Wig ventilating with latch hooks
For cosplayers who are new to lace fronts, wig ventilating is a process in which individual strands of hair are hand-tied to lace that is located at the front of a wig (ie, a “lace front” wig), or for a very high quality wig, over the entire head. This process is long and tedious, but there is simply nothing out there that looks more natural, particularly for wigs that are pulled back from the forehead. Cosplay vendors such as Arda-Wigs and WigIsFashion now sell premade lace front wigs, but ventilating your own is still a useful technique if you need a special hairline shape or are starting with a traditional wig.
There are already several great ventilating tutorials out there, but most use your standard tool: a ventilating hook. Hhhhammy used one of these to ventilate her Eridan wig, but when I went to ventilate my Fishwig entry for Iron Wig I had a major problem with it. I kept dropping the hair off of the hook portion, or couldn’t angle it easily through the loop without losing the fiber. It was working but I had a tight deadline and I was spending WAY too much time just trying to get the thing through the netting.
So I went to Sally’s Beauty and bought this for $3:
IT’S GREAT. A latch hook or micro fusion hook is more commonly used to weave in extensions, but I am in love with it for ventilating. Basically, if you are having trouble knotting your hair with a traditional needle, go get one of these and rejoice because it does literally half the work for you. The steps are almost identical to how you would use a normal ventilating needle, but with the addition of your handy dandy latch:
- Open your hook and push it through one of your mesh holes like normal. Push it all the way past the latch and grab 1-3 strands of hair with the hook. This is one place where your standard ventilating hook wins out: it does not automatically pick up the right amount of fiber the way a ventilating hook does, so be careful.
- Pull your hook and newly-caught hair back through the hole. The netting will push the latch closed and trap your hair, making it impossible to fall off no matter what angle you are holding the hook at! Holy shit!
- Slip the hair backward past the latch, toward your hand. This will re-open the latch. Take your re-exposed hook and grab the tail of the fiber that you are still holding.
- Slip the hair at the base of the tool forward and off. The hair will push the latch closed once again, trapping the tail fiber and making a knot for you! You are done! What a miracle of modern wigmaking!!
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I frigging love this thing, and feel like I ventilated so much faster because I didn’t have to sweat about the hair falling off or angling the tool correctly through the knot. You really just poke and go, and let the latch do half the work for you. Your mileage may vary: most people like the traditional ventilating tool, and some people even prefer using a normal needle. But if you’re having trouble with the knotting process, give this a try!