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Sharpie Wig Dyeing Tutorial by FireLilyCosplay Sharpie Wig Dyeing Tutorial by FireLilyCosplay
I know there are a few others out there, but here is my tutorial for Sharpie dyeing a wig! This works best with Kanekalon and other premium synthetic wigs. Eleora and cheaper synthetic wigs may not dye evenly. Make sure to check your wig fiber content before attempting to dye!

I've had a lot of practice with this method, and this is the formula that works best for me, so I hope it can help you dye your wig the custom color you are looking for!

Many thanks to my friend Envel who helped me with my first Sharpie dyeing experience. Tutorial and all images therein are Copyright Fire Lily and FireLilyCosplay.com.

EDIT: Since so many people ask this question, I'm addressing it here. "How do I dye a wig black?" Since Black Sharpies are concentrated purple, you will have to use FW Ink, India Ink, or another Artists Ink and follow the FW Ink Dyeing Method: [link]

Another method is to color/sharpie the wig by hand using a black Sharpie. This will give it a slightly purple sheen, but it will come out black.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconelectrosa:
Electrosa Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2016
How would you suggest dyeing a wig to a lighter colour at the tips? Specifically I'm referring to Princess Midna's hair, which has a noticeable yellow hint at the tips. Thank you!
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
You can't. You have to get a lighter wig and darken the top. Or you can get extension hair of the lighter color, darken the top, and sew them in.
Reply
:iconelectrosa:
Electrosa Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2016
Ah, I see! Thank you very much, this was a big help. ^^
Reply
:iconxazaxx:
xAzaXx Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2016  Student Digital Artist
What would you suggest if I am starting with a teal blue and I want to dye a purple ombre?  Should I get a pink or purple sharpie?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Purple.
Reply
:iconstinessecastillo:
stinessecastillo Featured By Owner May 31, 2016
Hello I have a wig that is a mix of human and synthetic hair , it's a pastel purple I was wondering if I could dye it red using this method ? And if so how many markers would I need , it's past shoulder length , and will it damage my wig ? Thank you
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I don't know - you'll have to test it. You may need at least 5 markers or more. Once you dye it, it will be permanently colored, so keep that in mind.
Reply
:iconbubblechii:
BubbleChii Featured By Owner Apr 20, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Can you wash the wig without it bleeding onto other parts of the wig? I need to dye a few sections a dark gray and the main color of the wig is white.
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
As long as you start with cold water, it should be OK. Just don't let the wig sit in the water.
Reply
:iconhot-coco-princess:
Hot-coco-princess Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
is it recommended to curl a sharpie dyed wig???
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sure, you can.
Reply
:iconhot-coco-princess:
Hot-coco-princess Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
hi do you have advice for newbie in conventions? i plan to go to a convention for april and i have no idea what to bring honestly T^T
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Feb 22, 2016  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Costumes, sewing emergency kit, regular clothes, comfy shoes, your own pillow, ear plugs, toiletries, food, water, Advil, and good friends :)
Reply
:iconhot-coco-princess:
Hot-coco-princess Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
got it :3 thank you!
Reply
:icondonwhitt:
donwhitt Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Brilliant stuff! Genius!
Reply
:iconxxenergizerbunnyxx:
I'm planning on buying a wig that is half light-ish pink, and half medium brown. However, I want the pink to be a bit darker, and less bright, and I want the brown to be much darker, as I am cosplaying Neo from RWBY.  Is this method of dying still applicable, even though the colors in the wig are already fairly dark?  

Thanks for your time!
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sure, as long as the ink you are using is darker than the original colors.
Reply
:iconreelay:
ReeLay Featured By Owner Nov 13, 2015  Student General Artist
I have a very bright red wig that I was hoping I could darken to a more maroon colour (Rin Matsuoka hair). There's a maroon sharpie colour that I can easily get my hands on at the art store close by, but I was wondering how to avoid making a huge mess.
I live with my parents, you see, and dying a sink maroon red would get me killed >.< (they already get angry if I simply wash paints in the sink..)
Is it something I could do outside? Would I dye stuff outside too? 
And if I'm going to do this, how many sharpies would you recommend? I'm thinking three, as the wig is already red, but if I'm trying to darken it...
Idk
Sorry for so many questions, and thanks in advance!! :)
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sure! Just take a bucket or large container and soak it outside, then let it dry on a tarp or plastic sheet.

The number of Sharpies depends on how long the wig is. Short wig - 3 or 4. Medium - 7 or 8. Long - 9 or more.
Reply
:iconthecataboveyou:
Does the dye dye the porcelain sink ? What produce do you need to remove it?

And are you obliged to use permanent marker from the sharpie brand?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Yes. Bleach. And, no, as long as it's permanent like Copic, Prismacolor, etc, it's fine.
Reply
:iconthecataboveyou:
Thecataboveyou Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015
Thank you! I couldn't picture myself colouring my wig piece by piece with a marker :meow:
Reply
:iconlpfaintgirl:
lpfaintgirl Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015
Thank you so much for sharing this.
It work perfectly for me!
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Welcome!
Reply
:iconkeykaye:
keykaye Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
you have many pages of comments and i can't seem to sort them all.. but i i were to use this method to dye faux fur swell, how long would i leave that in there? I found this fursuit.livejournal.com/282610… but they only left it in for a few minutes, I'm just unsure because I'm wanting to get a wig to match a fur color. I am trying to get the color of this img1.goodfon.su/wallpaper/big/…
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Just follow the same method here. It may be easier to spray the dye solution on rather than soak it.
Reply
:iconkeykaye:
keykaye Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Well if i do the spray method, i might do it for both so i can more carefully monitor the color with the amount of coats per each, any advice for getting that color of orangishbrownish color?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Just experiment, there's really no color guide to follow.
Reply
:iconkeykaye:
keykaye Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I was thinking of using the metallic bronze sharpie, since the shiny metal parts would float to the top. Would this still be a good idea? Or would it bleed off to much on clothing? Also is there any way to help prevent the bleeding, I'm wearing a light colored shirt.
Reply
:iconstormriverlove:
StormRiverLove Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Can this be used for dyeing faux fur?
Reply
:iconshirodrawings:
ShiroDrawings Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't have sharpie D:
Reply
:iconamerillarose:
AmerillaRose Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Can I use the same method as dying the wig, but just the ends? I want to dye a white wig with purple ends
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Sure! It'll work.
Reply
:iconamerillarose:
AmerillaRose Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Okay, thanks!
Reply
:iconbluerosepetalsqueen:
BlueRosePetalsQueen Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2015
thank you
Reply
:iconthestralwizard:
ThestralWizard Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Can you do this with doll wigs such as LIV?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 23, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I don't see why not. Ink will stain any plastic fiber.
Reply
:iconthestralwizard:
ThestralWizard Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks =) and also, does the sharpie ink come off with water, fade off, or is it permanent?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Relatively permanent. Will come off with rubbing alcohol or alcohol based hair products. Red-based colors will rub off onto fabrics.
Reply
:iconthestralwizard:
ThestralWizard Featured By Owner Jul 24, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
I see ;) 
Reply
:iconthegreatsix:
thegreatsix Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Does this also work well this Sharpie highlighters?  I'm trying to do a female Jak (from Jak II) cosplay and I found a blonde wig, but it's not electric yellow enough for me.  I'm considering making the same alcohol solution but using Sharpie Highlighter yellow.  Will this work?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
No. Highlighters don't provide enough solid color; more of a wash, really. You can try adding it to regular yellow Sharpie ink to make that yellow a bit hotter, but I'd recommend just buying a yellow wig.
Reply
:iconthegreatsix:
thegreatsix Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thank you! :) (Smile) 
Reply
:iconxxladysapphirexx:
xXLadySapphireXx Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
If I dye strands of my wig and wash it after, would the dye bleed onto undyed strands?
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
It shouldn't, as long as you don't touch them a lot or apply a lot of alcohol-based styling products. There may be a slight rub off, but it won't be very noticeable.
Reply
:iconxxladysapphirexx:
xXLadySapphireXx Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Hm okay thanks, also, what would be a good way to wash/rinse a wig? I'm new to the dying and washing
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 17, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Just rinse it in water. I mention that in the tutorial. Avoid regular shampoo or soap due to the alcohol content.
Reply
:iconrykku-chan:
rykku-chan Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
hello! im trying to dye a light blonde wig a more sandy blonde/ ashe blonde color. any tips on how many sharpies to use for this? (for cindy from ffxv) it looks like you used four sharpies for you wig, right? im almost going for a tint.
Reply
:iconfirelilycosplay:
FireLilyCosplay Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I'm not sure you can use Sharpies to get that color. You'll have to test it yourself - sorry!
Reply
:iconsupercalifragile:
supercalifragile Featured By Owner Jun 4, 2015  Hobbyist Artist
Have you been able to wash this out of wigs? 
Reply
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