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Tutorial: Resizing Arda Wigs by EnvelCosplay Tutorial: Resizing Arda Wigs by EnvelCosplay
Arda Wigs is a “by cosplayers for cosplayers” wig company that provides cosplayers/costumers and wig enthusiasts with a vast array of specialty style wigs with back parts and/or high ponytails to use as bases for just about any character or style you could imagine. Besides providing these useful custom styled wigs, another of Arda’s main goals is to provide these and other wigs for those who have larger than average heads and/or very long/thick hair; people who would normally struggle with squeezing a wig over their head comfortably and convincingly.

While a wonderful goal for a wig company, there are those who have average or smaller sized heads (myself included), which basically means that even with the extra combs and the tightening elastics in the backs of the wigs, the Arda Specialty Wigs (Chibi, Jeannie, Leia, etc.), will not comfortably fit on our heads. The ear tabs of the wigs come down past our ears to our cheeks, the back-parts of the pigtailed wigs ripple down the backs of our heads instead of lying smoothly, and the front netting of the wigs under the bangs comes halfway down our foreheads… And even with the elastics on the tightest settings and OVER 9000 extra bobby pins, the wigs slip and slide all over the place within just an hour of being secured onto our heads.

I originally used a Chibi base wig for my Eternal Sailor Moon cosplay, and I was extremely happy with the thickness, color, and overall look of the wig. However, even though I had used a ton of hairspray, wrapped pantyhose around my head to give myself more bulk, and used a couple dozen bobby and U pins, and adjusted the elastic on the wig… I still only managed to wear it for a couple of hours before it started slipping and shifting around on my head. There had to be a better way that didn’t involve me going to such extremes every time I wore an Arda specialty wig.

I played around (unsuccessfully) with a few different ideas I had, and eventually I decided that this was my favorite way to adjust the Arda wigs to make them fit smaller heads. This is by no means the ONLY way to adjust the sizing on an Arda (or any other) wig, but it is my preferred method, and I wanted to share it with anyone who might be having the same problems I was having with the fit of the Arda wigs.

Please enjoy, I hope people find it useful!

DISCLAIMER: Please understand I do not have a ton of free time on the computer, so I will not respond to any questions about this tutorial or re-sizing wigs if the answer is already within the tutorial. I will, however, answer questions to the best of my ability or clarify things you may not have understood during the tutorial when/if I can. Thank you!

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:iconavacosdo:
Avacosdo Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2017
Hey so I want to try this with the Jeannie I just bought for my Ty Lee cosplay, but when I look at the wefts on on inside they run the opposite direction than yours do. Would this still work or do you think I should try to cut darts into a different part of the wig where the weft run parallel to the edge of the wig? Thank you!:D (Big Grin) 
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:iconraindropcosplay:
RaindropCosplay Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is sooo helpful! Seriously I have a small head like you (we're the same size haha) and it's super frustrating looking super weird with a giant wig but now I won't have to worry!! Thank you so much for posting this!

I did have one question for you though.  Before you started this whole process did you keep the chibi's ponytails in tack? I'm making a Chibi Moon wig and I'm not sure if I should just take out the two ponytails, make the wig smaller, and then stub it (I want the ponytails higher up since Chibi Moon has her odangoes higher up on her head) or if I should keep the ponytails in for now, make it smaller, and then go through with adjusting the ponytails and stubbing it.

I hope that makes sense...hahahaha

Anyways thank you again for posting this wonderful tutorial!
Reply
:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You are welcome!

I always keep the ponytails intact until I am done altering.  It really helps to keep the extra hair out of the way while you are cutting and sewing. :)  If you desire, you can undo the base ponytails and braid them or something to keep them out of the way, but I definitely would do your actual styling only after the base has been altered.  Altering the base hair will for sure alter where your ponytails end up.  ^_^

I'm glad it's helpful, please feel free to ask any more questions if you have them! 
Reply
:iconnya-nah:
Nya-nah Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
hellooo thanks for this!

I am buying a wig from them and found this after worrying my head was too small c:!

Hopefully I won't need to resize it but just in case! Thanks so much c:
Reply
:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You are very welcome!  Yes, my head is very small so it's nice that these can be fairly easily altered for small heads.

I have also found that with the Chibi/Leia/Jeannie, you can use the "part 2" tutorial alone and don't have to alter the sides. ^_^  Depends the size of your forehead.
Reply
:iconnya-nah:
Nya-nah Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
awesome! Thanks for the advice c:
Reply
:icongaatar:
gaatar Featured By Owner Oct 26, 2013
Thank you so much for both your tutorials! They are a saving grace. My wig does not fit my head at all and I was at a loss on what to do about it.
Reply
:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Oct 27, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You're welcome!  I'm glad they're helpful. :) I know I've had to do this for every updo Arda wig I own.
Reply
:iconcaptainblueyes:
captainblueyes Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Hey there! Yeay a fellow Gaige cosplay! I'm starting to make her costume for comic con next year (it'll be my second try at cosplay so far). Your outfit for her is amazing! Thanks so much for spending the time to put this tutorial together! If you have the time to answer, I'd love to know how you got rid of the bulges that happen along the back of the wig. I ordered the same wig, and I did the alterations you suggested, and while the bangs seemed sort-of ok, I also did the darts above the ear-flaps because the flaps were over my ears instead of above them! Once I googled ear flaps and figured out that they were supposed to sit above my ears, I tried to make that happen. Now the flaps are at least sort-of above(ish) my ears, but although I still need to make the wig smaller circumference-wise, what I'm concerned about is that the wig seems to be just bulging out in the back and at the sides (like, not lying flat on my head). My head is about 21in in circumference, and I'm wondering how you dealt with the back/side bulge. The whole thing just seems so unwieldy! Thanks so much for your time if you do have time to write back.
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
If the wig has been sized very well to your head, there shouldn't be any bulges in the back of it.  However, if you are still having trouble with the bulges, if you have a steamer, sometimes the bulges are just from the wig being in packaging for too long, and the warmth of the steam can sometimes help smooth it out :)
Reply
:iconcaptainblueyes:
captainblueyes Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I managed to make the wig fit a bit better, and with the goggles and everything, the bulges aren't so bad. Now I'm just fighting gravity with the pigtails and some black leather pieces as hairties :).
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I put wire inside my Rachel hair ties to make them stand up. :)  The wire comes out the bottom of the hair ties and goes inside the base ponytail to hold it in place.
Reply
:iconcaptainblueyes:
captainblueyes Featured By Owner Oct 28, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks! I experimented a bit with the wire - first I thought it'd be a great idea to wrap the wire around the pigtails and then connect them through the inside of the wig to keep them up ... it kept them up, but it also made the wig just stick up like a conehead (not a good look). Then I just wrapped them with the wire and that does seem to keep them in place if you get it really tight! Thanks!
Reply
:icondoozerlafae:
doozerlafae Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Hi! I was going to try this method on a different Arda wig before trying it on my Jeannie wig, which is for my actual cosplay. The wig I am trying to re size does not have the full netting cap underneath as shown in your tutorial. It has a net cap in the front but it ends at the start of the ear tab. Past the ear tab, where I removed the elastic, (and am attempting to make the dart) the wig has lines of lace 1/2" wide running from the cap at the front to the back perimeter piece of the wig. These lace strands are about an inch apart, curved on the sides of the wig, and straight from front to back. Do I measure in on the wefts for the dart size (which would only cut through 1 of the lace strips)?
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Is it possible for you to take a picture of it for me? I don't think I have any of their wigs that look like what you're describing. I'd love to help! :)
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:iconxwickedgames:
xwickedgames Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013  Professional Photographer
I'm not sure but I think I have the same problem. XD I wanted to ask you some advices because I don't know where to cut..  I'm afraid to remove too much wefts since my wig is already styled. It looks like this, no net inside, only elastics: i1298.photobucket.com/albums/a... Did you already resized a wig like that one? ^^' Ohhh I really don't know what to do with it so if you can help me it would be so nice XD!
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I found a wig in my stash that looks like this one.  = D  I can fix this.

You'll want to cut the elastic base of the wig here.


Then, you'll want to remove whatever amount you want to remove.  As you're cutting out the elastic, be careful not to cut your wefts, or you will lose some hair.  Once you have removed the amount of the base wig elastic you want to remove, sew the tips of all the wefts you had to loosen back together.  Then, stitch them back to the area where you cut at the blue line there and sew the bottom of the elastic where you cut back to the top.

Does that make sense?  I can take more pictures if you need :)
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:icondoozerlafae:
doozerlafae Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2013
   I hope you can see these :0) 
Thanks for the help! 
Reply
:icondoozerlafae:
doozerlafae Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
Hi, I have an Arda wig that I was going to try this method on before I tried it on my Jeannie style wig, which is for my actual costume. The wig I was going to try it on does not have a full lace netting cap underneath. There is underneath netting on the front of the wig but not as far as the ear tab. Instead it has lines of 1/2" lace running from cap on the front to the rear perimeter piece with the wefts laid across and attached at every lace strip (which are about an inch apart).
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:iconprissi:
prissi Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2012
I'm still terrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiified as hell to do this, but... then again, I was terrified as hell with the first Sailormoon wig I made as well and that turned out okay (aside from color). Now I'm armed with a bright yellow Chibi to try doing this again... I wasn't going to try to adjust the wig size but I just. could. not. make. it. fit. on. my. head. No matter how much I tried to use the bulk of my long hair to fluff out the wig (and even stuffing...)! Thank you SO much for posting this detailed tutorial! I really appreciate it, because it makes it more of a possibility.

I'm sure I'll be back with more anxious questions when I get around to actually doing it... if you don't mind me asking one really idiotic question that Google can't solve for me, do you have any tips for actually putting the wig on and make sure it covers the back of your hairline? Most tutorials I saw would tell you to flip your head upside down but I never quite felt safe enough to do that as the wig is so top heavy... or is that something I shouldn't even worry about?
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
By the back of your hair line, do you mean the back of the wig where the nape of your neck is? If yes, this is how I check that:

I put on the wig (before any alterations) and stand in front of my bathroom mirror, with my back toward the mirror. I use a hand mirror to see the reflection behind me to tell how much/how well the back of my head is covered.

If your hair color is drastically different from that of your wig or you have those little baby hairs and you want to cover them, you can always take a few extra wefts and sew them across the back of the wig so that the wig has little baby hairs that will cover up yours.

Is this what you were asking? :3
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:iconprissi:
prissi Featured By Owner May 25, 2013
Envel, it worked!! (Yeah, I finally now got the guts and time to actually do it >___>) It fits way so much better and the issue with the baby hairs at the back is really much less of an issue now that it actually fits me. Thanks so much again. <3
Reply
:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner May 29, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You're very welcome! I'm glad it worked out for you! :)
Reply
:iconprissi:
prissi Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012
Yes. This totally helps, thank you so much!!

I'm still terrified as all hell to do this... I keep re-reading your tutorial to convince myself that it will all be okay hahaha. :)

Thanks again for getting back to me!
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:iconpenguinsplunder:
PenguinsPlunder Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
awesome, thanks!
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hope it helps! :)
Reply
:iconspikensalem:
spikensalem Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
You have no. no. NO idea HOW HELPFUL this is and how ecstatic I am you've posted BOTH PARTS of this tutorial! You may have saved my $40 investment AND three costumes. XD I have very short, VERY fine hair. My usual trick of wrapping a self-stick ace bandage did nothing for this wig, and I was seriously losing hope. :')

So, I'm working on this right now, and uh...one thing I didn't quite get, and I promise I read carefully. You say to pull the wefts away that you snip through as you're cutting the darts. I noticed your ponytails are still in the same elastic they come in from Arda (as long as those are the same?) Do you just....jiggle and cajole the wefts until they come out of the wig? Or do you actually take the ponytails out?
Reply
:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner May 10, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm so glad it helps you so much! Yeah, the pantyhose thing and extra padding just did NOT help with how large and loose these wigs fit!

I left this wig in the Arda ponytails as I worked with it simply because it's easier to keep the hair out of the way while you're working. (Yes, I did just carefully pull the wefts out after the dart was cut.) With my test run wig (not pictured in the tutorial) I had removed the Arda ponytails and substituted my own elastics. I like redoing the ponytails myself because I usually like them to sit higher on my head than they sit straight from the factory, even after the resizing. You could work with it out of the ponytails if you'd rather, it's just my personal preference to work with the hair secured in a ponytail or braid. =)

Thanks for asking!
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:iconspikensalem:
spikensalem Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I was seriously starting to panic at the thought of aimlessly hacking away at this wig ^^; So, yeah. Thank you. :'D

Regardless, I'm pretty sure you'd have to restyle the ponies. First off, by making the surface area smaller, it bunches up the hair. Second, it makes a bit of a mess when you pull the wefts out xDD I agree on having the ponytails sit a bit higher...they look just fine, but most pigtail looks have high ponytails anyway. :P

I got both the back darts done, and it fits so much better already, WOW.
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner May 11, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No problem, I'm really glad the tutorial is helpful! :)

And yeah, I always have to restyle the ponies, the way they look straight out of the bag is fine, but yeah for almost every character, the ponytails are up much higher/tighter, or with my luck, positioned more toward the back. :P
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:iconmisscarlette:
MissCarlette Featured By Owner May 6, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you for uploading this! :D Now I won't be *AS* scared to get Arda wigs for my tiny baby head XD
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Love yew. :3
Reply
:iconmisscarlette:
MissCarlette Featured By Owner May 21, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
love you too! I joke about our bromance to August... he laughs at us... HE JUST DOESN'T UNDERSTAND XD
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:iconemmylou:
EmmyLou Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This. Is. AMAZING! <3 <3
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Thank you! I hope it helps! :)
Reply
:iconlunaladyoflight:
lunaladyoflight Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Nice :) This is how I used to fit custom wigs for CATS. Get out of my head!! :P
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:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Apr 30, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
<3 <3 <3
Reply
:iconevaunit01berserk:
evaunit01berserk Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012
Like ummmm, what are ear tabs? Could you totes skype me and like ummm, do this step by step with me?

*runs away*
Reply
:iconenvelcosplay:
EnvelCosplay Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
SILENCE.

I KEEL YOU.

:heart:
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