Halloween Mask Hair a Fright? Comb it!
Hair Scare 101
Sometimes our Halloween masks do double duty. The one shown here has served faithfully out of doors for years as a stuffed prop. She was always my favorite, well, one of a select few, so she stayed in semi-protected areas. Unfortunately that meant twigs, pine needles and leaves. Wind and rain, even snow in one case got into her lovely hair for years.
Shamefully I left them to embed, feeling they added to her frightening flair. While we can never turn back the hands of time, we can get the hair on a mask back into decent shape. The face, by the way was left strictly alone. Latex will go bad after a while and water is the last thing it needs in many cases.
Ditto cold freezing temps or the extreme heat of my garage. I'm such a bad prop mother, truly, I am. As always, all photos are mine, so if you use them please give a link back and credit where credit is due, thanks!
Step One: Pick out by hand what you can
Believe it or not this is the mask AFTER about fifteen minutes of grooming her hair by hand. I was doing more harm than good, and just like real hair the twigs, pine needles and dried leaves seemed to burrow right in.
But get out what you can, remembering to be gentle. Imagine the mask saying 'ouch!' each time you tug too hard if it helps. Or think of working on a child or loved one. You hopefully wouldn't just yank out hair to get out the snarls and debris.
Remember that some masks will have degraded and this may be impossible. If the mask start to tear, or is already torn or degraded do not work with the hair.
Step Two: Mist and Comb
Time to play beauty parlor! Get out the detangler you have and a wide toothed comb. Mist the hair liberally, don't spare the detangler. The slippier the faux hair, the easier knots, snarls and debris will come out.
Strangely you may have to keep reapplying. Much like real hair the hair on my mask seemed to slurp up the mist as fast as I could apply it. Don't have hair mist? Baby oil or body oil will work in a mister as well.
Now, being EXTREMEY gentle, start from the ends of the hair and comb. Ladies it is perfectly OK to sing like she is a doll and you are a child again. Talk to her, discuss the neighborhood, have a lovely craic. Be cuddly and loving. Guys, you can do the same thing, it will bring out your nurturing side.
Keep in mind to take your time. I let this mask go for years. A good hour combing her hair out was fine. Luckily the latex was in good shape and didn't tear from my combng, but keep in mind with degraded masks it will do just that.
Sugar skulls to take your Halloween global
As I said before, she seriously reminds me of the lovely neon bright colors and skeletal motifs you can find in Day of the Dead celebrations, and I will use any chance I can get to share my obsession with sugar skulls.
How can you not want her? Super cute sugar skull is decorate with tons of details and pretty enough to take your Halloween party global. Then she doubles as Day of the Dead dÃ©cor!
If you love and honor your ancestral dead, why not take a tip from Mexico? This truly stunning display will keep them in your heart all the year round, and heck yes, Mexican traditions should enrich our Halloween and Samhain celebrations.
This looks so much like the real thing I seriously wanted a nibble. Only I'd break my teeth and isn't she way too pretty to eat?
This decal adds some life wherever you put him, maybe on a party invite? How about a locker, notebook or skateboard?
Can you believe something this beautiful burns oil? Well she does! Festive bright colors will cheer your year round, not just one holiday a year.
Step Three: Stuff
I stuffed a black bag because I like to keep with the skeleton theme. But you could put in any color you like, fake eyes, jewels, anything to make your heart sing. To stuff I used a very sturdy black plastic bag from Mexico (long story) and stuffed it full of plastic bags, sealing the top. Instant recycling!
I then made adjustments to the bag so the skull would look good before I taped it shut and inserted it taped end up into the mask. Keep in mind this may not be stable, so you have to experiment and go with want you want.
Step 4: Display
Isn't she lovely? All that hard work paid off and she is one lovely lady! You can display her just as a head, attach her to a body you make yourself, put her on a pole, use a tomato cage body and so on.
Please remove the mask first if you are going to be piercing the bag in any way, but she is now ready for display indoors or outdoors for the Halloween/Samhain/Days of the Dead season.
Photos of my pretty girl!