I know it’s been a while, but I’m still in my post-holidays-do-nothing phase. I did this a while ago (read: before Christmas) but I’m just now posting about it.
As we know, Merida has a lot of hair. It’s very curly, very big, and very fiery. So I set out with the idea of buying a base wig and sewing wefts into it. This is the first time I’ve ever, shall we say, customized a wig.
I bought the base wig (a “Merry” in the color Pumpkin) from Arda Wigs. I also bought short and long wefts in the same color, also from Arda. Because I purchased them as a Black Friday deal I saved quite a bit of money. It took a while for them to arrive, but they arrived in perfect condition and I was ready to start building this wig.
Straight out of the bag, it was obvious I had my work cut out for me. I was up to the challenge though! I watched various YouTube videos about sewing in wefts just to make sure I didn’t mess up anything.
Re-parting the wig
First, I figured out where I could re-part the hair and avoid showing wefts*. I sewed in some sections of short wefts and used the heat from my blow dryer (important: the fibers of this wig are heat-resistant which means if you’re going to do any styling you have to heat the hair and let it cool IN POSITION or the style won’t hold!) to flatten the wefts down to a “natural” looking part.
*The part of this wig (and many others) is sewn into a skin coin, which is a pale flesh toned piece of soft plastic (or rubber? I’m not 100% sure). Skin coins vary in size and shape according to the wig you buy. This particular skin coin was quite narrow, thus I could not move the part that much without a lot of visible wefts.
The Sewing of the Wefts
First I sewed in small sections of the short wefts into different locations in the top layer of the hair, not including the bangs, just where I knew I wanted to see some shorter curls. After I braided those sections to keep them separate from the hair of the base wig, it was time to move on.
I moved entire weft layers up and then sewed lengths of hair on top of other wefts, braided those, and repeated until I ran out of short wefts. One thing to note is this wig had layers that were actually cut to about an inch long that were meant to help hide your hair I guess, but I tried to make sure I sewed wefts onto those ones.
The long wefts were a pain to work with because they kept tangling, but I managed. In between the short weft layers and the long weft layers, I skipped some layers and left the base wig length to help transition from short to long. Then I braided the hair as I went along until I got to the very last one since it would be the first layer I curled.
The Curling of the Wefts
I took some excess pieces of wefts that I had cut before I started to practice different curling techniques until I found one I liked. I tried wrapping the hair around a metal knitting needle and using a straightener to heat the hair up which gave a nice tight curl, but was too frizzy for my liking. Then I tried rope braiding and heating with a straightener and didn’t like how it just came out as little waves. I also tried using curlers and a blow dryer (which did absolutely nothing), and curling with the straightener (which left lines on the hair and didn’t curl it how I wanted it to). I was feeling kind of defeated at this point until I remembered my sister left her curling wand at my house. EUREKA!
I used the curling wand and took small sections of hair and curled them in different directions on the wand. The tricky part (and the part that made this process span a few days) was letting the curl fall perfectly shaped into the palm of my hand and cool. I unfortunately didn’t have the workspace available to take the curl off the wand and clip/pin it while it cooled. That would have saved so much time.
After I got all the layers curled, I took some of the base wig curls and separated them with my fingers for added fluff.
This wig is now definitely the length I was going for (waist length), and it is definitely fiery, curly, and big. But it could be bigger, especially around the crown. I don’t want to tease the wig yet though because I don’t even have my costume started yet, but teasing will be done.
Bonus before and after shots: