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Author Topic: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!  (Read 4479 times)

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Offline Eviecorn

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August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« on: August 01, 2013, 08:59:23 PM »
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Does rehairing scare you?  Are you itching to put a brand new mane on an old pony or a custom but just can't figure out the whats, hows, whys, and whens?  Well, here's a handy tutorial which I hope will help those of you who want to get in on the pretty mane goodness.

The Two Basic Ways:

There are two basic ways to rehair a pony: one is the old tried-and-true needle and thread method, and the other is by using a rehairing tool.  I am going to show you both methods, starting with the old school!

Needle-and-Thread Rehairing:

Stuff You'll Need:

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-A bald pony, of course!
-Hair (use whatever you like - nylon, saran, kanekalon, yarn, mohar, whatever -  but what I have here is some nylon DH in Buttercreme.)
-Scissors
-Pliers
-A tool for stretching a hole (upholstery needles work, but what I have pictured is a sculpting tool that has dulled and is no longer used for sculpting.)
-24 gauge wire (that's what's on the spool.  Some people use heavy-duty thread too, and that will work as long as it won't break.)
-Fabric Glue (I have Fabri-Tac featured, but I also use Aleese's Fabric Fusion, which I personally prefer, but your mileage may vary.)

Step 1: Prepare Hair Plugs

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Remove strands of hair and cut them a little bit longer than the length you'll want it on the pony (a few extra inches is good.)  What I've done here: this came off a standard 38 inch hank, and I cut the strand into thirds.

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Tie knots near the base of the hair.  I prefer to double-knot to make sure the knot will be a size that'll stay.

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Wash, rinse, repeat.  Make about as many as you think you'll need, but it's always better to make too little and have to go and make more plugs than to make too many plugs and have extras that you've wasted.

Put a dab of fabric glue on each knot, and leave them to dry for at least a few hours (overnight is best.)

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When they're dry, cut the extra lengths off the other side of the knots.

Step 2: Let's Start Rehairing!

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Take your hole-widening tool and insert it in the hair root.  (The point is to stretch the hole, not make a new one, so that the plastic will snap back and will hold your hair plug better.)

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Take your wire and cut a length long enough to go through the other side of the neck, doubled-over.  You'll be inserting in through the hole.  Fold it in the center of the wire like so:

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Insert the folded wire at the point through the widened hole.

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Bring it all the way through to the other side, so that the wire's loop is completely out of the neck but the other ends of the wire are still sticking through the top.  This is where you're going to pull the hair through.  If you need help fishing your wire loop through, use your pliers.

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Place the hair plug in the loop, near the knot.

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Take the ends of the wire at the top of the pony's head and pull the plug through.  Once it's through, pull the hair plug itself and not the wire to avoid crimping the hair. 

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Voila.

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Wash, rinse, repeat until you have a whole mane.  :)

Now, this method has worked for many years for many folks, and is practical, but let's face it - it's time consuming and can get your hands cramping really quickly.  That is why many customizers prefer to use rehairing tools.  Look, the goal and results of both ways are the same - you get a rehaired pony.  It's just that the first method is like riding a bike to town, but using a rehairing tool is like riding to town in a limousine.  If you do rehairs, I highly recommend investing or building your own.  I will supply links of folks who sell rehairing tools later, but I got mine from someone who is not an MLP Arena member and no longer sells publicly.

Anyway, moving on:

Rehairing Tool Method:

What You'll Need:

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-A bald pony again (I've made a G3 Ribbon and I'm rehairing her for this portion of the tutorial)
-Hair again (using nylon DH again, in Electric Banana with some Firebird for her stripe)
-Rehairing tool
-Thumbtack/push pin to widen holes (you don't need them as wide as you do with the other method)
-Scissors
-Fabric glue again (your choice)

I dunno why the pliers are in this photo.  You'll need them later for the tail along with wire and zip ties, but that I will save for the end.

Step 1:

Get your hair out.  I don't have this pictured as you don't need to pre-make plugs.  Personally I cut my strands in half to rehair G3 ponies, but some like longer manes and will use the whole thing.  This is personal preference.  Nylon strands tend to naturally separate into the width you'll need.

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Get your rehairing tool.  It should have a forked needle like the one pictured.  You can kind of see how the strands separate in the background of this photo.

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When you're getting ready to plug in a strand, put your pushpin through the root to widen it slightly.

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Tightly grab a strand between your fingers; hold it taut.  Try to center it as much as possible and run it between the forks of the needle.  Keep it held taut.

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Keeping the hair held tightly on the sides with your fingers, remove the pushpin and push the needle through the root.  A word of caution:  take extra care if your pony's head has a sculpted part, like the horn on this girl's head.

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Pull out the tool and voila.  You have a rooted hair plug!  Now remember that there is NOT a knot on the end like the other method, so if you yank on this IT WILL COME OUT and YOU WILL HAVE TO DO THIS AGAIN.  Take care not to pull on strands as you're working down the head.

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Wash, rinse, repeat.

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Woo!  Before you know it, you'll have a rooted head.  So what now?  Glueing, of course.

Step 3 (for both methods!): Glueing

No matter if you used a tool or the needle-and-thread method, you will need to glue the rooted hair on the inside.  USE FABRIC GLUE.  Please do not use Krazy Glue or anything like that, as it is extremely liquid and will seep through the roots and get on the outside hair.  Fabric glue is much more viscous and will stay on the inside of the head only.

I do not have pictures of this process, but all you really want to do is take your fabric glue and guide the nozzle to apply glue to the entire line of rooted hair on the inside of the pony's head.  Take care that you covered all the hair roots.  Use a popsicle stick or an old paintbrush you don't care to paint with anymore if you need help reaching the top of the line of roots.

Important!  Let the glue dry overnight.  I'm serious.  Fabric glue gives off some fumes and can seriously affect the pony plastic if you put the head back on too early.  Also, if you try to brush before the glue is fully dry, your hair will come out.  Just try to reroot a pony with glue on the inside.  It's fun.  Trust me.

That New Tail!

In the meantime, you can put in the pony's new tail!

Supplies:

-Hair to make the tail (you'll be folding it over, so don't make it too thick.)
-Zip ties or twist ties
-Wire long enough to be folded in half to go through to the pony's neck with a generous amount still coming out (think body length times 3)
-Pliers

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Widen the tail hole a bit with the end of a paintbrush or a chopstick.  Be careful not to crack the pony's paint job if it has one.

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Take your folded wire and place the center of the tail hair in the fold.

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Insert the ends of the wire through the tail hole until they go out of the neck hole.  Use pliers to guide them through if you need help.

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Using pliers if you need help or just lots of hand strength if you don't, pull the wire through until the loop at the center of the tail is out of the neck hole.  Try to keep it as centered as possible.

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Wrap your first zip tie in the center of the tail hank.  Cut off the excess.

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Wrap a second zip tie just below the base of the loop the first one created.  Cut off the excess again.

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Again, keeping it centered as much as possible, pull the tail back through the hole until it stops.  And you have a tail!

Done!

Hair glue is dry?  Tail has been installed?  Get that pony's head back on its body in whatever way you need to (glueing, fidding with a neck plug, however you did it) and enjoy!

The first brushing before styling should be done with a soft bristle brush.  A few flyaway hairs will inevitably come out, so don't panic unless it's a lot.

Finished G3 Ribbon!

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Questions?  Comments?  Please give me your feedback!  As promised, I will get a list together of people to get rehairing tools from.  Thanks!
« Last Edit: August 01, 2013, 09:05:03 PM by Eviecorn »

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Offline happycootie

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 09:11:07 PM »
Very nice tutorial! I'm a fan of the needle and thread technique myself. :0)

Offline achab1984

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 09:17:24 PM »
This is so neat!!! The tail looks so very easy! But the hair! I guess if you do it more and more you will get better at it :)

Offline Eviecorn

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 09:56:35 PM »
Hair can be a learning curve, but once you get the hang of it, it's like an automated process.  I just put on a good movie and work.  :)

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Offline Twilight Pink

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2013, 10:05:48 PM »
Yes! This is awesome!  :biggrin: i'm gonna bookmark this post for future references :3 I plan to do more elaborate customs that actually involve rehairing and whatnot.  ^.^
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Offline Griffin

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2013, 10:50:04 PM »
Great tutorial! Very clear and easy to follow. Mind if I add a few thoughts about the needle & thread method? :) Just something I've noticed over years...

- I started out using wire but later switched to actually using a loop of thread (& needle of course, large-eyed crosstich needles are great! and strong cotton thread). The problem I had with the wire was that it kept snapping, often I couldn't even do one plug without it breaking... The thread I use now can sometimes rehair several ponies until it's too worn out to use. Besides, cotton thread is so much friendlier to your hands, even though it might still be a good idea to use a plaster to protect your finger.

- Instead of tying the knot at the end, I keep the hair double the length I want my plugs and tie them in the middle. That way I can get two plugs of hair with the same effort and amount of time. The plugs are then inserted pretty much the same way as pictured, only you need two loops of thread/wire. Make sure they don't tangle inside the head! Hold the centre knot while pulling at the ends of the thread. 

- I glue each knot right after tying it, that way when I get to the end, the first plugs have already dried and I can start rehairing right away. Of course it depends a bit on the type of the glue, I use regular wood glue. Also, no gluing is needed when you're done, unless you want to make it extra secure (e.g. for children).

- I also measure and cut each plug before putting it in. This results in an evenly falling mane (a must with shorter manes, like on most G1 ponies), and no trim is needed after the rehairing is done.

I realize most people probably choose the tool even for their first method, and also my "tips" are hardly anything original, in fact I learned most of these from Woosie's rehairing tutorial years back, the double plug method in particular. That tutorial just made my life so much easier that I absolutely have to mention it every time the needle & thread / wire / knot method is discussed. ^^'

Sometimes I consider switching to the tool as I'd like to be able to rehair faster... but there are some advantages to the n&t method that I would hate to lose, such as the security of the knots and the possibility to trim the plugs prior to rehairing. The tool is a must with some other hair materials like wool, though. There's no way you can squeeze the wool through the holes from inside out!


I hope everyone will find the courage to try rehairing and the method that suits them best. ^_^

   
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Offline Galactica

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2013, 01:01:20 AM »
Fantastic tutorials ! 

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #7 on: August 02, 2013, 05:27:53 AM »
I don't use any of these two methods ... am I strange now? lol  :lookround:
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Offline Eviecorn

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #8 on: August 02, 2013, 12:10:37 PM »
I don't use any of these two methods ... am I strange now? lol  :lookround:

Lol no!  I'm sure I learned methods that some people have never used, and likewise for others.  I just show what I know.  XD

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #9 on: August 02, 2013, 04:32:30 PM »
Thanks for showing both, I was wondering about the more traditional method. 

I don't use any of these two methods ... am I strange now? lol  :lookround:
I am sure there are others who use something different.  I would love hear how you do it Berry.
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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #10 on: August 02, 2013, 04:33:28 PM »
Beautifully done!  I love that you covered both options with such nice pics!  Thank you!

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2013, 04:42:01 PM »
So happy to have this as I intend to try my first rehair next weekend!

Offline Mnemiz

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2013, 08:20:19 AM »
Really good job!!!

This is exactly what I've been looking for, so thank you  :green:
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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2013, 10:12:23 AM »
I don't use any of these two methods ... am I strange now? lol  :lookround:
Yeah, you are strange ;-)

I'm using the rehairing tool method

Offline sweetlittlejenny

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Re: August Custom Spotlight - Rehairing!
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2013, 03:41:38 PM »
I do a similar method to Griffin. But I don't use thread, I use clear filament. Like fishing line but from the craft section. It's strong enough that I can use it for multiple re-roots and usually only breaks if my plug is too big or something is tangled.
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