Star Wars Franchise: Working With Synthetic Braiding Hair

Hair is one of the most stunning pieces of costuming in the Star Wars franchise, however, sometimes working with synthetic hair can be difficult. Here are some suggestions that might make working with synthetic hair easier.

Why Synthetic Hair?:

Synesthetic hair is a better option for making hair pieces for achieve Star Wars hair styles then human hair in most cases. Often times human hair is unethically sourced so avoiding it is a good idea, unless you know it’s origins. That said, if your human hair can he ethically sourced then it can also work well, however, it is always going to be a less affordable option.

Some articles that break down the ethical issues of  human hair extensions

Synthetic hair is also more affordable, for many of the hairstyles in Star Wars a lot of hair is required, and that can become very expensive. Synthetic hair like Kenekalon Braiding Hair and other brands like it are typically a more affordable option when buying a lot of hair. Synesthetic hair can also hold up longer then human hair when taken care of

Another alternative to human hair is horse hair, buying horse hair extensions, they are less affordable and depending on the sealer may also be unethically sourced. However, as an option, the hair is natural and looks so.

Weight, real human hair can be heavy, synthetic hair is often times lighter weight then real hair and can be worn longer because of this.

Styling products, when styling with synthetic hair, styling products such as hair spray or moose, are not needed, because the hairs are all the same length unless altered there are few if any fly-always that need to be smoothed.

Hair Color:

When using synesthetic hair for a costuming it can be hard to find a matching color, this is partly due to the fact that natural hair is not one color, humans have several different colors making up teach individuals hair including high-light and low-lights. Synesthetic hair is typically one color, and it’s hard to match and make it look natural right out of the package. For a more natural look blending 2 too 3 colors of hair together will help, see video for tutorial on blending. (Note: for making hair look more natural, using more of the base color and chose a smaller amount of your high-lights and low-lights.)

 

 

 

Hair Texture:

2 of the main textures for synesthetic hair are natural or yaki and silky, both will work great, however, most Star Wars hairstyles in the movies use a silky finish, this is not as important when doing a hairstyle such as Classic Leia (a.k.a Political Gown Leia), however, most of the headdresses that Queen Amidala wears require silky hair finish to be used, such as her Red Invasion Gown headdress.

Tangling:

Synesthetic hair can tangle easily, so to untangle it start by brushing or combing depending on the need, at the ends and slowly working up the tail of the hair. Starting at the top and going to the ends will only make the tangling worse and more difficult to get out. Sometimes using fingers to come the hair can be easier then a brush, and if using a brush a wig brush would probably work better then a normal hair brush. For general untangling and styling a wide toothed come works grate.

Washing:

For some people synthetic hair can be itchy right out of the package, to remove the coating the hair comes with make a bath or water and vinegar and let the hair sock a while, then rinse and let dry. This processes might be easiest if the hair is still in its loosely braided form that it comes in right out of the package.

 

Storing:

Storing the synthetic hair for reuse, put a fabric covered elastic at the center of the hair bundle and loosely braid the hair. Coil the braid into a circle and place inside a hairnet. See Alexa Poletti’s video on storing wigs.

Resources:

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Star Wars: Puttees

Throughout both Lucas trilogies and the New EU movies, Puttee’s have been used in Star Wars costuming. (Puttee’s are leg wrappings that cover from the ankle up to the knee.) Luke Skywalker is the most recognizable character in Star Wars that wears Puttees, Luke in A New Hope wears putties with his boots throughout the movie as part of his Tatooine moisture farmer outfit. However, many other characters also wear puttees in Star Wars, Anakin as a slave in The Phantom Menace, as well as Shmi Skywalker, Padmé (Amidala) Naberrie, in her peasant disguise. And in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Galen Erso wears puttee’s with his farmer outfit. Own Lars also wears puttees in the end of Revenge of the Sith.

According to Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy, Luke’s puttees or leg wrappings are made out of soft suede. and unlike WWI puttees, Luke’s leg wraps do not appear to be held in place by a ribbon tape, instead double sided adhesive tape may have been used.

Original Trilogy:

Luke Puttees ANH
(ANH: Luke Tatooine Farmer: Luke’s Putees) (Images From The Padawans Guide)
Luke Puttees Boots
(ANH: Luke Puttees) (Images From: Stat Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy)
Luke Puttees
(ANH: Luke Tatooine Farmer: Luke’s Putees) (Images From: Cap-That.com)

Prequel Trilogy:

Padme puttees TPM
(TPM: Padmé Peasant Disguise Puttees/Leg Wrappings) (Images From: The Padawans Guide)
Anakin Puttees
(TPM: Anakin Puttees) (Images From: Cap-That.com)
starwarsIII_9075
(ROTS: Own Lars Moisture Farmer: Puttees) (Images From: Cap-That.com)

New EU:

Luke in the New Expanded Universe movies, The Force Awakens, wears what appear to be short puttees. Short puttees typically go around the ankle, Luke’s appear to go a little higher then short puttees usually go, but they are not full length or long puttees.

Luke puttees TFA
(TFA: Luke Skywalker Short Puttees) (Images From: Google Images)
Galen Erso Puttees RO
(RO:ASWS: Galen Erso: Farmer Outfit: Puttees) (Image From: Google Images)

What Are Puttees:

Puttees are a wrapping around the lower legs that became very common for militaries to wear at the turn of the nineteenth century. There are two kinds of puttees, long (that wrapped all the way up from the ankle to the knee) and short puttees (that only wrapped around the ankle and a little up the calf.) The long Puttees that were worn during the turn of the nineteenth century were roughly 3 ½” to 4” in width and around 9 ft. long. Puttees help keep the elements out of boots while also protecting and supporting legs.

How To Wrap Puttees:

 

Images: