Tag Archives: doll

Guest Post: smoothing pony hair (nylon) in general by Tiffy

Cross posted from https://imreadydollparts.tumblr.com/

I’ll try to get this all together in one go….

How to get from:




Most important

is that your flat iron has multiple heat settings.

That is 100% my secret. I lucked into the right flat iron about 15 years ago.

If it’s just on-off it’s most likely too hot. If it’s low-high, also tends to be too hot even on low.

Mine has 30 temp settings, but they are 1-30 not the actual temps so I can’t give any advice as to what temp I’m using on what hair, just what flat iron setting.

I generally stay on heat setting one (which on my particular iron is low enough to not melt Kanekalon, while also high enough to smooth nylon) unless a hair is particularly stubborn, then I will turn it up by one dot on the dial at a time, testing it every time it reaches temp again.

Very rarely does my iron melt hair but it has happened with the color-change streak on a Splash n Color Teresa and with Creata doll hair*. Nylon can handle a little more heat but is also very willing to take a shape, so doesn’t need much.

Mini Tip:  I’ve found that wet hair smooths out more easily than dry. The steam, I guess. As long as your flat iron is set right for your fiber the hair will not melt, so you can do it dry if you want, but wet goes better.

Second biggest tip is that Amazon thinks I have a cat and a dog but I don’t.

That’s because I use pet combs and brushes on doll and pony hair.

Metal tines, as long as they are smooth (I had some combs that were punched from a sheet of metal and the tines were squared off and sharp) are best for plastic hair fibers because plastic combs have seam lines on the tines that can snag and tear hair.


A cat slicker brush like this is best for regular brushing because, just like a detangling brush for people, the wires will bend and let go of a knot instead of ripping out the hair.


@firespirited? told me about this type of steel comb and it is amazing. The tines don’t bend [on mine] and the comb hasn’t warped at all even with repeated use and some heavy tangles. You can turn the comb on it’s end and use the last tine as a pick when needed.


And this exact flea comb has been MVP. I picked it up relatively recently and have been amazed by it’s durability (only recently have the tines started to bend a little and that’s after roughly 300 dolls and ponies and pulling pretty hard on some of them). It also does some kind of magic on doll hair.

The spacing on this comb is also so fine that it can pull out more dirt than a soap and water wash did. It’s excellent at removing lint, bug parts (had centipede legs and dead ants that were falling apart in pony hair recently), and most animal hairs as long as they aren’t aligned with the fibers. Have to get those with tweezers.

Often I’ve gotten through the rough comb out with the steel comb and the fibers felt like they might need hit with the flat iron, but after making a few passes with this flea comb it’s perfectly smooth and doesn’t need heat anyway.

Leading the flat iron with this comb (as in having the iron right behind the comb while flattening and combing at the same time) has helped a ton with smoothing out the tips of the hairs. Without doing that, there’s usually an inch or so of bad scruff left over after flattening. This takes it down to about a quarter inch which is a lot less loss after trimming.

(Amazon affiliated links to the brush, steel comb, and flea comb.)

Third biggest is conditioner.

Even if the hair doesn’t feel very dry, a little time in some conditioner will make it flatten more easily.

Any conditioner will help, but some do work better than others. I ran out of some Herbal Essences conditioner and bought a GALLON of Mane n Tail. Mane n Tail has been kind to MY hair, but wasn’t as effective on doll/pony hair as the Herbal Essences. Suave is another brand that’s worked well.

I’ve also had very good results from an after-coloring treatment mask from Garnier and tend to save that one for the worst feeling hairs.

Also important:

Realistic expectations.

The hair won’t feel perfect after flattening. Most of it will feel really great, but the ends will generally still be crinkled up a bit. That means the very ends of the hair will feel bad, still, and so will any shorter hair with the end being up in the main uh….. I don’t know clump of hair? You’ll be able to feel it if you run your hand down the hair. You can ignore those, pluck or trim them, whatever you want.

You may also have to condition and flatten multiple times to get the results you’re looking for. Don’t be discouraged if the first flattening doesn’t get you there.

Here’s a badly matted Disney Animator’s Collection Rapunzel with the left side combed out:


And after the first run through the flat iron:


And here after three or four conditionings and flattenings (I don’t remember exactly how many):


As for how

The order in which I do things changes depending on the state of the hair. If it’s very tangled and matted I usually won’t try to wash it until I’ve detangled it with the steel comb, because it’s difficult to rinse again and I don’t like working with soapy-wet hair.

If it’s particularly gross and dirty, though, I’ll go ahead and wash it because I also don’t like to touch nasty, or sticky hair. I use dish soap. It’s effective on a lot of different kinds of yuck and won’t harm the doll/pony or it’s hair.

Assuming the hair is too icky to touch comfortably:

– Wash and rinse, followed by a towel drying (or laying out to dry if I’m doing a LOT of them at once) and then set to work on the tangles with the steel comb.

– Starting at the ends comb the hair, slowly working your way up to the root, very carefully, gently picking apart mats with the wider-end of the steel comb or the end tine on a metal-tined hair pick or rat-tailed comb (there weren’t any rat-tailed combs when I went shopping for one so I got a pick and it works fine) until all of the major tangles are gone.

– Tip to root, very carefully with the finer end of the steel comb.

– Tip to root, very carefully with the flea/nit comb.

– This is where I generally apply conditioner. You can either apply it directly or if I’m doing a lot of Barbies all at once, I like to put some cool water in a dish, mix in some conditioner, and lay them so their hair is all in the same dish. That saves some product. Then let that sit however long you want. There is no too long, don’t worry even if it dries in the hair. It’ll rinse out fine. Then rinse well when you’re ready.

Mini Tip: Some people will tell you to flat iron the hair with the conditioner in. You can do that if you want. I haven’t found it makes much of a difference unless the hair is desperately dry, and in that case I’ve found it more effective to apply a very thin coating of petroleum jelly (put a little-little bit in your palm, rub it around until your hands are just a bit greasy but not very, run the hair between your hands a few times) and heat that in, as opposed to regular hair conditioner.

– Towel dry, and while it’s still damp, section it out and hit it with the flat iron. BE CAREFUL flat ironing wet or damp hair because you will drop boiling hot water into your own lap. Just be cautious. Keep a towel in your lap.

I generally flat iron from root to tip, leading the iron with the flea/nit comb. This works out fine if you’ve detangled properly.

– Repeat conditioning through flat ironing steps as needed. The first flat ironing is generally not enough when the hair was badly matted.


*For Creata brand doll hair, carefully detangle, comb, and wrap with your curlers, put the head in a plastic baggie then- or directly into- a mug of water, and put it on a candle warmer for a few hours.

Tiffy restores dolls and ponies at https://imreadydollparts.tumblr.com/

Vinyl/ABS BJD who’s legit & who’s counterfeit?

So you’d like a cheap body for your BJD or Anime doll or don’t feel comfortable with resin BJD and would prefer cheaper ABS and vinyl hinged dolls?

Here’s who know are legit (so far, please contact if you recognize any recast parts): I’ve only done the girl dolls so far but the two legit companies both do boy dolls.

Ye Luoli aka Night Lolita at https://yeluoli.tmall.com. 1/6th 1/4th and 1/3 size dolls


1/3rd: They come in many different faceups but that long thin nose is characteristic

Xinyi aka XinYiWawa 1/6th and 1/4th size dolls on ebay and aliexpress, 1/3rd dolls



1/3rd: (on the right)
Monst Dolls make cute 1/8th and 1/6th dolls (http://www.luladoll.cn also available from xiaomi as resellers) HT Dollsorwhatever. Luladoll showcases multiple designs that are ripped off for tiny “bjd” on aliexpress

Who’s using vinyl recasts?

Kilig aka Doris aka Kitty (copied Asleep Eidolon Moira https://weibo.cn/status/4174385813978468)  in 1/6th, 1/4 and 1/3rd sizes. Also sold By Ucanaan, on ebay, wish, aliexpress and amazon under various names.

DreamFairy aka DBS aka Eva BJD (copied AngellStudio Liu Rushi https://www.instagram.com/p/B20FS66pYUC/ )

Their bodies copied Volks and Angellstudio (HT queenofsquids.tumblr.com)

This generic 60cm doll body (On the left – neck has been modded by the owner) copies Volks dollfie hands, calves and Obitsu lower torso: HT FineLeideeh


This sleep head is a NapiDoll sleeping Carol (http://napidoll.kr/product/detail.html?product_no=52&cate_no=24&display_group=1) HT queenofsquids

This “16cm bjd” head is a counterfeit Lati Yellow Kuku (http://www.latidoll.com/2007_en/index.htm?mode=product_view&big=2&mid=4&num=8039) HT Sam-noche

This 30cm bjd or 1/6th bjd head is a shrunken Asleep Eidolon Moira (https://weibo.cn/status/4174385813978468) HT dollsonmain and teendollsquad. She may have yazina engraved on her neck.

This 1/3 head is Mystic Kids Alina (http://www.acbjd.com/58cm-alina-head-p-8612.html?cPath=1140_1147) HT QueenOfSquids

What can you do if you’ve accidentally bought a vinyl or ABS recast?

You can get a refund from paypal or your credit card for being sold a counterfeit item and tell people which shop to avoid. You can keep your doll but I wouldn’t post it online as it hurts the people who paid for the legitimate version to see badly made ripoffs of their doll and could be seen as an endorsement of stealing sculpted art.

What about other vinyl and abs heads that are for sale?

We havn’t been able to ID them yet. Please let me know if you’d like to contribute. i’m at firespirited on tumblr, gmail and saffy_suppi on flickr.


Trial and error with déco flocking. Part 1

Barbie “Wonkette”: Success! Décoden caulk in plain white with AB coated 1mm glass beads and 2mm “micro diamonds” sharp facetted AB coated glass. Doesn’t shed. The shimmer effect is *~*amazing*~*. Kept.

Draculaura: Mixed. Décoden caulk white with a drip of red which ended up clashing with the face and not looking like icing at all, fixing caulk errors once it’s begun to dry (and it’s fast) is messy. Flakes don’t stick unless pressed in. Back to bald.

Barbie Desirée: Nope. UHU glue leeches the colour from painted glass beads which discolour in patches (no photos of this step sorry) and stains the plastic. Second attempt with E6000 does not grip the glass beads which shed upon touch. Back to bald.

Bratz Sharidan: Mixed. UHU glue works well with both glitter and plastic diamonds. Very nice and solid. Scalp needs painting first & the shiny showgirl helmet makes the eye makeup look dull. Back to bald.


I mix two browns, water and matte acrylic sealant with a brush then use one side of some craft tweezers -large size but pointed ends- to make the dots. One dot to test on the little piece of plastic used as a palette, one or two, sometimes three on the doll to vary in size and pigmentation.

Quick n dirty tutorial on how to turn a junk Monster High body into parts for Create a Monster

So see the create a monsters up there? one is wearing a draculaura leg and another has lagoona arms (and bits from a clone spider body)

You’ll want a hacksaw or dremel with saw bit (wear protection glasses!!!), a grinder or a wire cutter + craft knife for cutting down plastic and a pair of pliers to crack bits open. Use a towel or gloves as cut plastic can be sharp.

Cut the legs about 1cm above the knee joint, a line across the upper torso from shoulder to shoulder and one about 8mm down the neck to keep the neck joint.

Put your pliers across the neck and knees to snap them off + three extra slices down each knee and across the neck to get your neck peg and legs free.

Dig your pliers into the upper torso and pull back while pulling down on the torso with your other hand: you want to crack open the torso by bending the plastic as trying to dremel your way to the shoulder bits will take ages.

You then file/grind/slice down the legs and shoulder pegs to match your create a monster bits. I tend to make them square shaped by doing 4 sides, it gives them a little bit more grip.

It’s not pretty but it works!

If possible I like to keep bodies and give them clone spider arms ($3 for 3 pairs of black arms!) but these were floppy, yellowed and had already been experimented on.

Braiding kanekalon for rerooting info

1/ If it’s dip dyed they used something idye poly and it smells like formaldehyde when heated

2/ Don’t strain yourself trying to straightening it: go for the higest setting on your iron (or notch it up little by little until you find what doesn’t burn). That’s a temperature of 200° Celcius on my iron (329° Fahrenheit)

3/ This applies to braiding kanekalon for human braids only! Glow in the dark kanekalon, Toyokalon, doll grade kanekalon and poly types will frazzle so always test the hair end before starting in the middle! Reminder that saran takes upto 120°C & no more.

4/ glue solidily into the head and wait a full 48 hours or it can come out while brushing or just moving the head.

Pullip Fur Wigs (ramblings on fur and doll scale)

So if you’ve known me for a while you know i’ve been experimenting with repurposing faux fur for several years. Partly driven by the desire to not spend 5-6 hours rerooting each bald head that comes my way and the fact that me and glue do not get along.

I have stashes of various faux fur bits that didn’t work out from various years in my room and I keep coming across them and adding them either to the $1 pile or the the “just pay postage” box. Now most of the short pile wigs were made from hand muffs, scarves and hats but it’s really hard to tell how long and how thick a fur is going to be when you’re not buying in person. “Same item, same seller” doesn’t equal same thickness or pile:

Anyway…. on to these four hats bought in a late summer sale 2016 that I’d carefully stored away (aka LOST) in a big ziplock bag under my bed. I made a MH/Bratz size wig and it was way too big, picked it apart and tried other things before remembering the ear muffs tuned into pale blue boleros from two weeks ago that were too thin for anything else: SCALE Matters!

I ended up finangling my own pattern [which you are welcome to use, I can send cardboard cutouts for the price of a stamp – this includes all my wig patterns because I have zero clue on how to digitize patterns in a way that would actually print at the proper size because the tutorials I’ve read are for adobe products or trying to sell digitizing software]

and I made these wigs (modelled by the lovely Pullip Papin – lips repaired + pink added to her general tone by Myufish, on a fantastically sturdy Liv body with a carved neck + homemade plastic washer. I love this hybrid so much.)


I finished the wigs from the commission catastrophe*!

I angrily cut out every last piece of every last scrap of fur with tiny scissors over two nights then felt at peace again and sewed them together with loads of love while rewatching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (because it feels like going home every rewatch).

There are 80 wigs, all hand sewn with tiny backstitch so that’s a lot of Star Trek – I finished sewing at S03 e22 LOL

I’ve put 71 on ebay but you can order via my email, via tumblr or flickr or if you’d like one of the rare or obsolete ones:

Currently available:

The main: see the ebay link for the colours and quantities

The rares: 3 pink/hotpink, 2 purple/green, 1 black/redwhiteblack, 1 black/bluewhiteblack, 1 neon/hot pink, 1 neon/rainbow.

The obsolete:  $1 each, short pile wigs: 7 grey, 3 big floofy royal blue, 3 of the mixed khaki, 3 of the thin long pile white fur, 1 each of the other colours.

1 to 4 wigs postage cost $1.95 Worldwide
5 to 15 wigs postage $3.40 Worldwide

That’s the price of the stamp + paypal fees.

I’m no professional so these are very much *hand made* wigs, take a good look at the photos to see the type of fur and it’s thickness. I personally like to trim them once I’ve chosen a style to look less straggly and use needle and thread instead of elastics when making buns, pigtails et al to avoid ripping out fur.

editing to add that you can use these to sell custom dolls; no problems, just say ebayer saffyruth or tumblr firespirited made the wig.

*I was commissioned for make 20-30 wigs for someone in exchange for 1 doll, 1 head and a wig per colour for myself, for almost two years I heard nothing then the client sent enough fur for 5 times that and wanted it all processed and didn’t understand (or was unwilling to understand) that extra time = extra costs. I ended up cutting and pre-sewing 90 wigs before realising that the client expected all that extra work for free, thought I had all the time in the world and they were also haggling about the doll body that was supposed to be with the parcel. I was very confused as what to do and didn’t want drama so I sent them just over half the wigs, and kept half plus scraps. Left it all for six months sat under my bed in a box. Bought the full doll for myself as a treat yoself spite-present instead. =)

No ear reroot

  Some work in progress photos to illustrate how I’ve recently done reroots on dolls with holes in their heads (2 barbies with scalp holes for hair/crown gimmicks) and now a monster high clawdeen with the animal ears removed.

E6000 glue placed inside the head via the neck and from the outside of the holes. It’s self levelling so I tape over it and leave it to dry upside down for over 24-36h (anything less and it’ll stick to the tape when you remove it and you’ll have to add more glue. These aren’t thin strips of glue but probably 5 – 7mm globs. It’ll need another 24h to be safe to reroot.

I used a very sharp exacto knife to remove any excess bits on the edge of the holes as it could easily start to peel and pull off.

The glue grabs the needle just like vinyl does so it’s good for a tool method reroot.

I don’t like to layer on the scalp paint too thick (if I use paint at all) to better see the existing holes. The glue patched earholes show up as slightly darker but they’re completely hidden in most hair styles.

I recommend painting over the earholes to be totally opaque when rerooting a pale skinned doll such as Catrine, or if you’re using nylon which is slightly translucent.

Things they don’t tell you about flocking in the most popular tutorials:

If you do not have the exact same glue, do not follow the same instructions or wait times.

  • Watering down your glue may lead to the flocking dripping off your doll’s head slowly if it isn’t a quick drying glue
  • Whatever glue you use make sure that it is solid enough to not ooze. Brush it on then use something flat like a card to make sure the glue isn’t thicker in parts then let it get a little bit tacky before putting on your flocking.
    If you use your fingers to tap down the flocking be very, very gentle as you’ll just push around the flocking which leaves thick and thin bits.
    Waiting an hour with white school glue was not long enough., I went to brush off the flock and made a mess. If in doubt, wait overnight.

You may have to try this multiple times before you get it right so you won’t have the luxury of not collecting up the un-used flocking for re-use

  • Don’t use a plate, use a box with nice pointy corners or collecting your flock for re-use will be difficult. Using paper that you then fold to pour out the flock might seem like a smart idea but don’t underestimate the power of flock to go flying all over the place if you so much as breathe wrong.
  • Make sure to look through the flock for any particules that might have gotten in and remove that with tweezers.

Flocking a flexible head is different from flocking a hard head (such as vintage male dolls, integrity toys or ball jointed dolls)

  • The edges will probably come unstuck if you have to manipulate the head and depending on the style it may not withstand transport in a bubble enveloppe.
  • You will want to reroot first then apply masking tape while flocking as the hair roots may absorb glue if they are a porous fibre.

Different flockings will act differently so following a tutorial made for X flock may not work for what you have in mind for your doll.

  • The wool flock I used went white and crunchy when using multiple layers because it absorbed the glue too well so it was easier to gently apply extra wool to thin spots by hand bit by bit.
  • The glitter became dulled and grey where the glue was too thick. Also some glitters or flock made from chopped ribbon will bleed colour when mixed in non water based glues. (This can stain your doll)
  • Velvet flock usually needs multiple layers to look good.
  • The flock they sell in doll restoration shops is often finely chopped doll hair so you can make your own to match the exact colour of the reroot.

Extra stuff

  • If using masking tape, you need to remove it while the glue is still a bit wet or you’ll tear your new flocking which has a paperlike quality
  • scale matters! the flock that creates a fuzzy look on a small ken head may make a larger doll look near bald. Are you going for a shaved look or a pixie cut look?
  • You can work with chopped wool or mohair for a fluffier look and trim any excess with tiny scissors
  • Flocking is too delicate to serve as a wig: you’ll want to create a hard wig cap then flock that or create something fairly solid (and bulky) with silicone glue or caulk.
  • The amount of microbeads/nail caviar contained in a small vial such as those in 12 colour sets (barely 1g) is not nearly enough for a Monster High sized head and microbeads get embedded in the rooting holes and take quite some scrubbing out if you change your mind or mess it up.
  • paint the scalp if you’re using translucent microbeads as it’ll look patchy no matter how many layers you add