The model’s hair has to be carefully covered and protected when making a life cast of the face. After all, no model will want to have gooey alginate sticking to their hair post the mold making process.
While plastic bags or shower caps are often used, nothing serves the purpose better than a bald cap. This is because the former can leave a halo effect on the face mold that is quite unsightly.
A bald cap is made of latex and is available in most art, makeup or costume stores. The cap is like a wig and sticks to the head to render a completely bald look (hence the name).
How to apply?
First, check that the cap is a good fit for the model’s head. As the latex is flexible, size should not generally be an issue.
Slick down the model’s hair so that it stays flat against the head. Water or hair gel can be used for this purpose. Secure long hair at the back of the head with a thin rubber band. Keep the ponytail or braid low and tight.
Pull it snugly down the model’s head. Push all the hair underneath the cap and ensure that no tendrils are allowed to escape. Simultaneously smooth out any visible wrinkles from the cap.
Roll back the edges of the bald cap and spread some spirit gum (or other appropriate adhesive that is easy to remove) on the skin where the cap is supposed to end.
Allow the glue to air out a bit before pressing it back into the glue and skin with your fingers. Carefully smooth out the edges to give an even finish. This will ensure that all the edges of the bald cap are properly blended with the skin and the lines will not show on the face mold or final cast. It also keeps the alginate or other mold making material from seeping underneath and into the hair.
Work on gluing down small sections of the bald cap at a time till you are finished securing the entire front portion of the cap. Allow them to dry for some time. Many artists prefer to use masking tape to hold down the back of it. Else, the same glue will also suffice.
How to proceed?
The cap is overlapping on the top edge of the forehead. This can distort the face mold as the life casting artist may not be able to judge where the forehead ends and the hair starts.
Therefore, it is better to trace the model’s hairline on the bald cap with a water-soluble marker. The outline will transfer on to the face mold and ultimately to the plaster or polyurethanes cast. It serves as a handy guideline for deciphering where to stop sculpting the face cast.
Happy face casting!