Do you want to dye your own wigs? To help you choose the right color of base wig and dye for your project, I’ve put together a collection of custom colors from my wig workshop that I’ve created over the years!
On the top left, you’ll see a swatch of the original wig color. I’ve given the industry standard color numbers where available. All wigs were dyed using Copic ink – see my tutorial for a step-by-step guide.
Use white as a base for pale and cool colors like pastel blue, grey, or lilac. With Copic ink, you can dye darker colors, but they will have a “washed out” effect. If you’re going for vibrant colors, better use a base wig that’s already in the same color family.
Careful: most white and silvery white wigs have a yellowish undertone. Blue dye may turn out slightly greenish / turquoise if the yellow undertones shine through. You can counter this by adding a few drops of purple to your blue dye, or by using a pure white wig instead.
For pastel colors, I do extensive swatch tests because even a few drops of ink can make a huge difference in how the shade turns out. On the upside, pastels are easy to apply and you need very little ink.
Pure white wigs that don’t have the yellowish undertones are a bit harder to find. You’ll need them for very light, cool shades like greens and blues.
Light blonde or platinum blonde is a very common wig color. It is pale but has a distinct yellowish undertone, making it a perfect canvas for green, yellow blonde, light orange, and shades of pink or red that lean towards peach.
Use warm grey, brown or reddish brown ink to create naturally darker roots and lowlights. This works well on darker shades of blonde, too.
Use pink as a base for pinkish reds (strawberry or raspberry pink) and for vibrant peach colors. Red/orange dye on pink will look more intense than pink/red dye on blonde!
If you need to tone down the pink, try adding a bit of brown or orange to your red dye for a more neutral shade of red.
For the brightest shades of pink, use a vibrant, neon pink base. This color is so intense that it shines through any dye. However, tinted with dark red, purple or orange-brown dye, it will look more pleasing to the eye.
This common shade of light blue is quite intense, with distinct greenish undertones. It is best used for bright blue, turquoise and teal colors. For pastel colors or a neutral, medium blue shade, use a white or light purple wig instead.
I use this pale lavender color for cool-toned, bluish-purple hair.
In my early days of cosplay, this bright clown red was all we had, and it wasn’t pretty! You can tone it down with dark red, brown, grey, black or purple dye. You’ll end up with an auburn or cherry red wig that’s still very bright, but more flattering.
If you’re aiming for a lighter red wig, better use white, platinum blonde or pink as a base.
Orange – another “party color” that takes some confidence to wear! I tone it down with red or reddish brown to make it more pleasing. It’s still very vibrant, so you may want to start with a platinum blonde or yellow blonde base wig instead.
I hope you found my color chart helpful! These are just some of the colors I’ve dyed over the years, and once you understand the basics of how colors mix and how the dye behaves, you can easily come up with your own combinations.
Don’t be afraid to test a new dye recipe on a fiber swatch – the Copic ink method makes it easy because you can just mix a tiny amount of dye (10ml) for testing.
Luckily, cosplay wig stores now offer so many more amazing colors, you’ll often be able to find a wig in the exact color you need. Before you decide to dye a wig, it’s wise to look into your other options first:
- Buy a longer wig in the right color and cut it into the style you want
- Sew wefts into your wig to mix two or more shades for a natural blend
- Or just use a wig that’s a slightly different color, but that works for you!
Wig dyeing is a great tool to get creative with your colors, and I love it – as you can tell from my work! But as with any technique, there’s always more than one way to reach your goal.
For more ideas, read my guide to finding a wig for your cosplay!