Updated October 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Best of the Best
Leg Avenue Women's Two Tone Wig
Leg Avenue
Women's Two Tone Wig
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Most Stylish
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This 2-tone option is stylish and works great for a modern Cruella de Vil outfit.


Adjustable strap allows this to fit various head sizes and tighten to provide a secure fit. Thick and full synthetic strands fully cover the cap so that no bald spots appear. The hair is very soft and easy to brush.


May need to pluck the hairline for a more realistic look and cut in spots for ears.

Best Bang for the Buck
MapofBeauty Cosplay Wig
Cosplay Wig
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Budget Friendly
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A great option for users who want a wig that is easy to customize for their specific needs.


Comes in a large variety of colors and styles including purple. Perfect for adding decoration to a Halloween costume. Comes in a rather long length that is easy to trim for the exact style that you need. Adjustable cap size.


Individual strands of hair may fall out over time.

Rubie's Wizard of Oz Dorothy Wig
Rubie's Costume Company
Wizard of Oz Dorothy Wig
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Classic Design
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You don’t have to be in Kansas to wear this; the realistic design is great for Halloween and cosplays.


Made from shiny, synthetic strands, this product looks great and is movie-quality. Complete with bows on each braid, this is an accurate representation of the Wizard of Oz's protagonist.


It is styled and braids are set, meaning this isn’t ideal to wash and restyle.

Leg Avenue Women's Wig
Leg Avenue
Women's Wavy Long Wig
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Most Length
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Coming in lengths up to 27 inches, this long, wavy option is great for an array of looks and leaves room to style as needed.


With its extra length, this product is great if you know you need to make alterations to perfectly match your getup. The adjustable elastic strap inside the cap allows you to tighten this to fit your head easily.


Some buyers found that it was a little tight; may not be ideal for larger heads.

EmaxDesign Wavy Cosplay Wig
Wavy Cosplay Wig
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Brightest Color
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A bright, dramatic red option that comes at an extremely affordable price and is ideal for costumed looks.


Adjustable size fits most heads without the use of pins or tape. Easy to put on and stays where you want it. Attractive, curly style and bright color that suits a range of outfits. Cap and comb are included with purchase.


Some users found it too shiny and suggested taming the shine with baby powder.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best costume wigs

Costume wigs aren’t in the same category as natural hair wigs or even synthetic hair wigs, both of which are intended to pass for real hair. No, costume wigs are about keeping it unreal, adopting a new short-term persona for parties, parades, cosplay conventions, or other ephemeral events.

Improvements in the material and manufacture of wigs have advanced to the point where the differences among wig types are less noticeable. New synthetics can mimic natural hair at a fraction of the cost, and some of today’s costume wigs can almost pass for real hair, too.

With so much follicle fakery going on, it can be difficult to know how to choose the best costume wig in your next incarnation for Halloween, Mardi Gras, or Comic-Con. Costume wigs can vary by materials, construction, and many other factors.

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When your wig first arrives, take it out of the packaging and put it on a mannequin or other wig holder for a few hours to let it relax.

Key considerations

What is a costume wig?

A costume wig is vastly different than a regular wig. Costume wigs are meant to be worn once or twice for special occasions. A regular wig, or a lace front wig, is meant to be worn to work or school every day as a matter of course. If the former is what you’re looking for, you’re in the right place. However, costume wigs have improved so much in recent years that you may be able to wear a costume wig every day for up to six months before it needs to be replaced.

Location, location, location

Before you choose a costume wig, consider where you’re going to be wearing it. If you’ll be attending an outdoor party at the beach or other windy location, a long-haired wig may not be the most practical choice. Similarly, a long wig worn to a Renaissance fair in the middle of August would be too hot and heavy, so opting for a short wig would be the smarter play. If the event you’re attending is indoors, however, your costume wig options are wide open.


It’s important that your wig’s style matches your costume. Are you dressing up as Black Widow from the Marvel movies, or are you going for more of a generic pixie or fairy look? Pixies and fairies usually have short hair in wild colors, but the Black Widow has medium-length wavy red hair. Study the character you are trying to emulate to determine the proper style of costume wig. The wig is often the least expensive part of your outfit, so choose it last to match your costume rather than the other way around.



In the early 1900s, wigs were often made of jute fibers. Today, yak hair from Tibet is sometimes used for theatrical wigs, especially those worn by clowns. But most costume wigs these days are made of synthetic materials such as acrylic, modacrylic, nylon, and polyester. Synthetic hair is less expensive than human hair, which can cost $80 per ounce. Since most wigs require at least four ounces of hair, the raw materials alone make human hair wigs prohibitively expensive for costume use.


Wigs are available in every color of the rainbow. Many wigs have two or three colors in them for contrast and eye-catching appeal. The synthetic hair in costume wigs typically can’t be colored or dyed, so make sure you choose the exact color you want.

Lace front

A lace-front wig has an extended front designed to disguise the fact that you’re wearing a wig by making the individual hairs appear to be growing directly out of your scalp. Lace-front wigs will always cost more than wigs without a lace front, but the more natural appearance can be worth the extra cost.


Pay close attention to the length of the hair on the wig and take into consideration how long your head and neck are. Have a friend measure you from the top of your head to the top of your shoulders to help select a wig of the proper length.

Wig cap

You need a wig cap to hold your own hair in check under the wig, so it doesn’t show. Some wigs have a built-in wig cap. Pay close attention to the costume wig’s description. If it doesn’t mention a wig cap, it probably doesn’t have one built in, in which case you’d have to get the wig cap separately.

Adjustable straps vs. bobby pins or wig clips

Many wigs have a stretchy material under the hair, but better-quality costume wigs have adjustable straps to hold them in place. If the wig you choose doesn’t have adjustable straps, you’ll need bobby pins or wig clips to secure it.

Costume wig prices


Low-price wigs are readily available for under $12. At this price point, you’ll find tinsel foil wigs and clown wigs. The materials here are cheap, and the wigs are often only intended for one-time use.


From $12 to $30 is where most costume wigs are priced. Mid-price costume-wig materials are of better quality than inexpensive wigs, and they should survive several wearings. Some costume wigs in this range have lace fronts.


High-end costume wigs are priced from $30 to $45. This is where you’ll find carefully made wigs that have lace fronts, adjustable straps, and more real-looking hair. Costume wigs at this price can be much more durable, with some having the potential to last for three to six months of near-daily wear.


  • When you first remove a new wig from its packaging, turn it upside down and give it a gentle shake to improve its overall shape and release any manufacturing debris.
  • Before donning a wig, long-haired folks need to flatten out their hair for a proper fit. It’s a three-step process. First, gather your hair into a ponytail at the nape of the neck. Next, pull it forward over your head. Finally, pin it down with bobby pins or hair clips.
  • If your wig gets tangled or frizzed, use a wide-tooth comb or wig brush to straighten out stray hairs. A natural hair comb or brush could damage costume wig hair.
  • When pulling a wig cap on, start at the back of your head. This is especially important if you have a lot of hair.
  • To remove the unnatural shine of some costume wigs, lightly dust the hairpiece with talcum powder. Shake out the excess.
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Hair spray is damaging to synthetic hair, so it should never be used on costume wigs.


Q. Can wigs be styled?

A. It depends on the wig. The synthetic hair on some wigs can be styled as long as you don’t use too much heat. Others can’t be styled at all.

Q. How should I trim a wig to suit me?

A. Put the wig on as if you were getting ready to go out wearing it. Once it is on and you’re satisfied with the placement, trim it just like you would trim your own hair.

Q. How many clips will I need on the wig cap and wig?

A. You will probably need 10 on each to hold them securely in place.

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