Costume Wigs

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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Costume wigs are a staple of any wardrobe designer's repertoire. There is arguably no quicker method of radically changing an actor's look than by giving him or her a brand new coif. Sure, makeup and costuming play a pivotal role in dressing up any part, but the transformation is hardly complete without a new 'do.

Whether you're portraying a Civil War-era southern belle, an 18th-century French aristocrat, or a '60s mod rocker, there's a costume wig that's right for you. Actually, there are probably dozens of wigs that are tailored to your part. Some may be natural, others synthetic, or your wig may be a blend of the two.

Memorable Costume Wigs

Many celebrities are known more for their outrageous hair than they are for their outrageous antics. Public figures from Don King to Carrot Top have hair that takes on its own personality and becomes those celebrities' most enduring symbols. It seems you barely have to do anything to become famous anymore, provided your rug is expressive enough to speak for you.

Ours is a culture that takes its fashion and style cues straight from the celebrity ranks. So it's hardly surprising that costume wigs modeled on everyone from Ozzy Osbourne to Austin Powers are among the most sought-after pieces, especially around Halloween. That's the time when the Bill Clinton, Elvis, and Superman 'dos start popping up everywhere you look.

Hankerin' for Hairpieces

Are you looking for a quick transformation into Marilyn Monroe? How about Pamela Anderson? Hillary Rodham Clinton? Costume wigs are much easier (and cheaper) to come by than Yankee Clippers, Playboy centerfold gigs, or U.S. Senatorial seats. The fastest way to morph into your favorite icons is to steal their most visible icon, which is--Pamela Anderson notwithstanding--their hair.

As much fun as costume wigs can be, there are plenty of other perfectly good reasons to wear a wig. When dress-up time ends, there are still many people battling natural hair loss, bad genetics, chemotherapy, and other hair-loss inducements. For these people, a great wig isn't one that stands out and grabs attention, but one that looks au natural.

Aye, There's the Rug

For the aforementioned groups, finding a natural looking hairpiece can be a downright maddening experience. Most wigs are invariably too short, too long, too synthetic, or just improperly colored to look right as part of an ensemble. Even authentic hair has a way of looking just off when worn by another owner. Of course, some original owners still look a little off in their own real hair, so authenticity is certainly no guarantee.

If your search has reached that boiling point, this site may be able to help. In the pages that follow you'll learn about the different wigs that are out there, as well as tips for grooming them and keeping them well conditioned. Yes, even artificial hair needs to be properly maintained--especially if it's designed to look real.


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