How to make a copy of your hairline
A good fit is the very base of a reaclistic and comfortable wig. This is especially important for the high updos or wigs with knotted and glued hairlines.
We recommend a copy of your hairline and head shape by creating a see-through plastic-wrap and clear-tape tracing of your head. This tracing will be an accurate copy of your head shape and hairline needed to make a fitting hair piece.
The written tutorial
You will need:
plastic wrap (self-sticking)
invisible see-through tape in two different sizes
permanent markers in different colours
High percentage alcohol or acetone/nailpolish remover
Eyebrow pen, eyeliner, kayal, water colour
or similar easily removable and skin friendly paints
Some people substitute clear plastic bags for the plastic wrap which This is fine, as long as it is see-through and it doesn not slip over the nose and mouth! Please also note: Thicker freezer bags or heavy duty clear packing tape will not make as fine a tracing as thinner plastic and tape.
Get a second person to make this copy with you and have the best outcome possible.
Here are the steps to follow.
Prepare the hair the way it will be worn under the wig. Cover it with a wig cap, making sure that the hairline is visible all the way around and the hair is evenly spread.
- If the hair is too voluminous, it can be hidden in the nape of the clothing, anticipate this and tie the hair in the neck as tighly and low as possible.
- Trace the hairline with the skin paint. This makes its contour more noticable once the wrap and tape are applied on top. Decide beforehead if the fluff shall be included or shaved off when wearing the wig (recommended!).
Begin applying the wrap around the head while making sure that it does not stick to itself.
- Putting plastic wrap in the freezer beforehand makes it easier to roll it off.
- Keeping the wrap on the roll helps to tighten the wrap without it sticking to itself.
- Use a normal hair dryer to smoothen out the wrap foil, just be careful with the heat!
Helping hands are important on this step. Make sure the plastic wrap doesn't slip around when tightened. Smooth the plastic wrap over the forehead and down over the ears. Place invisible tape across the forehead to secure the shape, keeping it as flat and wrinkle-free as possible. Hold the wrap firmly in place while taping, because the tape can grab and shift the plastic around here as well. The goal is to have at least 2cm of coverage beyond the edge of the hairline all the way around the head.
Wrap the rest of the plastic wrap around the back of the head. Tuck it and smooth it so it fits the head snugly, with no lumps or wads. Use a couple of small pieces of tape to hold the shape in place. Double-check that the plastic wrap did not "shrink" up and expose any hair.
- If there is still a section of hair or wig cap not covered with the plastic wrap, tear off a smaller piece of plastic wrap and use it to cover the rest of the hair. Smooth it and tuck it to blend in with the first piece of plastic wrap. Make sure covers all of the hairline around the head - check in front of the ears, at the sideburns and at the nape of the neck.
Continue placing tape across the forehead. Once you get to the ears, switch directions and start placing tape vertically, always strictly avoiding wrinkles shifting. Continue covering the plastic wrap with tape until the entire hairline and head is covered. Be careful - do not cover the face with plastic wrap and tape! Avoid accidentally getting tape directly on the hair or skin. Do not layer the pieces of tape too much - you want to be able to see through the tape to see the hairline underneath.
Once the head is firmly covered (not more than one finger should be able to slip into each side of the tracing) with plastic wrap and tape, it is time to copy the hairline. Use a permanent marker (do not start with a black marker- use a lighter colored marker such as red or orange) to start marking the hairline. Mark the hairline with a series of marks that mimic the directions and density of hair growth. Make sure to mark the location of the ears.
TIPP: The positioning of the ears is one of the most important informations need to make the wig fit well!
Check the measurement images to see what we mean.
Add your name and the date of the tracing to the center of the plastic, as well as the commission's description like the character name.
Include any markings that will be useful for your commission, for example: We might change the hairline and making a wig that will have a lower hairline, or a thinning balding wig that will go over in a bald cap. You might want to mark where a side part will go, or where grey streaks or balding areas should start. Perhaps you need unusual color patterns in your wig. Mark anything you want on top of the plastic that will help later. Be consistent, i.e. use a red marker for the “real” hairline and a green one for notes about different hairline locations, parts, bald spots etc. Save darker colours for later.
When all markigs are done, make sure the permanent marker is dry and also permanently staying onto the tape! To be sure that it doesn’t come off, apply one last thin layer of transparent (!) tape.
Info: Until I have the time to create our own detailed video tutorial, please consult these instructions by Martha Ruskai, Allison Lowery in their incredible elaborate book.