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Wig Making and Styling: A Complete Guide for Theatre & Film 1st Edition

70 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0240813202
ISBN-10: 0240813200
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Wig Making and Styling: A Complete Guide for Theatre & Film
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Total price: $114.85
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Editorial Reviews


"The first of its kind and a must-have for students and professionals alike. Filled with photographs and detailed, step-by-step instructions for every sort of wig and hairpiece , Wig Making and Styling now occupies a prominent place in my professional library. I will refer to it often as I work."

-William Ivey Long, five-time Tony Award winning costume designer 

From the Back Cover

Top off that costume with the perfect accoutrement with this first real guide to creating and styling costume wigs. No longer will you need to comb through old references on hairstyles of different time periods, Wig Making and Styling contains everything you need to be a cut above, offering snippets on styling tools, hair types, wig making and measuring, coloring, cutting, and even creating beards and toupees. Other great features include:

-Versatile techniques to create all different historical hairstyles -Tips on altering existing wigs and creating wigs from scratch -Multiple approaches and solutions to solving wig-making problems and needs -Information about the industry, including history and best practices

Full of inspirational and directive photographs, this book will groom anyone from novice to professional stylist into a skilled wig designer.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Focal Press; 1 edition (March 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0240813200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0240813202
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 11.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #247,747 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Happy Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
First off, I need to say that I am not a wig-making professional nor even a theater or film professional. I approach this book as a novice hobbyist. We have a big Halloween costume party every year, and I've been many times frustrated with the quality and styling of synthetic commerical wigs available for any specific period.

To that end, the part of this book that is most interesting to me are the chapters on "Fronting and Other Adaptations of Commercial Wigs". This has marvelous information and photographs on how to add a natural front hairline, natural back neck hairline, natural part, etc. Granted, it's still work, but even professionals have found that adapting a commercial wig may be the way to go.

The whole book is really wonderfully illustrated. It is so inspiring. The detail is great. For example, in the section on "fronting laces" (the base for the front hairline of the wig), you're not just given the different types of fronting lace available, you're told which is better for film (close-ups) or stage, for light or heavy wigs, which is flexible, tintable, strong. Brand names are given, which makes it easier to find what you need.

The sky is really the limit on wigs. Ruskai and Lowery have illustrations on wigs made from ribbon, nylon rope, felt, raffia, modelng clay. They cover full wigs, balding wigs, wolf wigs, samurai wigs, toupees, pull throughs (additions to existing hair). How to put on, take off, clean and store wigs of natural and synthetic hair.

How to measure the head (no, you can't do it on yourself!) and, more important, place the natural hairline and bone lines for eyebrows and facial hair, too. If you've worn commercial wigs, like me, you've undoubtedly been frustrated that your back neck hair is exposed.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By S. Caillabet on April 23, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would give it 10 stars if I could. I have been a wigmaker coming on 20 years and I wish that I had this book available for me then. This is, without a doubt, the perfect and only book you will ever need to buy. Everyone in the industry of fashion, wigmaking, makeup, SFX makeup, in any film, television, or theater genre should have this in their library. Wig Making and Styling by Ruskai and Lowery is to wigmakers as Stage Makeup by Richard Corson is to makeup artists. A must have!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By kngskid on July 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For anyone truly interested in actually making/building/repairing lace wigs, this book is a treasure! I was actually a little surprised that it goes into such detailed depth with regards to not only wigmaking, but all the other kinds of hairpieces and how they are made and when to use them(when working in theater or tv). The pictures are all clear, and well lit. There's even a few very short companion videos on an accompanying website showing knotting and sewing techniques....

The only thing i think would make this book better is an accompanying dvd to show more techniques in real time, and more websites/sources to actually buy tools and lace and hair from. The author makes references to one website in particular, which i visited, and there's very little actually on the website, sent them an email, to which i never received a reply. It can be hard to find all the tools/materials you need for wigmaking in one spot, so i've had to piece my kit together from several different places, including ebay. You've gotta shop around though, cuz several people sell the exact same things, some very reasonably, and some mark prices up dramatically to make a larger profit...
So in a nutshell, i would definitely recommend this book. It's like the "textbook" of wigmaking. The book, combined with the author's short vids, and user uploaded vids on youtube are all you need to learn to make/build/repair/knot lace wigs.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Orianna TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a really excellent book for those interested in the art of wig-making and styling. It covers everything you need to know about creating your own wigs from scratch, cleaning and caring for them, styling them, and wearing them. The target reader is someone going into theater or film costuming, but the book is easy enough to understand that it would be useful to anyone seriously interested in wig-making, even as a hobby. Be aware that it is quite thorough and detailed in the subject. Basically, it's an educational textbook, but it is presented in a way that's easy to read, and there are plenty of photographs to illustrate the instructions, so the layman should be able to catch on fairly quickly.

I wanted this book because I indulge in the hobby of historic costuming, and my own hair is too short and modern for most historic periods. Sadly, I found that true wig-making is going to be too extensive, exhausting, and expensive for me to bother with, however I did learn a few things about partial wigs and hairpieces that I can use in my hobby.

The only deficit I found is that it's rather lacking in the styling department. It tells you HOW to style (for example, start at the front and work your way back) but I was dearly hoping for some actual step-by-step instructions, such as "How to Make an 18th Century Pouf" or "How to Make a Victorian Updo". Instructions like these were absent, and the few photos of historic hairstyles were minuscule. If that's what you're hoping for, you'll need to look elsewhere, as will I. However, if you simply want to learn how to create wigs, this book will surely teach you all you want to know.
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