How to Wear Wigs Underwater like a Professional Mermaid
It's a fine summer day... the sun is shining (yuck), there's not a cloud in the sky (oh darn), and all of the air around you is swirling with a hot wind (ick). It is a perfect summer day, and the water is calling your name.
You and your friends decide to host a "Cosplay Pool Party," complete with beautiful costumes, various mermaid tails, and colorful wigs. You can hardly keep from exploding with excitement as you make the preparations for the bash. You and your friends get all dressed up in your finest pool-friendly cosplaying attire, and then get ready to cool off in the water. You hop into the water, and then your wig hops off of your head. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!
This sounds a bit like a nightmare to me... wigs falling off, no snow on the ground, sun shining... people. Not good. 😶
So, let's fix this. At least the part about the wig falling off.
Wearing Wigs Underwater and in the Pool without them Falling Off
My name is Phantom. I am a professional mermaid, a Goth (duh) and longtime wig wearer. I'm here to help you keep your wig on your head. 😉
I've been wearing wigs for YEARS and used to cosplay practically every day. A few years ago, I decided to take my love of cosplay and costuming (and Devil May Cry) to the water as a Professional Mermaid. I swim in Lake Michigan for YouTube Videos, for my clients, to entertain the locals, and simply for the pleasure of it. However, I do not have the most mermaid-like hair, so I wear a wig when I swim. I know the struggle.
I realized very quickly that putting a wig on your head and jumping into the water was not a good idea. On my first swim with my wig, I think I spent more time fidgeting with my silver mane than I did doing much of anything else. It was SO frustrating! After some research and some deep thought, I came up with a really good technique for keeping wigs on underwater. I've used it many times with great success. I'll outline it for you in the video that follows, and will post everything you need in the remainder of this blog post. 😊
How to Wear a Wig in the Water- Mermaid Secrets (Video)
What you Need to Keep your Wig on your Head: Materials & Tools
How about that makeup in the video!?! Hahaha! My gosh, I looked like a psycho-path!!
Now that you know HOW to keep a wig on while in the water, let's talk about what materials you NEED to keep your hair from floating away. All of the products I'll be mentioning below are ones that I personally use each and every time I wear any sort of costume or cosplay in the water. With that being said, these products are also Affiliate Links which means that your purchase through these links help me make money with no extra cost to you. I use these things though, and would recommend them to you regardless as to whether or not I would get a cut of the sale. Seriously. I use these things too! (And need to order more bobby pin, now that I'm thinking about it...)
1. Comb or Brush
If you watched the video above, you'll remember that you need to pull back & braid your real hair in order to create a base for your wig to be secured onto. This is a HECK of a lot easier when your hair is not in knots! I'm sure you already have a brush or a comb, but I figured I'd include this in case you don't...? Hahaha!
Oh!!! And even if you DO have a brush/comb, you should have a wide-tooth comb for brushing your wig(s). A wide-tooth comb helps de-tangle wigs without pulling out as many wig fibers as a more bristle-dense brush or comb would pull out. I recommend investing in one if you haven't already, since you can use it on your real hair too!
2. Hair Ties
I almost never used hair ties before getting into cosplay. I was a "let-your-hair-run-wild" kind of child. However, I do use them (and lose them) quite a bit now. If you want to wear a wig, you really should have a whole bag of these in every nook and cranny of your house... because you will misplace, snap and lose a ton of them.
3. Metal Bobby Pins
Just like with the hair ties, you are going to want to buy a lot of metal bobby pins! As you saw in my video (at least I hope you watched it!), bobby pins are the key to securing your wig to your head. You need at least 10-15 of them to stab through the wefts of your wig and into the braids of your hair. Although you will be using quite a few of these bobby pins... sadly, not all of your tiny metal warriors will make it home safely after a swim. You're bound to lose a few as you swim (especially when you're propelled by a monofin or flippers) so make sure you're all stocked up. Ummm... but if you ARE planning on wearing a white wig, don't go with neon-orange bobby pins. Please. Just don't. 😅
4. Wig Caps
Wig caps aren't just for creating mermaid scales on your face!!! They keep all of your normal-human-hair from slipping out from under your wig. They look super goofy when you wear them without anything else though... so I don't suggest doing that in public. 🤓
Be sure to have at least a few wig caps on hand. I usually keep one with each wig and have one in my makeup bag as well... in case I forget to bring one to a Professional Mermaid gig. After all... a makeup bag isn't hard to lose. A tiny wig cap gets lost about as easily as my train of thought! I like the tube-shaped fishnet ones best, since they push up your hair rather than pushing it down (as some do). This keeps it out of your face better.
5. A Wig... DUH!
While I'm assuming you've already figured this part out... you DO need a wig in order to swim in the water with a wig! 😂😂😂
You may already have one, but maybe you don't! If you are on the market for a wig, you will want to look for one that is very thick (has a lot of wefts) so that the lace of the wig isn't as easily exposed when you're swimming with it. I've been using the same wig for about 5 years, and am finally in the process of switching to a new wig of the same style and color. My old one has held up so well over the years that I'm not sure I'll ever by a wig from another company. Ugh. I love my wig. Anyways, here is a review of that I use whenever I go in the water. This thing is a tank!!!! #NotSponsored 😘
Swimming in the Water with a Wig
Now you know how to keep your wig on in the water when you swim. You also know where you can find everything you need for swimming in the water with your beautiful mermaid hair. Before I let you leave, I want to point out a few things about wig swimming.
As a professional mermaid, it is necessary for me to be a strong swimmer. However, I'll admit that swimming with a wig on my head adds an extra challenge. Having the extra "hair" flowing behind you not only creates extra drag and resistance, but it also can create a dangerous situation if you get your arms tangled up in the wig. Therefore... you need to be careful when swimming in the water with a wig on your head. Even if you ARE a professional mermaid (or other sort of aquatic creature) you CANNOT breathe underwater and can drown.
BEFORE YOU SWIM IN THE WATER WITH YOUR WIG, READ THIS!!!
Wigs make it increasingly difficult to swim, so you definitely need to play it safe and swim with a buddy. NEVER Swim alone... even if you are an experienced swimmer. I don't want you to drown.
If you do choose to swim with a wig in the water, I am not responsible for your decision. I am only giving you my tips on how I swim in the water, but it is up to you to determine whether it is smart or safe for you to get into the water with your wig.
- You wig is likely to become very "ratty" after a swim or two. Never brush your wig when it is wet!! This will pull the fibers out of it more easily (and they won't grow back! 😉). If you do want to try detangling it, you should wait to brush (with your wide-tooth comb) it until after if has fully dried. I actually suggest having a wig specifically for in-the-water use and one for dry-land purposes.
Now you're Ready for a Cosplay Pool Party or Mermaiding Adventure!
I hope you found this tutorial helpful! Make sure to tag me on Instagram @the_magic_crafter when you upload your own mermaiding or cosplay pool-party videos. I'd love to see your hair in motion. Let me know if you need any more help with your wigs! ♥
XOXO- Mermaid Phantom
AFFILIATE DISCLAIMER: TheMagicCrafter.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. (This helps to support me in doing what I do so that I can keep on creating content for you! It does not cost you anything, but I am legally bound to disclose my participation in this program with you.) Some of the links above are affiliate links... but I already told you that. 😘