I’m sure you’ve heard, “Don’t forget to zig-zag your lace!” or “Cut your lace in small triangles so that your hairline will blend better…”
This helpful tip is included in many wig making videos, blogs and tutorials, however, “zig-zagging” your lace is not the actual descriptive term used by wig companies and industry professionals. Plus, there is a QUICK and EASY way to trim the perimeter lace with out tirelessly snipping small triangles in the foundation…
Terminology: Creating a Scalloped Hairline
Preferred Tools: Pinking Shears or Scalloping Shears
What is a Scalloped Front (Scallop Hairline)?
Creating a “scalloped front” is the process of cutting the hairline on a lace or skin material to create a scallop shape or sawtooth (zig-zag) design. This pattern breaks up the hairline and results in a more realistic appearance. The scalloped edges provide a much softer appearance of hair which enhances the overall look.
Why You Should Create a Scallop Front Hairline
Scallop fronts assist in creating a natural and authentic hairline effect. This type of hairline is essential for wigs that have a hairline that goes straight across the forehead. A scalloped edge allows for off-the-face styling.
What Tool is Used to Create a Smooth Scallop Front Hairline?
Who has the time to carefully snip small zig zags to conceal the hairline? What if I told you that you could conceal the edges in a few snips or less? Having the right tools in your wig making kit go a long way towards getting things done efficiently.
Pinking shears are a type of specialized scissors with blades having a zig-zag (sawtooth) or scalloped cutting edge rather than straight. The blades leave a zig-zag pattern that helps prevent fraying of fabric. Now you can trim your wig lace “with one snip”. Not only will pinking shears save you time, but the result will be a quick and smooth cut that will help your hairline blend effortlessly. A pair of good pinking shears is a great investment for domestic and professional use.
Most shears are available between 5.2”-10.5”
The ability of pinking shears to reduce fraying (as result of cutting the fabric on the bias) and prevent fabric damage makes them a preferred choice when working with lightweight fabrics such as wig lace.
Benefits of Pinking Shears
- The ball bearing joint allows for increased precision and ensures smooth cutting action
- Stainless steel blades with a lower blade that extends for better control
Most models are ambidextrous; may be used in the right or left hand
- Pinking shears are great for seam finishes
- Ergonomically sculpted handle that provides unmatched cutting control
Tips for using Pinking Shears
- Select a comfortable weight. The weight of the pinking shears will be dictated by the type of fabric you’re cutting.
- Cut all the way to the tip. If another cut is needed, line the blade to the pattern then try to align the teeth of the shears to the design of the existing cut. This will help you to achieve a perfectly aligned row.
- Maintain your shears properly. To ensure that they stay in the best condition, oil them periodically and have the edges sharpened.
- Oil your pinking shears by adding 1-2 drops of sewing machine oil to either side of the bolt or hinge. Open and close the blades several times and use a cloth to wipe away excess oil.
- It is time for sharpening when your shears stop cutting and destroys your fabric.
Only use your shears on fabric.
- Never use them to cut paper.
Is it a requirement to use pinking shears when trimming the hairline of a closure, lace wig or hairpiece?
No, of course it is not a requirement to use pinking shears for all hairpieces, but there are some conditions in which it is preferred.
The “Un-plucked”, Straight or Conventional Lace Hairline
It is not good practice to install a lace front wig right out of the box. Particularly if it happens to be a cheaply manufactured wig with a straight hairline. That wig will fool no one!
Luckily, using your pinking shears to trim your lace right at the hairline will produce a staggered look that will break up the “boxy” and unnatural look.
Poly or Thin Skin Base
Scalloped hairlines are normally added to thin skin bases. The front of the thin skin base will be less visible, and the scallop design will create a more natural hairline effect.
If the customer prefers net on the front with a scalloped hairline, fine welded monofilament material is suggested. Fine welded monofilament does not fray easily on the edge and it is more durable. However, the monofilament may be a little hard against the scalp for sensitive skin.
For customers with sensitive skin, select French lace or a softer netting. A lace 30 denier or less would be best.
Want to skip the shears?
Scallop fronts are not necessary when ventilating the hairline in staggered fashion. This method replicates the natural growth pattern of hair, so it looks realistic. Plucking the hairline of your hairpiece or wig with slant-tip tweezers will give you a natural-looking hairline.
With a staggered hairline the lace can be cut in a rounded fashion and it’s easier to use glue or tape to get the front down securely.
Application tips for Scalloped Hairlines
The way that you apply the system will depend on the material that the base is made of.
You would apply the adhesive to your scalp, then wait for the adhesive to cure, and push the system on to it. Never apply a liquid adhesive directly to it.
Poly Base or Thin Skin Foundation:
The liquid adhesive may be applied directly to the base before applying it to your head.
For extended wear, we suggest that red liner tape is used first. This will make your cleanup process MUCH easier. Many of our clients use red liner as a base tape then they put either glue or other tape over the red liner.
Red liner tape – Originally known as “Sensi-Tak”, red liner is a low residue toupee tape that is popular for use on poly (polyurethane) units due to its easy clean up. This tape holds approximately 1-2 weeks. Safe enough for lace foundations.
After application of the red liner tape, use Supertape or Ultra Hold tape or the Supertape, but not both.
When wearing a scalloped front hairline, make sure that each one of the ‘teeth’ is glued down perfectly.
Have you modified your hairline with pinking shears? Feel free to comment and let us know what you think.