Wig & Bandana

"Do you think I wear this wig to keep my head warm?" ~ Governor Swann


Jack's hair is adorned with all manner of beads and trinkets gathered from all around the world, each one reminding him of a different adventure, including his metallic Kuchi beads on the left side. He would later add some pieces of red fabric, leather ties and additional coins to his hair and braid. Depp who was influenced by musician Keith Richards said that Jack Sparrow has a habit of collecting souvenirs from his travels and then attaching them in his hair.

Sparrow's decorations include:

Fabricating Dingles

Commandeering Dingles


Jack wears a faded red tichel (bandana) that has tiny blue flower pattern scattered in two separated rows and is 36 x 36 square.

About the Bandana

  • The tichel has a very distinct pattern that many dealers claim is the "real" pattern. Always be sure to check reference photos when purchasing.

  • Some costumers cut the bandanna in half [triangle shape] and then refold it so it lays flat on the wig, others press and iron it.

  • Fading the bandana can be done with bleach or RIT color remover. Always test fabrics beforehand to guarantee best results. You can also fold it to style and then leave it on your car dashboard in the sun for a few days.

  • Undead Monkey offers this hand-drawn tutorial on folding the bandana.

  • Or use our Bandanna Folding Tutorial (at the bottom of this page)

Commandeering Bandana


The most crucial element to any Jack costume is Jack's signature dreaded locks. Jack's wig is made from a mix of dark and light brown hair that appears throughout the films with a various number of dreadlocks. In the back extending over his bandanna is a thick braided brown ponytail laced with brown leather. Johnny Depp said the wig came about from the idea that he wanted to be a "rock star pirate."

Fabricating A Wig

Wearing A Wig

  • As a man, you may not be as to the details of wearing a wig, please read some advice about wig care and how to rightly wear a wig. (advice 1) (advice 2) (advice 3)
  • Some of you, (especially those of you with longer hair) may want to wear a wig cap underneath your wig to hold your hair in place.

Dressing Tips

  • Bring your bandanna down to rest right on your eyebrows. Check ref pics and look how close the bandanna gets.

  • Tie the hemp cord tight and at the base of the pony tail to make it point up a little.

  • Use this chart to tie in your coins and hair ties.

Commandeering Wig


Wig Tutorial

by Charles Harding [Capn Jack Savvy] originally published in Keep To The Code

These Tutorials were made back in 2008, please refer to KTTC or Charles personally for any new information. (tutorial source)

My first wig was layered and that presented a problem and I had to do some major cutting. This one length wig will allow me to cut the hair as needed to match up with the dreads.

Most of the promo shots of Johnny Depp makes his wig look off black #1B. This color chart [http://www.texasbeautysupplystore.com/colorchart.jpg] is what I have to reference ya'll to the different colors and numbers. I was interested in Medium or Dark Brown.

My Choices:

  • - #2 Dark Brown

  • - #4 Medium Brown

  • - #6 Chestnut Brown

  • - #14 Light Ash Brown

Here is the wig I am going with in medium brown. It is shoulder length and has bangs. It also has the skin cap in the top which is a first for me!

The overall length of the hair on the wig is 16-18 inches so there is NO CUTTING REQUIRED! I think I will still end up making a separate back ponytail and attach it to the wig. I may experiment with the wig hair for a ponytail but it may be a bit short!

My only concern about my wig is that the hairs were not as wavy or long as some of my ref pics but I used a hair dryer and went to town on the wig.

Here are links to an 8 Part "How To Make Captain Jack Sparrow dreads" video tutorial. NO ONE should have any issues with their Captain Jack wig ever again! Whether you are missing dreads, want to add more, or want to start from scratch!

Here is the the top of dread close up. Note the heavy duty thread binding at the top of the dread. This end will be sewn into the wig mesh cap.

My new Swag Arts reindeer bone (shameless plug for a bottle of RUM) for scale!

I have started the mixed color dreads using off black mixed with light brown AND dark brown mixed with light brown. The effects are pretty good. I hope to film that technique of mixing two colors and steaming.

I tried the boiling method last night as a test. I boiled some dreads on first wig many years ago and didn't like the effect so I went with steaming. Once again I remember why I don't like boiling. The dreads still unravel really easily and I had to steam this dread. Researching the boiling method I found out that many websites recommend boiling but that is for small, skinny dreads or at least that is what they were making were very tiny dreads with a circumference of about 1/8 to 1/4 inches. My dreads are running between 3/4 to 1 1/2 inches diameter and the boiling definitely is not working...

Get ye butt down to your nearest "home store" (Anna's Linens, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.) and get yourself a steamer! It is the only way to steam! MORE STEAM!

Boiling - Uh Uh!

Hair dryer - Air is too hot and too dry.

The heat and moisture from the water is what shrinks down the Kanekalon hair!

I've been making these dreads going on three years now and that seems to be the BEST method for making Kanekalon dreads. Remember I did the trial and error testing for almost a month before I was able to talk to a professional dread maker in AZ. She works in a beauty salon making these things all the time and she gave me all these wonderful tips! And they WORK!!!!!

I counted my wig and have about 34 dreads but that is because I was trying to recreate the AWE movie poster. Other promo images I have seen have probably 30 dreads but it varies once again!

Everything used in assembly:

The kuchi dangle [above] is sewn to one of the dreads so that it doesn't bounce all over the place and hit JD in the face!

Putting the dreads into the wig: [step by step tutorial]

The number of dreads varies from picture to picture. Promo shots of JD show a lot more dreads than the movie screengrabs. Probably because they were taken before filming during costume fitting. Also the movie posters from AWE shows numerous dreads because they were probably photoshopped into the wig. Remember the double kuchi dangle error on the movie posters of JD coming out of the mist???

My detachable ponytail method:

Completed pictures:

Charles was also extremely helpful in putting together the Wig Chart.


Wig Bandana Tutorial
Tutorial by Mojo from brethrencourt.net

The most important aspect of folding the bandanna is getting the "point" (as seen in the picture above) clearly showing and above your right eye.
Lay your bandanna out flat on a surface. I suggest ironing it first to allow for cleaner edges and folds. It will also make your bandanna look nice and proper when it's all finished as well.
This is your "V" point - it is the last corner before the inside of the bandanna. I place my finger here on the backside to "mark my fold" and then begin folding the edge back.
Fold both corners in to the middle so that they somewhat touch. It's not an exact science, but I try to make it as even as possible. Another good idea is to iron flat after each of the folding stages, this will continue to keep the nice consistency of the bandanna; nobody likes a wrinkled pirate.
Now bring the bottom side up on more time, but this is not a complete "half fold" only go up just enough to somewhat cover the tip.
Now fold the entire thing in half one more time. This is going to be the completed size of your bandanna. Make sure on this last fold that it is either perfectly even, or again, a little bit short so that when you view it from the front, the backside isn't "peeking out" underneath.
Again, notice where the "V" point is and when you position this on your forehead, make sure it is lining up with the center of your right eyebrow.
This is my bandanna ironed flat from the front, notice I have my "V" point clearly seen and nice and crisp
This is the backside of the bandanna after it was ironed, notice when I made my last fold, I didn't touch the ends completely, but left the backside to remain hidden when worn.
The best way to now add the Piece of Eight is to sew it in two (2) places. The first is at the top of the fold above the topmost gold "ball" bead. And the second place is right below the red spotted "ball." This placement keeps the top and bottom in place, but still allows the coin to dangle freely. Placing the piece of eight in the right place is also key. Even though the "V" on the bandanna goes above your eye - the piece of eight does not. If you notice in the pictures it actually hangs a little more over (as seen in the white arrows above). Make sure when you sew it down, to keep the bandanna taught so that the charm lays flat. The worst thing that can happen is once it is worn, the charm "loops" away from the bandanna and gives you a "tea cup handle" shape on your head.

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