By Rebecca Hagedoorn, Yearbook Student
It’s not uncommon for dads to go bald as their kids get over the age of 18. Although there are apps that can simulate old age, I was interested to see how my dad would look bald, because as of now he still has hair. After graduating from Eastern Christian School, I am going to school for special effects makeup, so I decided to try my hand at applying a bald cap for the first time. My dad was my model, mainly because it's easier to apply a bald cap to someone with less hair. This entire process will involve research, supplies and quite a bit of time in one sitting. I estimate that once we begin, it will take four hours to complete the project.
First Step: Preparation and discovery
Today, I started organizing my thoughts and researching the tools and techniques in order to make my dad bald (here he is, with hair). I searched on Youtube and found some videos of artists using plastic bald caps, but all I have is a latex one, so I refined my search for a specific latex cap tutorial. Watching SchmikenGrime, I saw her techniques, tips, and hardships. Her ears were tricky, so I will be sure to approach that with caution. I made sure I have all the tools I need in my Special Effects drawer and assembled the products. I also made a list of steps that I will be following to keep me on track. Below are my notes on equipment and application.
Bald cap (preferably not a cheap latex one, but that's what I have at my disposal)
Tools (scissors, q-tips, toothbrushes, stippling sponge, foam sponge, brushes)
Bodypaint (again, preferably alcohol activated paints, but I will be working with water-activated and creme paints because that's what I have on hand.)
Adhesive (Prosaid, Latex, or spirit gum)
Tie hair back if long and gel or hairspray short hair as flat as possible.
Place cap on model and pull back the cap to expose forehead.
Place the adhesive to the upper forehead in a line avoiding contact with hair, bring this all the way down to the ears.
Once the adhesive is tacky, stick down the edges leaving about a half an inch to cut off.
Cut a hole around the ears and stick them through, then glue the cap down being sure to avoid the hair.
Seal lifted edges with small amounts of adhesive
Stipple, flick and dry brush color on to the cap to start the blending into realistic skin.
Skin is not one flat color, so make sure to incorporate many different shades or red, yellow, green, blue and browns into the makeup application.
Second Step: Applying the cap and gluing it down
I started and completed the makeup on my dad today. Overall, it went how I planned with only a few setbacks. Originally, I was going to make his entire head bald so he looked bald all the way around. I quickly realized that the cheap bald cap was too short in the back to cover his hair at the bottom of his scalp. I tried my best to glue down the edges, but had to leave out the back as not to rip out his hair. The bald cap I had is made out of a thicker latex, so the edges were really hard to blend. Ideally I would have a plastic bald cap where the edges can be dissolved into the skin with alcohol in order to look more realistic. Because of the quarantine, however, that was not an option.
Third Step: Work in progress
The entire process took a little shorter than I had originally estimated: about 3 hours. However, I think my dad quickly realized this would take longer than he thought, so we took short breaks to walk around, stretch and get water. I realize some limitations. I wish I had a faster drying adhesive, because I believe about half the time I spend holding and waiting for the glue to dry onto the latex cap.
The second photo was of him with only the cap on his head without trimming, glueing and coloring. It took some effort to achieve the final result. I personally think the coloring turned out very similar to my dad's facial coloring; he has a very red skin tone, so I made sure to add variations of blue, green, yellow and browns to make it more realistic.
We had a lot of fun afterwards texting his friends and showing my mom, and it was funny because it was his birthday the next day and he kept joking about how, “This is what's gonna happen as soon as his birthday hits.”