Making anatomical wig with defined hair line and custom wefts on glue

 

This kind of wig is pretty hard to buy as it's labour intensive. I created this tutorial in 2012, when the only option was to make the wig by yourself. Now a dozen of BJD artists do this kind of commission, but such wigs cost accordingly.

 

 

If you need a short male wig of a certain design you either have to make it by yourself or to try to find the artist to do the job.

 

There are several approaches in making such wigs. Usually people make a stiff head cap and glue the hair bunch by bunch to it. It's easier and takes less time but suits more for a very short wigs. When the hair is more long there is a risk that the layer of hair would be too thick in the end. I just can't spread hair directly on the head evenly enough for my tastes.

 

Sometimes people make rooted and laced wigs but this is a very time consuming method and it needs a lot of patience.

The method I describe is somewhere in between.

 

MATERIALS:

1. Good quality fiber. It can be saran, nylon, thin kanekalon, etc., even natural mohair. My advice is to use heat-resistant fibers as they allow to style your wig with hot water, curling iron, etc.

 

2. Material for wig cap. I use thin tulle fabric but you may use any material that is thin enough and holds its shape.

 

3. Transparent polyurethane-based glue or similar, I use silicone based scrapbooking glue by a local brand. My advice is to try available glues and find out what's best for you. The glue has to be transparent and a bit elastic after drying.

There are also some Uhu glues that have a similar quality, like Uhu The All Purpose Adhesive. Gorilla Glue is also great.
These glues are all water-resistant (unlike PVA or Elmer's) so you can wash your wig many times. Also their elasticity helps you to lay the wefts smoothly on the wig cap, and they also fit the doll head better.

 

4. A tool for spreading the hair wile gluing it on. It can be just any metal or plastic piece that has smooth edges and can be cleaned of glue easily. I use a dental tool #1 that looks like a tiny hockey stick - it's a multipurpose tool, very handy, I also use it for sculpting.

 

 

5. Hair comb, scissors.

 

6. A needle and a thread.

 

7. Food cling wrap.

 

8. Pencil or chalk for marking the lines.

 

 

PART 1. MAKING WEFTS

 

1. Cut out a thin stripe of tulle fabric (5-7 mm wide) and lay it on a sheet of paper. Usual office paper works great for me. Or if you have a piece of glass it's even better.

 

2. Apply some glue on the piece of tulle, try to cover a small area (1.5-2 cm) otherwise the glue would dry out too fast. Take a bunch of hair and lay it perpendicularly over the tulle. Spread it evenly with your tool. Work in portions until all the length of tulle is covered with hair. 

 

My wefts are usually about 35-40 cm long but it's up to you.

 

3. Apply a good amount of glue over the tulle second time so every hair above it is covered with glue. 

The wefts of such kind are VERY strong, you can comb and wash your wig as many times as needed, and it will last for years.

You can make thinner or thicker wefts depending on your needs. I usually make a thin wefts for the back of the head area and thicker wefts for the top of the head, parting line, etc.

Also the wefts could be one-sided (black ones on the photo) and two-sided (silver ones).

 

 

4. Let the glue dry for some time so it doesn't stick to your hands when touched, and carefully tear the tulle off the base (paper, plastic or glass).

If a piece of paper is stuck to the tulle carefully remove it with water or nail polish remover.

 

5. If you have one-side wefts cut out the top edge.

 

 

 If you have two-side wefts fold them in half so all the hair hangs down.  

 

 

 

PART 2. MAKING THE HEAD CAP

 

Wrap your doll's head with a food cling wrap. 

 

Cut a piece of tulle and glue it on the head. If the piece is stretchy it's easier to spread it evenly, otherwise cut the edges so they overlap.

 

 

Cover the entire head with tulle in one layer, similar to the method how paper-mache is done. Please leave no gaps.

 

 

Cover the head with the second layer of tulle. I prefer to cover it the way edges of the pieces of the first layer go under the middle of the pieces of the second layer. It gives a smoother surface and holds the whole cap together much better.

 

Three layers of tulle is enough for me. Number of layers may vary depending on your material.

 

 

Draw the desired contours of the front line. Check for symmetry! 

 

 

Remove the cap together with the food wrap, then peel off the food wrap, it should be easy.  

If I'm not sure about the correctness of my front line I leave about 5 mm of allowance, try it on the head and correct mistakes if any.

As you may see the edges don't fit close enough to the head, especially the areas around the ears (I'm afraid it's unavoidable because of the food wrap) so we need to correct this too.

 

 

Make a stitch near the edge of the cap and pull the thread gently for the good fit. 

 

 

 

PART 3. GLUING THE WEFTS TO THE WIG

 

 

Mark the lines with pencil, chalk or water-soluble sewing marker. Start gluing the wefts to the cap from the bottom.

The space between the wefts depends on the style and the thickness of them: the thicker wefts are - the more space you may leave between them. I usually have 7-10 mm between my wefts.

 

 

For temples/whiskers I glued a bunches of hair to the temples and cut them to my likeness.

 

 

Glue the rest of the wefts to the top of the head. Front wefts should be the thickest ones. 

Cut out the excess tulle from the front so the edges of the wefts and of the cap would match.

 

 

Glue the bunches of hair from the inside of the cap as shown with a blue color. The amount of hair should be enough to cover the front entirely, no gaps.

 

 

Comb the hair back, take your curling iron or whatever you use to style your hair and press it on the edge bunch by bunch so the hair stays in this position.

 

Please avoid over-heating the hair: synthetic one could melt, and the natural one could burn. Also please try not to burn your hands in the process!

 

Hint: let the hair cool off completely after hot iron was applied, it helps hair to "remember" the shape.

 

 

The side edges also could be decorated similar to the temples, it gives a nice realistic touch. 

Glue a piece of weft from the inside and cut it to your liking.

 

 

Style the hair as you like, cut the edges, etc. I'm not a hairdresser so if you want some hints on this try to search for the videos on Youtube.

 

 

I also highly recommend to read these two articles: Making Loki's long wavy wig and Making short male wig with hair standing up, where more things done in this tutorial are explained.

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