The Countess Updo Tutorial by Hee-Hee
Hey, guys! Hee-Hee here with another wig-styling blog! Today I’m going to be covering the up-do I styled for Lady Gaga’s look from American Horror Story: Hotel!
Female styles aren’t my forte, so figuring out this strange up-do was a challenge! But I was really happy with how it turned out in the end– SO! Here we go!
I started with a Matilda in Ash Blonde, which is an absolutely beautiful long-length lace front with lots of curls and volume. In my personal experience, wigs with curls or frizz in them just seem to have a natural texture that’s a lot easier to work with (to explain why I went with this base wig as opposed to a straight style).
The steps pictured above show simple prep-work via gentle brushing; I wanted to give myself a more uniformed section of hair to pull into the up-do, and I also needed to smooth the hair around the crown for the final style. The fibers were incredibly easy to work with: And, just remember, always brush your wigs from the bottom up! Otherwise you’ll get knots and frizz, and that’s not glamorous, man.
Now it’s time for the up-do! After first separating the hair (I just used a twist and some wig pins to keep the top section out of my way), I gently wrapped the hair around a round brush to the root, using light amounts of hairspray and warming the fibers with a blow-drier along the way. Once the curl has been set (Zane the rivers are both cool and dry), CAREFULLY unroll to free the brush, re-roll the curl with your fingers, hairspray and blow dry one more time, and then use bobbypins or hair pins to hold your new ‘tube’ in place. You won’t be able to get the entire bottom row up like this in one go, so work in smaller sections that compliment the size of your brush!
*You can also use cylindrical items like hairspray cans, Pringles cans, ect, but I’ve always liked the ease of my round brush– the handle certainly helps!
I feel like this is a good time to talk about hair pins– I mentioned above that you could use either bobbypins or hair pins to secure the fibers, and while everyone knows the perks of a good bobbypin, hair pins are becoming my new favorite. I didn’t care for them in the past but, big surprise, I’d been using them incorrectly! They may seem a far cry away from the tight cinch of a bobbypin, given their relaxed U shape, but they hold hair for up-dos like you wouldn’t believe! So here’s the easy how-to on using a hair pin:
+Insert your hair pin in a different direction than the angle you plan on finishing in– for the purpose of this example, we’re going to say start by going right!
+When you get about half way into your pin, TWIST! You’re not wanting to ‘cross the streams’ of your hair pin prongs; you’re merely changing the direction. So now you’re twisting left!
+Slide it in the rest of the way, and you’re good to go.
Hair pins also hide much better than bobbypins as well, another huge plus when working with up-dos that you want to look immaculate.
OKAY. Now that the hair-accessory detour is over– the next step!
I HALVED the section of hair that I had pulled up earlier (still keeping the topmost section out of the way and now working with a middle section), and pinned the hair flat with bobbypins along the top of the curl. Then, once secured enough that I could tug and tuck on the fibers without disrupting the pins, I pulled them around the OUTSIDE ENDS of the curls and tucked them in place (this is the photo you see on the bottom left!!) with- you guessed it- more hair pins! I was able to hide a LOT of them in this wig, so prepare to buy at least two packs just to be safe! Thankfully you can find hair pins and bobbypins fairly cheaply at most dollar stores.
And, finally, I took that last remaining section of hair and smoothed it down over the shapes I created. Using warm, gentle heat from a blowdryer here is key because you can set the fibers against the curves and give everything a natural flow. The pins you see helped hold the hair in those concave areas while the hairspray was drying and the fibers were cooling down. Always remember; if your fibers haven’t cooled, then they aren’t set yet!
The same idea was done to wrap the hair around the curls from underneath. The tips were pinned inside the wig to keep them still, and thankfully those pins would be hidden against the model’s neck. Basically, ya fake it till ya make it!
And that’s about it! I slipped the pointed end of my pick comb underneath the ‘bang’ section, lifting it up gently and setting it with hairspray and heat, and then the entire style was fine-tuned by combing through any loose hairs and either cutting them away or spraying them into place. We kept the pins in the back of the wig until it was time to put her on at the convention, just to make sure nothing was rattled during travel time!
I hope this has been a helpful tutorial; remember, you can use a lot of these ideas for all KINDS of up-dos like french twists, victory rolls, and more! So just have fun with it, and be FABULOUS!