ball-jointed dolls & accessories

Making Loki's long wavy wig


Finally I found a time for a long overdue task and made a longer wig for my Loki.


The process is mostly based on my Making anatomical wig with defined hair line and custom wefts on glue tutorial, though a certain things were done a bit differently, so I want to share this process with you.


Please see the video on Youtube that will help you to understand the details better.



I was using polyurethane based glue previously, and it's based on a very stinky acetone based solvent, so I wanted to find a decent substitute. Silicone based scrapbooking glue is a perfect match for my wigmaking techniques.


Saran hair was used for this wig, as I wanted the hair to be slicky, heavy and anti-tangling. Saran is the only fiber that has all of those qualities, and it's truly unique. I purchased mine here: Dollyhair.com, and I used two 38" "hanks" for this wig. Unfortunately disclaimer says it's temporarily unavailable, but there are another sources of Saran hair on the net. The whole amount of hair used is about 70 grams, just for the reference sake.


HINT: Also I'd like to mention that Saran usually comes waxed, for an easy rooting, but mine was clean, unlike other batches I purchased on the same site. Waxed Saran has to be cleaned with any human shampoo after the wig is ready.


Here are my tools from Making short male wig with hair standing up post, and a good half of it was used for Loki's wig as well, but not all of them.



I almost never used #1, as it became too blunt and didn't work on Saran fibers as nicely as on heat resistant kanekalon, and #5 was also not an option, because it would melt Saran (I'll tell you about the curling part later).


So, I made the cap like in Making anatomical wig with defined hair line and custom wefts on glue tutorial, and added a thread to its perimeter. This time I decided to add wire to the sides (spoiler: it didn't help much, because the cap was stiff enough already).


This is a copper wire, the same like I used in Wiring jointed hands tutorial, about 0.6 mm thick. I bent it along the edges of a wig and did loops on the sides so it won't have any sharp edges.

Then I hammered it to make it more flat. Also hammering gives wire an extra strength.



I sewed the wire to the cap. I tried to use glue first, but it was hard to keep the wire in place until it's completely dry. 



It's time to prepare the hair.
I wanted a certain kind of weave:



As you can see, the weave is slight, and there are more curls on the edges.


I had to experiment, and that's what I came up with:
- twist the locks,
- roll it onto a rod,

so you'll get two levels of weave on the same hair. 


I had this metallic rod, and I kept the locks in place with hair clips - see #7 tool above.



Melting temperature of Saran is pretty low comparing to other artificial fibers, and the most suitable way to perm it is boiling water. I just poured boiling water out of a kettle over the locks for a few seconds. Then I put the rod under cold water for another few seconds, removed the excess water with a towel and left locks to dry overnight.


Next morning:



Time to make wefts! Please see Making anatomical wig with defined hair line and custom wefts on glue tutorial for details. 

Found a great tool for peeling the wefts off the glass base, it's a wood cutting knife:



The weft is cut at the edges and is ready to be glued to the head. You can see the volume of hair I'm adding. I try not to make very puffy wigs but rather aim for a more natural look. It will be inevitably thicker than human hair, anyway.



The following part is covered in the tutorial only schematically, so there are some photos:



I add wefts starting from the very back and proceeding to the front.


The hair locks on the sides should be shorter than on the back, so I made a different wefts and added a shorter wefts to the sides, and a longer ones will follow along the red lines:



Also there is much more space in the middle of the wig, so I added extra wefts to the middle:



There is no "all purpose scheme" for all wigs: you have to analyze a certain hair style and decide by yourself where to add more, how to place the wefts, etc.


Adding more and more wefts, trying to follow the curves of the front line:



This part needs an extra weft:



The front part should have a certain volume to it' so I decided to place a few front rows in another direction, i.e. looking to the front.


Covering the wires with wefts so they're not visible:



Hint: you most likely noticed an ugly white residue: it happens when you touch the glue that just starts to dry. Silicone glue that I use have an amazing quality: apply a drop of a liquid glue over the whitish spot and smear it carefully. Fresh glue melts the dried glue and dries clear.


The wig needs another weft applied to the front, and looking to the front, so it would create a nice volume.



Drying the front line so it would stay close to the head. See hint above: liquid glue melts not only white spots but the whole wig cap underneath (except for the tulle), so you'd better be sure your wefts dried out in a right shape.



I also want to be sure that the sides are close to the head:



That's how the front looks with the hair pulled to the back.



I decided that the weft base of 3rd row is still visible through 1st and 2nd rows, so I decided to add another row of the wefts here. But my glued wefts have 5 mm base, and it's too wide!


The solution is simple: wefts on a thread. I studied several weft making techniques for human wigs and decided not to follow them but to use a very simple knots instead:



Yes, it takes much more time to make such weft, but you don't have to make a whole wig like that.


I needed a volume only on the top but not on the sides, where the hair tends to fall down and reveals the weft strip.
Marking the middle line and the sides to place the weft symmetrically:



A strip of glue holds it in place nicely, and the result is great as well:



I wanted even more volume at the very middle, so made another weft on knots and glued it just in front of the previous one:



The edge of the wig cap is still visible, so adding another weft from the inside:



The look I aimed for:



I won't show you the cutting part, as it's very hard to explain in photos.

First: you just cut the edges here and there, until the locks are of the same size, more or less.

Second: you take a lock and cut hair by hair, starting from the roots and proceeding towards the tips, so it would have more volume at the roots and be much thinner at the tips. Humans already have such hair, because old hairs fall off and a new one grow out. And we need to create the same effect for dolls. Please look at this video, but the same stuff can be done with a blade comb (see #1 in tools) or a plain scissors (I used manicure scissors #4 because they easily reach any spot at the roots). 


So, it was a time for curling experiments. I couldn't use hair curlers or straighteners, as all of them melted Saran, and I obviously couldn't use boiling water, as it would ruin the wave I created previously.


But my iron is great at producing the same amount of heat. So I wet a lock as it helped to keep the stray hairs in a bundle, curled it and covered with a cotton cloth, because otherwise, if I press too much, the hair becomes flat, lol. Then I pressed the iron over the lock and held it for ~10 seconds. Used ** (wool) setting. 


You can see this process in the video, and here are the photos.

Test lock:





After combing:



And I did it, lock by lock, redoing some locks a few times until I got this:



I pressed the sides with an iron, covering the hair with cotton cloth, so the wig is more flat on the temples and more puffy at the top.



Here are some more references that also show individual twisted locks:


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