Some photos from working on the bratz pixiez:
- deciding on a widows peak and giving the face a heart shape by bringing the hair down at the ears.
- the nerve wracking moment when you put in new plugs across the forehead.
- mspainted hair plans for the client’s consideration based on prototype photos from toyfair and these that showed up on flickr at just the right time!
How I reroot v hard heads (aka harder than Integrity Toys). (For experienced rerooters)
The difficulties are that you get about 4 minutes at a time where the head is soft enough to work with and that the head needs to be heated without frazzling the hair if you’re using saran. [ By ultra hard heads, I mean the type that give you five minutes of pliability even straight after boiling!]
- pin vise for tool method. With a nail or something solid inside the pin vise for the needle to press against.
- foam block to place the head on while working
- heat pad set to high heat
- no doll grade kanekalon as the frazzle temperature is too low.
- crocodile clips
The biggest challenge, I guess, is the double tedium of having to wait for the head to heat every four minutes and then getting into the ‘groove’ of working only to have to stop because the head became unworkable again. Do not give in to the temptation to keep working, the plastic does not respond well and can leave big holes or risk cracking open. Vinyl needs some pliability when rerooting.
When heating the head, wrap the hair as low to the roots as possible in a tissue or piece of cotton then put on the timer for 3-5 minutes depending on how hot the heat pad is. You need the head to get hot enough to work but that heat is slightly too much for the saran fibre if you go over 5 mins!
Since your time is limited, make sure that you seperate out lots of wads of hair with crocodile clips so that you can quickly grab them when you run out.
Keep it all in small amounts, brushed and secured with clips etc as you’ll be moving more than usual and that means more risks for messing up hair piles!
Draw out your rerooting lines in pencil on the head in advance to not use up “reroot time” eyeballing and calculating.
Take extra care with front lines, part lines and vunerable areas on the head (take photos before beginning the reroot of any problem zones) as the head is a lot less forgiving.
Have something to do during the heating times and budget double the time of a normal reroot (though it’ll probably be 150-175% unless you’re planning something unusual).
I recommend Nylon over Saran for ultra hard heads as the melt temperature is higher for Nylon which gives you more leeway. Doll grade kanekalon frazzles if you do a boil perm slightly too soon after the boil so I definitely don’t recommend that.
Heliotrope is a new colour that’s slightly more purple than electric purple aka chromatic pink
*rose is pink gin, rose foncé is sherbet pink
Especially useful around the holidays.
- hair (from a donor doll, from a hair extension, seperated sewing thread or about a ¼ of a hank of doll hair),
- a reroot tool (a needle with the eye cut into a fork inserted into a pin vise or a piece of wood)
- tiny scissors
- a chopstick, a clean screwdriver, tweezers or hemostats to scrape the inside of the head.
- 90 minutes
- glue (not white glue or super glue)
- 24h waiting time while the glue dries
First put the doll’s hair into a loose ponytail then gently cut the first line of hair (you can brush it out later), put your chopstick or hemostats inside the neck and scrape to pull the hair out of the holes then root in the hair. Listen to a podcast or watch some tv to not get too bored as this is a bit tedious. I like to put an extra line of plugs behind the originals to make the hair look thick. Also add a few plugs to the front of the parting so the doll will look cool with her hair down as well as in a ponytail.
Optional: You can also change the doll’s eye color with acrylic paint or with sharpie (sharpie only on the actual eye decal or it’ll bleed into the vinyl) or add nail art decorations.
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.
New Lush lilac Saran batch from http://retrodolls.uk :
New Clover (no longer high denier, beautiful grassy colour) from Retrodolls vs “evergreen” or “seafoam” from other dollhair vendors:
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:
It’s very slightly more orange but turns out gorgeously cutesy pastel pink when rerooted.
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