How to Make Medusa Hair for Halloween

By Erin Black
With snakes for hair, the Medusa can make for a showstopping Halloween costume.

In Greek mythology, Medusa was a beautiful girl who lived in a northern area where the sun didn’t shine. Desperate to see the sun, she asked Athena’s permission, but when Athena refused, Medusa accused Athena of being jealous of her beauty. To teach Medusa a lesson, Athena turned her into a hideous monster with snakes for hair. Any man who gazed into her eyes was turned to stone. Medusa’s defining characteristic is her slithering snake hair. If you are dressing up as Medusa for Halloween, make your own wig to take your costume over the top.

Place the mannequin head on a table in front of you. Put the wig on the mannequin head.

Part the hair with the comb down the middle from the front to the crown of the wig, creating a left and right side. Part the hair from one ear to the other across the crown to make a back section. You should have three distinct sections: left, right and back.

Separate out five sections of hair, about 1/2-inch in diameter, from the left side of the wig using the comb. Hold each section in place with the elastic bands. The pieces should be random in placement to give the finished wig a wild appearance.

Take the elastic out of one section of hair and add a pipe cleaner to it. Braid the hair and the pipe cleaner together all the way to the end of the length of hair and secure it with the elastic band. Trim off any pipe cleaner that sticks out past the end of the braid. Repeat the process for the remaining four sections of hair on the left side.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the right side of the wig.

Repeat Steps 3 and 4 for the back of the wig, but separate out 10 locks of hair, each 1/2-inch in diameter, instead of five.

Attach the snakes to the wig by wrapping the braids around them, one snake per braid. The snakes should sit randomly throughout the wig. Some should sit at the top of the head and “slither” out the front, some should sit at the crown and some should hang down the sides and back.

Bend and manipulate the remaining 20 braids so they mimic the body of a snake and create a wild look.

Put the wig on the wearer's head. Adjust the snakes and braids until you are happy with the result.


Store the wig on the mannequin head to keep the pipe-cleaner braids from getting crushed and misshapen.

Adjust the number of braids and snakes to your taste.


Don’t add too many snakes to the wig, because it can become very heavy and may strain your neck.