Wig and Hairpiece Maker

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  • Wig Stylist: Responsible for providing consultation and styling services to clients in order to create a custom look. Must be knowledgeable in wig cutting, coloring, and styling techniques.

  • Wig Designer: Responsible for researching and developing new wig designs for the company. Must have a creative eye for fashion and be able to collaborate with other designers and manufacturers.

  • Wig Technician: Responsible for maintaining and repairing wigs. Must be knowledgeable in different types of hair fibers and how to care for them.

  • Wig Sales Representative: Responsible for marketing and selling the company's wigs to customers. Must be knowledgeable in wig styles and colors and be able to give advice to customers.

  • Wig Educator: Responsible for educating clients on wig care and styling techniques. Must have excellent communication skills and be able to demonstrate proper wig care and styling techniques.

 

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Practical or MechanicalArtistic or CreativeSkill Level 2

A wigmaker specializes in the creation, design, and construction of wigs. Wigs have been used for various purposes throughout history, including theatrical performances, fashion, and as a solution for individuals experiencing hair loss due to medical conditions. The role of a wigmaker involves a combination of craftsmanship, creativity, and attention to detail to produce wigs that meet the specific requirements and preferences of clients. Future Growth Static

Wig makers create artificial hairpieces that are worn to achieve a desired look or to cover hair loss. The wig making process requires great attention to detail, as wig makers must take into account the individual's head size, facial structure, and hair texture. The effect of the quality of the work of a wig maker is often seen in the satisfaction of their customers.

People with a well-made wig experience a boost in confidence, allowing them to feel more comfortable in social situations. Furthermore, a well-made wig can be an effective solution for people who suffer from hair loss due to medical conditions such as alopecia and chemotherapy. Therefore, it is important for wig makers to understand the needs of their clients and to use the best materials and techniques to ensure a successful outcome.

Parson's Wig
(Source: University of Delware )

   
ANZSCO ID: N/A

Alternative names:  Hair and Wig Designer, Perruquier, Wigmaker, Hair Piece Designer, Hair Extension Technician, Wig & Hairpiece Maker, Wig-hairpiece Maker, Wig and Hairpiece Technician, Wig and Hairpiece Builder, Make up Artist & Wig Maker, Junior Wig Maker, Wig Specialist, Wig Technician, Hairpiece Maker, Senior Wig Maker, Wig Consultant, Hair & Wig Stylist, Wig & Wardrobe Technician,

Specialisations:

Wigmakers can specialize in various areas within the field, catering to different industries and client needs. Here are some types of wigmakers, each with its own focus and expertise:

  • Theatrical Wigmaker: Specializes in creating wigs for theatrical productions, including plays, musicals, and films. Theatrical wigmakers work closely with costume designers and production teams to design and construct wigs that complement characters and period styles. Wig and hairpiece makers create adapt and maintain hair prostheses for use in live performance. They work from sketches, pictures and artistic visions combined with knowledge of the human body to ensure the wearer maximum range of movement. They work in close cooperation with the designers.

  • Fashion Wigmaker: Focuses on designing wigs for fashion shows, runway events, and photo shoots. Fashion wigmakers stay current with trends and collaborate with fashion designers to create unique and avant-garde wig styles that complement clothing collections.

  • Medical Wigmaker: Specializes in creating wigs for individuals experiencing hair loss due to medical conditions, such as chemotherapy or alopecia. Medical wigmakers prioritize comfort, natural appearance, and sensitivity to the needs of clients dealing with hair loss.

  • Custom Wigmaker: Offers personalized wig services, catering to individual clients with specific styling preferences. Custom wigmakers work closely with clients to create bespoke wigs tailored to their unique requirements in terms of color, length, and style.

  • Lace Wig Specialist: Focuses on the construction and application of lace-front wigs. These wigs feature a fine lace material at the front that mimics the appearance of a natural hairline, providing a seamless and realistic look.

  • Period Wigmaker: Specializes in creating wigs that replicate historical or period hairstyles for theatrical productions, reenactments, or historical events. Period wigmakers research and replicate hairstyles from specific time periods with attention to historical accuracy.

  • Human Hair Wig Expert: Specializes in working with high-quality human hair to create wigs that closely mimic the look, feel, and movement of natural hair. Human hair wig experts may focus on both fashion and medical wigs.

  • Synthetic Wig Specialist: Excels in working with synthetic fibers to construct wigs that offer durability, affordability, and versatility. Synthetic wig specialists may cater to clients seeking a variety of styles for different occasions.

  • Wig Restoration Specialist: Focuses on restoring and repairing worn or damaged wigs. Wig restoration specialists use their skills to breathe new life into older wigs, addressing issues such as fraying, tangling, or colour fading.

  • Bridal Wigmaker: Specializes in creating wigs for brides seeking a specific hairstyle for their wedding day. Bridal wigmakers work with brides to design and construct wigs that complement their overall bridal look.

Inside the Wig Room - Royal Shakespeare Company
https://youtu.be/5H7b_AW8eas?si=hK-stxsKmkmOoSCz

 

Knowledge, skills and attributes  

Being a wig maker requires a variety of skills. The most important skill for wig makers is an eye for detail. This skill is essential for creating wigs that look and feel realistic.

Wig Makers are responsible for creating custom wigs from raw materials. Must be experienced in sewing, knotting, and weaving techniques.

Wig makers must be able to visualize the end result of their work and make sure that their wigs are constructed with precision and accuracy. They must also be creative and able to think of new ways to design, cut, and style wigs. Wig makers need to have strong technical skills to work with different types of hair and materials.

They must also have knowledge of different wig-making techniques and tools in order to create the desired look. By having excellent attention to detail, creativity, technical skills, and knowledge of wig-making techniques, wig makers can craft beautiful and realistic wigs that make their clients look and feel their best.

  • Knowledge of wig construction and styling techniques, including cutting, perming, coloring, and weaving.
  • Ability to consult with customers to determine their individual needs and preferences.
  • Knowledge of different types of hair and hairpieces as well as their maintenance requirements.
  • Ability to use a variety of tools and products to style, shape, and construct wigs.
  • Ability to assess the quality of hair and hairpieces for use in creating wigs.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills for working with customers to understand their needs.
  • Good problem-solving skills for troubleshooting problems with wigs.
  • Attention to detail for creating custom-made wigs.
  • Knowledge of hair loss issues and solutions.
  • Understanding of basic business principles and customer service skills.

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of wig and hairpiece maker. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Court Wigs
(Source: Wikipedia)

 

Did You Know?


Common Important Terms

Wig Cap. A wig cap is the base material of a wig that is used to cover the head and provide a secure fit for the wig.

Wig Fibers. Wig fibers are strands of synthetic or natural hair that are used to create the wig.
  
Wig Making Supplies. Wig making supplies refer to the materials and tools that are needed to create a wig, including wig caps, wig fibers, adhesives, and styling tools.

Wig Construction. Wig construction is the process of creating a wig, including selecting the right wig cap, attaching and styling wig fibers, and adding in any additional decorative elements.
  
Wig Styling. Wig styling refers to the process of styling a wig after it has been constructed, including curling, straightening, and cutting the wig fibers.

Wig Caps
(Source: Australian Wig Company)


What type of wig is most commonly used by wig makers?
  

Human hair wigs are the most popular choice for wig makers, as they provide a natural-looking and long-lasting result.

How long does it typically take for a wig maker to create a custom wig?
   

Depending on the complexity of the style and size of the wig, it can usually take anywhere from one to six weeks for a wig maker to create a custom wig.

What materials are typically used in wig making?
   

Wig makers typically use a variety of materials, including human hair, synthetic fibres, mesh, and lace.

How much does a custom wig usually cost?
  

The cost of a custom wig varies depending on the materials used and the complexity of the style, but generally ranges from $400 to $2000.

What other services do wig makers offer?

In addition to creating custom wigs, many wig makers also provide styling services, colour matching, and hair extensions.

Japanese Wig
Japanese Wig
(Source: Wikipedia)

Duties and Tasks

The duties and responsibilities of a wigmaker revolve around the creation, design, and maintenance of wigs, catering to the diverse needs of clients in various industries. Here are key aspects of a wigmaker's role:

  • Lays out, sews, and fastens together materials and hair strands to make wigs and transformations
  • Draws or pins wig pattern on model of customer’s head.
  • Places sections of gauze, lace, net, ribbon, and springs over pattern and sews sections together to form wig foundation.
  • Weaves hair to form speciality hairpieces, such as braids, switches, and chignons.
  • Arranges woven hair in specified position and sews hair together to form hairpiece.
  • Work ergonomically: Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.
  • Dye wigs: Apply dyes to wigs to obtain the desired colour.
  • Use personal protection equipment: Make use of protection equipment according to training, instruction and manuals. Inspect the equipment and use it consistently.
  • May repair wigs.
  • Maintain workshop space: Keep the workshop space in working order and clean.
  • Decide on wig making process: Decide on what materials and techniques to use for performance wigs, and document the decision.
  • Keep up with trends: Monitor and follow new trends and developments in specific sectors.
  • Manage consumables stock: Manage and monitor consumables stock to ensure that the production demands and deadlines can be met at all times.
  • Manage technical resources stock: Manage and monitor technical resources stock to ensure that production demands and deadlines can be met at all times.
  • Plan workshop activity: Plan workshop activities according to production needs.
  • Support a designer in the developing process: Support designers in the course of the developing process.
  • Keep personal administration: File and organise personal administration documents comprehensively.
  • Promote yourself: Market one’s own strengths in terms of skills and knowledge.
  • Organise workshop space: Arrange the space of an equipment workshop to ensure maximum efficiency, including installing ligh fixtures, a workbench, etc. Decide on the activities and equipment to fit in and the most convenient way to work.
  • Develop professional network: Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.
  • Design make-up effects: Develop and apply special make-up including effects.
  • May supervise or train other workers.
  • Client Consultation: Engage in consultations with clients to understand their specific requirements, preferences, and the purpose of the wig. For theatrical productions, this may involve collaborating with costume designers, while individuals seeking wigs for personal use may have specific styling preferences or considerations related to hair loss.
  • Material Selection: Choose appropriate materials for wig construction based on client needs and budget. This may include selecting high-quality human hair, synthetic fibres, or a blend of both. Consider factors such as texture, color, and length to achieve the desired result.
  • Wig Construction: Utilize various techniques for wig construction, such as ventilating or knotting, to attach individual strands of hair to a wig cap. Achieve precision in placement to create a natural and realistic appearance. Assemble the wig according to the desired style, whether it's a period piece for a theatrical production or a contemporary fashion wig.
  • Colouring and Styling: Apply colouring techniques to achieve the desired hair colour, ensuring a seamless and natural look. Style the wig according to the client's preferences, which may involve cutting, curling, or straightening the hair. Attention to detail is essential to replicate specific hairstyles or create customized looks.
  • Fitting and Adjustments: Conduct fittings with clients to ensure the wig fits securely and comfortably. Make necessary adjustments to the wig cap or hair placement to achieve a snug and natural fit. Provide guidance on proper wearing and maintenance.
  • Maintenance and Repairs: Offer maintenance services for wigs, including cleaning, conditioning, and restyling. Address any wear and tear or damage by performing repairs, such as re-knotting strands or replacing sections of hair.
  • Collaboration with Production Teams: For wigmakers in theatrical or film settings, collaborate closely with costume designers, makeup artists, and production teams to ensure the wigs align with the overall visual concept of the performance or production.
  • Understand artistic concepts: Interpret an artist’s explanation or demonstration of their artistic concepts, inceptions and processes and strive to share their vision.

Mannequins in Shop
(Source: PX Fuel)

Working conditions

Wigmakers may work in diverse settings, including theatrical costume shops, specialty wig boutiques, or as independent freelancers serving a broad clientele. Precision in measurements, colour matching, and styling are key aspects of the wigmaker's craft, ensuring that the final product aligns with the client's expectations and serves its intended purpose effectively.

The workplace of a wigmaker can vary depending on their specialization and the industries they serve. Wigmakers may find employment in diverse settings, each offering a unique work environment that aligns with the specific demands of their craft.

For theatrical or film wigmakers, the workplace often involves being part of costume departments within theatres, studios, or production companies. These professionals collaborate closely with costume designers, makeup artists, and production teams to contribute to the visual authenticity of characters. The environment is dynamic and may involve tight deadlines, especially during the preparation for performances or film productions. Theatrical wigmakers may have access to well-equipped workshops or studios where they can create and maintain a variety of wigs for different productions.

In the fashion industry, wigmakers may work in specialized wig boutiques, fashion houses, or alongside hairstylists and makeup artists. The workplace can be fast-paced, especially during fashion shows, runway events, or editorial photo shoots. Fashion wigmakers may have the opportunity to collaborate with renowned designers and models, contributing to the creation of avant-garde and trendsetting looks.

For medical wigmakers, the workplace could be a specialty wig boutique or a studio that caters to individuals dealing with hair loss due to medical conditions. These professionals create a supportive and empathetic environment for clients seeking solutions that prioritize comfort, natural appearance, and confidence during challenging times.

Independent wigmakers or those specializing in custom wigs may have their own studios or workshops. This allows them the flexibility to work one-on-one with clients, conducting consultations, taking measurements, and creating personalized wigs tailored to individual preferences. The atmosphere in such settings is often intimate and focused on providing a personalized experience for clients.

Regardless of the specialization, attention to detail, creativity, and technical expertise are paramount in the workplace of a wigmaker. The environment may involve a combination of hands-on craftsmanship, artistic expression, and client interaction.

Hair Extensions
Hair Extensions
(Source: University of Delware)

Tools and technologies

  • Wig Block. A tool used to shape and mold a wig into the desired style. (Eg: A wig block can be used to give a wig a curly or straight look. )

  • Wig Comb. A tool used to gently comb out any knots and tangles in a wig. (Eg: A wig comb can be used for daily maintenance of a wig. )

  • Wig Stand. A tool used to hold a wig in place while styling or drying. (Eg: A wig stand can be used to keep a wig from losing its shape while it is being dried. )

  • Wig Cap. A tool used to secure a wig to the head. (Eg: A wig cap can be used to ensure a wig stays in place without pinning it down. )

  • Wig Glue. A tool used to adhere a wig to the scalp for a more secure fit. (Eg: Wig glue can be used to ensure the wig stays in place throughout the day. )

 

Wig maker tools
(Source: Beauty Supply Store)

 

Education and training/entrance requirements

No formal educational credential is generally required to work as a wig and hairpiece maker. However, it is an advantage to take beautician courses, or something similar, at TAFE.

Research the field. Becoming a wig maker requires a strong understanding of wig-making techniques and materials. Research existing wig makers and the products they offer, as well as the methods they use to create their products. Consider the skills you will need and decide if you are up to the challenge.
  
Take classes. Many TAFEs offer classes in wig-making and hair styling. These classes can provide you with a basic understanding of how to create wigs and how to style them.
Learn the basics. Learn how to select and purchase the right materials for your wigs. Understand the different types of wigs, including synthetic and human hair wigs, and how to measure and fit wigs for clients.
  
Practice. Purchase a few materials and practice creating wigs with them. Try different styles and techniques until you feel comfortable with the process.
  
Look for an apprenticeship. Contact local wig makers who may be willing to provide an apprenticeship or mentorship program. This can be an invaluable way to learn the craft from experienced professionals.
  
Market your services. Once you have mastered the basics of wig-making, its time to start marketing your services. Reach out to salons, cosmetology schools, costume shops, and other potential clients to let them know you can create custom wigs for their customers.
  
Becoming a skilled and competent wig maker requires dedication and hard work. The process starts with learning the basics of wig making, such as how to measure and cut hair, how to sew and style wigs, and how to dye materials. With this knowledge, wig makers can then practice and hone their craft by experimenting with different techniques and materials.

As they gain experience, they can also start to specialize in certain styles, such as synthetic or human hair wigs. This specialization helps wig makers to develop a unique style and allows them to offer a wider range of services to their clients. With the right combination of skill and creativity, a wig maker can become a highly sought after expert in the field.

 

 

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