Wig Craft Tutorials
Tips and tricks from my wig book!
Advanced Tutorial - Parting for Ponytails

This is an advanced tutorial.

This means that special tools and materials are required to use this method. The tools and materials you will need are:

  • A medium length wig
  • A wig form
  • 2 packs of "Silky", or 1 pack of "Yaki" loose hair extensions
  • Adhesive Caulk
  • Some fabric matching the color of your wig
  • Tweezers
  • A yarn needle
  • A heat sealer
  • Pliers
  • Very sharp detail scissors
Although most of the tools can be found around the house, a heat sealer (also known as a "braid sealer"...) is only available for purchase from select beauty supply stores. Or you can get one in the Wig Supplies Store.

If you have never used a heat sealer before, I recommend you practice with an extra pack of extensions before trying this tutorial. Also, this is not a child's activity, even under parent supervision. Hot metal and melted plastic can cause some very nasty burns, even to people who work with the tools all the time.

Once you've assembled the above checklist, and have got the hang of using the sealer, then proceed to step one...

Step 1: Pin the wig to a wigform.
Stretch the wig onto the wig form and pin it at two-inch intervals all along the edge of the meshing. You can put in more if you like, but this is the bare minimum.

In the example, we are using a Cleo style wig from Amphigory, which is easily long enough to be pulled into ponytails. I placed the wigform on a wig clamp to keep it stable.

Step 2: Make temporary ponytails.
You can always tell right away someone who has worked with a wig before, and someone who hasn't. The people who haven't don't realize why I made this tutorial in the first place, so here's a nice picture for them... Not very pretty back there, is it?

The ponytails you make at this stage don't need to be perfect. We're just trying to get the fiber separated, and expose the center band of the mesh.

Once you have both ponytails tied, turn the wig inside out.

Step 3: Thread the needle.
I hope you like embroidery, because you're going to have to thread little 1/4 inch portions of the extensions through that needle probably around 70 times. The trick I use is to just get one end wet, snip it off with the scissors, and then flatten it with my fingers to put it through the eye of the needle.

You should pull the extension piece through to its halfway point. Since standard loose extensions are 48 inches long, this means you'll have 24 inches of fiber hanging on either side of the needle.

Step 4: Start stitching.
Hold the inside-out wig in one hand, and the needle in the other. Starting where the middle band meets the "scalp" of the wig, poke the needle through the middle band. Pull until about 1 inch of extension begins to come through. You might need to use the pliers to pull the needle, as sometimes this can be a rather tight fit.

Step 5: Cut the loop.
Once you've pulled the extension about an inch through the band, cut the loop to free the needle. You will then have two 1 inch pieces of extension.

Step 6: Seal the ends.
Hold the two ends together with your fingers, and use the heat sealer to slag them into one. Try to do this without pulling too much on the extensions, or you're going to end up with a lumpy wig. Use the tweezers to clear the slag off the sealer after each use.

Repeat steps 4 through 6 until you reach the bottom edge of the wig.

Step 7: Put the wig back onto the form, inside-out.
Pull the ponytail holders out and put the wig back on the wig form, inside-out. All the little extension ends will resemble a mohawk down the center of the wig, and none of the wig fiber itself should be poking through the mesh.

Once you get it all stretched and smoothed down, pin the wig in place with several pins along the outside edges of the meshing.

Step 8: Add a cover.
Adding a cover not only helps keep the extensions stable, but it also guards your head against getting poked by the sharp melted plastic left over from heat sealing. Any kind of fabric will work. In the example, I'm just using a piece of poly/cotton remnant because it was the only blue I had.

To check the size, just pin the cover in place at the bottom edge of the wig, and pull it up and over the extensions. It should overlap at least an inch on either side, and an inch on top.

Once you've trimmed the cover to fit, blob a thick line of caulk all the way down the center.

Step 9: Mash the cover into place.
Pull the cover up and over the top, and pin it in place. Then begin gently mashing the caulk into the extensions. Be careful not to mash too hard, or it will spread into the wig. (And that's bad.)

Depending on how close you were able to get your extension ends to the center band in steps 4-6, the cover may not seem to go very flat. This is perfectly ok. When the wig is turned right-side out and styled, it will be barely noticable.

Allow the caulk to dry for at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Step 10: Trim the cover.
Scalloping the edges of the cover makes it more flexible when you turn the wig right-side out. (And more comfy to wear!)

Step 11: Turn the wig right-side out and blowdry.
Once the caulk is dry, you may turn the wig right-side out again. The extensions will probably be sticking out at odd angles at first, but this can be fixed with a low-powered blowdryer and some patience. Gently part and hold the fiber the way you'd like it, while using the blow dryer to warm it up a bit. This takes some practice, but as you can see, the results are very good. ^_^

VERY IMPORTANT: Do NOT brush the extensions before they are back in ponytails. While they shouldn't fall out under normal wear, and will easily be able to withstand the stress of being pulled into ponytails, combing or brushing them while they're still loose has a very good chance of yanking bits out. This is because the pulling power of a brush is much more focused on individual fibers.

If you are looking for styling tips, try asking the helpful folks in the Forums!
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