ball-jointed dolls & accessories

Making "lace" realistic wig for BJD


Before starting reading this tutorial please look at my previous wig tutorial "Making anatomical wig with defined hair line and custom wefts on glue" because there are some things already explained.


This one is even more labour intensive, but the outcome is worth it.

You've probably seen those gorgeous lace wigs that mimic a natural hair growth and allow to create almost any hairstyles. As I was planning a lady that would wear historical clothing from different times I wanted a multipurpose wig.


Human lace wigs are made on tulle fabric, and their front line is covered with makeup. There are wigs for BJDs that are made by this technology, but the knots are too visible to my taste, especially if the hair is dark. More, it's hard to make a nicely fitting stretchy wig with a curved front line. Usually anatomical dollie wigs are made on the hard wigcaps.


Another technology is rooting when a thin patches of hair are stuck inside vinyl (Reborn dolls) or silicone (OOAK author's dolls). It looks very natural, but just try to untangle a really long hair - and all hairs will pop out of the doll's head!

After some research and thinking I came out with this hybrid method based on my previous methods.



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 waterproof glue, 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.





Please refer to my previous wig tutorial "Making anatomical wig with defined hair line and custom wefts on glue" where the technology of making the wig cap is described.

You need to make a wig cap but cut out the edges with about 7-10 mm allowance! That's because even the thin hair layer from inside makes a wig cap a bit smaller.






Call this process whatever you like))


1. Cut out the fibers so its length is about 120-150% of the desired wig length. I'll explain later why.


2. Take your good thin beading needle and pick 3 hairs from your hair patch.

YES 3 HAIRS ONLY. I decided to make my wig from a two similar fiber colors for the ultimate realism so I had to pick one hair of one color and two hairs of another color, and vice versa.

Of course, you may pick 5-6 hairs but a thicker patches look not so realistic.


3. Pull your 3 hairs through the needle for about 1 cm - just enough to pull them through the wig cap. 

I work with Saran fibers only, they restore their structure eventually, but other kinds of fibers may take additional care on making them straight back.


4. Gently pierce the wig cap with your needle, pull the patch through the wig cap from the outside to the reverse side, then pierce the wig cap in 1 mm from the previous puncture and pull the patch on the front side.

How much of a length to pull through the wig cap? As my aim was the ultimate realism I left about of 2/3 - 4/5 of the patch on the one side and pulled a rest of 1/3 - 1/5 to the outside. So I had a good volume of the hair near the head surface, and less hair at the ends of the hair.



I recommend to start from the top of the wig and move to the edges. 


Place your punctures chaotically, without any system, trying to keep the distance between the punches about 1 mm.

After some area (1-2 square cm) is rooted apply a good layer of the glue, fixing the patches. If they are soaked properly it's hard to tear out even the tangled hair from the wig.


That's how the wig looks from inside. Please note that the front area is rooted heavier than the rest of the wig, with the distance between the punches of 0,5 mm.



Weeks later...

When about 1 cm has left to the edges it's time to fit our wig cap to the head. It's done the same way as in my previous tutorial.


Correct the hairline. You'll most likely see that it moved a bit back, that's because a thin layer of the hair and glue still added some thickness to the wig. 



Cut out the fabric by the new hairline.

Fit the edges as in my previous tutorial, with a needle and a thread.

Then root the rest, as close to the edge, as possible.



Make a band of wefts as described in my previous tutorial and glue it to the front wig edge from the inside.

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.



The wig is ready!

That's how the parting looks. No knots, hair literally grows out of the wig cap. 

As the wig cap is made of the beige tulle fabric it's very close to the doll's skin color.



The sides look very realistic too:



Ta-da, the hairdos:


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