Wigs and Hair Dressing & Maintenance Certificate Program


Wigs and Hair Maintenance and Styling Certificate Program
This program offers practical instruction on the design, styling (dressing) and maintenance of wigs and hair pieces, taught by practicing experts in the field of stage hair. You will be exposed to various techniques and tips used by professional wig makers and designers, be introduced to different types of hair pieces, and learn how to prepare and attach them.
Wigs and Hair Dressing and Maintenance meets for five consecutive, eight-hour days. Each day covers a different topic, including demonstrations and lab practicals, in which you will have a hands-on opportunity to apply the skills learned to your own hair pieces.

For More Information, Contact:

Moses Hudson
  • Email: mhudson2@depaul.edu
  • Phone: (312) 362-6292
  • FAX: (312) 362-8764

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


  • Basic head/skin preparation for facial hair and wigs
  • Handling and application of hair pieces
  • Washing and roller setting of wigs
  • Cleaning and dressing of facial hair
  • Creating armatures for period hair styles using both wigs and actors' hair
  • Coloring of wig and facial hair both before and after ventilating
  • Dressing wireless mics
  • Show maintenance issues


Day 1
Morning: Intro to course: Types of Wigs, Falls Pieces, Transformations, Toupees Plugs and Irregular Pieces
  • Solving hair problems with regard to budget, length of run, quick changes and hats
  • Choosing synthetic vs. human hair (actor's hair or wig)
  • Demo: Styling side curls for 18th Century bag wig
  • Practical: Style an 18th Century wig
Evening: Preparing the Head for a Wig
  • Wrapping hair, pin curls, wig cap types, ace bandage net caps, French braids, rubber bands, bonding glue, gaf quat, flattening and coloring actor hair
  • Demo: Preparing hair
  • Practical: Prepare a partner's hair for a wig
  • Homework: Bring hair pictures as source for your piece
Day 2
Morning: Attaching Wigs, Falls, Tails and Braids to the Head/Adapting Actor Hair to Style
  • Using armatures, toupee clips, bobby pins, hair pins and rats
  • Practical: Add one effect to partner's hair
Evening: Coloring Hair and Wigs
  • Using Rit dye, hair dye temporary vs. permanent, cake makeup, markers, inks, crème makeup and ventilating in color
  • Demo: Hair color effects
  • Practical: Everyone colors some
Optional Evening Tutorial: Roller Sets
Day 3
All Day: Roller Sets on Wigs
  • Taking design to roller sets of specific decades (1920s,30s,40s,50s,60s, pre-Raphaelites)
  • Demo: Using T-pins vs. bobby pins, bank pins, end papers, marcelle clips, acrylic rod, drying, steaming, hoods, baking and variable roller size to accomplish set
  • Practical: Set a wig for an assigned decade
Day 4
Morning: Brushing Out and Styling Wigs
  • Products for styling (gels and sprays)
  • Practical: Continue roller set of assigned wig style
  • Begin second wig
  • Demo: Brush out/styling wig
  • Practical: Continue Styling
Day 5
Morning: Presenting Your Wig
  • Practical: Prepare partner's hair for wig
  • Putting on and securing wig
  • Demo: Cleaning lace pieces: alcohol, acetone and brushes
Evening: Cleaning, Washing and Storing Wigs
  • Demo: breaking down wig, washing and storing methods

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 mhudson2@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.


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

Course Section Add to Shopping Cart
ART 102-00
Nan Zabriskie
Richard Jarvie
Theatre School, Make-Up Studio, 2135 North Kenmore Ave., Chicago IL
Monday, June 23 - Friday, June 27, 2014, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
3.5 CEUs
35 Contact Hours
Required Fees: Price
Course Materials$125.00
Registration - $75 late fee applied to registrations received after 6/16/2014$2,000.00