How to Seal Sharpie Dye with Pledge Floor Wax

Posted on 29 May 2013

Having to seal your sharpie dying isn’t an issue that comes up quite often (at least I hope so), but I came up with this method due to it happening to me. I’ve only had to do this once and hope to not have to do it again. I do not know if it would work for FW ink dying ( Avi was having the same issues with her wig w/ FW ink, I don’t see why it wouldn’t work) or other methods, but this did work for what I needed. 

Why did I need to do this? My dye was not adhering to the fibers of my teal chibi. When I handled the wig the dye would come off easily. I was not going to walk around a convention with a wig that would turn me blue. 

To avoid this all together, do what Avi did. Use RIT dye for your dying

***I wrote this tutorial and then was able to wear the wig out.*** 
The sharpie did a good job at sealing the fiber, but there was still dye that rubbed off onto my costume. I dyed the wig blue and it rubbed on a section of yellow fabric. You can’t tell unless you look up close, and even then the hair is covering the fabric. Overall, I was pleased that it at least protected my skin. None of it rubbed off on my skin. 

**The processes that I’m about to list is meant for heat resistant wigs (it does not limit it, except for the last steps)** 

Items you need to have:
-Stiff Brush
-Pledge Floor Wax (or any brand of wax)
-Towels or something draped on the floor to protect it, you’re going to make a mess. (I don’t suggest doing this in your tub, if you do put something down)
-Plastic comb
-flattening iron

My method for the Pledge Floor Wax is simple and a bit labor some. Major pro’s is that it seals the sharpie and major con’s is that is will tangle your wig something fierce if you aren’t careful.

Images: They don’t show the step by step process, but they do show the results.

fw1copy1_grande fw2copy2_grande fw3copy3_grande

Steps:-Make sure you have plenty of pigment(dye) on your wig. You can look up Sharpie Dying, I’m not going to explain the method here, but I hand “dyed” the fibers with a sharpie pen(s) using 70% alcohol as a blender to the colors I was using.-After you’ve dyed your wig, wash out the excess dye and let the wig dry completely. (I washed my wig 6+ times thinking I wasn’t washing it right, didn’t matter the dye would rub off)


-Once dry you want to comb out any tangles. You want your wig to be without any tangles because of the up coming steps.

-Protect your work space. I put paper towels and a plastic tarp under my stand so I wouldn’t stain my work area. Look at the photos and you’ll see why. The wax will drip and take dye with it.

– Using a stiff paint brush, I painted the wax on in small to medium sections of the wig. It doesn’t use much wax to saturate the fibers. This is important, if you don’t saturate the fibers then there’s no point to this.

-I did not “paint” my entire wig, I only did it about 5 to 3 inches because my fibers are going to be in a pony tail. I was only trying to protect my costume and my face from the fibers that were hanging down. You can do this for an entire wig.

– The bangs. I painted all the way to the wig cap for all the layers that I sharpied, because this is going to have the most movement across my forehead. I really saturated this area with a lot of wax.

-After you get all the painting done, take towels and pat the fibers of excess wax. Don’t wipe the fibers otherwise you’ll take off more pigment.

-With excess gone, let it stiffen to the point of slightly tacky. Take a wide plastic comb (no wire brush). Work from the tips of the fibers up. So, bottom to top. The reason for doing this is to separate the chunks of fiber. Be extra careful of this step, this is where you can get the most tangles and don’t brush it too much (if you have one section done move to the next due to drying)

-Let it dry some more and repeat the process. 

The brushing process, you can do it in two ways. Brush until it is dry, which will take forever but you will have less dust at the end (I’ll explain further down) or do the following:

-Let it dry all the way (if you have wet/dry it’s harder to work with but the wax adheres better) and brush it again with a wide tooth comb then with a thinner one. I should warn you, you will spend a lot of time brushing. The kinks will also be looking bad towards the end, but don’t forget we’ve got one more step.

-Working with the dried fibers – In some places on the fibers the wax didn’t adhere as much as I’d like to the fibers, but that didn’t prevent the area from not being sealed. I found that when brushing the wax would come off as dust. Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty.
I’m not sure why it did this, but for the most part it think it had to do with the fibers clumping thickly or not enough wax. Or not enough brushing when damp. Who knows, as this is the first time using this method I don’t have it all down yet.

-In the last photo you’ll see what you’ll get. The dye dulled a little bit but that’s due to the excess coming off in the process. The main thing is that the texture is only slightly different when all is said and done. It’s not as shinny as the non wax sections but it’s hard to notice. I used a flat iron on medium to low heat to smooth any kinks. Without this tool, the fibers would be rough looking and defeat the purpose of doing this.

Flat Ironing your fibers- The heat will make the wax congeal on the ceramic plate. I had to clean the flat iron with a paper towel. I had to do this cleaning constantly, be watchful of it clumping, the clumps will then be put on your fibers.

After that you’re done. I spent about 5+ hours dying (I also re-dyed). Then about another 5+ hours sealing/brushing. It takes time, but is worth it in the end.

Things to think about when needing to use this method.

The only reason I had to come up with this is because the sharpie method failed. Here are my suggestions, I don’t know if it’s Fact but having worked with the fibers I think the following should be advised.

Do not use hot water curl method, I believe it will remove the wax and then all the hard work was for nothing.

Hair spray worked well with the waxed fibers. As I did not do the whole wig with wax, some sections still have the dye rub off when using the hair spray. Once dry, I touched the fibers again and nothing rubbed off. I do not know what will happen if you wash and condition the fibers. 

I will say that I doubt I’ll be using the sharpie method the next time I dye wig fibers again. This is a lot of labor for a wig. I now have spent 10+ hours dying and fixing the dye. I don’t recommend this method for those with little patience. While it was fun to come up with a solution, the process itself is tedious. At least the results aren’t bad.

The fibers will not go back to perfectly straight after all the brushing, but I’m happy with the result. When working on the full wig head the fibers were a bit more crusty feeling, but after straightening the fibers went back to fairly smooth.

Hopefully no one will have to do this method, but it’s here if it does happen.

Reposted from Koi-ishly’s Forum Post: Here
If you have any questions regarding this tutorial, please ask Koi-ishly!


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