10 TALENT: Wig Prep
Welcome to the 10 Talent Blog/Vlog! A bit about myself… I am Sarah Matton, Founder and Director of 10 Talent Management. Over the past decade I have worked professionally in the field of musical theatre. I’m also the Co-Creator of the only temp agency for dance teachers in Canada, Quick Ball Change. I’ve been inspired to start a mini series vlog to share my knowledge as well as speak to those who work professionally in the industry. This is just meant to be an informal chat so we can hopefully all learn something and I hope you enjoy!
YOU CAN WATCH THE FULL VIDEO INTERVIEW AT THE END OF THIS BLOG POST!
Today we’re talking about wig prep with the lovely Katelyn Low. She’s a very good friend of mine. She’s done all the things, she builds costumes for Stratford, she builds costumes for set life and she is the best dresser you will ever get. So today Katelyn is going to show us how to do a wig prep!
Katelyn: This is a mesh band that you start with just to basically slick the hair back so you get can get a nice hard hair line.
And then usually I slide this back just so that you can see the hairline. Then the next step is to do pin curling. So to do that all you need are bobby pins, you can find them anywhere. And you take sections of your hair generally about one inch size hair piece like this, and if you wrap it around your fingers, I usually use two fingers and wrap it around, you can kind of twist it to form almost like a little rosette of hair like that. And I usually take your front pieces and attach them to the band so that your wig will actually have something to hold on to.
1 | Why do we pin curl?
We pin curl so your natural hair will stay as flat as possible when you are applying wigs on to your head.
2 | and is clean hair or dirty hair better for pincurls?
Generally speaking, to have dirtier hair is more helpful. Having clean hair of course is great but because your hair is conditioned it is very silky it will actually want to slide around under your wig a lot more so its better if it’s a bit dirty.
(Sarah) So my pin curls are going to be amazing pin curls.
(Katelyn) Yes, exactly!
3 | And do you like bobby pins or hair pins?
So when you’re pincurling, bobby pins, the ones I showed earlier, these guys, are a lot better to be making a pin curl with. They just hold things a lot easier. Hair pins are good for either styling usually, or if you are trying to hold your wig into place. We actually use other pins called geisha pins, which are very large versions of hairpins. And they’re very thick so if you’ve pin curled your hair correctly, you should only need four of those geisha pins to hold your wig in place. And I can tell you that once the wig goes on, you would just want to put those four pins right here just to anchor the front of the wig and then two back here where your nape is.
4 | My hair’s not that long because it doesn’t grow very fast, what if you have very very long hair?
If you have long hair, that’s ok you can still do this pin curling way to hair prep but there’s also other ways of wrapping your hair so you can still prep it for a wig to go on. There’s a version you can take almost dividing your hair into two sections, and then you separate it, twist the back and then you pull one side of your hair this way and the other side up. And you can flat pin it into place to try to keep the shape of the head.
(Sarah) I’ve seen some people French braid sometimes too.
(Katelyn) Yup! French braiding is also an option. It’s also pretty great because it also has something for the wig to pin it to as well. There are many different versions and everyone has their own choice in what they like to do. And of course sometimes after you’ve pin curled and you release your pin curls after a show or something like that, it will usually end up really nice and curly or if you’re going to opening or something like that or if you braid it will be crimped and so on and so fourth.
(Sarah) So do really good pin curls especially on opening is really good advice.
(Katelyn) Exactly. Yes Perfect. If you’re pinning for the first time it does usually take a while, so give yourself lots of time, and then as you get more experienced doing it, you will find ways of doing it a lot quicker.
5 | Is that you think your best advice for new pin curlers?
I’d say so.
(Sarah) Leave lots of time.
(Katelyn) Leave lots of time to do this for the first few times you do it.
It’s a lot harder to do it on yourself than it is with someone else is doing it.
(Sarah) Its very nice and relaxing.
(Katelyn) ok so this is kind of what a pin curled head looks like, and then once your done pin curling, we usually use another net or cap to cover all the curls so that they stay compacted and they don’t affect the wig that’s going on top. So in this case we usually just take something like a piece of fish net or nylon or something like that.
(Sarah) That is my beauty and the beast hair net.
(Katelyn) It’s a little used but that’s ok.
(Sarah) It’s vintage.
(Katelyn) So Sarah if I can get you to get your thumbs up for me, ya. Just stretch it right on top of the pincurls like that. And again just pull this up so it meets the hair line. And to hold something like that in place we use smaller pins just like this.
(Katelyn) You kind of grab a piece of the nylon like that with the pin, and then you tuck it underneath all of the prep so that everything stays under. And again I don’t use too many of these, just enough for it to stay in place do about 4 or 5. And sometimes there’s an open area here at the top depending on the cap so you just kind of fold it closed. And there you have it A wig prep!
(Sarah) Ta-da! Thanks Katelyn! Now we all know how to wig prep.
Top 10 Takeaways
# 1 “Dirty” Hair is better for a wig prep.
#2 Give yourself lots of time when starting to pin curl.
#3 Start with a mesh band.
#4 Slide it just over the hairline.
#5 Divide Hair into 1-2 sections to make a rosette shape.
#6 Use bobby pins for pin curls.
#7 The better your pin curls, the better your hair looks after.
#8 Cover the pin curls with a nylon cap that holds everything together.
#9 Use hairpins to secure wig cap, which will keep pin curls in place.
#10 You only need 4 geisha pins to hold a wig on (take care of your geisha pins!)