Sunday, 6 November 2011

Fun with Knots



Alternate title: Restoring a damaged wig.



A few weeks ago, I bought a damaged Glot wig from someone on DoA. It was pretty tangled and sort of looked like a ball of fuzz caught in a fishing net when I got it.

I was planning on cutting it decently short and using it for Tobi if it was really damaged, but after I combed it out, it just looked like it was really tangled, but actually not all that damaged - much to be expected from a ringlet wig. So I figured I might as well try and see if I could get it back to a decent state and if not, I could still cut it like I'd planned.

It was rather dark and I was kind of tired and I wasn't originally planning to write about this, so I don't have many pictures, but here's what I did:

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Materials:
  • damaged (curly) fibre wig
  • water
  • shampoo
  • conditioner
  • little plastic doll brush (à la Barbie or MLP)
  • towel
  • paper towel ripped into strips about 1 inch wide and as long as the wig
  • wig stand or something that can hold the wig while it's drying
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The first step was simply soaking in in lukewarm water and brushing it out the best I could with a little doll brush.

Do not use a people brush or comb.

They will pull on the fibres and can make an even worse mess than what you started with.

Make sure to flip it over and brush from the inside too. It might not seem like it, but it will make your job a lot easier later.

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It doesn't matter if the curls get separated or if it goes all frizzy, just make sure you're not pulling the fibres so that they break in the middle. This will make them curl up and you will have to cut them out. If you're having trouble getting the tangles out, start from the bottom and work your way up, just like you would getting a knot out of your own hair.

Next was washing it, since it felt sort of odd to the touch. I just used my regular shampoo and squished it into the wig, brushing as I went and making a big foamy mess. Using my shampoo seems to work fine and I haven't yet had any problems with any of the wigs I've washed.

After shampooing, I just rinsed it out with cold water and brushed it again.

While I was working on it... I noticed this wig isn't actually very great quality when compared to the other wigs I have, which was a little bit upsetting.
Isn't Soom supposed to be 'Master of Everything'?
Oh well....

After I'd rinsed the wig, I got a bunch of my conditioner and worked it into the wig. First just by running my whole hand along it, then in smaller chunks. I used quite a bit of conditioner, but I wanted it to be thoroughly coated.

Then I went on to the fun part. I separated the wig into chunks of curl, just using how it naturally clumped. Some were big, some were small, didn't really matter, I just didn't want to fuss with the fibres too much. Just twist them around your finger then pull it out and twist the curl at tight as you can and let it go.
I worked on each curl individually, making my way around the wig top to bottom. It doesn't really matter which order you do it, but it's easier to work from big to little.

Whichever way you choose to work, take the first curl and hold it as close to the base as you can with your index and thumb (or thumb and finger of choice) of one hand. Then, with your other hand, start drawing your fingers down the curl until you get to the end. Then, start over. Keep working down the curl until it feels smooth and there are no stray fibres.

Don't let go of the base.

When you think the curl is smooth enough twist it tight, take a piece of paper towel and start wrapping it around the curl in the opposite direction of the curl. The paper towel should get wet enough to stick to itself just from the water in the wig, but if it doesn't, put some water on your finger and continue wrapping until wou reach the end of the curl. Then simply wrap the paper towel over itself and squeeze the whole curl to make sure it's sticking.

You can let go now.

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Do this for each of the curls and then put the paper towel-coated wig on it's stand and leave it on a towel over night (unless you want a big puddle of water... then omit the towel).

You should be able to just slide the paper towel curlers off once they're dry, but if not, you might have to uncurl them. The curls will feel a little bit crispy, but that's okay.

Now, I didn't wash the conditioner out after the wig was dry, I just ran my fingers lightly through the curls and ended up with super soft ringlets.

Here's a sort of but not really helpful photo of after I did this.

Damaged Soom Glot wig
If you want to wash the conditioner out, wash the wig again under a slow stream of warm water and then redo the paper towel curlers and let it dry overnight.
After it's dried, you can do some styling and cut out any frizzy bits that are left (probably the very ends).

To cut/style wrap your doll's head in some saran wrap - make sure it's tight around the neck - and put the wig on over top. Then just cut away to your hearts content. Try to take off a little less than you think you want to so that you can correct any mistakes.

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After all of this, I decided that I think I actually want the wig straight... but that will be another post (with pictures this time! I promise!) if I decide to go ahead with it, since this one is getting a bit unruly.

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