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Learn About Maintaining Your Wig

An Appreciation Post For New York's Wig Masters

Posted on July 8, 2017 No comments
Wig making is a hobby that has turned into a profitable business for me. From purchasing my first unit so I can deconstruct it and piece it back together, to learning how to ventilate- I've learned a lot. Being so focused on this hobby almost made me forget an interesting fact; I am a continuation of an art form that apparently is dying.

This frustrates me.

An Appreciation Post for New York's Wig Masters


The New York Times recently published an article celebrating and appreciating the hard work that New York's wig masters have done in the past couple of decades. The post acknowledges the contributions of Nicholas Piazza, a master wig maker who lives in Staten Island. He's the mastermind behind many hair pieces and wigs on many great heads – we're talking about Jacqueline Kennedy, Brooke Astor, and other socialites.



But now the heyday of wig making has somewhat died down, unfortunately. This is due to hair wigs being mass-produced, competition from globalization stemming from Chinese hair vendors, and sophistication in stock units that sometimes rival hand-tied wigs. Now Piazza does maintenance on current clients wearing his units.

Piazza worked hard throughout his life to create these wigs, as one unit can take up to 40 hours of continuous. He deserves to rest and enjoy the fruits of his labor, for he has inspired a whole generation of wig makers like me.

Claire Grunwald, The Dame Of The Sheitel


Claire Grunwald of Claire Accuhair is the mastermind behind many of their wigs donned on Jewish heads in Brooklyn. Learning wig making by German wig maker in a camp after being displaced in World War II, Grunwald is a master at creating wigs approved by the local Jewish community. These wigs and hairpieces are typically made from yak hair, which I find particularly difficult to ventilate when compared to human hair. Kudos to Grunwald.




Everyone can learn how to make a wig, but it takes many hours, different types of needles to find the one you're comfortable with, all while ventilating in the right form to avoid carpel tunnel. But as these talented folks have proven, perseverance goes a long way. Hopefully, following web sites like DIYLaceWigs can help inspire a generation of prospective wig makers. I don't want you to learn how to create a full wig from scratch, but if I can teach you how to fill in that bald spot, then I did my job.

Other Wig Makers to Follow


Other wig makers have filled the education gap, with me doing my part with the help of this website. I've learned how to mix hair colors with MakingWigs.blogspot.com and HairSay is continuously pushing the envelope, like how he learned how to shape a wig cap with the help of a heat gun.

Please, if you have any questions about wig making, lace wig maintenance, or other inquiries, email me. If you're a small business who wants me to review your product, email me as well.


Godspeed.  

Ultra Thin Skin From NorthWest Lace Review

Posted on July 7, 2017 No comments
My ultra thin skin full cap from Northwest Lace has finally arrived. Northwest Lace is the preferred vendor for my lace wigs units when I do not feel like ventilating my own. They seem to have superior quality control than other vendors and are willing to communicate to ensure that they get what they want. The mastermind behind Northwest Lace, Eric, is always ready and willing to respond to any emails sent to him.

So here is my Northwest Lace UTS review.

UTS Northwest Lace Order and Specifications


This is dimensions for a full cap.

1. Circumference: 25 inches

2. Front To Back: 15 inches

3. Ear To Ear Over Forehead: 14 inches

4. Temple To Temple: 16 inches

5. Ear To Ear Over Top Of Head: 14

6. Temple to Temple:18 inches

7. Width of Neck: 6 inches

(Yes, I have quite the big head).

Hair Color: Blonde, #22. 

Base:

Front: .05mm v-looped front, 

Rest of the full cap: .08mm standard injection

Hair Length: 8 inches

No gray

Graduated hairline

Hair Density: 90%

Curl: Straight hair, with a bend? Whatever is a half step above straight hair - that's what I want. Not exactly body wave, but something with a slight bend. If that makes sense? Like a very loose body wave. 

Ventilation: Freestyle


This is all verbatim, exactly what I wrote to Eric in my email. It took about ten weeks to arrive. A bit later than usual, but a Chinese New Years was going on, which always tends to cause delays due to factory workers going on break.

Review: Ultra thin Skin Unit from Northwest Lace


Ultra thin skin hairline. As you know, the hairline of any unit is what's going to make or break the unit. I'm happy to report that I am very satisfied with my hairline. Take note that this is my first ultra thin skin unit from any vendor, so I was a bit hesitant. I did my research, and it has been pointed out that some of the looped knots on ultra thin skin foundations can be obvious if you order it with darker hair. To prevent any unnatural knots, I ordered a blonde front. This will allow me to dye the hairline the color that I want, with knots that will be invisible..because they're blonde. The thought behind this is that the blonde will naturally blend into your scalp - which will naturally be lighter than the rest of your head - and camouflage any awkward knotting. No more bleaching knots. No more orange, unnatural looking knots.

Interestingly enough, there was about an inch of excess ultra thin skin in the front hairline. But the sideburns areas were cut right up to the hairline.

UTS, Thin Skin, and Knots


I opted for a UTS front and a thin skin unit for ultimate durability and detectability. The first 2 inches of the unit is made out of UTS, ventilated with blonde hair. It's seamless – there are no knots that can be seen.

Blonde Front 

Ultra Thin Skin Hairline With Blonde Front



The sides and the back of the unit are made out of thin skin, and I ordered a darker blonde color. Since the hair is injected into the skin base, there is literally no knots. So why not order a unit made entirely with thin skin? The only downside to the thin skin is that it is a thicker base than ultra thin skin. Even though the hair looks like it's sprouting from the foundation, the thickness is not appropriate for the hairline, that's why it's been delegated to the sides and back of the cap.

Underside of Unit

Will I order ultra thin skin in the future? Absolutely. I may even forgo Swiss lace units since most vendors aren't actually using Swiss lace, but French lace that they parade as Swiss. I have Swiss lace in stock, and when it's ventilated with single knots, it is vastly superior to most foundations, including even ultra thin skin. But due to availability and convenience, my go-to vendor will be Northwest Lace and my preferred units will be made from a ultra thin skin hairline and a thin skin full cap base.

Next time, I won't order a blonde front that is so starkly pale. A darker blonde would suffice.

What Am I Going to Do With My UTS Unit from Northwest Lace? Next, I am going to dye the whole unit a dark brown color with a permanent hair color probably from Garnier Fructis or L'Oreal. I've already cut the hair into the style that I want with the help of the Crea Clip.

Any questions or concerns,? Please leave a comment, and I will get to it as soon as possible.

Final results. Cut, dyed, and styled. Naturally looking hairline. 



Which Ammonia Can I Use for the Bleach Bath?

Posted on No comments
The bleach bath is one of the best things that you can do to remedy unruly hair systems. Bleach baths help remove tangles, deodorize dirty hair systems, and also help lift the heavy and sometimes greasy silicones that come with a recently purchased system. It is the first thing I do whenever any of my hair systems becomes dry,  regardless if I bought my unit from NorthWestLace, some random Chinese vendor, or even my own DIY lace wig systems.

Silicones in your wig. Most hair systems will come with some sort of silicone. This will impart softness and mitigate tangling. After a few washes, the honeymoon is over, and your system now has a mind of its own. The heavy silicones on your hair system give your hair softness -  until it finally wears out. The regular usage of bleach baths will make your hair as soft and smooth as when you first got it, regardless if it is made with silky straight hair or Yaki textures.

Deep cleans the hair cuticles. The hair will naturally be deodorized since you will be using bleach and ammonia, which can be helpful for heavy sweaters and oily skin types.

Can You Bleach Bath Hair Without Ammonia?


The ammonia step of the bleach bath is to neutralize the bleach. If the bleach is improperly neutralized, then it will continuously eat away at the hair and the system even after you wash it off.

Which Ammonia Can I Use for the Bleach Bath?


The good news is that it doesn't matter. I've used expensive ammonia from department stores, and I've also used the cheap stuff from the Dollar Store. All of them have worked wonderfully in neutralizing the bleach and making the hair soft.

Use Unscented Ammonia For Bleach Baths


The only thing that I will be weary about is to ensure that the ammonia is from a fresh batch. Older bottles of ammonia will have diluted solutions of the active ingredient, compromising the required high pH level of 11.6 for the ammonia solution to be effective in softening the hair. Also, unscented ammonia will make sure that your bottle has the active ingredients that are needed in the bleach bath, without the additives that can compromise the performance of the bleach bath.
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