Two of my childhood Sindy’s had a second childhood with my daughter, who, when she was younger carried out some over enthusiastic hairdressing. The results were a bit brutal and I felt I had to try and fix them up. So I’ve been finding out how to re-root dolls and I wanted to share my method and results. This is my first Sindy doll re-root – I hope you find it helpful! If you like vintage dolls, then check out my Pippa doll outfits here.
- A doll in need of some loving
- Doll hair – I used a synthetic hair weft which was 15cm hair length x 100 cm.
- Re-rooting tool and needles – you can buy kits from Etsy sellers – as I’m in the UK, I bought a kit from Kins Wonders which includes a re-rooting tool, 3 needles and a weft of hair (you choose the colour) and a pricker (to make holes). The Doll Planet on Etsy are the US equivalent and also sell similar kits.
- Forceps or long nosed pliers to remove the hair from inside the head (I used these 5.5 inch fishing forceps!).
- Glue (if it doesn’t come with your kit) – The Doll Planet do their own glue. You can also use Fabri-Tac which is a fabric glue. I used ‘Pritt’ multi-purpose glue which seemed to work okay.
- Comb and hair clips.
- Small scissors if you are using a hair on a weft (which means it is sewn at the top).
- A doll stand to fit the head on whilst you work and something to weight the stand down.
The buzz cut!
Before you can re-root you need to get rid of the old hair. This means a drastic haircut -as close to the scalp as you can get.
The next step is getting rid of the remains of your doll’s hair. First you have to remove the head. With this Sindy it was easy as it’s just on a simple ball joint. If you have a doll with a neck peg then it’s a bit more complicated – I would recommend doing an internet search for how to remove a doll head for your type of doll. Then, use your forceps or pliers to gently pull out the tufts of hair and any glue from the inside of the head. It’s best to grab small amounts each time to avoid splitting the holes in the scalp. If you do get any splits, you can repair them with a strong glue – make sure it’s completely dry before you re-root.
If your doll is having a drastic hair colour change then paint the scalp to match first.
There are various different techniques you can use to re-root a doll, I’m just sharing the method I used and tutorials I followed.
If you are using a shorter length of hair like I did, then I used the second technique from this YouTube video by Maria Lazar . You have a short end which stays inside the head and a long end of hair, rather than a folded length. If you have a longer hank of loose hair then you can use this technique by EverythingDolls, which folds the hair in half before inserting the needle.
As you’ll see from the videos, the basic technique involves pinching a small amount of hair and wrapping it over your forefinger, then scooping it up with the needle (which is like a tiny two pronged fork!). It’s tempting to pick up as much hair as possible each time – but this results in lost hair as it falls out of the needle before you try and insert it.
You also need to use the right size needle for the holes – don’t try and force a big needle into a small hole as it will either break the needle or split the hole (I broke a needle!). You can always add more if it looks a little sparse. I found that when I did the parting it started to thicken up.
You can see the progress of my re-root in the photos above. To create the parting, you have to root two lots of hair into each hole along the parting line, alternating sides. The hair clips helped to hold the hair on the right side of the parting. When you’ve finished, apply the glue inside the head to secure the hair. The Doll Planet have done a You Tube video which shows how to do this. You need a fair amount of glue as it’s a jungle of hair inside. Make sure the glue is dry before styling.
The next stage is to get all the sticky up hair to lie flat and look beautiful. Again there are various ways you can do this – it may depend on the type of hair you’ve used. Check that it can cope with heat if you’re using any methods with heat. I used the wet cloth over the head and ironing technique from the Everything Dolls video. It worked well, but it was hard to get the sides to lie nice and flat.
My Sindy was covered in faded but obvious marks on her face. I gave her a whitening toothpaste face-mask and she did a lot of sunbathing to try and lighten the marks. It helped a bit but not completely. She’s comfortable with her imperfections now she has amazing hair! The other suggestion I’ve read is Benzoyl Peroxide 10% cream (acne cream – e.g. Oxy 10), but I’ve not been able to get hold of any yet.
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Cinderella, you shall go to the ball!
Coming soon – her new outfit…and her sister is going ginger.