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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Fake Buzz Cut Hair, Faux Fur Dying, Taming Clip on Ponytails, and Mohawk - Wig Tutorial

Venus McFlytrap from Monster High. The photo was taken by Convoke Photography.
This character has really long and super full hair which is completely unmanageable in real life! She also has a buzz cut as well to make for a unique challenge. 

What you will need for the wig!
Detangler spray (silicone)
Gator hair clips (at least 24 of them)
Hair Sheers
Hair Razor/ Feathering Razor
Hairspray (Got2B Glued brand for hold)
Aleene's Tacky Glue
A straightening iron (for flyaway's)
Toupee Clips
T-pins or ball pins
Wig head
Plastic Wrap
Duct or Hockey Tape (a woven tape)
Alcohol based markers (Sharpie, Tria, Prismacolor, Copic, etc.)
70% Rubbing Alcohol
Electric hair shaver
Disposable spray bottle


Wig Materials
Faux Fur • You want to get one with a short and dense base nap in this case. I got my fur from Fabric.com in the Faux Fur Luxury Shag style because it has more hair than nap (fuzzy filler later at the base) to get the texture I need for this Buzz cut. If you can find a short pile fur, all the better, though!

It also helps to buy fur in a close to the shade of your wig for dyeing purposes. If you're lucky enough get a colour match to your wig even better but I'm cover here how to dye Faux Fur as well so that your fur will match.

I used Light Green (004) wefts • In my case harvested from a long ponytail but for the hairline would have I prefer packed weft one there own to avoid any layers of hair/flyaways. The shade wasn't and option at the time. ;)

and a Raspberry (AR013) Le Tigre wig. In hindsight, I should have also ordered a pack of Raspberry wefts as well to hide the teased to death bang area of the wig you can see peeking out behind the green streaks. 

You can purchase your supplied from Ard Wigs (with international options) or Arda Wigs Canada.

Step 1:
TRACE your head/hairline pattern!

You will need to know what your exact head dimensions are and this is the best way. I do this by wrapping my head (with my hair slicked down) in plastic wrap then using tape (duct or hockey tape) cover the plastic wrap in small stripes to cover you hairline area.

Wrap head in plastic wrap
Apply tape in small sections to cover head


Draw on the tape in permanent marker where your hairline is, then remove and trim the excess tape/wrap to get you exact hairline template.

Cut hair line and the curve behind your ear.


Draw on your hairline template onto a closest match wig head you have to your head size. 
This is a duct tape head I made but it's a touch large then a male wig head. I trace in permanent marker but if you have a canvas/fabric wig head use chalk to trace.

Once that's done also mark the area where the Fake Buzz Cut will be on the wig. In this case, I made a dashed line on the duct tape wig head for this section.

Dashed line for Buzz section and Solid lines for my own hairline.



Step 2:
Make your Fake Buzz Cut pattern. First wrap your wig head in plastic wrap.


Then wrap the area you want to make the fur buzz cut with plastic wrap and tape to match your template shape.


Again trim any accesses.


Then trace your template onto paper to figure out where you need to add seams first.





Step 3:
Cut and Sew your Buzz pattern. Brush out the fur to make sure it's smooth.


Trace and cut your pattern on the reverse side of the wig with the top of your paper template facing down, leave a seam allowance as you cut.

Also, map out the grain of your part. It's nice to have the fur direction tp lay from the front the hairline to the back of the head.




Now you sew your internal seams together to make curved pieces. I was checking with my original pattern to see if the size matched.



Pin to a wig head to see the fit and to work with it further.




At this stage, you will want to comb the top of the seams to pull out any trapped or folded over hairs with a fine tooth comb. You need these to be pulled out so the hair will have no visible seams when you're done.

Step 4:
Mix your Fur dye. Because the Raspberry shade is unique I started with a neon pink fur and dyed over it with a magenta to get the closest match to the wig fibres. You can test on the fur itself first to see if you like the shade by hand.

In this case, because I'm not doing a large section I got a bottle or 250ml 70% Rubbing Alcohol and two markers to make my dye. 


Start by removing the marker's head. I used pliers here. I found the fat end easier to remove.

Remove the inkwell from the marker body and marker tips.

Split the side of the inkwell with a blade on both sides.

Drop the ink into the bottle and shake.


I like to do this in advance of dying so the it soaks for 24 hours first to get as much ink out of the wells.

Step 5:
Shave your Fake Buzz Cut. Pin your buzz section to a wig head (if you haven't already).




Do some test runs on scraps of the fur first with your shaver to get comfortable with it. You want a good shaver. The cheap one I bought doesn't like faux fur so I borrowed my Dad's which is higher end blades.


Start by taking of the first 1/2" of tip fluff.  You want to shave down in the layers rather than one go to judge the level of hair you have.


Take off another 1/2" of hair


Take off the last layer of hair to the Nap of the Fur and try to keep the nap even.


Give if a good brushing to remove and loose clippings.


Step 6:
Dye your Fur! Transfer your dye to a small spray bottle. You want one the created an even mist.



Start to spray your fur in small sections.



At this point, I was checking for colour saturation on the wet fur.


Comb your fur and spray the roots of the nap. Even with coming as you spray the top of the nap it too fluffy to get into the roots the first go leaving the root bare of dye.

Leave your fur to air dry., once you have done a full pass.


Once dry your fur will look light then it was wet.




Step 7:
The rest of the wig. You want to pretreat this long wig in silicone to prevent tangling. I just take small sections then spray and brush as I go.




Step 8:
You want to pretreat your wefts in silicone to prevent tangling.

I found it easier to cut up my ponytail into a smaller section than to try and brush it out altogether.

You can also start at the base on the ponytail and pin the rest of the hair up. Taking down a layer as you go.


Pining the sections to a wig head also helps.

Once done I bundled them up for later.

Step 9:
Sewing your buzz and wig together.

I lost my transition photo in this section but basically, I pinned my buzz section down first then marked wig pins here where the part should be.

Then I place and pined the wig over the wig head and buzz section. Then trim the section out I didn't need on the side and save it for later.



At this point, I removed the crown wefts with a seam ripper.




Step 10:
Making the bump.

I use foam in this case shaping it to my crown shape for the hair section and painted it to match the magenta shade.

(I recommend using Insulation foam over upholstery I used as upholstery foam if heavier. >_< )



I then Hot Glued down the skin part from the original wig to the under the lip.

TA this point I style the hair over the foam with hairspray to hold it shape.



Step 11:
Cleaning up the part edge.

I have a some loose weft from cutting out the wig so it starts by sewing those down and the elastic band into the faux fur section.





Step 12:
Add your bump!

I hot glue down the foam to the crown of the wig. I also hot glued the end of the hair in place (it will be covered in more hair later one).


The started to back fill the bald section with wefts from the rest of the wig.



Step 13:
Styling the hair back.

You can use Hairspray and Aleene's Tacky Glue at this point to pull back and cover the bump.





I did a bit of cross-crossing to get everything covered in the back.


Let this work dry for 24 hours before starting the next section.



Step 14:
Cleaning up your part.

You will need to add more wefts to clean up the part and front hair line on this wig. I sewed my wefts in. Then again style this hair with hairspray and tacky glue.






Let this work dry for 24 hours before starting the next section.


Step 15:
Adding your green highlights/layer.

I start by rolling the mesh in and sewing it together to form a section of wefts.





The sewing this in backwards and under the front hairline from the ear flap to the buzz part.



Now add you side part green section from the front all the way to the back of the side part.

Once you don it should look like this




Step 16:
Style your green hair.

At this point, I'm only using hairspray to hold the green in part. I did however after the hairspray was dry use some tacky glue to the underside of each green stripes to glue it down in place.

This is also where you need to trim off any flyaway. (If you use clean wefts tracks from a pack of wefts. There should be no short hairs to deal with).

Also, if you have any wig mesh showing you want to recolour that exposed sections with a permanent marker by hand.




The last step is the feather and layer you finish wig at the bottom. This will help it from tangling as well.

Step 17:
Final step.
You want to wear the wig and cut the fur to match your hairline from the front all the way to the back of the neck. Give yourself about 1/2" lip to glue down to your forehead and neck. Faux Fur has a bit of stretch so this is important.

I put down plastic wrap again onto the wig head to form a barrier between the wig and wig head.

Once that is done seal the underside lip of you buzz section with silicone to make a smooth surface,




I use Spirit Gum or Pros-Aide to apply the edge of the buzz while wearing the wig.


Your Finished:

I hope this help people trying to make Faux Hawks and buzz sections on wigs.


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