JonelB on Twitter gave me the heads up (ha! Heads up. Get it?!?!) Seems there’s a whole world of people out there using Sharpies to custom dye wigs. Jonel pointed me to Cosplay.com and one of their forum threads where you can pick up everything you need to know about how to dye a wig to your particular specifications. On the thread was Jaina Solo who offered a great how-to:
I just dyed a wig yesterday with sharpies! I think there are two ways you can do it:
1) Take a sharpie, grab some hair, and start coloring. This is a very long and tedious process and takes a lot of sharpies depending on how long the wig is, but the results look very nice. Once you are done sharpieing the whole wig, rinse it in cold water until the water is clear, then let the wig dry completely. If you see any spots that you missed, go back and sharpie it and then rinse the wig again.
2) Harvest the sharpie ink well and mix it with alcohol so you can dunk or spray the wig with it. This can be a messy process, and the alcohol can cause the ink to streak if you’re not careful, but it’s much faster than having to hand-color an entire wig, especially if it’s a long one. This is the process I used, and what I did was I cracked open a sharpie, took out the ink well and placed it into a jar of alcohol. At first, I just shook the bottle of alchohol every once in a while to get the ink out of the well and into the alchohol, but I noticed that this was taking a long time and wasn’t getting all the ink out, so instead I grabbed the ink well and squeezed out as much ink as I could into the alcohol. It was messy but it worked great. Since I was dying a long wig very dark, I used an entire liter of 70% alcohol mixed with 10 sharpies. I then dunked the wig into the mixture (by this time I was using a bowl), and I let the wig dry. However, when letting the wig dry, do NOT hang it on a wig head or by its scalp–the alcohol dripping off with strip the ink off, leaving a very irregular dye job. Lay the wig on a drop cloth on the ground somewhere flat, so that the alcohol can’t drip off the wig and take ink with it!
And just when you think you couldn’t possibly know another thing about the universe because you already know everything, along comes Cosplay. What is Cosplay, you may be wondering? Me too. Here’s the Wikipedia explanation. Here’s my short outtake:
Short for “costume play,” Cosplay is a type of performance art whose participants outfit themselves, with often-elaborate costumes and accessories, as a specific character. Characters are usually sourced in various Japanese and East Asian media, including manga, anime, tokusatsu, comic books, graphic novels, video games, and fantasy movies. Other sources include performers from J-pop, J-rock, Visual Kei, fantasy music stories (such as stories by the band Sound Horizon), novels, and objects from cyberspace or the real world that are unique and dramatic (especially if they have or can be given an anthropomorphic form).