How to make a copy of your hairline
Some wig commissions must fit perfectly, for example high updos or wigs with knotted and glues hairlines. The wig will be fitting as much as possible to your head and have the most realistism and comfort possible.
One way to copy your hairline is to create a see-through plastic-wrap and clear-tape tracing of your head. This tracing will be an exact copy of your head shape that you can work from.
To create this tracing, you will need:
skin/eye liner or similar easily removable and skin friendly materials
Some people substitute clear plastic bags for the plastic wrap. This is fine, as long as you can see through the bag and you do not let the bag slip over your face. Please also note: Thicker freezer bags or heavy duty clear packing tape will not make as fine a tracing as thinner plastic and thinner tape!
Get a second person to help you, if you can. It will make it a lot easier!
Here are the steps to follow.
Prepare your hair the way it will be worn under the wig. Cover it with a wig cap, making sure that the shape of your hairline is visible all the way around.
TIPP from bakka: Trace your hairline with the skin marker/paint to make your hairline more noticable, once the wrap and tape are applied on top. Decide beforehead if you with to include the fluff or if you will shave it off when wearing the finished wig (recommended!).
Tear off a piece of plastic wrap that is at least 24 inches long. Make sure that it does not stick to itself. (Life hack: Putting plastic wrap in the freezer beforehand makes it easier to roll it off!)
TIPP from bakka: Use a normal hair dryer to smoothen out the wrap foil, just be careful to not burn yoursefl!!
Smooth the plastic wrap over your forehead and down over your ears. Place a piece of the invisible tape across the forehead to secure the shape. Hold the wrap firmly in place while taping, because the tape can grab and shift the plastic around. The goal is to have at least 1 inch of plastic 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 didn’t “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 second, 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 your plastic wrap 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 long pieces of tape across the forehead until you get to the ears. Once you get to the ears, switch directions and start by placing tape vertically. Continue covering the plastic wrap with tape until the entire hairline and head is covered. Be careful - do not cover your face with plastic wrap and tape! Avoid accidentally getting tape directly on your hair or skin. Do not layer your pieces of tape too much - you want to be able to see through the tape to see your hairline underneath.
Once the head is firmly covered (you should not be able to slip in more than one finger into each side of the tracing) with plastic wrap and tape, it is time to copy the hairline. Use your 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 from bakka: The positioning of the ears is one of the most important informations needed 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. You may also wish to add the character name or show title.
Include any markings that will be useful later. You might be changing 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 you have finished marking, test to make sure the permanent marker is dry and sticking to the tape. Sometimes if you use an off brand of marker in combination with certain tapes you will need to put a layer of tape over the marker to make sure it doesn’t come off.
Sidenote: Until I have the time to create a video and detailed and illustrated video- and image tutorial,
please consult the instructions by Martha Ruskai, Allison Lowery in their incredible elaborate book.