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Wig Making and Styling

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Wig-Making Terms, Tools, and Techniques

Glossary of Wig and Hair Terms

Wig-Making Tool Kit

Wig Styling Tool Kit

Hairpins and Clips


A Well-Equipped Wig Area

Handling a Wig

Blocking a Wig

Blocking Hard-Front Wigs

Blocking Lace-Front Wigs

Basic Hand Sewing Stitches Chapter 2: Wig Application and Removal Hair Prep Long Hair Nylon Wig Caps vs Fishnet Wig Caps Short Hair Prepping for Film How to Hold and Put on a Lace-Front Wig Applying Hard-Front Wigs and Falls Removing Wigs After a Performance A Word About Quick Changes and Tap Dancing Chapter 3: Care and Maintenance of Wigs Cleaning Wig Laces Cleaning Facial Hair Touching up a Wig Washing Wigs A Note About Hair Washing Products Washing the Wig off the Block Washing the Wig on the Block Storing Your Wigs Storage Systems Chapter 4: Wig-Making Basics: Learning to Ventilate Ventilating Needles and Holders Loading Your Needle Wig-Making Laces and Nets Fronting Laces Back/Foundation Laces Stretch Laces Other Wig-Making Materials The Direction and Stretch of the Lace Types of Hair Basic Wig-Knotting/Ventilating Technique Double Knotting Ventilating Positions Hair Density and Ventilating Patterns Ventilating Direction Untying Knots Color Blending Sewing with Invisible Thread Hair Punching Chapter 5: Taking Accurate Measurements Proper Head Measurements Transferring Head Measurements to a Block Plastic-Wrap Head Tracings Padding Out a Block with a Plastic Tracing Chapter 6: Facial Hair Creating the Pattern for the Facial Hair Piece Tracing method, free hand method, & stock paper patterns Adding Texture to the Hair Individual Hairpiece Characteristics Eyebrows Mustaches Sideburns Beards and Goatees Cutting and Styling the Facial Hair Applying the Facial Hair Removing the Facial Hair Direct Application Techniques Hair Laid On Facial Hair Floating Beards Historical Timeline of Facial Hair Styles Gallery of Natural Facial Hair Chapter 7: Working with and Adapting Commercial Wigs and Weft Cleaning Old Wigs Bringing Back the Shine of an Old Wig Dulling the Shine of a New Synthetic Wig Removing Weft Thinning a Wig with Thinning Shears Sewing Weft to the Underside of a Wig Adding Weft to Wigs Sewing Weft to a Pre-Made Foundation Piecing Together Wigs Full Bottom Wig Piecing Together Wigs to Increase Size Styling Tricks to Conceal the Front Edge of a Wig Using the Performer's Own Hair to Conceal the Front Edge of the Wig Chapter 8: Fronting Wigs Fronting and Other Adaptations of Commercial Wigs Types of Fronts The Human Hairline Changing the Hairline Building the Fronts Variation 1 Variation 2 Variation 3 Truing the Hairline Lace Direction and Hair Growth Direction Quick Front: A Step-by-Step Example Standard Front Deep Fronts Deep Front Variation 1 Variation 2 Variation 3 Mini Fronts Silk Blenders Nape Lace Chapter 9: Building a Wig From Scratch Types of Foundations Building a Circumference-Band Foundation Vegetable Net & Caul Net/Circumference Band/Right-Side-Out/Hand Sewn Variations on Circumference Band Foundations Variations on Nape-Piece Foundations Variations on One-Piece Foundations Notes About Adding Hair Parts, Crown Swirls, and Cowlicks Miscellaneous Foundations Balding Wigs Fringes Sewing Weft to a Pre-Made Foundation Summary Chapter 10: Partial Wigs, Toupees, and Hairpieces Toupee Graying Temple Pieces Pull-Throughs Falls Type 1 Type 2 Type 3 Type 4 Switches Kabuki-Inspired Lion Wig Making Custom Weft Using Weft to Make Clip-In Extensions Chapter 11: Wig Styling Techniques Elements of a Hairstyle Straight Hair Wetting and Drying Flat-Ironing and Roller Setting Steaming the Hair Wavy Hair Finger Waves/Water Waves Marcel Waves Pin curls Waving and Crimping Irons Curly Hair Roller Setting Roller Setting: Ringlets/Sausage Curls Roller Setting: Spiral Rolling Techniques Spiral Curls/Medusa Set Braids The Standard Basic Braid French Braids Reverse French Braid Rope Braids Herringbone Braids Dreadlocks Chapter 12: Creating a Hairstyle Break the Hairstyle Down into Sections Understand the Hairstyle Interpreting Research Draw Your Setting Pattern Set Your Wig Comb Out the Set Teasing and Stuffing Wire Frames Styling Men's Wigs Wig Setting and Styling Tips From Set to Style: Examples Example 1: Cosette in Les Miserables Example 2: 1930s Hollywood Movie-Star Look Gallery of Historical Hairstyles Chapter 13: Choosing, Cutting, Coloring, and Perming the Hair Dyeing Wigs and Wig Fibers Universal Hair Color Systems American Cosmetology Hair Level System Types of Hair Color Products Dyeing Protein Fibers Using Fabric Dyes Preparing Hair Bundles for Dye Dyeing Synthetic Fibers Perming Wigs and Wig Fibers Cutting Wigs Chapter 14: Hair that Isn't Hair: Wigs Made from Other Materials Bases and Foundations Fosshape (TM) Bases Buckram and Felt Bases Other Types of Bases Covering the Cap Building a Structural Support Frame Combining Hair and Non-Hair Materials Working with Jumbo Braid Example of the Step-by-Step Process of Creating an Unusually Shaped Wig Gallery of Non-Hair/Fantasy Wigs Chapter 15: The Business Of Wigs and Hair Analyzing and Understanding the Play Forms of Drama Basic Plot Structure Scene Breakdowns Organizing Your Production Bible Character Design Group Relationships Designing an Overall Look for a Production Budgeting for a Production During the Production Wig Jobs and How to Get Them A Note About Unions, Licenses, and Certifications Charging for Your Work Appendix 1: Wig Resource/Supply List Appendix 2: Blank Forms for Shop Use Index

About the Author

Martha Ruskai's thirty year career as a freelance wig and makeup artist and designer includes opera, film, print, TV, and dance. When not in the theatre, she can be found at dog shows, agility, and water trials with her Portuguese Water Dogs. Allison Lowery is the Wig and Makeup Specialist for Texas Performing Arts at the University of Texas -- Austin and the author of the Historical Wig Styling books. She has previously worked at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Glimmerglass Opera, among many others. She is also an active freelance wig stylist, makeup artist, and wardrobe stylist. Please visit her website at www.thewigmistress.com to keep up with her many projects.


"The first of its kind and a must-have for students and professionals alike. Filled with photographs and detailed, step-by-step instructions for every sort of wig and hairpiece, Wig Making and Styling now occupies a prominent place in my professional library. I will refer to it often as I work." -William Ivey Long, five-time Tony Award winning costume designer

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