Whats the best way to attach hair to a  puppets head? I've looked into wefts and and hand punching but I have no experience with either.

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The only thing that sticks to silicone is more silicone, so if you are glueing hair on, use that as glue.  Or don't stick it directly to the silicone.

One way I tried was to make a thin shell over the bald silicone head, using very fine fibreglass matting and resin, so when it hardened I had a skullcap I could take off.  I trimmed the edges, then glued rows of hair onto it with contact glue.  That gave me a wig that was perfectly fitted to the puppet's head. You could probably make the shell with liquid latex and tissue or fine cloth too, or maybe a fabric glue.  It gives you a base the ordinary glues can stick to.  (Note - now found a tutorial for doll wig that used pva glue with fabric to make the shell.)

If it's long hair, there are a few tutorials on Youtube by dollmakers that might help. You start by sticking hair on the back and bottom edges, and work your way up to the crown.  The tricky part is getting a part in the hair.  The hair needs to fold over on each side of the part I  seem to remember.  I'll look for one of those tutes... here is part 2, which came up when searching "making doll hair" on Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAC6n20Qr_A&t=432s   Will have to do some more looking for Part 1.  Tried "wig making Jasmine Part 1" and it still didn't come up. Never mind, here's part 1 of a different tutorial, shows the skullcap base I mentioned, using pva glue.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9t9WsLSgLE

More often, I make up a wig of fur fabric, which works ok for all but the really long hair.  I cut an oval, then take darts out so I end up with a cross shape, so I can shape it around the head.  If it goes directly onto the silicone head, it will need pins to keep it in place while the wet silicone you use as a glue sets.  Either that or I sculpt the hair as part of the head, if it is that kind of short or coifed hairstyle.  I only ever did sculpted longer hair once, and that was for an Eve puppet that was meant to look like a carved puppet, in "L'Animateur".  (  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lfqTk_v5Kk&t=1s  )  It was a separate casting in hollow latex, with some armature wire inside so it could move a little, but of course it could never look like individual strands or realistic hair.  When she turned into a "flesh-and-blood" foam latex puppet, her hair was made from a piece of sheepskin.  Adam's hair went from a latex wig to a fur fabric wig when he transformed.  I wet the fur with watered down pva glue to brush it into shape, because I don't have hair gel or hair spray, don't know if those would have worked just as well or better.

Thank you!



StopmoNick said:

The only thing that sticks to silicone is more silicone, so if you are glueing hair on, use that as glue.  Or don't stick it directly to the silicone.

One way I tried was to make a thin shell over the bald silicone head, using very fine fibreglass matting and resin, so when it hardened I had a skullcap I could take off.  I trimmed the edges, then glued rows of hair onto it with contact glue.  That gave me a wig that was perfectly fitted to the puppet's head. You could probably make the shell with liquid latex and tissue or fine cloth too, or maybe a fabric glue.  It gives you a base the ordinary glues can stick to.  (Note - now found a tutorial for doll wig that used pva glue with fabric to make the shell.)

If it's long hair, there are a few tutorials on Youtube by dollmakers that might help. You start by sticking hair on the back and bottom edges, and work your way up to the crown.  The tricky part is getting a part in the hair.  The hair needs to fold over on each side of the part I  seem to remember.  I'll look for one of those tutes... here is part 2, which came up when searching "making doll hair" on Youtube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAC6n20Qr_A&t=432s   Will have to do some more looking for Part 1.  Tried "wig making Jasmine Part 1" and it still didn't come up. Never mind, here's part 1 of a different tutorial, shows the skullcap base I mentioned, using pva glue.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9t9WsLSgLE

More often, I make up a wig of fur fabric, which works ok for all but the really long hair.  I cut an oval, then take darts out so I end up with a cross shape, so I can shape it around the head.  If it goes directly onto the silicone head, it will need pins to keep it in place while the wet silicone you use as a glue sets.  Either that or I sculpt the hair as part of the head, if it is that kind of short or coifed hairstyle.  I only ever did sculpted longer hair once, and that was for an Eve puppet that was meant to look like a carved puppet, in "L'Animateur".  (  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lfqTk_v5Kk&t=1s  )  It was a separate casting in hollow latex, with some armature wire inside so it could move a little, but of course it could never look like individual strands or realistic hair.  When she turned into a "flesh-and-blood" foam latex puppet, her hair was made from a piece of sheepskin.  Adam's hair went from a latex wig to a fur fabric wig when he transformed.  I wet the fur with watered down pva glue to brush it into shape, because I don't have hair gel or hair spray, don't know if those would have worked just as well or better.

Hand punching hair is good for thin or balding hair, as you can see the scalp through it. To make a punch, take a sewing needle and cut or file off half of the eye. You then have two prongs, a miniature fork. The ends should be sharp for penetrating the silicone. Make a handle out of a cork or piece of wood and fix the needle firmly in it, ensuring that it cannot go right through and back into your hand!

Then hold the hair in a loop in your hand, and pick up hairs and punch them into the silicone. They should hold of their own accord, but if you want them firmly attached you will need to use a bit of silicone (I use clear builder's silicone, which is cheap and sets slowly). 

The rest is skill in placing the hair, angling it to get it to come out at the right angle, and finally not creating something that ends up boiling all over the place when animating.

Just to add to Nick's video tut recommendations, look up Morezmore, where there is a good pictorial blog of wig making using a fine mesh finger tube for the cap.

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