Sunday, May 23, 2010

All Wigs Are Not Created Equal

Nor, for that matter, are all doll heads.  This can make wigging BJDs an interesting challenge. 

Wig sizes are generally expressed as a single number or a range of numbers:  6 or 6-6.5 or 6/7.  Wigs sized in this manner would fit a doll with a 6-inch head, a head between 6 and 6.5 inches, or a head between 6 and 7 inches.  Complicating matters is the fact that doll dimensions are frequently given in centimeters.  It's a good idea to download a conversion chart for those occasions when the conversion is not listed.  (I consulted mine twice while composing this post.)

If all wigmakers adhered strictly to a standard for the size they were making, the only issue would be in taking an accurate measure of the doll's head.  I have run into the occasional problem with inconsistent sizing.  Take the two LeekeWorld wigs below:

On the left is wig #L048 from LeekeWorld.  On the right is wig #L047.  Both are advertised as size 6-6.5, although the bag for #L047 says 6/7.  The Unoa Lusis on the left wears a 6/7, so #L048 should fit without any problem.  It is, in fact, very snug.  Soul Doll Linn on the right wears a 7/8.  Wig #L047, which should be extremely tight if it is indeed a 6-6.5, is loose.  #L047 does not fit any of my size 6/7 dolls, even with a silicone wig cap.  It's just too big.  (I suspect it is a mislabeled 7/8 and not a 6/7 at all.)

Here is another example:

These are Dollzone wigs.  Both are advertized as fitting a size 18.5-19 cm. head (roughly 7.25 inches).  Narae, on the left, is the only one of my dolls who can wear the black/red wig #W45-006.  It was so tight going on that for a while I feared it was going to pop off.  One look at the inside of the wig is enough to tell that this wig is closer to a 5/6 than a 7/8.  I suspect the company mislabeled one of their BB wigs (for their smallest dolls, about 6.5 inches).  Linn, on the right, wears a 7/8 and the carmel color wig #W45-004 fits her perfectly.  My size 6/7 dolls, such as Limho Mono below, can wear it with a silicone wig cap.  It's still a bit large but it works.

This is not to disparage either LeekeWorld or Dollzone wigs.  I have bought other wigs from both companies and the fit was as advertised.  LeekeWorld wigs, in fact, are some of my favorites.

Other favorites include Monique Gold wigs and JpopDolls wigs, both of which feature extremely soft, natural looking fibers.  Their wig caps stretch, ensuring a good fit regardless of the doll's head shape.  My only complaint with Monique Gold is the silky tag inside the wig.  It can cause the wig to slip.  I always cut the tag off to enable the wig to stay put.  I am not featuring Monique or JpopDolls wigs in this post because a majority of my wigs come from one or the other, so they will continue to appear in these pages.

Here is a look at my wig collection.  The only wigs missing are the 20 or so currently on dolls' heads.

The three large bins are organized by size:  8/9, 7/8, and 6/7, while the smaller bin holds additional 6/7s -- mostly mohair and the smaller fitting wigs that I keep for the Little Fees.  The lids (ranged above them on the bed) hold the packaging for the wigs currently in use.  I always replace the tissue paper stuffing inside and put the hairnet over it when I store a wig.  It all goes into a plastic bag and then into the bin.  That way I avoid tangles and keep the style intact.

I mentioned at the beginning of this post that all doll heads were not created equal.  I should have photographed a larger number of them to show the variation in head shapes possible within one size range, but the two heads below should suffice for illustration:

On the left is Unoa Lusis unwigged.  I have not discussed the Unoas yet, but for now let me just say that the holes in her head are for the eye mechanism, which I am not using, and for additional parts like horns or cat's ears.  (I'm not kidding.)  She has a nice round head.  Narae, on the right, has an indentation at the back of her head for the maker's label.  Although she is the same size as Lusis, wigs fit her head a little differently.  That indentation is the reason I was able to get the Dollzone wig to stay on her head.

I have added a small piece of moleskin to the back of each doll's head to help hold the wigs in place.  You can find moleskin in the foot care aisle of your local supermarket or pharmacy.  It is sticky on one side and has fabric on the other.  That little bit of fabric keeps the wig from slipping on an otherwise very smooth surface.  Some dollmakers put pieces of velcro on their doll heads to achieve the same purpose.  I don't like the velcro because the hair gets caught in the tiny teeth and can tear away from the wig.  A silicone wig cap is your best bet for holding wigs that are a little large.  The problem is they don't work with a wig that is already tight.

One thing to watch in wigs is scale.  A wig with very long or very thick hair will easily overwhelm a small doll.  In a previous post I mentioned that Little Fee Lishe arrived with such a wig.  Here is that wig on Pixiez Dharma, a doll nearly twice Little Lishe's size, after I had cut at least one inch off the bottom.  The sheer weight of it kept Lishe from standing on her own.  I've decided she can wear it if and when she ever decides to play at Rapunzel.

Next time I will discuss my largest doll, a 67 cm. Unidoll.  There are bigger dolls on the market, but this is absolutely as big as I am willing to go.  For now.


  1. Who knew? It sounds like buying wigs is a lot like buying shoes or clothes....the sizes are never the same between brands.

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