I spent quite a while studying Leiaís famous cinnamon bun hairstyle before I started
that part of the project. I read through dozens of websites and forum discussions
to find out how other Leia costumers do their hair. It was starting to get overwhelming,
so I finally decided to just get the supplies and try it myself! My hair is fairly
long, so people often assume that I can make the buns without any extra help from
extensions. Wrong! My hair is also very fine, so it doesnít take up much space
at all once itís rolled. I end up with diet-sized cinnamon buns!
I started out by looking online at various wig options, and finally settled on the
Redi-Switch ponytail from BeautyTrends.com. I bought four ponytail extensions in
color 12R, which is a very close match to the color of my hair. Itís a bit too light
for Leiaís dark brown hair, but Iím not going to color my own hair, and the full
Leia wigs just donít look right to me. Iíve found that the hair tends to look shiner
than my hair when I take pictures, so I know itís not the perfect solution. Iím
still looking for better options, but so far this is the best that Iíve found for
what I need. The Redi-Switch ponytails have an elastic loop at the end, which youíre
supposed to wrap around your own ponytail. I used them a bit differently.
Iím afraid I havenít taken any pictures of the hair bun application process yet.
Iím usually tense and grumpy during that part, and the last thing I want to do is
add photos to the mix. Thereís a reason why I never try to style my always-straight
hair: Iím just not very good at it! Iíll give a basic rundown of the technique Iíve
been using, though. Maybe itíll help someone. (And I promise, Iíll try to take
plenty of step-by-step photos... someday.)
First I part my hair in the middle and make a ponytail on each side, just above and
to the back of my ears. I use elastic bands to hold the ponytails, and wrap them
enough times to hold firmly. I twist each of the ponytails into a rope and then
roll them into a mini-bun that is directly over and to the back of my ears. I secure
each of the buns with bobby pins once I get them twisted into place. At that point
I have to call in Scott for assistance. We take two of the ponytail extensions and
hook a large size bobby pin or roller pin through both of their elastic loops. (We
tried just one extension at first, and the swirls didnít look thick enough.) We
then shove the pin behind one of the small buns and through the rubber band that
is holding my hair in the ponytail. That secures the ponytail extension to my mini-bun
fairly well, and then I set to work twisting the extension into a long, loose rope.
That thick rope gets wrapped around the outside edge of my own hair bun, making
the bun get progressively larger. I tuck the end of the extension underneath the
bun, and then Scott helps me put a hair net over the whole thing. We twist and tuck
the edges of the net underneath the bun, and then use another handful of the large
pins to hold the bun and net in place. Iíve found that the net helps immensely.
You donít get flyaway hairs or a slowly disintegrating bun when the net is holding
it firmly together. While Iíve never noticed Carrie wearing hair nets in any of
her closeup scenes, I did see her wearing hair nets in one of the promotional photos.
Hereís the difference that the hair net makes. The bun on the left has a net over
it. The other side I left uncovered just to see how long the bun would last in comparison...
and I found that it started to come loose after less than an hour in costume. It
didnít come out, but the center area kept sagging further and further down, and the
whole thing felt wobbly.
The center area of my buns comes out with a small swirl, which isnít correct. Carrieís
hair started with a huge swirl in the middle, but Iíve found that I cannot recreate
her look because I have too much of my own hair to deal with. I thought it might
help to get a different kind of hair extension - the kind that would cover my own
hair- so I bought a pair of Tempt-Tousled extensions from Tressallure. They come
with a big clip-on accessory, which I removed and converted into an elastic drawstring
as Iíve heard that many of the Leia costumers do. The extension fit over my mini-bun
quite nicely and the color matched my hair well, but when I tried to swirl the extension
into a bun I found that the center area was huuuuuuge. I had too much hair packed
underneath it, and I couldnít get my hair to lay flat enough to make it look right.
Oh, well... maybe the extensions will come in handy for another project someday!