How To Reroot

You will need - Crochet hook (size 7 or 8), long doll sculpting needle, tweezers, hair elastics, hair, doll head. See fig. 1

Fig. 1

To Begin - first, cut off the doll's hair, then put the head/neck area under a running hot water tap for a few seconds, to soften the vinyl, then pull off her head. If she is a modern doll, with the prongs on the neck knob, you may need to do it in two stages - first pull off the head to just above the neck knob, put her under the hot water, then pull the head over the prongs. You can cut off the prongs after that, so it will be easier to put on and take off her head. Now, go back and cut the hair as close to the scalp as possible (fig. 2). Next, insert the crochet hook up through the neck opening ((fig. 3), and gently scrape it around the inside of her scalp and pull away the plugs from the inside. At some point, you will need to use your tweezers to remove the pieces of hair that are building up inside her head (fig. 4 & 5). Repeat as necessary. Once you have pulled away as much hair as you can, tweeze the outside of her head, to remove those stubborn stray hairs/plugs. You will now have a bald head (fig. 6). Now is a good time to remove face paint and scalp paint. should you wish to do so. You only need to remove scalp paint if you are rooting lighter hair in than the color of the scalp.

Fig. 2

Fig. 3

Fig. 4

Fig. 5

Fig. 6

Preparing Your Plugs - remove the hair from the package (fig. 7), Create a small loop at one end of the hiar loop and secure with a hair rubber, then cut the larger loop in half and trim the ends (fig. 8 & 9). This process makes the hair much more manageable to work with. Now, take a small section of hair, tie a knot in the loose end (fig. 10), then cut it off. Repeat this 30 times or so until you have a good sized pile of plugs to root. The reason I prepare a pile of plugs, then root them, is that I find I can build up speed as I find the rhythm of each job. Amount of hairs in a plug for each area : Interior - about 10. Outer Perimeter (if you are pulling hair back or up) - about 25. Parts - about 40 This is just a rough guide. I don't count the number of hairs, but do it by feel. Vintage dolls tend to have fewer holes than modern dolls, so your plugs for the interior will need to be a little fatter. Fig 11 shows a comparison...the blue plug is to root the interior area of a modern doll, whilst the pink plug is for a vintage doll - between them is a rooting needle, to give you an idea of size/scale.

Fig. 7

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Fig. 10

Fig. 11

Rooting - take your needle, insert the point end through the neck opening, and feel for a hole to root. This isn't as hard as it sounds and you will soon get the hang of it. Push the needle half way through the hole. Next wet the end of your plug with your mouth, thread through the needle eye (fig 12 & 13), then pull the needle all the way out (fig. 6) and pull on the plug till you can't pull any further, ie the knot is sitting against the inside of the scalp (fig. 4 & 15).

Fig. 12

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Fig. 15

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