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If this isn't an appropriate place to ask this, I would greatly appreciate suggestions for other communities.

For Halloween, I'll be dressing as the Bride of Frankenstein. I would rather do this DIY and not buy a wig. Any thoughts on how I should go about making my hair stand up in the way that the Bride's does? My hair is straight, so I don't have any natural volume or curl to work with.

Photos behind the cut.

And so this isn't just an "Ask" post, here's a picture of my costume from last year. My husband and I got married on All Saint's Day, and for Halloween, we were a zombie bride and groom.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Here are some pictures.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I'm thinking that I should
a) use some kind of cage and wrap my hair around it (which is how it was done for the original movie), or
b)use a styrofoam form as a base. Maybe a cone, or a halved oval?

I've never done either before, so I'm not quite sure how to start.

As for the white pieces, that's not really a challenge - I can use some fake white hair or spray portions. I'm more confounded by the sheer height/volume issue.

Any thoughts?

I do have experience with using gelatin for otherwise impossible hair styles, like spikes (think huge spiked mohawk), but I'm not sure that will help with this particular style.

I googled and searched and I can't come up with anything that is helpful. I also tried searching the LJ interests for a good community to ask for help, but that function isn't working - it freezes up and shuts down my browser every time I try. If you have suggestions of good communities to go to, that would be helpful too!


( 36 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 8th, 2007 03:13 am (UTC)
First of all - LOVE the zombie bride/groom costumes!!! :D

I'd actually planned/wanted to make a Bride of Frank costume myself, for several years, and have yet to do it. Now this year, I'm torn between 3 different costumes (that one, Day of the Dead style skeleton (bones and flowers!), or Tank Girl...) Anyway - The idea I always had was to cover something with fake hair. Like, a tube of something (I thought black poster board... lol) and then stick the fake hair to the outside of it to properly cover the whole thing. Then the whole hair would be removable easily - just pull it up and off. ... I hope that makes sense!!! Just one idea. ^_^ My hair is a pin straight impossibility, too. I feel your pain... XD Make sure to post photos when you figure it out and wear it and stuff - I'd love to see it!! :D
Oct. 8th, 2007 03:26 am (UTC)
I may end up doing a cone that I cover with some hair (to make sure it blends in) and then putting my hair up around it. I just can't figure out how in the hell to make my hair actually stand up around the shape!

I didn't get too many picture of our zombie costumes, but I actually sprayed the wedding dress down with our hose and then rolled it in the mud. Our neighbors were re-sodding their yard, so it worked out perfectly!

Oct. 8th, 2007 08:50 pm (UTC)
it would help if you used a chicken wire structure and just pinned your hair to it here and there with bobby pins i think.
Oct. 12th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC)
Massive amounts of hairspray and BACK-COMBING. If your hair holds a curl, you can try crimping it thoroughly, and then brushing it for volume before you start spraying; back-combing may not be necessary.

If you back-comb: Good luck brushing it out later. :-\ Start from the ends, and be patient.

My daughter's hair is intractably straight, and will not hold a curl without shellac. The only way to get volume on her head is to back-comb near the roots. We tried it for her Shego costume last year, but it was such a pain to brush out after the practice run that she decided she didn't need the huge cartoon hair.

Awesome zombie couple costume, by the way.

Floral foam, by the way, makes an excellent pin-to base.
Oct. 7th, 2012 01:32 am (UTC)
Massive amounts of hairspray and BACK-COMBING is a Fact! I did this one year and it took two girl with lots of hairspray, and back coming and a 1/2 ton of Hairpins over 2 Hours ! But it worked! The brushing it out later was a bitch, but worth it!
Oct. 8th, 2007 04:58 pm (UTC)
Oct. 8th, 2007 05:03 pm (UTC)
LOL!! Actually - I like to think of myself as Tank Girl all year round. ^_^ My style always includes lots of bright flashy clashing colors, weird accessories and hats, toys for earrings and stuff like that. So it wouldn't be *too* much of a stretch... hehe. :)
Oct. 8th, 2007 03:14 am (UTC)
You could put a big 2 liter bottle on your head and tie up your hair to cover it all up! a couple of my friends did this for fun and it looks awesome/hilarious.
Oct. 8th, 2007 03:31 am (UTC)
yeah, I did this once and used a cylinder shaped piece of foam rubber on top of my head- bent over and pony-tailed my hair around it. Spray painted the sides gray. Was light on the head and held all night.
Oct. 8th, 2007 03:29 am (UTC)
i've done this with my own hair a few times. if you're not really great with hair you're going to need some outside help. either hot rolling your hair, wet setting it or crimping it is needed. other than that you need to rat the hell out of the inside section of it and spray it to death. just smooth the outside layers around it and spray more. if you don't have thick enough hair to give you the volume then take something like tulle and ball it up on the inside as a base. you can bobby pin sections of your hair around it. anything heavier than that is just going to be more trouble than it is worth. the same thing for the cage. if you don't have some experience with this sort of thing, especially on yourself, you're just going to end up aggravated.

you can use a lot of different products to get this effect. i'm partial to volumax's freezing spray.

oh.....in the event you do want to try something more complicated let me know and i'll give you some tips.......i'm a professional wig builder and have made some enormous things.
Oct. 9th, 2007 01:51 am (UTC)
I think I'll definitely need some outside help. I was thinking about crimping and then using diluted clear Knox gelatin as my product. I'm just afraid the moisture will pull out the volume from the crimp. I have never really used any hair products outside of the occassional gel when my hair is short and spiky (which its not at the moment), so I'm not really sure what each of the different products do.

Your tulle idea is really smart - I think I may try that first. I'm thinking I could pin it to my roots and then crumple it into a ball. I will probably do a practice run this weekend so I don't end up spending all day trying to figure out WTF I'm doing on the day of our party.

Any thoughts on the white portion? I was going to hold out two sections to spray white and then work on top of the rest.
Oct. 9th, 2007 02:02 pm (UTC)
i can't really tell from the photo you posted how much hair you've got or how thick it is.....i'm going to guess it's just average from what i can see though. with that being said i really don't think you need to go the gelatin route, especially if you've never worked with it. if you have hair that has a hard time holding a set you can get this stuff called starch(not the kind for clothing!) that you spray on it first and then roll/crimp that will help you out.
personally i have a lot of hair and i've always been able to pull this off with just hair spray. but i'm very specific about which spray. again......go to sally's and get the huge can of volumax freezing spray! it will do the trick. promise. ;P

section out your hair and pin the tulle in. you'll want to make a few small pin curls on the crown of your head so that you have a really stable base to mount the tulle to. if you don't know how to make a pin curl just take a small section of hair and wrap it around your fingers like you're curling it, slide it off still rolled up and flatten it against your head. use 2 bobby pins in an X to hold it steady. you can then pin into this and it won't move.

really rat the hair around your tulle base so that it is also doing most of the work and your outside layers are just smoothed on like cotton candy. crimping will help out a ton for building texture and if you can find a crimper with those wave plates instead of normal crimping plates you'll be closer to the photo.

having a trial run and a friend to help will make all the difference in the world. promise! i'm going to give you a few tips on how to do this in sections so you don't waste a ton of time figuring this part out.......what to do with the ends?

start with a section in the back and rat it out then bring it up and over smoothing your ends forward. then do the same to each side working your way to the front. this will make sure you don't have any seams in your sides and that the top is covered with no seams as well. if you have a decent amount of hair you can do this all twice. the last sections will be from the front and your temples. unless you've got super thick one length hair this will fade nicely as your ends are thinner and will just blend into the other hair. save the parts at your temples for last. you might want to try to do a really nifty pattern with the crimper or with a curling iron so it stands out well. get the shape you like and spray the hell out of it while it is held out straight from your head and flat. once you've got something you like then have your friend carefully spray it white or silver or whatever. then take it and lay it back against the poof. you might take a few tiny hair pins and pin it at the top and then spray your whole head several times. do it in layers and let it dry in between so you don't get gooey. if you've got any spray on your face just wipe it off before you do your makeup.

oh.......to get all this out? just be patient. don't try to brush too much out, just remove your pins and stuffing and then head for the shower. add some baking soda to your normal handful of shampoo and shampoo a few times till you're clean again. i'd also try a bit of leave in conditioner just in case your hair is feeling abused.

here are a few photos to illustrate my point........both of these were done with only that freezing spray and bobby & hair pins.

this one uses the technique that i described for getting it up with no seams and ends
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

and this one does have a wire frame due to it's size but it also is only freezing spray and pins.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Oct. 13th, 2007 05:50 pm (UTC)
Sweet Jesus you do amazing work.
I can't thank you enough for all of the information you've given me - I am going to try a test run this weekend, and I'll definitely let you know how things go!
Jul. 7th, 2009 02:21 am (UTC)
I was searching online for a way to do my hair as the bride of frankenstein and found this post! Really helpful, thank you!

Question: How big of an area do you suggest for the pin-curled base section? Do you think it would work to use crepe-hair as a base instead of tulle (I was thinking this might give a better shape)?

I have pretty long hair and I'm a bit worried about the weight!

Thanks again, you've helped a lot!
Oct. 28th, 2009 03:43 pm (UTC)
I just came back to this post because someone else was asking about this and I saw your comment. I'm sorry I didn't reply to you, I didn't get a comment notification about it at all. I hope your hair turned out well though!
Oct. 28th, 2009 03:33 pm (UTC)
bride of frankenstein hair
I also want to do the bride of frankenstein this year using my own hair, but the top is so much shorter then the sides and back, any suggestions on how to get the style to look uniform all the way around? I also purchased hair glue,(I've used it for my sons mohawk), but it seems like it might be to much work for this style, do you think it will work?
Oct. 28th, 2009 03:48 pm (UTC)
Re: bride of frankenstein hair
It's hard for me to say without seeing your hair, but I've got 2 options for you:

1. really texturize your hair to help it blend, this can be hot rollers or crimping or whatever. If you've just got layers that don't go too far back or too short on top this should really not be too much of an issue.

2. if it's really much too short and there is no way it will blend then I'd suggest getting some hair wefts to add into your top. These days it's pretty easy to go to Sally's or somewhere and buy a few tracts of weft with the toupe clips already sewn in. You might have to do some kind of crazy securing job or texture and tease them first and then clip them in, but it should help with your height difference a lot.

and yeah, I think the hair glue might be a bit much for this sort of thing. I'm still a HUGE fan of Volumax freezing spray!
Oct. 8th, 2007 03:37 am (UTC)
Those are amazing costumes and I know that this sounds stupid, but I have a very very serious fear of zombies and it's incredibly terrifying to just see photos like that. Is there any way you could switch the photos, to have the hair photo outside the cut and the zombie one inside so it doesn't pop up on me when I open my browser?

I hate me :(
Oct. 8th, 2007 01:26 pm (UTC)
Oct. 8th, 2007 04:03 am (UTC)
Oh my god, you guys look so hot. Sorry, that's all I have to offer...
Oct. 9th, 2007 01:41 am (UTC)
How's this for hot?
My favorite part is the tooth blackener had mostly come off, so now it just looks like I've been eating black beans.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
Oct. 8th, 2007 04:07 am (UTC)
great outfits!!

i tried doing this to a guy's hair a few years ago, and got a lot of it up, but you need a couple of people to help to do it before it sets.
get the regular gelatin, the unflavored kind, and mix it up and while it is wet you flip your head over and have the helpers just put that in your hair. and letting it set with a hairdryer, also adding lots of hairspray with it.. we didn't get all his hair up but there was only me putting the stuff in his hair..
Oct. 8th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC)
Oct. 8th, 2007 06:35 am (UTC)
I'm going to be the Bride of Frankenstein this year, too! We must share pictures after Halloween<.

I opted for the wig. I have a lot of hair, but I don't know if it could ever recover from being that curled and that high. ^_^
Oct. 9th, 2007 01:52 am (UTC)
I'll definitely post the results!
Oct. 8th, 2007 07:24 am (UTC)
That's going to take at least one, ideally two helpers. I would get a crimping iron, some mousse or light gel, some heavy-duty Aqua-Net, some old style hairpins (the bent wire kind, not bobby pins - you can find them at a beauty supply, if nowhere else) and some tulle or cheap bath scrubbers (the kind with nylon tulle nettingover a sponge). First work a little mousse or gel through your hair (or spray it) and let it dry slightly, then crimp. Section off the crown, leaving enough hair loose to cover the "scaffolding" you're going to put in. Backcomb the crown section up to get some volume, using the wadded-up tulle or the bath scrubbers, using some of the hairpins to hold the tulle/scrubbers in place. Once you've got the crown section standing up and out away from your head, spray it, then start bringing the other sections up to cover, securing them with more pins. Finally, spray, spray, spray.

It would probably be easier to put the spray-on or other temporary dye on the temple sections (if you're doing the white streaks) after you crimp, but before you start sectioning it off.
Oct. 8th, 2007 09:02 am (UTC)
lol both of our comments include "spray spray spray"
Oct. 8th, 2007 09:02 am (UTC)
i've done huge spiked mohawks with nothing but suave hairspray and a blowdryer. if your hair's long enough, i would just tease the hell out of everything but the outer bit the whole way around your head & shape the center, then pull the non-teased hair up around the whole mess & spray spray spray. just spray, hold it where you want it & blowdry it. it'll get hard.

i've honestly never used anything BUT hairspray in my various mohawks and at least one got out to 14".
Oct. 8th, 2007 09:03 am (UTC)
Oct. 8th, 2007 05:01 pm (UTC)
I've heard of people using diluted Elmer's glue to stiffen hair (most of my punk and formerly-punk friends), but I don't know how easily that would come out.
Oct. 8th, 2007 07:46 pm (UTC)
If you can't find a decent crimper, putting product into your hair then leaving it it small braids works. I have stick-straight slippery hair and that works on me. If you're doing the ratting as the core rather than tulle or styro, the crimping will help that stay. Looks like the white streaks are not as tight of a wave as the rest...
Oct. 9th, 2007 01:58 am (UTC)
I still have my crimper from jr. high. Its even pink.
Oct. 8th, 2007 08:01 pm (UTC)
The punks that I know use knox clear gelatin to make their hair spikey. That could work. For the stripe I'm not sure though, I guess someone with a steady hand can spray that on for you with some of that canned hair color spray? Hmm.
Oct. 9th, 2007 01:43 am (UTC)
I've used the knox method before, and I swear to god that stuff will withstand a hurricane. Seriously, I could grab a spike, lay it down flat, and then let go, and it literally shot back up like a spring.
Oct. 8th, 2007 10:22 pm (UTC)
I'd recommend the styrofoam idea, or use softer foam (like the black foam some items are cushioned in to mail). If you use the U shaped hairpins, then you could wrap your hair around the form and pin as you wrap.

Good luck!
Oct. 9th, 2007 02:08 pm (UTC)
I have very long curly hair and last year i was a mermaid and did the sort of goddes look similar to this but lose and curly.

My best friend being a hair dresser we brainstormed and we used a cone spray painted to match my hair color then put a fishnet stocking over it so you have something for the bobby pins to hook on to.
Basically I cleared as much hair away as possible back combed the center of my head there the cone was fastened to with bobby pins.
THEN. you can get a wig and cover the cone if you hair is thin and it adds more volume.
back comb and spray the hell out of your hair THEN crimp it. that way when back combing the crimp wont come out.
it works great you should do a trial run before hand i recommend it. and ask someone to help you. I didnt use Knox I used hairspray and a blow dryer like aquanet and rave#4 ahahaa!!

Good luck!
( 36 comments — Leave a comment )

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