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30 Sep 2007 - 19:39489
Wig dying help needed!
I'm planning a cosplay of Gokudera from Reborn!, but I've come across a problem - he has incredibly strange hair. It's all silver and whatnot on the top, but underneath (in the manga, anyway) it's black. Obviously I can't dye it the way you'd dye regular hair, but I was wondering if anyone had any ideas on how I could achieve this effect? Any help would be much appreciated :3

Sorry for the big picture ^^;


01 Oct 2007 - 16:08490
I think using two wigs might be best. Get a black one, put a silver one on top, and you can hand sew the two together. If it's too bulky, you can hack up the black wig and just sew part of it on, even a few wefts.

You could also colour the bottom black, but black is a difficult colour to obtain when dyeing a wig since the pigments used in inks tend to show up as reddish rather than pure black. Definitely something to test out first. (and as a note, it's not possible to dye a black wig silver, so any dyeing you try will have to be black!)

Your options for dyeing:

1) Permanent markers. It takes a lot of patience if you’re colouring a whole wig, but they’re particularly useful for streaks or small areas like in your case. Simply work through strands of fibre, colouring it in. Rinse out the excess ink with cold water, and that’s it. The ink will be permanent, won’t rub off or anything. Not all types of pens will necessarily work, so be careful to test them first, and as I've said, the results with black can be variable, so you might need to experiment with a few types of pens or do a few coats to get a strong colour. Sharpies are the more reliable brand, and I use LetraSet ProMarkers which come in a huge range of colours and have broad nibs. At least with black, permanent markers are easy enough to find! I've even used Tescos ones successfully.

2) Cracking open a pen to speed up the hand-colouring method. You add the ink to alcohol, and can then dunk-dye the wig or decant the dye into a spray bottle to spray on. This isn’t a guaranteed method though, and getting the proportions of ink to alcohol is down to trial and error. You'd also have to be careful since you're only needing to colour a small section, but I think dunk-dyeing would still be possible, and perhaps even spraying if you could cover the rest of the wig with a plastic bag or something. Some information on using pens, both colouring by hand and advice on cracking open pens

3) Copic (or other brand) marker refills are a great way to get hold of the ink which is more convenient than breaking open pens. Another similar method is to use artists' acrylic ink the same way, FW ink is the preferred brand. More details can be found here

4) Wig dye, made and sold by Katie Bair. The dye comes with instructions, but basically, you just spray it on the wig. Again, since it is a spray, I don't know how suitable it is for just colouring a particular area, but could be possible. I'm also not certain if a black shade could be achieved, looks like the colour "Coal Gray" is the closest thing. The samples are cheap, so perhaps give it a go. The dye is helpful since you don't have to mess about making your own, and it's rather more reliable than home-made concoctions, so long as you're prepared to pay for it. Wig dye and samples can be purchased here

Last edited by Angelphie (01 Oct 2007 - 16:08)
02 Oct 2007 - 23:04491
Thank you SO much, that really was incredibly helpful!

I'll have a try with the Sharpie method first, and if that fails I'll try something else over the top ^^

10 Oct 2007 - 13:57500
I was going to suggest car spary paint from a great distance and very little burst then drying and repeating so theres no chance of running, that'll cover the top part only and is fairly quick...

ive sprayed black on a black wig as i used glue to style it and it stayed white, the paint covered up well

18 Oct 2007 - 17:02538
Scratch what i said that guide is AWESOMENESS!!!

I bought liquid acryllic from Hobby craft and rubbing alchol aka surgical sprit mixed it as prescribed and volia it covers brilliantly XD

finally i have a SSJ Vegeta Wig

28 Oct 2007 - 18:56637
Just wondering... But would normal spray dye work? It's not supposed to mix in with chemicals in hair it's just to cover hair in that colour... so do you think spray dying a wig would work? [sorry if it was in that tutorial of yours... i read it... but maybe i just mis-read it xD;]

29 Oct 2007 - 14:20651
You mean stuff like this - spray-on hair colour?

Yeah, it works, but just as badly as on real hair! It's not permanent, so can rub off, get on to your clothing, and it can often be rather ineffective, uneven and cause the hair/wig fibres to clump up and solidify for that lovely crispy effect.

I always maintain buying a wig would look infinitely better than trying to colour your real hair with sprays like that, so going and using such a spray on a wig is destroying the benefit!

Similarly, you can use actual spray paint, or other paints on a wig like MangaChild was saying, but it's never going to have such a natural effect as dyes.

The only reason to consider it is the fact you can't dye a wig to a lighter colour. With paints and sprays you can, and if you only need a tiny area, like say one white streak, then painting shouldn't hurt too much.

Honestly though, using one of the dye techniques, sewing in wefts or anything I already mentioned will look better. Sprays and painting and so on are pointless when there's a better alternative, perhaps only worth knowing about if you're in a rush or something.

29 Oct 2007 - 23:02656
Ah I see thanks for the heads up! =D I'll keep that in mind ^^ I'll try the dunk technique or maybe the colour in technique when dying wigs then =3

18 Dec 2007 - 18:231291
Just thought I'd post this in case anyone has had the same trouble I have.
Looking ALL around town, and nearly every chemist and hardware shop I could, I haven't had any luck with getting the 70% alcohol from the tutorial.
Since I have no idea what the consequences would be using 90% (the only percentage I could find), I had a look online, not expecting much. Though my eBay search was surprisingly fruitful! This shop is UK based and sells 70% rubbing alcohol in different sized bottles. It's incredibly cheap too!
The FW Inks listed I found easily in the Art Centre in town, but you can get them online too if you're pushed.

I'll probably post some progress/finished shots when I get started after Christmas :3

19 Dec 2007 - 06:371292
Hitachiin: Just a note with regards to Gokudera's hair. I believe his hair is not supposed to be black at the bottom. It only appears so in the manga because that was the shading style of the artist. If you look at the anime version you can see his hair appears to be completely silver - and I doubt the animators will choose to abandon the cool setting of having dual colour hair unless it wasn't the case to start with...

19 Dec 2007 - 21:051295
Quote Cat_Cat:
Hitachiin: Just a note with regards to Gokudera's hair. I believe his hair is not supposed to be black at the bottom. It only appears so in the manga because that was the shading style of the artist. If you look at the anime version you can see his hair appears to be completely silver - and I doubt the animators will choose to abandon the cool setting of having dual colour hair unless it wasn't the case to start with...

Yeah, I knew that they changed it in the anime, but I prefer the manga style so much better, it's quite clear that it's in the manga as well as the colour art ^^ I wanted it obvious I was doing that version, so I thought I'd take the time to dye and style the wig in that way, the same as I'll be doing with my friends Bianchi wig too~
Plus I wanted a challenge It's been SO easy getting all the Reborn! outfits together, it's nice to have something to work on so I feel like I've actually done something! XD

02 Feb 2008 - 20:401526
I know this is a really late reply, but you could buy say half a head of hair extensions in a weft and buy clips that sew on to the top of the weft. These then grip and clip to the underneath of your grey wig. You can buy premade ones for about £2 each but they are long rather than wide. I know good grade hair from Paul's Hair World for about £20 for half a head of extensions, approx 14" long. They may do cheaper. It's based in Manchester, and they have a pretty big range of hair pieces and extensions.

Last edited by MintoMewMew (02 Feb 2008 - 20:41)
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