Saturday, 18 May 2013

Quick Wig Making Tip: Taking Old Wigs and Hair Pieces Apart

People are often really surprised by the amount of random things I know about wigs and hair pieces; sometimes I even surprise myself! It's taken me a long time and quite a lot of work to amass this knowledge. Much of it has come because I have spent so much time wearing supplemental hair, and when you wear it, you want to perfect it, so the search for the best and the most realistic cosmetic hair solution starts and never seems to end. Sometimes people ask me how they can go about learning all the little bits and bobs of knowledge that some of us wig makers and wearers take forgranted. Here's a quick tip...

If you are seeking to learn more, one of the best ways you can build up a good level of knowledge is by taking apart old wigs and hair pieces. In my opinion, as a wig maker it is really important to understand how wigs and hair pieces work - i.e. what makes them look a certain way, what makes cetain construction methods (types of wigs and hair pieces) work or not for different needs/uses/situations and so on. By taking apart ones that have already been made, not only do you learn how they are constructed, but you can also keep some of the 'spare parts' for later use when experimenting or making your own. For example, wig springs, combs, clips and even adjustable straps can be re-used when learning.

Stitch Unpicker
A Stitch Unpicker - This can be really useful when taking apart
old wigs and hair pieces.
You might be wondering how to get your hands on some wigs and hair pieces for the purpose of taking them apart. If you have friends who wear them, then ask them for their old ones they might throw away so that you can experiment. If you don't have any old ones and no kind friends to donate them, then try buying some old 'beaters' (well used full lace and lace front wigs that would overwise be hitting the bin/trash can) or second hand wigs and hair pieces on ebay. You can sometimes find old wigs for sale on Remember, don't pay too much! 

A good way to get the most out of this learning experience is to use a camera to document the process. Take pictures of the inside of the foundation (cap)/base and then as you remove sections or unpick parts, take pictures of that too. It can also be helpful to make notes and drawings to refer back to later. It's easy to quickly forget what you are seeing/learning. I like to create a wig making notebook and folder in which to keep all my notes, pictures and other resources that I have amassed. It also is quite a boost to eventually look back at how much you have learnt.

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