Rose Tyler: The Idiot's Lantern Wig Tutorial

When I started this costume, I knew one of my biggest challenges would be turning a wig into Rose's beehive.
 For one thing, I've never done a beehive on anything before and for another thing, I tend to have trouble with up-do wigs.

I found the perfect wig for Rose Tyler on eBay and ordered it.

Instead, they sent me this wig.

For one thing, the wig they sent me was $2 less expensive than the one I bought (which is a huge difference in quality in terms of wigs) and for another thing, it's curly. I bought a straight, honey blonde wig. They sent me a curly, platinum one. I wasn't thrilled, but I decided to use this wig anyway since it would take forever to get another wig from China and it was close enough that I was willing to use it.

Here it is on a wig stand, borrowed from my Anna wig:

My first step was adding roots by coloring the roots of the wig with black and brown Sharpie since Rose has really dark roots:
Okay, that's actually a really sad picture (context: it's from the episode "Father's Day") but it shows her roots beautifully, so I'm keeping it here.

I colored around the skin cap of the wig and along the base of the bangs.

I also darkened the tops of a few randomly selected wefts along the actual wig cap.

After that, I wet a Q-tip with isopropyl alcohol and ran it over my roots, which helped distribute them along the fibers and give them a more natural appearance.

As for Rose's actual beehive, I found a wonderful YouTube video tutorial that walks you through the steps. Here it is:

I followed this tutorial pretty closely, except for the end (which we'll talk about, don't worry) and managing to do it without hairspray. I also took some pictures of the process, so I hope this helps you!

You have to tease it WAAAAAY more than this. That bump was nowhere near enough.

Unfortunately, due to the nature of my wig's quality and the length, the ends of my wig became a tangled, matted poof.

I tried to detangle them carefully using a wig brush, a fine tooth comb, and a spray bottle of water, but this was somewhat unsuccessful. Sure, they got better, but not a whole lot better.

Ultimately, I decided to trim the ends of my wig. I'm not sure how much I cut off, but it was certainly more than an inch of two.

I probably should have done this earlier. Rose's hair is pretty short when they get it up in the beehive, this is from the episode before "The Idiot's Lantern":
Even after the trim, my wig is longer than Rose's hair. The ends are still kind of frizzled, but that ended up working in my favor because coarser hair holds bobby pins better than really fine hair.

In the video I shared with you, the wig stylist puts the remaining hair after the bump in a French twist. However, Rose doesn't actually have a French twist:
Let's zoom in on that.

Rose's hair appears to just be twisted into a flat swirl and pinned. It almost looks like she has a rose on the back of her head.

To do something similar to this, I took chunks of hair and pinned them over the jaw clip holding the poof.

When I got to the last sections, I gave the ends a swirly twist and pinned that in place.

It doesn't look exactly like Rose's hair, but it's pretty close and it covers my hair in back.

To make Rose's headband, I took an old headband of mine that no longer fits me but fits on the wig's hair bump.

I took some leftover fabric from making my dress and covered the headband with it.

Just a little hot glue, and done!

At this point, I figured out where I wanted the part to be in the bangs so I added more roots along the part for some added realism.

Here's my finished wig:

It's still pretty fuzzy 'round the bottom, but it ended up styling pretty well considering the base wig I had!

Bonus picture of it on me so you can see how it looks on an actual human head!


Sorry, I couldn't resist. Anonymous blogger, scene with a faceless Rose...

ANYWAY I hope this helps you aspiring Rose cosplayers as you style your wigs!


  1. That is amazing!!! I could never do that!

    1. Thank you! It's taken me quite a while to get to a place where I am comfortable enough with wigs to do this sort of thing, and I had to try this style several times before it actually did what I wanted, but I'm pleased with the end result. :)


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