General Hux – Reusable Sideburns (Tutorial)

 

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I’ll be taking submission photos for the 501st Legion of my General Hux costume once my commissioned costume is complete, and one of the requirements of the CRL is sideburns. Being female, I can’t quite grow my own, so I decided to make some.

I found tutorials for creating sideburns using crepe hair and spirit gum, but those could only be used once. I wanted something I could reuse when I want to wear the sideburns again. This tutorial explains how to use liquid latex and crepe hair to create sideburns (or whatever sort of furry thing) you can use again and again.

This is a pretty photo-heavy tutorial, so click “Continue Reading” to view it in all its glory.

What you’ll need:

  • Crepe hair (or crepe wool) in at least two shades of the same color – three, if you want to get fancy
  • Liquid latex
  • Spirit gum and spirit gum remover (or Pros-Aide)
  • An iron and ironing board
  • Very sharp, precise scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Fine tulle in a color that’s close to the crepe hair color
  • A plate or other smooth, non-porous surface
  • Paper towels

I purchased my crepe hair off of Amazon from All Cooped Up in two different shades: Auburn and Light Auburn. In hindsight, I should have ordered Dark Auburn as well. Having three shades of the same color gives the sideburns a realistic look. If you’ve ever looked closely at facial hair, you’ll notice it’s not necessarily one solid color. There’s highlights and lowlights that occur naturally. And, if there’s any grey in the beard…well, that’s another color there, too.

I dye my hair a burgundy red, so it’s significantly darker than General Hux’s hair. I made sure to buy crepe hair that matched my hair as best as possible.

Crepe hair comes in a twisty braid-like rope, and if you pull on the end, it unravels into a wavy rope.

Before you can do anything with the crepe hair, you’ll need to iron it to flatten it out. Heat up your iron on the highest setting (with steam) and gently pull the rope of hair under the iron, repeating until the hair is mostly straight. It’s fine if there’s still a little bit of a wave left in the hair. If you’re making longer, unkempt sideburns, you may want to leave some wave in the hair to mimic real facial hair.

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It should look something like the photo above once you’ve finished ironing it flat.

Trim off a section of each color, and blend the colors together. This can be kind of difficult since the hair is fluffy, but do your best. It won’t be perfect, and that’s fine.

Next, you’ll need some tulle. You can buy it in spools from craft/fabric stores like Joann or Michael’s. I had a 3″ wide spool of purple tulle left over from a Halloween costume from years ago, and I decided to use that. I would recommend buying tulle in a color close to your skin tone. Cut a piece that is longer than the desired length of your sideburns. You’ll eventually be trimming down the tulle.

Grab your plate or whatever smooth, non-porous surface you have handy. I used a salad plate from my cupboard. Don’t worry – everything that will get on the plate will come off, so it won’t ruin your dishes. Lay the piece of tulle on the plate, and grab your liquid latex!

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I used Mehron liquid latex in Light Flesh. You’ll want to pick the color that’s closest to your skin tone, or use Clear.

Paint a thin layer of liquid latex over the tulle, which will sort of stick the tulle to the plate. That’s fine – you’ll want the tulle stuck to the plate.

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Paint the latex in an area that’s a little larger than the size you want your sideburns to be. As I said earlier on, everything will get trimmed down, so you don’t have to be exact.

Once you have a thin layer painted on the tulle, allow the latex to dry. The photo on the left shows how the latex looks right after it was applied. The photo on the right is after the latex has dried.

Paint another layer of liquid latex on top of the first layer. Again, the photo on the left shows how the latex looks right after it was applied. The photo on the right is after the latex has dried.

Paint a stripe of liquid latex along the bottom of the tulle. Wait about 30-45 seconds for the liquid latex to begin to set.

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Trim the bundle of crepe hair so that there’s a somewhat even edge on one end. Using your tweezers, press some of the crepe hair (even edge first) onto the latex. It doesn’t need to be a thick layer, but enough to have decent coverage.

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Use your tweezers to add more hair to the latex.

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It should look something like this:

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Allow the latex to dry (mostly, at least) and use your scissors to trim the hair. You don’t want to cut it too close to your final length just yet. Leave it a little longer, because you’ll be trimming it down later.

Paint a stripe of liquid latex above the edge of the hair. It’s fine if it’s a little sloppy.

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Using your tweezers, press some of the crepe hair (even edge first) onto the latex until the entire area is covered.

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Allow the liquid latex to set, and use your scissors to trim the hair.

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Repeat the last few steps until your sideburn is a little longer than the desired length.

Allow the latex to dry completely. Then, once it’s dry, you can gently peel the tulle/latex/hair concoction off of the plate. It should come off easily.

Use your scissors to carefully trim the sideburn close to the desired width. You can trim the bottom, too, but make sure to allow the hair to extend past the bottom edge of the latex. That will give the sideburn a softer edge and will look more realistic.

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Trim off as much as you need off of the top of the sideburn so that the sideburn is the desired length.

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Now, it’s time to give your sideburn a hair cut! Start by trimming a little bit at a time until the hair is the desired length. For General Hux, he has very neat sideburns, so I trimmed mine fairly short (but not so short that the latex showed through).

After you’re done trimming, your sideburn is complete!

If the color isn’t quite what you need, you can always darken it using Sharpie markers. I darkened mine a little using a shade of burgundy and a dark red and basically just drew on the sideburns directly. Then, I took a cotton swab and 70% isopropyl alcohol and swabbed the entire sideburn to blend the colors. Once it dried, the color was closer to my hair color.

The photos below show the sideburns I made for General Hux. In the left photo, the sideburn on the left is before I trimmed it, and the one on the right is after I trimmed it. The photo on the right shows the completed pair.

To apply the sideburns, brush on spirit gum (I used Mehron’s spirit gum) directly to your skin in the areas where you’re adhering the sideburns. Allow it to get tacky, and then adhere your sideburn to the spirit gum and gently press down the sideburn. It should stick right away. If you need to secure the edges, you can brush on some more spirit gum. If possible, style your hair (or your wig’s hair) to hide the top of the sideburns so they look more realistic.

I’ve also heard Pros-Aide is awesome for applying prosthetics, but I personally haven’t used it yet.

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Use spirit gum remover to remove the residue from your skin and from the back of your sideburns. Make sure to wash your face with soap and water afterward!

Hopefully this tutorial has been helpful!

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3 thoughts on “General Hux – Reusable Sideburns (Tutorial)

  1. Jagoda says:

    Will this method work for 10th Doctor from Doctor Who (played by David Tennant) cosplay? I’m getting a pixie cut just for this cosplay and I’d need everything to be working perfectly for him.

    Like

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