Tag Archives: hair

Rerooting tips (a walkthrough of my latest reroot)

This was my latest comission, I was sent the anime picture and was told it was going to be a Star Darlings Sage so I measured everything on my own Sage (from @dollsahoy thankyou! – they didn’t get a release in france outside of disney stores as far as i can tell) then was asked if I’d reroot a MTM Curvy yoga (the strawberry blonde Neysa) which I turned down //which is huge for me// because they have the worst screening then was sent a photo of a WITCH doll which seemed 1/6th to me, I figured they were MyScene size on 11? bods… so yeah sure!

Anyway she arrives and I have a small freak out because the head is bigger than expected and I’m not sure if I have enough black, it’s been precut for a doll with a different head size and i’m not sure how to space the plugs. She’s a 6? head size around the edge but quite a deep dome so at least an hours extra work than a LIV (slightly smaller head size and flatter dome).

The original has horrid nylon that needs nail scissors to cut without choking so no going on the original plug layout. Thankfully we’re not working over the original parting because that’s swiss cheese. I’ve been having an ongoing anxiety attack for days so this is just an unexpected set of calculations that makes my head spin and BSOD for a while. She’s cute, that helps me visualize an end result and feel better about this. The Liv she’s been sent with is slightly too dark (a beach doll?) so i’ll discreetly swap it out for one I have in my To Sell pile from back when I was angling to save up for a Pullip Batgirl (tan version) – her price skyrocketed after release so I’ve put that grail firmly in the “buy only if spotted under x price” pile, as you do. OK OK, back to the process…

I take photos of problem areas and put the head in the microwave submerged in a mug of water for 4 minutes. don’t touch until she’s fully chill. Do NOT do this with Integrity Toys, vintage dolls or latest fashionistas: the ITs have pearl/shimmer finishes that go dull under heat, vintage dolls and 2019 fashionistas have decals or ink that can be altered or melted by heat, you’ll want to put your doll head on a stick and dip only the dome into a pan of boiling water until the vinyl reshapes. This is a sturdy playline doll with solid facepaint and I still won’t touch it until everything is completely cooled down.

Then apply black acrylic paint and pull my brush in one direction only to keep part of the plugs flesh toned (ie visible), then apply undiluted acrylic matte sealant (anything else gets tacky). Leave to dry for two hours.

Scratch in the markings for the partings with a needle (middle and fringe/back of hair). As you can see, these got adjusted as the head came together.

She needs to look asian not caucasian with dyed black hair so not too thick on top and a rounded heavy parting. I decide on a large curved shaped fringe area – it’s 1.50cm long and extends to the edges of her eyebrows. I do not like triangle shaped bangs (as seen on Draculaura), they are too easy to mess up, same with flat (two row) thatched bangs on Bratz. To be fair, I avoid bangs whenever possible, I don’t like static un-restylable dolls, I hope they get played with. A curved fringe can at least get put back into place quite easily instead of having to lay out the individual hair plugs just right in a messed up triangle fringe, tie it all down then boil it back into place then gel. nuh uh.

Unsure of how much hair to use on this head size, I rooted in rows of plugs 5mm apart, 8mm between lines then went back at the end of the reroot to fill in empty areas as it wasn’t thick enough. ended up with a criss cross design of about 5-7mm between plugs with very tight edges along the front lines and partings.

I’ve taken overexposed photos to show the plugs, it looks neat enough to not be thatched with the black paint. I don’t thatch unless paid extra to.I’m a perfectionist but not “two+ extra unpaid hours” perfectionist LOL.

Now to heat seal the shape of the hair without damaging the water soluble acrylic paint/sealant: you tie up the hair just right, pop the head in a baggie, put a chopstick in the head to push down because or else it’ll float and put it in boiling water, the elastics will snap but the bag sort of sticks to the shape of the head so it keeps the shape.

Finally, the WITCH head hole is slightly large on a Liv bod so I made a washer from the vinyl scalp of a clone, squeezed it over the anchor then pushed it all into the head. Full movement without wobbles. Thankyou for your sacrifice ugly barbie clone, your neck went to humblezombie and your scalp’s bald patch to this commission.

 

 

This my new reroot tool handle, nicked from a broken kitchen tool ^___^ so it’s a pin vise wrapped in washable stretch fabric stuffed into a proper rubber handle now. Finally getting comfy =p (not that my shoulders aren’t screaming at me for this).

How I reroot dolls with very fragile heads

* boil the head to make the holes smaller

* glue the head split with superglue and avoid it during the reroot

* optional: add a thin layer of e6000 to the inside of the scalp for extra heft

* stuff the head with foam

This foam was left over from a nail buffer block. I cut off thin slices, rolled them and stuffed them into the head carefully with hemostats until the head was completely full – it took all but 1cm of the foam!

The idea is to keep the head split from reopening by making sure that the head doesn’t bend during a tension reroot.

When the reroot is finished, I’ll gently pull out the foam and put in more glue than usual so that the head doesn’t split open when the hair is brushed or the head squished.

I’ve done this before with clone or vintage dolls with super thin vinyl that threatens to tear and will keep you posted on this greyscale lady.

How to make a pastel rainbow Licca!

   

Here are the measurements if you’d like to make your own.

(This will work with castle/new gen Licca heads with a slight redraw of the front line of hair for a more modern hairline. See side picture of the bald head.)

  • 10 bands at the front: 6mm each
  • 10 bands at the back: 5mm each
  • 5 bands across the 3cm parting: 6mm each

So far each colour band (front + back) has taken me 1h30 with the tool method.

The pencil rubs off during the reroot so I recommend doing alternate bands of colour.
The fuzzy no-flash collage is the closest colour match to the real thing: pastel yellow, lavender, a peachy pink and minty/seafoam green.

She’s not as pastel as I’d hoped to make her (the client wanted true pastels but that would mean purchasing 5 different nylon packs including some from the USA) because saran doesn’t have a pale blue that isn’t very green. I tried to dilute the “teal” blue but the blends looked very grey against all these full colours. So instead I darkened the mint with some seafoam so it was approximately the same darkness as the rest.

I’m torn between loving it and hating that it’s not right.
The stripe design worked out great with triple rainbows at the pigtails and options for lots of different hairstyles that show the single or double rainbow. Very very pleased with that! I can see it working with a gradient reroot such as red, celtic red (tomato soup), orange, yellow, golden blonde…

Monster High yellow glue staining

Monster High Catrine de Mew I’m currently working on with serious yellowing from seeping yellow head glue/goop.

You can see where various plugs/plastic tie holes are stained more from where the glue seeped out, how it came down the hair onto the forehead and right side of the neck where the hair was tied.

You can also see the vinyl colour compared to a Spectra with the china white glue and a Spectra with the indonesia yellow glue (see those earholes!).

The difference between unstained Spectra and Catrine’s skin tones in person is even more pronounced than the photos washed out by flash.


Magic eraser attenuated the edges of the stain very slightly but I’m still stumped as how i’m going to proceed. I could use pastel chalk to try and ‘paint it white’ but I don’t have any MSC.

Peroxide bleaching needs sunlight which accelerates yellowing so that’s out.


Here’s white glue Spectra vs yellow glue Spectra

and a yellow glue stained Twyla who’s hair has gone yellow

Glue removal for Monster high or other Mattel dolls with glue in their heads using talc

 photo tutorial_stickyglueremoval 1.jpg

 photo tutorial_stickyglueremoval 2.jpg

 photo tutorial_stickyglueremoval 3.jpg

 photo tutorial_stickyglueremoval 4.jpg
This works with both the white and yellow glues but it does have to be disintegrating and therefore sticky. This won’t work if the talc can’t stick to the glue.

  • Put on some clothes that you don’t mind getting covered in talc and use a face mask if you have asthma.
  • Put your thumb over the neck hole while shaking the head or you’ll get talc everywhere.
  • Squish the head to break up the glue and shake some more.
  • Tap the neck hole against your hand to get the lumps out. You may need tweezers for the bigger bits.
  • Repeat
  • You can use a screwdriver or long scissors or hemostats to gently scrape around the inside of the head to dislodge more glue but be careful to not pull hair into the head.

I used this method on my Honey Swamp (early june 2016, 4 months ago at the time of this post) and she’s not seeped anymore glue. It’s still early but now that so much glue is out, I’m hopeful that she won’t seep more and require a reroot – I don’t want to touch those gorgeous curls!

More Saran hair comparisons: Retrodolls.uk

New Lush lilac Saran batch from http://retrodolls.uk :
 photo lushlilac.jpg

New Clover (no longer high denier, beautiful grassy colour) from Retrodolls vs “evergreen” or “seafoam” from other dollhair vendors:
 photo clover vs evergreen.jpg

As always the weights per hank were 11g-12g with a very generous 14g and 16g for Envy and Vapour blends. The hair arrived fast considering it was shipped from the UK.

 

Here’s an older photo of Pink Gin (which I use a lot) vs Cupcake Pink:
 photo cupcake vs pink gin.jpg
It’s very slightly more orange but turns out gorgeously cutesy pastel pink when rerooted.

Calculating reroot amounts (in cm and grams)

Here’s my own cheat sheet (for the tool method aka hair folded in half and for saran, though I use the same amount of nylon as it tends to be lossy during prep/work).

To calculate the size and number of hanks / skeins to buy :
It takes 3 + 1 half (about 40g) , cut in half , to cover a 5/6″ head with very long hair.

1 “hank” of Retrodolls saran is about 90cm and 12g therefore:
A hank can be cut in 3 = length on the doll 14cm max from roots to ends. 2 hanks per reroot.
A hank can be cut in 2 = length on the doll 20 – 22cm. 4 hanks per reroot.

1 “Skein” of Mylittlecustoms/Restoredoll saran is 46cm and 12g, it contains as much hair as a hank but it is shorter.
4 skeins for a reroot = length on the doll 23 cm.

1 “XL Skein” of Mylittlecustoms/Restoredoll saran is 76cm and 40g, it contains approx. 3 and 1/3 hanks/skeins of fiber.
1 whole reroot (Cut in 2) = length on the doll 19cm.

1 “Large Hank” of Retrodolls saran is 90cm and 50g (contains just over 4 hanks)
1 “XL Hank” of Retrodolls saran is 90cm and 100g (contains 8 hanks)

Not using dollyhair hanks any more as they were averaging 8-9g.

See https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0As0WIngBCIdZdFIzRUdFZmZONktVNzM2eUd5STczVWc#gid=2 for the colour matches between sellers.

 

If you’re looking to measure your doll’s hair in inches, please see NoNapTime’s awesome tutorial: http://www.nonaptime.com/2015/02/calculating-the-amount-of-hair-needed-for-a-reroot

How to Reroot a fringe (bangs) on a doll

  • Seperate out the front line of hair plugs.
  •  photo foffringe1.jpg

  • Cut it and save the hair.
  •  photo foffringe2.jpg

  • Use the hair folded on itself to add 1 or two lines of plugs behind that front row for a thicker, neater look.
  •  photo funkoutfianna.jpg

  • Use hot water to style the hair downwards on the forehead (using a piece of elastic fabric like tights/hose is ideal for this).
  • Use nail scissors to neatly cut the fringe/bangs to just above the eyes but covering the eyebrows.
  •  photo fiorenza_transformation.jpg

    Saran colours from retrodolls

    Lush Lilac saran shifts from pale purples to shades of pink depending on the light.
    RTD Lush Lilac photo lushcombined.jpg

    Teal is a less grey, more green version of DH Lagoon Blue
     photo tealvslagoonblue.jpg
     photo blues.jpg

    Some reds compared to eachother:
    Celtic Red is the colour of tomato soup and Torch Auburn is blood red.
    Red sarans photo reds.png
     photo streakcolorswatchnatural.jpg

    Some blondes compared:
    Lemon has a slight green tinge to it.
    Blondie compared photo blondecomparedwithotherblondes.jpg
     photo blondesnoflash-1.jpg

    Notes: the acronyms DH, RD and RTD stand for Dollyhair, Restoredolls and Retrodolls who have different shades of saran hair on offer and use different names for them.