Welcome to the world of Irish Dance wigs! If you’re new to this side of Irish Dance then you are probably feeling a bit overwhelmed. This whole glam side of dancing is a lot to process but you’re not alone…don’t worry, I’ve got you, friend!
Let me start by saying every “Dance Mom” has their own way of doing things and you will figure out what works for you as time goes on. My biggest piece of advice as you begin this wig journey is to practice, practice, practice and to give yourself grace. There will be tears and they likely won’t just be coming from your precious dancer. It’s going to take time to learn how to perfect that pouf but you’ll get there. With that said, let’s get into the list of things you will need to get started.
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Essential Irish Dance Wig Supplies
- Wig: Most of us in the Irish Dance community get the wigs from Camelia Rose. They make a number of styles in a large variety of colors. Before you buy anything whether it’s from Camelia Rose or a fellow dance friend, check with your dance school because more than likely they will have a specific style they want you to purchase.
- Hair Donuts: I’m not talking about the Krispy Kreme kind, unfortunately. Donuts are a must in Irish Dance. Ever heard of the southern phrase, “The higher the hair the closer to God”? We believe in that too here in Irish Dance so get ready for high hair! Talk to your dance school and find out how many donuts they want you to use. Many schools want three, at least for the Majors (Oireachtas, Nationals, Worlds, All Scots, Great Brits, All Irelands, etc..) The best place to get these is directly from Camelia Rose. I have yet to find the same size they sell anywhere else and their own stylists use them so I suggest getting from them if possible.
- Wig Comb: There are two schools of thought on brushing an Irish Dance wig: do it and don’t do it. I choose to brush it to maintain a clean look otherwise it ends up looking really frizzy. The important thing to note here is not to just brush it like you would your own hair, but once it’s wet with the conditioner (or lightly misted water) gently brush the individual curls and wrap around your finger to retain the curl. Have you ever watched how they style an American Girl doll’s curly hair? It’s like that.
- Mini Travel Brush
- Teasing Brush
- Rat Tail Comb: We’re going 80s retro with this one…you’ve got to tease, tease, tease that pouf!
- Rock Your Hair Powder: A little goes a long way of this stuff but it is an important step in the wig routine.
- Travel Hairspray
- Hair Ties: You will need 2-3 hair ties each time you style your dancer’s wig. My best advice is to never use the same one twice. The key to a great wig base is that it has to be tight. Really really tight and it’s hard to do that with a stretched out hair band. If your dancer has blonde or light brown hair it’s best to use ones that are closest to her hair color.
- Hair Pins: The best hair pins are the ones from Camelia Rose. You can sometimes buy them from a Camelia Rose vendor at your local feis but they don’t always have them in stock. There are actually two sizes their stylists use. I don’t see the big ones on their site but if you have their stylists do your dancer’s hair at a local feis or a Major then you will get new donuts and hair pins. Hold onto them! I have not used these myself but you can find U shaped straight hair pins on Amazon that are similar.
- Large Bobby Pins: It’s a good idea to have a selection of really nice, sturdy bobby pins (about the same color as your dancer’s hair) in your kit. While I don’t use this type to secure the donuts to the hair or the wig to the donuts, they are used for pinning the crown, side piece, bow, pouf, and pieces of hair. I use small ones to secure the pouf.
- Hair Clips: Great for holding sections of hair and the pouf while you work on the pony tail for the base. Camelia Rose also has extra long bobby pins in black and blonde.
- Platinum Spray: If you have a blonde wig that is lighter than your dancer’s hair then you probably need this. This is essentially colored hair spray and it helps complete the overall look when the hair is darker than the wig.
- Mini Storage Box: I keep bobby pins, hair pins, earrings, extra earring backs, and safety pins in ours. It’s something I have at my fingertips during a competition if my daughter needs pins before she goes on stage.
- Wig Conditioner: These wigs are expensive and you want to take care of them. I condition my daughter’s wig every night before a competition, right before I style it, and then again before I pack it away. You can purchase wig conditioner from Camelia Rose either from their website or sometimes they will have a vendor at your local feis. You can also purchase one from Amazon.
- Travel Case for Wig: I can’t tell you how many girls I see at a feis pull their wigs out of a plastic bag or worse, right out of the bottom of a duffle bag. Think of this as a piece of equipment for this sport and an investment, one that you need to last for a couple of years. A travel bag is the perfect way to transport the wig from feis to feis.
- Disposable Hair Net: While this is not really an essential, it does add another layer of protection for the wig and helps keep it looking nice.
- Cosmetic Pouch: You probably have makeup bags you can use in your closet already but this is the one I use and it holds quite a bit of stuff.
One more thing we can’t travel without is a baseball jersey. Most schools sell them but in case they don’t you can purchase a blank one from Amazon. The reason this is so important is because you don’t want to be trying to pull a t-shirt over their hair when it’s time to put their dress on. There will be tears. Ask me how I know…
By now you’re probably thinking, “What have I gotten myself into?!” It’s a lot…I know. The good news is that once you buy the items you need for your Wig Kit you won’t need to purchase anything else for awhile. The only thing I have replenished is hairspray and that was only because it stopped working.
Check out my Irish Dance Essentials Amazon Storefront for a complete list of items we can’t live without.
Learn how to customize and create your own Irish Dance baseball jersey with my Cricut tutorial!
I hope you find this list helpful as you begin this new chapter of your dancer’s Irish dance life. Please feel free to ask me any questions at [email protected].