Tutorial: How to Tea-Dye a Synthetic Wig

how to tea-dye wigs

Because cosplay wigs are made of plastic fibers, they don’t tea-stain as easily as natural fabrics. You will need to leave them in the tea bath overnight if you want a truly blonde color. However, a tea-stained blonde wig will typically be a little more natural-looking than a store-bought blonde wig because there will be a natural variance in the color of the individual wig strands.

You can also tea-dye wigs to have a very slight off-white, cream color that looks better with most skin tones than pure white. It will make the wig look more natural overall while still giving you the white hair of the character you’re cosplaying.

The other caveat with tea staining synthetic wigs is that you must use a white wig. I tried to dye a light gray wig with this method, and it didn’t come out great, so I recommend making sure your wig is pure white to start with.

  1. Steep your tea bags. You want to use more tea bags for wigs than you need to for fabric. I recommend 25-50 tea bags depending on how long the wig is and how dark you want it to be.
  2. Add your wig and fully submerge it. Make sure to swish it around occasionally to make sure all the fibers of the wig are being touched by the tea dye.
  3. Allow your wig to soak for 30 minutes to 12 hours. If you want just a slightly off-white color, 30-60 minutes will be enough. If you want a natural blonde color, I recommend leaving the wig to soak overnight.
  4. Remove the wig, rinse it off and let it dry. Once you’re happy with the color, rinse off the wig until the water running off of it is clear, then let it dry. Don’t forget, it will dry a slightly lighter color than it is when you first remove it from the tea bath.
tea-dye a wig
By leaving the wig in the tea bath for 30 minutes, you can get a light cream colored wig. Darker blonde colors will require a lot more time.

Emily Joice

My name is Emily, and I have been cosplaying since my very first convention in 2008. Over the years, I've experimented with all different kinds of cosplay costumes, especially loving the process of creating props and styling wigs. I also delved into cosplay photography, and love exploring how to optimize costumes so they look excellent in photos. Most of the photos you find on this site were taken by me over my years at anime conventions.

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