How to Make a Lace Wig Using Human Hair

by Elizabeth Chaplin

Create a natural, stylish look by making your own lace wig. Supplies can be purchased at any beauty supply store. Although somewhat time-consuming, the results will give you a celebrity hairstyle that looks natural and beautiful.

Items you will need

  • Human wig-making hair
  • Wig-making lace
  • Ventilating needle
  • Cloth mannequin head
  • Rit dye (color depends on skin tone)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Rubber bands
  • Plastic wrap
  • Black permanent marker
  • Scotch tape
  • Craft stuffing
  • Ball straight pins
  • Regular straight pins
  • Sewing needle
  • Thread
Step 1

Brush your own hair back away from the forehead, and cornrow the hair back. If you have short hair, use rubber bands to fasten the ends; for long hair, tuck the leftover strands underneath and stitch them into place.

Step 2

Take measurements of your head from the top of the hairline to the desired point at the back of your head, and from the top of the left ear over to the top of the right ear.

Step 3

Unroll a section of plastic wrap and measure it using the measurements you took of your head. Use scissors to cut the plastic wrap off the roll.

Step 4

Wrap the plastic wrap on the front part of your head without covering your ears. The end of the plastic wrap should reach to just above your eyebrows and to about midway down the back of your head.

Step 5

Use a black permanent marker to trace around your natural hairline across your forehead.

Step 6

Tape over the pattern to make it stiff; place long pieces of tape that reach from the front of your pattern to about midway down the back of your head, stopping at the ears. Repeat this by crossing over the bottom layer with tape, this time running from ear to ear.

Step 7

Remove the pattern, tape and all, from your head and use scissors to cut all the way around the line you drew.

Step 8

Add a thin layer of stuffing to the bottom of your pattern. This will keep the pattern from "caving in."

Step 9

Temporarily pin the pattern and stuffing along the edges to a stuffed or cloth mannequin head using the ball straight pins.

Step 10

Place the first regular straight pin into the center of the front of the pattern. Continue pinning all the way around the pattern, keeping the regular straight pins about 1/8 inch apart. Remove the ball pins.

Step 11

Place the lace over the blocked pattern, using it as a guide to make sure you cut enough lace, then cut the piece of lace.

Step 12

Choose a Rit dye that is close to your skin color and pour it into a Styrofoam bowl. Submerge the lace into the dye and test it against your skin to see if it blends. If it is too light against your skin, submerge in the dye for longer. Once the lace appears invisible against your skin, the dyeing process is complete. Let dry.

Step 13

Block the lace in the front using the same technique you used to block the pattern using temporary ball pins and then straight pins about 1/8 inch apart.

Step 14

Pin the back by pulling the lace taut in the center to the back of the mannequin head, fixing it in place temporarily with a ball straight pin. The lace should lay flat.

Step 15

Make two folds in the lace so it contours the shape of the head. Secure the edges of the folds with ball pins, then stick a regular straight pin at the tip of the fold.

Step 16

Stitch the open end of the first fold to the rest of the lace with the needle and thread. For the first stitch, go into the same hole twice for more security. Repeat this for the other fold.

Step 17

Remove the lace from the mannequin and place it on top of your head to make sure it fits, then block the lace back onto the mannequin head.

Step 18

Pinch a small piece of hair from the drawing card and pull it down slowly to avoid tangling.

Step 19

Fold the hair at one end, making a loop. Holding the loop between your thumb and forefinger, place the ventilating needle in the starting hole.

Step 20

Catch a few strands of the looped hair with the ventilating needle and pull it back through the hole. Make sure you are holding the hair tightly.

Step 21

Take the ventilating needle and wrap it around the hair, pulling it back through the loop. Pull it again to tighten the hair. Make sure you take your needle through all the layers of the lace. Repeat this until the top of the wig is done.

Step 22

Fill in the hairline carefully using the same technique, creating the most natural look possible. It is important to do this last because it requires a lot of detail.

Step 23

Pull the hair into a bun and remove the straight pins with the needle-nose pliers.

Step 24

Do a "dry fitting" after removing the lace wig from the mannequin head. Lace wigs are attached to the forehead with skin adhesive; be sure to do a dry fitting without skin adhesive to make sure the hairline looks natural.

Step 25

Cut off excess lace on the back portion of the wig, making sure to leave about 1-½ to 2 inches. Fold the lace flap down.

Step 26

Use a sewing machine to sew the fold together to keep it in place. This creates a thicker piece of lace that will remain strong when being sewn into the hair.

Tips

  • Sew tracks from the bottom of your cornrows up to the end of the lace wig for the most natural look.

Photo Credits

  • Photo courtesy of NewsDay.com