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 🙂

IFB Links a la Mode

links a la mode

Looking back, moving forward?

Edited by: Florrie Clarke of Intrinsically Florrie.

This week’s links bound across time as we go from the first incarnations of the handbag, to both the glamour and reality of the mid-20th Century and the modern phenomenon of online shopping. And when, in all this, will women be happy with their bodies? Debenhams may now be using unretouched images alongside the photoshopped, but the Daily Mail and the UK’s new equalities minister have decreed a new, and for a lot of us unattainable, body shape for us to aim for.

Links à la Mode: July 29th

    Goldfrapp’s fab jackets. Long hair/fur jackets.

    Alison Goldfrapp (fabulous at 43) looked divine this evening in her sparkly all-in-one sequinned catsuit and 3 different jackets. One was this amazing shredded plastic looking one,

    another was in a stiff tulle or synthetic silver fabric with big ruffled shoulders,

    and the third was a glorious long hair/ fur concoction in shades of pink.
    It was quite reminiscent of the Maison Martin Margiela hair jacket of 2009, seen on Kate Moss.
    I’m really becoming a fan of the long (faux) fur look – like this jacket from Topshop (sadly, no longer available)
    Although I do love coats in bright fake colours that no yeti would be seen dead in! Like the blue coat from Versace below.
    or my own hot pink monster fur hoodie

    From Nastygal we have this Arctic Faux Fur Jacket

    This fun article from Universal Doll shows that monster fur is a big trend in Shibuya Gal fashion this season too! The scan from August Scawaii shows they are getting fur crazy.
    Do you like the look? Or are you done with fur already?

    Film-themed bar in Golden Gai, Kabukicho

    Following on from my post on Sumire No Tenmado, I thought it would be worth mentioning the rest of that night – also spent in bars in the Golden Gai area of Kabukicho.

    The three of us stumbled out into the laneway after hot chocolate and cake in the lolita bar – and wanted to experience a bit more of the Golden Gai before heading home. Valerie, Jim and I looked at various doors and posters outside the tiny establishments, and saw that this one had film posters plastered everywhere. Orright!

    In we went, to discover that the owner had been an actor for many years, and was friends with names we know well – like director Takashi Miike! (To my dismay I can’t remember his name or that of his friend, or the bar – but I will find it again next month and let you know).

    Soon we were having a lovely time and felt like old friends – see us being silly below:

    You can really see how small these bars are – just enough for 5 or so. I’m standing by the front door to take this. Valerie doesn’t like being photographed really, so this is a rare one.
    Next it was my turn to be in the picture and ham it up with the guys. I think you can see we were having a right laugh!
    Valerie and Jim left to catch the last train home, but I stayed to chat and have a few more beers. Fun! Finally I stumbled out and WAS going to go home….but saw the light was on in my fave punk bar Hair of the Dogs as I passed – so I went in.  (See this post and this one for more on the bar).
    This blurry pic accurately describes my rate of comprehension at the time:

    Tohru the owner was pleased to see me – and invited me to his hanami party that Sunday.  I realised we were beginning to become friends, rather than just patron and punter. It felt good.

    Kokusyoku Sumire, Sachi and Yuka. Sumire No Tenmado

    Two of the most recognisable faces in the Tokyo Gothic lolita scene are the duo who make up Kokusyoku Sumire, Sachi & Yuka.  If you don’t know them, allow me to introduce you.

    Those who have the Gothic & Lolita book will certainly recognise them – they’re in it. But who are they and why are they famous?

    Sachi plays violin and piano, while Yuka plays accordion and piano and sings. They perform, model, and run a lovely Lolita Bar in the Golden Gai, called Sumire No Tenmado. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting there and taking tea and cake several times – although the very first time I visited, they were away in Hollywood visiting Tim Burton on the set of Alice in Wonderland!  (But I found my fave punk bar, so it all worked out).

    In April this year however, the bar was open and I attended with Valerie from Tokyo Fashion & Art Factory and Jim of Horror High School. (BTW, a great article on Valerie’s blog was in the Japan Times in June). We met some illustrators while we were there – it’s quite bohemian that way!

    Next time I will plan ahead and get some good photos of the cafe so you can see how charming it is, with little replicas of cakes, dolls, beautiful artwork and lolita touches everywhere. Yuka serves up delicious home-made cakes and pies with sinful cream and ice-cream, (or hot food if you prefer!)

    It really is a must-see for any lolita, or any lover of japanese lolita culture. However, it is so small you may have to wait for a while before you can sit down.  Sumire No Tenmado is open for afternoon tea from around 5pm or in the evening (bar time) from around 8pm. Weekends and holidays it is tea time all day, 12 – 8pm.

    Intrigued? Visit the Kokusyoku Sumire website to find out more about them.

    Their latest album just released is called Alice in the Underground (see below), again with fantastical stylings, and they toured Europe with it in May this year. You can read more about them and their performances in their blogs – Yuka’s blog, and Sachi’s blog.

    They have sumptuous visuals, as you can see:
    I love their quirky sound! It’s sort of Rococo Gypsy Lolita. Here is a video so you can hear what they sound like:


    As I mentioned, Sumire No Tenmado is in the Golden Gai, and the map is here:

    You take the eastern exit from Shinjuku Station, walk down Yasukuni Dori, and look for Mister Donut on the corner of Kuyakusho Dori.

    Then take the little lane next to Mister Donut that leads to the Hanazono Shrine. This leads you to the Golden Gai area.  It’s the 2nd or 3rd lane, on the upper floor.  Look for the sign – you’ll have to look up to see it!

    Sumire No Tenmado
    Kabukicho, Shinjuku 1-1-7-2F
    Golden City Garden City Shinjuku third
    03-3209-1204 03-3209-1204
    Opening Hours:
    Weekday / Saturday 16:30 to 23:30,
    Sundays / Holidays 11:30 to 20:00
    Ladies free, cover carge for gents.