The Rag-Curled Hedgehog Wig of Win


A few days ago I was chatting with Lauren M, Lady of Portland House, and I asked her about her fantastic hedgehog wig, and how she got it so freakin’ awesome.  She told me she rag curled the hair.

Rag curling?  I’ve never rag-curled in my life, but I decided this was the key to hedgehog success and I was going to try it.

Click “Read More” to see how I did this…

I cut my strips of cotton and rag curled my half-wig into tight little spirals, letting it set for about 3 days.

This is just after I untied the rags, before the floofing.

I don’t want to make it sound easy.  Rag curling is mysterious, and I’m sure the clown-like result of my wig is due to not doing any of that curling right.  That being said, it’s still CURLY…

When you take the rag curls out, you just run your fingers through the hair, fluffing and puffing, and pinning into shape.  I left the back of the hair free of rags, to curl with a curling iron later, for the barrel curls that hang down the back, or over the shoulder.

Bump-its, freed from their confinement.
You get three bump-its in a package

I also got my mitts on some Bump-Its, and I have to tell you that they’re pretty darn cool.  They are a lightweight, toothed rat, essentially, and you get three different sizes in a package.  I got these from Sally Beauty Supply for $3.

The back.  Needs a little taming

I just love the result of this wig.  For as little hair as is actually on the wig cap (just one package of 18″ human hair wefts), it turns into tons when it’s all curled up, fluffed, and bumped.

You can see my real hair that will be blended into the front, but I need to color it to match the wiglet, and also tightly curl it too, before fluffing and blending.

The front, my real hair, needs curling, and renewed color.

You all should give this one a try because it’s really THAT easy.  Things of note:

  • Use real human hair wefts.  They are more expensive than fake, yes, but it’s well worth it.
  • Get enough hair.  I wish I’d bought 2 packages instead of 1.
  • The curls don’t have to be this tight.  Next time I do this I’m going to try fatter curls on small curlers, or larger rag-ties.
  • Try them Bump-Its, they’re fun.
  • Lastly, this hair piece is very lightweight and cool, temperature-wise, compared to a full wig.  It stays put extremely well and is very comfortable.


  • Carly

    June 14, 2011 at 6:56 PM

    How and what did you attach the wefts to if you just bought a package? Also, do you think it would be easier to use shorter lengths for the top and then add the longer lengths at the back/bottom for the barrel curls? It looks great and I'd love to give it a try! Thanks for sharing!

  • Lauren R

    June 14, 2011 at 6:59 PM

    Carly, I made a little cap out of buckram and a hair weave net covering it. It sits just on the top of the head and is stiff.

    I DO think it would be easier to use shorter hair up top, although I was really surprised at how much volume the longer hair got when curled. That being said, looser/larger curls and shorter hair would probably be easier to manage.

  • Kleidung um 1800

    June 15, 2011 at 7:12 AM

    Well done and it looks very 1790s! It's amazing what a tiny tie can do to hair. But I still have to figure out what "Bump-it's" are šŸ˜‰
    And isn't costuming just gorgeous and versatile – there are still so many costuming adventures waiting and there's never a dull day!!!

  • Sam

    June 15, 2011 at 1:56 PM

    It looks FANTASTIC! May I also ask that you explain how you inserted and camouflaged the bumpit? I bought a package for a 1960s impression and my thin hair made it look like an inside-out hairband. Help!

  • Anne Elizabeth

    June 15, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    @Kleidung um 1800: Bumpits are just like on the photos. They help give volume to hairstyles. Over here in Germany you can get them at "Claire's Accesoires".

  • Lauren R

    June 15, 2011 at 6:22 PM

    Melissa, I'm so going to get some of those! I was thinking that I am nearing the point where I have enough hair to put in rollers or rag curls, and maybe do this style on my real hair, skip the hassle of a wig…?

    Sabine, Alisa's got it – "Bump-Its" are one of those "as seen on TV" products, but you can buy them in some fashion stores now. They're plastic, toothed and arched hair supports, like in the picture.

    Sam, hiding the bump it – the hair that went on top was so ridiculously curl that it completely covered the bump-it. I think the trick is having enough hair and volume to go over it. I haven't tried them in my real hair yet (my real hair is very fine and slippery)…

  • Clare

    June 16, 2011 at 9:13 PM

    This looks fabulous! I've enjoyed all your posts on the search for the perfect wig and this one is looking pretty darn great!

    Further to the bump-it Qs – can I ask where you placed them, please? I've been thinking about them for 18th C hair, too, but was wondering how to arrange them … Thanks, Your Grace!

    (This is GentlewomanThief, but Blogger's not letting me use my WordPress ID to comment for some reason!)

  • misslesliesprentice

    June 23, 2011 at 6:11 PM

    I am a lurker on your site mostly, but I had to comment on this!

    I find it amazing how many people have never heard of rag-curling! Its the only way I can get any curl into my hair. But miracle of miracles, its perfect for the 1780s and 90s! I get a friend to do my whole head for me early in the day and then fluff it out myself later. I also wear some synthetic curls, but I may experiment some more with getting the back of my own hair to do what you were working on.

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