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!