How to Dye Wigs with FW Ink
Posted on 10 July 2012
When choosing your wig to dye, you almost always want to start out with the lightest color wig you can find, either white, or a very light blond. If you’re dyeing something a light blue, please try and find a white, dyeable wig, because if the blond has any yellow in it, your blue will turn out green. You also want to make sure the wig you are buying is able to be dyed; many cheaper wigs are made of a fiber that won’t hold dye at all. Eleora fiber is one type that won’t hold any dye. Some kanekelon also won’t hold dye; I tried dyeing some kanekelon last year for one of my wigs, and it just wouldn’t hold it. Hiperlon holds dye beautifully, and I believe almost all of Arda-Wigs’ wigs are this fiber. I haven’t had any issues with dyeing any wig from them yet.
*Hint from Avianna @ Arda: I’ve found its easier to FW Ink dye a darker color if you start off with a wig of the same color. So if you want to FW Ink Dye a wig close to a Royal Blue 008, but darker. It may be easier on you and take less dye if you buy a the Royal Blue 008 wig and dye it, instead of starting from white.
I chose an Ash Blond Ferrari from Arda-Wigs for the very first wig I dyed. As you can see, I am wearing it with some pink pony clips; I was going to dye them, but decided to get a second Ferrari and dye it as well so the ending color would be the same (obviously dyeing purple on top of pink and then on top of blond isn’t going to look the same in the end result).
Materials needed: spray bottle, glass measuring cup (pretty sure the plastic kind will get stained), FW ink in your choice of color, 70% alcohol, gloves, stirring stick, plastic bags or table cloth to cover table AND floor, hair clips, pins, wig head holder, styrofoam wig head, and hair dryer (optional). Oh, and make sure to wear an apron, or some old clothes, because you will get it on you, and it will stain.
A note about FW ink. I’ve had problems with white, and any color that looks to have white in it. The other day I was dyeing a wig this nice shade of blue, and I had the perfect shade of ink, but it had separate white pigments floating around in it. I don’t know why; it just didn’t want to mix properly with the blue in the bottle. So, even after the hair dried and I rinsed it out, all of the FW ink rinsed out with it too. However, when I added in a few drops of a separate, darker blue color, the color stuck to the hair just fine. You can use a bit of white, but if you use too much, I think it won’t stick to the wig. Just my experience with it.
You can find FW ink at an art store, or, if you have a bit of time before you need to dye your wig and want to save money, I highly suggest you order it, because you can find it online for so much cheaper.
Now, make sure your workspace is fully covered, even more than you think you’ll need, because this stuff gets everywhere. Make sure you cover the floor too, because the ink will drip down as well. Clip your wig holder onto the edge of your table, make sure your wig is securely pinned on to the wig (I like to pin once in the top of the wig, and then all around the sides and bottom), and start sectioning out the hair and clipping it up.
Now, to get your ink ready. I use ten full droppers of ink per cup of alcohol, and I’d suggest just one cup of alcohol at a time, because unless your spray bottle is really large, it won’t hold it all anyway, and I find it easier to work in smaller batches. Stir the mixture a bit then pour it into your spray bottle, and give it a good shake.
Start spraying your wig, starting from the very bottom section. Make sure you get under the hair too, and make sure that the dye goes all the way through. Once it’s completely wet, let down another small section and spray that thoroughly as well. Repeat until you’ve covered all the hair with dye.
At this point I suggest whipping out a hair dryer and helping this baby get nice and dry. It will help minimize dripping, which helps keep more dye in your wig, and will help the process go by a lot quicker. You can either dry it completely, or just dry it until it’s not dripping anymore and then let it air dry. I also clipped some of the hair up, so that if any more dripped down, it would go into the wig, instead of on the floor.
Once your wig is completely dry, it may be a bit crunchy, so carefully brush it out with a wig brush and then rinse it under very cold water. You can also gently wash it with wig shampoo, I haven’t had any ink come out when washing it that way. Make sure to keep rinsing your wig until the water runs clear. If you aren’t happy with the color, you can go over it again, I had to go over my purple wig twice before I was happy with the shade of purple (and I missed a few spots the first time; I was still learning!). Put your wig on a wig head again, pin it on and let it dry out, then gently brush it out. If you have issues with the ink rubbing off on your hands or clothes, you need to rinse it out again, or use wig shampoo!
This is the end result: a beautiful, colored wig, that didn’t get dull at all after dyeing, and I had people asking if it was my real hair all day! This was the base wig for another wig that I made later on, but that’s another tutorial.
I hope this was helpful, and happy crafting!