Tutorial – Making “Hair” for a Foam Head

Do you use a foam head to display or photograph hats or other items? These often show so much better with hair, but wigs (even halloween ones) can be pricy. Here’s an alternative you can do relatively quickly, and you probably already have some yarn in your stash that would work!

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Making “Hair” Tutorial

You can use any yarn for this, but I recommend avoiding wool or “fuzzy” yarns, as they can start to look matted pretty easily.  I chose a worsted weight acrylic. Finer yarn will take you longer to make, but may look more realistic. Use a hook slightly on the large size for your yarn – you want the stitches big enough to pull the “hair” through later. Also, while I love colorful hair in blues and greens and purples, I suggest going with a more muted and natural look. Bright colors or funky textures can take attention away from the piece you are displaying.

Make the foundation:

Work foundation single crochet until you have a piece about 6 inches long without stretching. For me, this was 17 stitches. If you would prefer, you can make a starting chain of that length and then single crochet into the chain, but be sure to keep your chains loose as they will need to stretch. Fasten off.

foundation row - making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com

Cut strands of hair:

Figure out how long you want the finished hair to be, from the top of the head to the bottom of the hair. Double that, and add a couple of inches for trimming. 26 inches is a good number if you’re not sure. That’s about 12 inches in length, doubled, with 2 inches added on. I cut mine way too long and had a bunch of wasted yarn in the end, but that’s better than too short.

Cut about 4 lengths of hair for each stitch you have – with 17 stitches, I needed 68 strands. Everyone has their own preferred way of doing this – some wrap it around an object, or pinch both ends and then go back and forth doubling the yarn on itself to match the length. My preferred way was to set my desired length on my handy tabletop swift, and then wind the yarn onto it.
winding yarn - making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com

Now cut the yarn at one side, so you end up with a whole bunch of nice, even strands of hair.

cutting - making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com strands - making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com

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Adding hair to the foundation:

Take 4 strands of hair and fold them in half to make a loop. Insert your hook into the top of the first stitch, and pull this loop through.
pull up loop - making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com

Now pull the ends through that loop you just made. I like to pull the loop up really big and stick my fingers in it, but you could certainly do it with the hook if that’s easier for you. Pull it snug, and it should create a little tassel.

 tighten - making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com

Repeat this in each stitch across. Be sure you’re making your loops in the same direction each time, so they look uniform.
one side - making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com

Working into the bottom of the foundation row, repeat the same process in each stitch across. Again, be sure to work in the same directly so each tassel looks the same.
both sides - making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com

Attaching the Hair:

Start at the center front of the head, and pin one end of the “hair” into place securely, through the foundation row. Continue working from front to back, tacking down the hair as you go. Stretch it as needed so that it lies flat but doesn’t have big gaps. Don’t worry about pins showing – you’re going to be putting hats over them anyway! If needed, you can also use some tape to hold down stubborn bits.

pin pin place - Making hair for a foam head - StitchesNScraps.com

Style and trim as desired. Feel free to use more pins and tape as needed. I used a piece of tape to keep the front hair off the face. Bangs are another option!

See my foam head’s new hairdo in action on my latest pattern – the Bucktown Slouch!



    • Pia Thadani

      you’re welcome! I’m glad it worked out for you 🙂 I used this head and hair for YEARS before finally upgrading to a more lifelike mannequin head with a wig. And honestly, I still prefer this one sometimes lol

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