following TFT recently – Welcome!

This month 5 years ago I did my very first dread wig, made from a cheap costume wig, so I thought I’d share how it was done. First – the finished wig:

Yes, I was into mini hats back then! And the back view:
Here’s a few shots from the club night I wore it to
With Amelia DestroyX
With Ian & Shana
With Rachel Black
Right, let’s get onto it, shall we?

How to make a Dread Wig
1. Select your costume wig
 I bought one that has little ringlets, as I’d gone all Pride & Prejudice for a fancy dress party. Ones with curls can be better than straight ones, as they’ll matt up nicely later when you go to “dread” them. If you have a foam head to put the wig on, do so now.
2. Section the wig off and start to dread the hair
Untwist the curls a bit and make lots of small sections. Start to backcomb the hair in each section.
See the thickness of my sections – you want relatively thick sections as they’ll shrink a lot later when you steam them.

and an extreme close-up – at this point it’s very loose & straggly
3. Backcomb & twist
As you backcomb each section, twist it as well, pulling hard with your fingers to make the fibres twist the same way.
4. Steam
So that the dreads tighten and stay set in place, the hair needs to have heat applied to it in some way. Some methods to do this:-
- You can boil a pot of water and hold each dread in turn over the steam hole
- you can dunk each dread in very hot water, then blow dry with a hot hairdryer while you keep twisting the dread (2 pairs of hands helps with this)
- if you have a proper steamer, of course use that!
- you can use straightening irons – but beware, this can squash and flatten the dreads if you’re not careful (and some fake hair can melt/go hard)

Pay particular attention to the ends of each dread, so that they taper nicely and are sealed off (again, dunking in boiling water is good). You WILL find the dreads shrink, so you end up with a wig that looks like it has a lot less hair than when you started (see pics above).
After each one is done, let the wig dry.
5. Add extra dreads to the wig
At this point it all looks a bit scraggy, so lots of filling in is needed. I made a bunch of dreads out of kanekalon (not very well, may I add – my forte was roving dreads). So either make some as I did, or if you have dreads lying around from falls or whatever, start adding them to the gaps.
If you look closely, you’ll see that I also added quite a few “dreads” that were in fact chunky strands of wool. You could use colinette, but in Australia here we have a wool that is very chunky and approximates a dread, so I used that. Sew each one in, or you could plait to the base of existing dreads on the wig.
I went for an edgy look that has black underneath, so it just peaks out from under the white dreads on top.
6. Fix the fringe
You may have long tresses instead of a fringe, which can be left how they are (depending on your wig). The fringe on mine was incredibly curly. If yours is too, just get your straightening iron out and straighten the fringe/bangs.Then trim it to suit – I did a nice ‘V’ shape. You may prefer to leave yours blunt across, or in a nice curve. Don’t make it too short!
Voila! The finished wig. 

So it just goes to show you don’t need an expensive one to get a look that’s hip and ready to take you to any alternative club in town! Or another fancy dress party :)

A Teased Quiff, Vintage Hairstyle and Cyberlox

Just a quickie today to show I practise what I preach in terms of backcombing/teasing (ie the tute from yesterday). Here’s some recent pics from a night out when I rocked a big quiff, and show a few of my friends who also have fab hair.

This is my friend and hairdresser Melissa of Doppelganger hair in Enmore – she rocks the vintage look! I really must try this one day…

Ok this one’s a wig

Doug or DJ Voodoo as he’s known, is wearing Cyberlox falls here. I used to have them braided in about 5 or 6 years ago…and should really dig out the pics. But I’m not really cybergoth these days. However, there are many who are :)

FYI, my blue leopard corset is from Gallery Serpentine, also in Enmore.

The long & the short of it. Long blue extensions. Short A-line bob.

A few months ago, just before Japan, I got extensions in so that my hair is longish again. I didn’t post the in-process shots at the time, so here they are!  I had one weft (folded over several times), and numerous individual extensions. As you can see, my hair is only shoulder length.

Here you can see the individual ones going in.
We missed out on a heap of photos here.

Basically, the back half of my hair, extensions and all, was dyed turquoise. The blonde at the front was toned to remove the yellowish cast.

Then Melissa cut my hair  – I didn’t want it uber long as that just looks too silly at my age (whereas blue hair doesn’t look silly, in my mind – teehee).

My hair was then blow dried to a satiny finish, and finished off with GHD straightening irons. I was instructed to get a paddle brush to use on the hair 3 times daily - I really underestimated how much I would be brushing my hair to get a tangle-free finish.

But there’s no doubt, when it was finally finished, it looked fantastic.

 
  

I haven’t had my hair naturally this long in a few years now, as I got it cut into an extreme Aline bob back in late 2006 (with pink ends!)  It looked great…but you get a hankering for length again after a few years.

 
 
I loved the edginess of the Aline cut, but I miss the glamour and updos of long hair, so I’m growing it again. 
If you don’t have to look a specific way for a job or school, I encourage you to take a leap and do something a bit different. It might not be bright colours or changing lengths like me, but something you’ve had in your mind for a while that expresses yourself in a fun way. What changes might you make, if you gave yourself permission?

Blue and green hair

I tend to change my hair a lot, although less substantially now I don’t do the fake hair thing so much these days. I’ve just gone purple after being blue for several years, but one of my fave looks was my blue and green curly dreads of last year. First, the complex updo.

Yes, you can do a french roll of sorts with dreads
And how they looked when down.
The lime green was also a hit
Bye bye blue and green hair, at least for a while…

My first dreads – 6 years ago

I was looking through old photos when I discovered that on this day 6 years ago, in January 2004, I first went blue.
Dyed my hair bright blue, that is.

I’d had screamingly bright red hair for 6 years, then a dark indigo purple for a bit, and it was time for a change. First I had to strip the current dye out, and it went an awful mint green on top. With black on the bottom and a pale rust in between. Oh dear. Oh well, hopefully the blue dye would cover that.

I’d bought a heap of Nubian (blunt ended) dreads on ebay in blue and purple. And who else would I get to install them but reigning fake-hair queen of that time, Amelia, aka DestroyX.

Amelia did the plaits extra tight so the dreads would last as long as possible..but man, I had a headache for days!!

Karl kept us supplied with coffee and tim tams…it took over 5 hours so sustenance was needed. They also introduced me to some music I’d not heard before, like Skinny Puppy. The final result:

They lasted until April! I’ve gone on to have many different dreads and forms of fake hair in the intervening years – the usual pointy ended handmade dreads, wool roving ones I made myself, colinette braided in, plastic braided in, cyberlox, curly dreads, temporary falls…but this started off my love affair with fake hair.
I became an avid member of the EZ fake hair board and forum (now closed), and Quinnster taught me everything I know. Then came Heavenly Hair, and these days it’s the Hair Extensions forum.  I recommend a browse through all these if you want inspiration.
I don’t wear it as much these days (I wear a lot of wigs now), but every now and then if I think I’m getting too staid, I’ll braid something fake in.
For those who love bright colours, alternative haircuts and extensions, I can recommend these hairdressers if you’re in Australia. Melbourne and Perth – Wildilocks; Sydney – Doppelganger Hair (my hairdresser) and Furr (the girl on the front page was styled by me for a Fiend magazine shoot).
Have you dabbled in the dark art of fake hair?