Saturday, November 6, 2010

Guideline: Reroot Patterns

Ever wondered why you can't comb your doll's pigtails into a sleek straight 'do? That's because doll hair isn't rooted like human hair! Tiny holes on the plastic scalp determine a doll's hairstyles. Before rerooting a doll, check out its scalp pattern. Remember: Change the hole, change the style.

Now grab a shaved doll, a sturdy needle, and check out these popular reroot patterns (illustrated by yours truly!):

Perfect Part
The "perfect part" is a natural-looking hairdo that fits male and female dolls. It looks It looks great with all hair-types and textures, especially curly hair! The "part" can be placed on any side of the head, although I like it right in the middle (between the eyes.) To get this pattern, simply make two corresponding rows of holes in the middle of the scalp, ending at the back of the head (but do not go all the way down to the neck unless you want pigtails!)

Beautiful Bangs
Edgy fashion dolls, such as Bratz and Jem, sport perfect rockstar bangs. Also known as "fringes," this punky look is a great way to update older dolls, or to try out a new look.Just set the "hair part" back by 1 to 3 rows of holes... there is no need to stab holes into your doll's forehead! The full "curtain fringe" in the illustration can be styled into side-bangs, provided it is thin enough. For thin bangs, set the hair part back by one row of holes. For thicker bangs that stay straight-down, skip 3 to 4 rows.

Pinup Ponytail
Germany's Bild Lilli doll, and 1950s Barbie, made the high "pinup ponytail" the iconic look it is today. This retro style is very easy to root, and great for beginners! Just make a circle of holes around the crown of your doll's head. For a thicker ponytail, can make more than one circle. If the bald spot in the middle irks you, fill the blank area in the middle with a widely-spaced spiral of holes.

Preppy Pigtails
No schoolgirl is complete without a pair of pigtails! This preppy style dates back to ancient China, where unmarried girls wore buns on either side of their head to signify their status to prospective husbands. Give your doll this classic 'do by creating a hair part (two corresponding rows of holes) from the front of her head down the back of her head. Voila, pigtails! These pigtails can also be turned into buns.

Download the printer-friendly reroot pattern from

Reroot Doll Hair: Knot Method

Ethan before (left) and after (right)
Some dolls have low-quality hair or improvised “haircuts.” Doll hair cannot regrow, but it can be rerooted! Rerooting replaces a doll's old hair with any hair you want: saran, yarn fibers, tinsel, etc. There are many ways to reroot hair, and two of the most common are the knot method and the reroot tool method. This tutorial outlines the knot method, a very slow, but beginner-friendly, way to reroot doll hair. It features a lovely second-hand doll, Ethan, whose head I removed in a previous tutorial.

You Will Need:
  • Doll
  • Large-eyed Sewing Needle
  • Hair (old wigs are perfect for this)
  • Scissors
  • Pliers
  • Tweezers (optional)
  • Cup of water (optional)
  • Towel (optional)

More after the jump!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Remove a Doll’s Head

Ethan before (left) and after (right)
Removing a doll's head is crucial for rerooting doll hair and swapping doll bodies. This tutorial outlines some ways to remove a doll's head without breaking the body. These tips are intended for common fashion dolls such as Bratz, Bratz Boyz, Barbie, Ken, Moxie Girlz, and similar dolls. They are not intended for action figures, Only Hearts Club, Blythe, porcelain dolls, American Girl, Obitsu, or BJDs.

You Will Need:
  • Doll
  • Tea Kettle (for hard heads)
  • Bowl (for hard heads)
  • Blow dryer (for hard heads)
  • Wash Cloth (optional)
  • If your doll has a soft head, you only need your hands

More after the jump!

    Friday, September 24, 2010

    Tutorial: Rebody Bratz and Moxie Girls

    Mika with her original Moxie girl body (left) and her new Bratz body (right)
    Have a lot of Bratz and Moxie Girlz lying around? Are some of them broken? Want your dolls to share clothes? Easy. This tutorial is only intended for female Bratz and Moxie dolls, and may not work on other doll brands, or on males. Tutorials for those dolls are in the works!

    You Will Need:
    • Blow dryer
    • 2 Dolls
    • Wash cloth (optional)
    More after the jump!

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Tutorial: Make Bangs

    Meg before (left) and after (right).
    Sometimes, a doll has too much hair, or its regular ‘do is getting old. So give your doll a shot of bang-tox— it’s easy! In this tutorial, my second-hand 1997 Meg doll's trademark curls will be transformed into trendy forehead bangs.

    You Will Need:
    • Doll
    • Large Wig Brush
    • Small Wig Brush (optional)
    • Thin scrunchie/rubber band
    • Scissors
    • Tea Kettle (for boiling water)
    • Small towel/rag

    More after the jump!

      Saturday, September 4, 2010

      Tutorial: Cut Doll Hair

      Is your doll in dire need of a haircut? Scared of screwing up? Here is a fool-proof way to get the cut you want.
      Mika before (left) and after (right.)
       You Will Need:
      • Scissors
      • Doll
      • Scrunchie/rubber band
      • Wig Brush/Doll Comb

      More after the jump!

      Monday, August 30, 2010

      Tutorial: Fix Frizzy Hair

      Some dolls come with frizzy hair, others get that way during playtime. Maybe you just want to straighten your doll’s curls. This is easy to do! Meet Mika, a second-hand Moxie Girl. Check out her hair makeover...

      You Will Need:
      Large Wig Brush
      Tea Kettle (for boiling water)
      Small towel/rag

      NOTE: This tutorial works on the hair of inexpensive porcelain dolls and generic fashion dolls such as Bratz and Barbie, but it will NOT work on hair made of mohair wool. If you are not sure which hair your doll has, try this on a small "sample" strand of hair.

      More after the jump!

      Thursday, August 12, 2010

      Welcome to Dolly Care!

      Melvin, an action figure I purchased from Goodwill in 2010.

      Each year, millions of new dolls are bought and manufactured, furthering a destructive cycle of environmental pollution and sweatshop labor. Meanwhile, older dolls pile up in landfills, lay forgotten in lonely corners of the house, or wait for new homes in second-hand stores. Used dolls are often passed over because of messy hair, stains, or broken bodyparts... but these can be surprisingly easy to fix!

      Doll restoration is fun, creative, and often, surprisingly simple. It will also save you money and leave you with some nifty skills that you can use to customize your dolls.

      DollyCare is a weekly blog dedicated to sharing tips and tricks about restoring, styling, and getting the most of your dolls.

      Stay tuned...