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Sometimes, after an overly enthusiastic haircut by scissor-wielding toddlers or simply wear and tear over the years, a doll's hair may need to be replaced. For popular nylon fashion dolls like Barbie and her coterie of friends, a needle method works well because it can pierce her soft nylon head. For porcelain, ceramic or hard plastic dolls, rerooting hair can be more difficult and time-consuming, but by using a knot method it can be done.
Lay out a hank, or skein, of replacement hair. Nylon or saran hair works better than mohair for the knot method since it is smoother and easier to thread through a needle. Nylon or saran hair is available online in a rainbow of colours.
Remove the head of your doll carefully so you can access both the inside and outside of its scalp. Some dolls have a removable skull cap so you don't have to remove the entire head.
Cut the existing hair down as short as you can. Now is the time to recreate your vengeful doll hair-snipping youth: Take the shears and remove as much hair as you can.
Remove the plugs from inside the doll's scalp. Using tweezers, metal hooks, pliers, needles or a combination of these tools, remove the plugs from inside the doll's scalp. Some dolls have their plugs glued into place. In these cases a gentle glue solvent can be used to loosen the old adhesive. Always test chemicals on a small patch of unexposed doll and watch for signs of discolouration or damage.
Wet a small amount of the new hair and thread it through a needle. If the pre-drilled holes are large enough, use a larger bore needle to save time.
Push the needle through the pre-drilled hole and out through the neck hole. You may need to use a pair of pliers to pull the needle out of the neck hole if the doll's head is too small for your fingers to safely guide the needle out.
Pull one end of the hair loose after it has been fed through the neck hole and knot the end. Your should have one end of the strand outside the scalp and the other hanging through the neck hole. Don't worry if this is longer than you wanted your doll's final hair to be, it can be cut after the knotting process. Knot the end hanging through the neck hole and pull the end sticking out of the scalp until the knot is against the inside of the scalp.
Add a light coating of glue to the inside of the scalp once the entire hair has been knotted and rerooted. This holds the knots together and keeps the finished hair from sliding back into the scalp. If you plan on washing, styling or curling your doll's hair, be sure to use a waterproof craft glue.
- Darrin Klimek/Digital Vision/Getty Images