Welcome all, as there are pretty much no such thing as wig extensions longer than 48 inches, I thought I’d provide this handy tutorial on how I put together my Meenah wig extensions!
Items you will need: (from right to left)
- Adhesive Calk - clear drying
- Two to four rolls of one inch black satin ribbon
- A needle and black thread
- Black bias tape
- Black 48 inch synthetic hair extension
Open your pack of synthetic hair extensions. One pack of Kanekalon Silky Braid from Amphigory.com is $3.60 + shipping and is enough when split in half for a pair of extensions. The extensions come with two rubber bands, take off those rubber bands and save them.
After splitting the extensions in half, hold one end of your loose extension tightly and band the end with one of the rubber bands tightly enough that the loose fibers cannot be pulled out.
Carefully brush out the loose wig fiber from top to bottom to remove any tangles. Be gentle, the less combing on wig fiber the better.
Once your fiber has been brushed out, split the fiber into three or four pieces and braid them. I suggest pinning the banded end to something so you can braid in a nice straight line. Once you reach the end of your braid, continue slightly past where you’d like the braid to end before banding it off.
At this point, if your braid is frizzy and you happen to have a heat sealer, allow the heat sealer to heat up and pass the ends near the edges of the braid. Don’t get to close! The heat from the heat sealer will shrivel the frizzy fiber and leave you with a nice sleek braid. Do no attempt to use a lighter or an open flame to do this. Hair curlers and hair straighteners may be a viable alternative.
Now your extension should measure in the braided portion anywhere from 40 to 36 inches depending on how much fiber isn’t braided at the ends.
Set aside your two braids for now and grab your black yarn. This is where the true length of your extensions will come from.
Before you start attacking your yarn, consider your height. I am 5’1” in height. That means the back of my head is about 4’9” from the ground. If my wig fiber braids are about 36 inches long and I want my extensions to drag at least two feet on the ground, I need to add approximately 3’9” of length with yarn. (if you will be wearing any height boosting heels, even simple shoe heels, take that into account as well.) This will translate to about six feet of yarn.
From here I would measure out six feet with a single strand of yarn, or however long it needs to be.
At the six foot mark do not cut the yarn, fold the yarn over on itself and measure back down to the end. Continue to do this, counting the strands as you go. You will need anywhere from 20-36 strands depending on how thick you’d like your extension to be.
Once you get 20-36 strands, tie off or rubber band one end.
Pin the tied or banded end to something and braid the yarn. Tie or band the end. (The six or so feet of braid should shorten by at least a foot as you braid.)
Now you should have two wig fiber braids and two yarn braids.
Break out your bias tape.
Measure your yarn braids and cut a piece of bias tape that is at least four inches longer on both ends.
Get your needle and thread.
Leave about four inches of bias tape past the banded or tied end or your yarn braid and wrap it the bias tape around the braid until the ends of the tape touch.
Begin sewing just below the banded or tied area, sewing directly into the yarn braid to begin with. Then sew down the length of your yarn braid, in the fashion shown above, to just before then end band or tie. (This is the most time consuming and boring part of the process)
When you finish sewing your bias tape wrapped braid should look something like this. Repeat this process on the other yarn braid.
Don’t worry if your sewing isn’t perfectly straight. The bias tape tends to twist as you work your way down, this does not matter. The finished product will still look the same.
Peel back the bias tape to expose the banded or tied ends.
Carefully cut off the end either just before the band or just under the tied off portion. You don’t want to cut any of your stitching.
Repeat this on the other end of the braid. Both of your yarn braids should look something like this.
Time for ribbon!
Find a surface you can pin your yarn braid while you do this. You will need four strands of ribbon for this process. This will probably take multiple tires to get right and I highly recommend starting this high enough off the ground that you can continually pull the braid strait out while you weave the ribbon around it.
Start your ribbon just over the end you just cut off. You pin the ribbon in place for now, but you will need to sew the ribbon in place or use calk to keep the ribbon from coming undone.
Because I don’t have a good explanation on how to go about weaving the ribbon, I hope the following images are helpful enough!
Continue this pattern until you reach the other end of the braid and the cut off end you just made.
Take one of your wig fiber braids, figure out which end you’d like to be the top and which will be the bottom. Cut off the loose fiber just above the banded area on the top of the braid. Do not cut the trailing fiber off the bottom of your wig fiber braid!
Make sure you’ve at least pinned your ribbon in place before you peel it open.
Place a small amount of adhesive calk inside the bias tape and as close to the yarn end as possible.
Squish the cut end of the wig fiber braid into the yarn. Try not to make a mess and get the calk every where, but make sure the yarn end and wig fiber ends are good and coated.
Break you your thread again while the calk is wet and sew up the bias tape as before. Make sure to sew into both the yarn and wig fiber as you do so. Extend the bias tape about an inch down the wig fiber braid.
Tie off the thread there and then carefully stitch through the bias tape and into the wig fiber all the way around the braid for added support.
When your finished, carefully cut off any excess bias tape.
Calk takes about a day to dry, so you can either stop here for now or finish the extension. If you’re not sure what to do, stop and let the calk dry fully while the extension is on a flat surface.
Return your extension to a surface it can be pinned to and continue weaving the ribbon around the extension until the bias tape is fully covered.
Once at a stopping point, pin the ribbon in place.
Once again, there is no easy way to explain this process. However, you will need to use calk to glue the ribbon ends down and finish the ribbon wrapping.
Please follow the pictures.
Cut and calk the ribbon in place. Pin in place and continue.
Cut the overlapping ribbon and pin in place.
Flip the extension over to continue cutting and calking ribbon.
Here you can see calk being squished out.
Wrap the final piece of ribbon around the extension at least once to cover the cut ribbon ends and calk.
Pin in place.
Cut and calk in place.
Pin in place. If any calk shows, that’s perfectly fine. The calk will dry clear if you purchase the proper clear drying kind. Now you can sew through the ribbon and wig fiber braid while the calk is wet for extra strength and to keep the ribbon from coming undone.
Your finished product should look something like this, but hopefully much longer and one solid color!
Now you can add clips to the top end of the extension or sew and calk the extension directly into your wig. The materials keep the extension pretty light, so tension from pulling shouldn’t be too bad.But make sure you attach the extensions at the back of the head or they will pull.
Keep the extensions held off the ground while walking around conventions. You don’t want them pulled out of your wig or your wig being pulled off by them.
At this point, you can change out the bottom tie of your extensions with something nicer. I usually wrap a portion tightly with black thread, sew through the wrapped thread and wig fiber, and finally coat the thread with a thin layer of calk. This will keep the braid from coming undone and keep the tie from moving at all.
The final finishing touch is curling the ends of the trailing wig fiber. Just use a little bit of heat from a blow dryer and you’re done!
Now have fun with you obscenely long Meenah extensions!
If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an ask. I’ll try to help you as best I can.
The site Doctored Locks offers seven foot wig extensions. This is before braiding, after they would probably range from five to six feet long. They cost $33.95 plus shipping and one set would probably be enough to make you two thin braids. If you’d like thicker braids, I would suggest purchasing two extension bundles, also note the thicker the braids the more the extension will shorten as you braid.
Also, if you live near a weave shop, there are occasionally 82” extensions available. I recently updated my wig for Meenah, if you look at any of my recent posts, using those same 82” extensions. They are not as long as the extensions I made with this tutorial, but they are all wig fiber. They only thing is the fiber is crimped, since the type that comes in that length is for braiding into real hair and the texture helps to grab hair and hold the braid very well.
Be careful if you use these types of extension. One package is very cheap, about $5-7 but has enough fiber for two thin braids. The problems is properly combing the fiber so that you can actually braid it! It tangles very easily because of the crimped texture, so you have to be super careful to keep it from tangling before and while you work.
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