Wigs and Hair Chicago


Wigs and Hair ChicagoAs the only program of its kind, Wigs and Hair Chicago (WHC) at DePaul University will teach you time-valued techniques and help you take on the world of stage hair. Our classes in wig making, taught by expert artists and wigmasters, covers everything you need to know to design, create and maintain any hair worn on stage. You will learn the technique of ventilating a wig, or tying hair by hair into a lace front wig, to create wigs and facial hair, and other insider secrets.

For More Information, Contact:

Renae Jacob
  • Email: r.jacob@depaul.edu
  • Phone: (312) 362-6315
  • FAX: (312) 362-8764


Wigs and Hair ChicagoStudents can currently earn certificates in Wigs and Hair Styling and Maintenance and Wigs and Hair Production.
Wigs and Hair Styling and Maintenance Certificate Program: This certificate program covers all facial hair and wig maintenance issues, as well as wig styling and roller sets. Skills covered include: basic head/skin preparation for facial hair and wigs, cleaning and dressing and applying of facial hair, wig making, washing and roller setting of wigs, creating armatures for period hair styles using both wigs and actors' hair, coloring of wig and facial hair both before and after ventilating, curling method appropriate to style, dressing wireless mics and show maintenance issues. (No prerequisite required.)
Wigs and Hair Production Certificate Program: This certificate program trains students in the craft of ventilating facial hair and wig fronts. Skills covered include: making a pattern, choosing and laying out lace, learning to ventilate, beard ventilating, hair choice, hair coloring, fronting wig from wefted wig and dressing facial hair. (No prerequisite required.)
Wigs and Hair Production II Certificate Program: This certificate program expands on the skills learned in Wigs and Hair Production I. Skills covered include: creating wigs from base to finished cut and style, creating wigs from non-typical products, wig design, bald caps with and without hair, cancer hair, thin hair wigs and hair punching. This course is not currently scheduled. Contact the program manager for more information. (Pre-requisite: Wigs and Hair Production I)

Who Should Attend

  • Experienced professionals in costuming, wardrobe and make-up who would like to sharpen their knowledge of stage hair
  • Actors who want to be able to create their own pieces for auditions and shows
  • Anyone interested in learning more about the craft

Frequently Asked Questions

Click here for DePaul University Continuing and Professional Education Departmental Student Policies.
Will housing be provided?
Students are responsible for their own housing for the duration of the program. A list of housing recommendations can be provided by contacting r.jacob@depaul.edu.
How often do the classes meet?
Each course will be comprised of five consecutive classes of seven hours each, with a daily lunch break.
What is the average class size?
Class size is limited to allow for a more interactive environment in the classroom. Most classes have less than twenty students.
Do these courses count for college credit?
WHC courses do not count for college credit, but students can earn Certificates of Professional Achievement from DePaul University.
Will there be homework?
Some work will extend beyond class hours.
Are there final exams for these courses?
There are no final exams, but there are required projects for completing the course.
Who teaches the Wigs and Hair Chicago Certificate Programs?
Nan Zabriskie and Rick Jarvie teach these programs. Nan, program director and teacher, has headed the makeup program at The Theatre School at DePaul University for over 30 years. She has taught both designers and actors the art of stage makeup. She designs specialty makeup for The Goodman Theatre and Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago as well as trains their actors in makeup application. Rick is a freelance Make-Up Artist and Wig Designer with over 30 years of experience in the field. He worked with the Lyric Opera of Chicago for 28 year-11 of them as Wig Master. Rick received a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Nazareth College of Rochester, NY, and was part of the San Francisco Opera Wig and Makeup Training Program.
What happens if the class is cancelled?
Although we prefer not to, DePaul CPE reserves the right to cancel classes. If we do cancel a class for which you have paid, you will have the option of transferring to a different class or receiving a full refund. All airfare and other transportation costs related to a CPE course are the sole responsibility of the student. If you book flights, bus ticket, or other mode of transportation, you assume the risk in the event we must cancel the course. DePaul University leaves the choice of transportation and affiliated expenses up to each individual.


Online registration is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Add the course you are interested in to your shopping cart and proceed to checkout. Registration is also available via phone, fax or mail. An Adobe Acrobat PDF of the registration form is provided for your convenience.

Course Availability

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