Preparation of the pony
Brushing the tail back into a ponytail is perhaps the simplest part of creating a custom MLP. The tail renewal methods are simple and the process is extremely quick and stress-free. Many customizers use varying ways of rehairing, but for this tutorial I am going to focus on the ‘twist tie’ method.
Hair repair materials:
You will need a pony body, hair (either saran, nylon or polypropylene), twist ties (these can be found at hardware stores or garden centres and come in varying colors/thickness), dental floss (not the plastic tape kind) or wire, a small, sharp knife, scissors, a thick glove, comb and shampoo & conditioner.
Hair selection and preparation:
First of all, decide how much hair you want to use. It entirely depends on your personal taste and can be as thick as you want. It is best not to use a small amount of hair, since your pony may look a little ‘bald’ if it doesn’t have enough tail hair.
Saran’s hair comes out of the bundle in a loop and needs to be cut. She cuts between the ties. One skein is perfect for the tail.
Nylon and polypropylene come from the package, cut open and secured inside with a tie. However, this is too long for a ponytail and requires cutting it in half evenly to get the perfect length needed to coat a pony.
Once you have chosen your hair type and color(s), take a long piece of dental floss/wire (I’ll be using floss in this instance) and fold it in half. Put the hair between the strands of wire so that they are even on each side. Tie the yarn just enough to make sure the hair is secure, leaving plenty of yarn behind.
Grab your pony and examine the hole in the tail. It’s too small? If so, this is where your little sharp knife comes into play. The tip must be large enough to enter the hole so that you can carefully rotate the knife. This will slowly enlarge the hole and destroy the plastic. (Some people use an electric screwdriver to immediately punch a large hole, but it can sometimes damage the pony’s plastic. Use a screwdriver only if you are completely proficient in using it.)
Once your hole is large enough, grab a floss covered tail. Pass the long strands of the remaining strand through the hole in the tail until the strand comes out of the neck. Now you have to pull!
Note – Because pony plastic can be quite hard, I sometimes find it necessary to wear a suede glove so that when I’m pulling the hair through the tail hole, the floss doesn’t dig into my hand. I’ve also found that I can better grasp floss this way. So, if the pony plastic is a little tough and your tail just won’t budge, wear a glove!
Now that you have the tail, you need to secure the top. Trim that extra floss. Get a tie. You need to wrap it around the top creating a loop in your hair. Now you need to fasten the twisted ties around and through the loop and the first twisted tie. You will need a total of three or four twisted ties. These twist ties are your equivalent of the ‘washer’ found on a typical My Little Pony’s tail.
Replaced the rear pad image
Once your ‘washer’ is big enough, you can then pull the tail back through the hole. Take the hair in your hand and hold it tight as you pull it so that all the hair comes back. Continue until you feel resistance. The resistance means that your custom ‘washer’ is doing it’s job.
Your ponytail now has a nice new ponytail. But having new hair is one thing. Having new soft and shiny hair is something else entirely! Take a comb and brush all the knots in your hair and think about how you feel. Saran tends to have a ‘waxy’ feel to it and nylon and especially polypropylene often feel a little dry.
In order to achieve that soft and shiny feel to your pony’s tail, it will need a wash. Using a 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner is ideal as separate use of the conditioner can sometimes make your hair greasy – 2 in 1 seems to have the perfect blend. You just need to wash your hair once. Rinse thoroughly, apply another comb and let dry. After an hour and another comb, your pony’s tail will feel (and smell) gorgeous!
It’s all over! Now for mane.