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Adding hair to a polymer clay doll

Updated on April 28, 2013

Kanekalon fiber wig for your doll!

Ok, you've just taken out of the oven your polymer clay doll and realize that it's time to add some hair. Terrifying? I know. Unless you are making a bald character, adding hair can be quite a daunting task. And an expensive one, if you use real mohair. How about kanekalon fibers then?

Here's a quick and easy tutorial on how to use a kanekalon fiber wig, which is heat resistant, to make a wig for your doll and style it anyway you want! Sure you've heard of or may already have used mohair, but these fibers are like real hair, giving you endless styling options. And are far more economical in the long run compared to mohair. They are also weather resistant, meaning that they won't fade during time nor lose their style due to humidity . Enjoy!

Kanekalon Fibers - The chemistry behind magic...

KanekalonFiberWig
KanekalonFiberWig

Kanekalon fibers are modacrylic fibers composed of a combination of two monomers: acrylonitrile and vinyl chloride which are joined together in a process called Co-polymerization. Co-polymerization produces a dry resin which is in turn dissolved into a liquid state, or dope. This solution is forced through a multi-hole metal disk called a aspinnerette, then into a water bath where it coagulates to form continuous strands. These strands are then dried and stretched and finally become fiber as we know it.

Kanekalon fibers are soft, strong, resilient, and dimensionally stable. They can be easily dyed in almost any available color, show good press and shape retention, and are quick to dry. They have outstanding resistance to chemicals and solvents, are not attacked by moths or mildew, and are non allergenic.

Materials

Here is what you'll need:

1) your polymer clay doll (baked of course!..) ,preferably without clothes, so as not to ruin them with glue.

2)Glue, two kinds. Instant glue and some craft glue like Aleene's Tacky Glue for example.(regarding instant glue,if you're not an adult ask for an adult's help and/or supervision)

3)scissors, small blade (if you are not an adult ask for an adult's help and/or supervision)

4) A kanekalon fiber heat-resistant wig, preferably with straight hair and of course the color of your choice.From a single wig you'll be able to make dozens of dolls hair !

5)A hair blow dryer

6) A wooden stick (a paint brush will do just fine, as long as it is made of wood, since plastic may deform or even melt under the heat of the blow dryer)

Here is what I use in my workshop

Aleene's Original Tacky Glue 16oz jar
Aleene's Original Tacky Glue 16oz jar

An excellent craft glue, thick enough to work with confidence and once dry it's strong yet flexible. I use it in almost all my crafts and I can't praise it high enough!

 
BaBylissPRO Porcelain Ceramic 2800 Dryer
BaBylissPRO Porcelain Ceramic 2800 Dryer

A powerful dryer, with ceramic for added heat emission and ionic technology to reduce static. What more could you possibly ask for?

 
BAZIC 3g / 0.10 Oz. Super Glue (6/Pack)
BAZIC 3g / 0.10 Oz. Super Glue (6/Pack)

Bonds instantly and permanently, a life savior in many cases of crafting.

 
strands of hair from the wig
strands of hair from the wig

Procedure

Step by step guide (don't be scared, it's quite easy actually!)

STEP 1

Cannibalize your newly acquired wig (resisting the urge to wear it yourself!)

Take your blade and carefully cut and remove the thread that holds each strand with the elastic bands on the underside of the wig, trying to retain the strands as intact as possible.Prepare enough strands for your current project and for future ones ,if you're in the mood. Take your time and don't rush things.

STEP 2

It's time to put to the test the heat resistant ability of these wigs! Take a strand ,about 10 to 15 cm ( 4-6 inches) (i you have longer strands cut them accordingly) , and fold them repeatedly so that you have a nice hank of hair. Our wefts are almost ready! Turn the blow dryer on and carefully place it on a surface that can stay put, aiming horizontally. Wrap the hair around a wooden or metal stick holding the beginning with your one hand and the end of the hair with your other hand. Bring it in front of the blow dryer, letting the hot air do all the work. A few seconds and you'll have nice wavy hair, longer and you'll make curly hair. Mind not to burn your fingers!

STEP 3

Let the hair cool a bit before you slide them off the stick. Turn off the blow dryer. Hold the hank of hair with your one hand(pinch them) , just a couple of cm bellow the strand root and with the other hand cut with the scissors the roots. Caution: now your hair are actually loose so whatever you do don't let them off your pinch. Put some craft glue (UHU or any other, preferably thick and relatively quick drying) on the hair ends, wait a few seconds, and lay the hank on a piece of plastic sheet(or aluminum foil).

STEP 4

When the glue has completely dried it's time to attach the hair onto your doll's head! Pick the hanks f hair that you like the most and attach each one with just a tiny drop of super glue(instant glue) on the doll's head. Mind not to glue your fingers ,and remember that instant glue can cause serious damage if it gets on our eyes. Since it bonds skin instantly be extra careful. Place the tiny bit of glue on the head and then press the lock of hair you want, just for a couple of seconds.You're done. Begin from the back of the neck upwards.

Want some nice ideas and inspiration on hair styling? - Check out this fabulous book if you feel like you're running low on ideas and inspiration

The Ultimate Hairstyle Handbook: Everyday Hairstyles for the Everyday Girl
The Ultimate Hairstyle Handbook: Everyday Hairstyles for the Everyday Girl

No more bad hair days for you and no more dull styled dolls! With an abundance of pictures and step by step instructions you'll soon be able to achieve every possible hairstyle, or invent new ones!

 

Locks of hair

Here are some examples of how your hair locks for your doll will look like, depending on how much heat you will apply to them. The more heat you apply to them the more curly they will be.

Kanekalon heat resistant wigs - For you or for your doll!

These wigs can by styled in any way you want ,giving you endless possibilities of creation. Let your imagination run wild!

Kanekalon fiber is ideal for doll hair because:

1] it's as natural as it gets, next to real hair (no plastic appearance or wool-like effect)

2] it's heat resistant, so go ahead and style it with your blow dryer or ceramic styler!

3] it's impervious to water and humidity (bad hair day a thing of the past for your doll)

4]it has numerous color choices (almost every color in the rainbow!)

5]it's cheap!

Completed project, Nalia

Here is Nalia, my beloved OOAK polymer clay doll. Her hair was done using this technique that I just described to you. I mixed curly and wavy locks along with straight ones to achieve this look.

Completed project, Leila

And here is Leila! Her wavy hair are once again made from a kanekalon fiber wig (orange red)

Polymer clay books - Make the doll of your dreams!

Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay: Tools and Techniques for Sculpting Realistic Figures
Creating Lifelike Figures in Polymer Clay: Tools and Techniques for Sculpting Realistic Figures

A complete guide to creating a polymer clay figure, with photos and detailed instructions.Sculpting a figure can't get any easier,trust me!

 
FaeMaker: Making Fantasy Characters in Polymer Clay
FaeMaker: Making Fantasy Characters in Polymer Clay

Trolls,fairies and witches, all come to life with this easy to follow and full of ideas book!

 
Fairies, Gnomes & Trolls: Create a Fantasy World in Polymer Clay
Fairies, Gnomes & Trolls: Create a Fantasy World in Polymer Clay

Very easy to follow instructions,even for the novice.Give it a try and you won't regret it!

 

Pick your side!

Both clays have their pros and cons. Both are very popular among doll makers. Only one will be the winner of this poll...

Are you a Cernit or a Fimo fan?

See results

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Please take a moment to visit my other lenses too, which I hope they will be of some interest and help to you. Thanks for viewing my lens!

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    • profile image

      Sherri 9 months ago

      I am new to doll making and I love your dolls. The hair is exceptional. I was wondering where I could purchase Kanekalon fiber hair for my future dolls? The only thing I seem to be finding online are actual wigs. Thank for sharing your advice and experience with adding hair.

    • centralplexus profile image
      Author

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      @Cynthia Haltom: Thank you very much!

    • Cynthia Haltom profile image

      Cynthia Haltom 4 years ago from Diamondhead

      Beautiful dolls. I am just learning how to use polymer clay you are by far an expert.

    • centralplexus profile image
      Author

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      @LadyDuck: Thank you very much, I'm glad you liked them!

    • profile image

      LadyDuck 4 years ago

      You made beautiful dolls and a great hair work with Nalia and Leila, congratulations.

    • centralplexus profile image
      Author

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      @momsANDkids: Thank you very much for your kind comment and for stopping by! Take care!

    • momsANDkids profile image

      momsANDkids 4 years ago

      Wow! You are a super artist! I'd love to visit more of your lenses.

    • centralplexus profile image
      Author

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      @thingz1: Thanks for stopping by and for your kind words, means a lot to me! Take care!

    • thingz1 profile image

      thingz1 4 years ago

      I'm impressed with the beautiful doll you made. You've very talented! Thanks for sharing the tips.

    • centralplexus profile image
      Author

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      @justramblin: Thank you for your kind comment and for stopping by! Wish you all the best!

    • justramblin profile image

      justramblin 4 years ago

      Wow, I use polymer clay, but have never thought to do something like this. What fine detail. I'm impressed! Both your dolls have better hair than I'll ever have. :)

    • centralplexus profile image
      Author

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      @FamilyBeachVaca: Thank you very much for your comment- I appreciate the gesture!

    • FamilyBeachVaca profile image

      FamilyBeachVaca 4 years ago

      Again I've learned something new on Squidoo - polymer clay dolls are certainly very interesting

    • centralplexus profile image
      Author

      centralplexus 4 years ago

      @Magda2012: Thank you for your kind comment, you're welcome!

    • Magda2012 profile image

      Magda2012 4 years ago

      Your polymer clay dolls look amazing. thanks for sharing how to add the hair.