Iron Wig Final Round: Character Wig, Tutorial, and RIT Dye Challenge

Character Wig

I let my son choose which pop culture character I would create for this wig, and he surprised me by picking a character from my own books. This is Lokki, from Ninja High School Hawaii and Aesir Corp.

Her design is actually very difficult to reproduce, probably because I created her before I started making wigs, and didn’t know what a pain in the butt I was drawing for future costumers. Her design includes several advanced techniques, which were only compounded by using heat resistant fiber, and the limitations in starting materials provided for the contest. Because of this, I decided to do her violet shade instead of the more common navy blue. (Her hair changes colors throughout the story.)

Tutorial Wig

I asked for visitors to my Facebook Page to give me suggestions for the tutorial they wanted to see. The one I selected is based on the concept of a “quick change” wig, which uses a special hidden compartment, called a “transformation pocket”. I had created trick wigs for shows before, but this was my first time creating a tutorial for the process.

RIT Dye Challenge Wig

For this wig, we were required to use the RIT Proline Dye that was sent to us to color our design. Please note that we were not sent DyeMore which is RIT’s product for synthetic fabrics. As it was explained to me by Arda’s rep, this is because they are unable to ship liquids to the EU, and DyeMore only comes in a liquid form.

Now, I was skeptical that this dye would work on synthetic wig fiber, based on my testing of the version for synthetic fabrics done over a decade ago. But I’m a scientifically minded lady when it comes to wig products, and was willing to put this one through its paces just in case there had been a major breakthrough in their formula that had alleviated the issues it suffered from before. (Heat damage to the fiber, failure to bond pigment, continuous rub-off.) I love to do testing, pushing products to the limits, and thinking beyond the package instructions to see what I can do with them. My conclusion after the controlled experiments and field testing is this: RIT Proline Dye is not suitable for dyeing synthetic fiber wigs. I shared my results with Arda as something to consider before they begin selling this as a “wig dye”.

I used three different delivery methods for this wig: the stovetop package instructions (for the red), a scattered pellet approach (for the green), and a spray-on alcohol hybrid (for the blue).

It took about eight days to make this wig, and four days to clean up the mess. Even now, a month later, I’m still finding dye residue in unexpected places.

All Done with Iron Wig Round 4

For this wig, I chose to make a child version of the character, instead of the mature version most often seen in the series. I knew this was risky, since the judges would be more likely to give a higher score to a grown-up “sexy” version, and didn’t expect to make it to the final round. However, I wanted to be able to add some difficulty to this otherwise simple design, and making wigs for children takes more skill than making them for adults. Child wigs bring a whole new set of considerations, especially when it comes to sizing and comfort.

The completed wig features a fully ventilated edge, extensive hand knotting, and a faux scalp. It uses no glue, and requires no glue, pins, combs, or velcro for a perfect fit. Plus, it is durable enough that my son was able to run, jump, and play on the swings without any issues! I also made a little doll version of “Gold Experience” to go with the design.

Remember, I will be selling any wigs I make during this contest and donating the money to Valley Children’s Hospital. I will also be giving away any gift certificates I receive, so keep an eye on my Facebook Page for more details later on.

http://www.facebook.com/PettingZooWigs/

Since all of the contestants were given the same design to re-create, I posted my “making of” videos live to my facebook page instead of saving them until the end:

Video Playlist: Making of Kid Giorno