Reborn dolls, best known through the models of Berenguer and Preemie, are baby dolls designed to look as realistic as possible. Unlike other baby dolls, which are often stylised to include exaggerated features like wide eyes and round faces, Reborn dolls are more likely to have elaborate facial sculpting to create an imitation of life. One of the key features of these dolls is the realistic hair, which is often made from angora mohair or even real human hair. To customise the hair on your own Reborn baby doll, complete these instructions for hair rooting.
Remove any "hair paint" that may be on the head of your doll, using a nonacetone nail polish remover. If you are working with a doll that already has hair, you must remove the existing hair from the holes. Clean the head with soap and water. Any stubborn stains can be removed using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.
Sand down any sculpted hair lines that are on your head, using sandpaper. To avoid toxic vinyl dust, you can sand the head underwater. Make sure to avoid getting water into the eye socket and inside your doll's head.
Locate the root holes for the hair. If your head does not already have holes for rooted hair, you must also create holes. You can make holes using the smallest possible drill bit, poke holes with the felting needle, or melt holes using a heated needle. Start creating the holes at the crown of the head, and fan out from there in a circular pattern to get the most natural look. You will want to create a great many holes in order to replicate the look of the single hair follicles on real people.
Trim your mohair pieces to about 4 or 5 inches, so that you will later have some leeway with styling. Take a thick bundle of mohair and lay it over the head, then press the felting needle through the mohair into one of the holes several times. The hair will stick into the hole. Pull it in the direction that the hair will lay.
Insert hair all over the head, into the holes you have created. As your original bundle diminishes, add more mohair. As you work, look for bare spots that you may need to fill in with new holes. When completely finished rooting the hair, arrange the hair in the direction that you would like it to lay and trim the hair as short as desired.
Things you need
- Doll head
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Felting needles
- Non-acetone nail polish remover
- Drill and small drill bit