those of you who would like to know how it's done)
Step 1: Select your doll, and remove her hair. This can
be done easily by cutting her hair as short as possible,
and then removing the head and pulling the plugs out with
small pliers or tweezers, going in through the neck hole.
Once you have a bald doll, paint her head with acrylic paint,
using the same color paint as the hair to be rooted. I didn't
paint the head for the tutorial because I wanted the hair
and the head to have contrasting colors for better viewing
purposes in the photos.
Here's Barbie with the hair that she's going to be rooted
with. It happens to be a 38" hank of acetate hair in
the color "golden honey".
Step 2) If you're rooting a Barbie or Gene doll, this site
sells pre-cut hanks of hair
that are specifically cut to be enough hair for these dolls'
heads. However, we're going to use a Barbie doll for this
tutorial (for lack of a different doll) to show you how
much hair you would need to buy for a doll when you're NOT
sure how much hair she'll need! I'm going to show you how
to figure it out.
If you're not sure how much hair you'll need for your doll,
measure the circumference around her head, in inches. As
you can see, Barbie's head is 4 inches in circumference.
Step 3) When you're not sure how much hair you'll need
for your doll, you're always going to buy the 38" hanks. However many
inches in curcumference your doll's head is, that's how
many equal pieces that you're going to have to cut your
38" hank into.
Following so far?
So, since Barbie's head is 4" in circumference, I cut
the 38" hank into 4 equal pieces. 4 inches head circumference
means you're going to cut the hank into 4 pieces. If Barbie's
head was 5" in circumference, I would have cut the
38" hank into five equal pieces. The hank was originally
38" long, so I cut it into four equal pieces that are
each 9.5 inches long.
Barbie's FINISHED LENGTH, after she's rooted, is going
to be 4.75 inches, which is half of 9.5. Why? Because you're
going to root each plug from the middle section of the hair,
as you can see in step 4 below.
OK, moving right along, let's say, for example, that you
have a doll with a 12" circumference head. In order
to have enough hair for her whole head, you'd have to cut
the 38" hank into twelve equal pieces, and each piece
would be 3.16 inches long. After your doll has been rooted,
her FINISHED LENGTH would be 1.58" long. That's VERY
short hair for a doll, so if that's ok with you, then great.
But most people want the hair to be longer than that. The
solution? Well, one way to do it would be to buy THREE 38"
hanks instead of one, and then you can cut each 38"
hank into four equal 9.5" pieces. That gives you TWELVE
9.5" pieces of hair, and that's going to give your
doll with a 12" circumference head a FINISHED LENGTH
of 4.75", just like the Barbie in our tutorial is going
Still following? OK, let's say that you want your doll
with a 12" circumference head to have even LONGER hair
than that. What do you do? Buy SIX 38" hanks and cut
each one in half. This will give you twelve equal pieces
of hair, each one being 19" long. Root your doll with
this hair, and she'll have a FINISHED LENGTH of 9.5".
Want this doll with a 12" circumference head to have
hair that's a FINISHED LENGTH of 19"? Then you'll need
to buy TWELVE 38" hanks, and not cut them at all.
Now you see how it works. It's just a matter of math, and
based on the information above, you can figure out how to
cut these 38" hanks in order to have the right amount
of hair (and the right length) for your doll.
Still confused? You can always e-mail
me with your doll's head circumference, in inches, and the
length you want her hair to be after she's been rooted.
I can figure it out for you and let you know how many 38"
hanks you'll need to buy.
But the bottom line here is that the WIDTH of the 38"
hank is enough for ONE INCH worth of doll head circumference,
and the more pieces you cut the 38" hank into, the
more head circumference you'll be able to root.
Step 4) So for Barbie, a finished length of 4.75 inches
is just fine, and I'm going to start my reroot. You can
use any kind of rooting method you like: the needle and
thread method or the reroot tool. The needle and thread
method is explained in the "reroot kit" sold on
this site, and we also have a reroot tool for sale on this
site as well. Check the links above under "how to reroot"
if you need to learn one of these methods.
I happened to use the reroot tool to root Barbie for this
tutorial, so as you can see in the photo to the left, the
hair has been rooted from the middle part of the hank, into
the head. You can see what I mean by looking at the direction of the
red arrow in the photo. THAT'S WHY I said that your finished
length would be half the length of the hair.
Step 5) Here's the finished reroot! You can see how much
hair is left over, as well. I always tell people that Dollyhair
sells very generous hanks, because we always want to make
sure that you'll have enough hair for your doll's head.
As you can see, this is true, because I was pretty heavy-handed
with this reroot.
But what a horrible mess of hair, right? Barbie needs some
The first thing that I always do after I finish my reroots
with the reroot tool is that I put some Fabri-Tac glue inside
Barbie's head and swab it around with a Q-tip. Dollyhair
sells Fabri-Tac glue on the "reroot tool" page,
so go ahead and buy some if you want to. It's the best glue
in the world, in my opinion. It remains soft when it's dry,
kind of like rubber, and once it's dry, water cannot affect
it. That's an important thing, because synthetic hair needs
to be styled with water.
So I'm going to take Barbie's head off and put some Fabri-Tac
glue in her head, swabbing the Q-tip around to ensure that
all of the hair inside the head is covered in glue.
Once the glue is dry, I'm going to put the head back on
the body and brush the hair. No matter how tempted you are
to brush the hair, DO NOT brush the hair until after the
glue is dry! Otherwise, some of the hair could get pulled
out of the head (unless you're using the needle and thread
method, in which case glue is not necessary).
Step 6) Now, Barbie's hair has been brushed and she's been
prepped for her part thatching.
What is that?
Well, it's what you do to her part in order to make it
look like a factory-done reroot.
I rooted her head using the same holes that the factory
made. If you look at a doll's bald head, you will see two
parallel lines of closely-rooted holes. These holes are
for the part hair.
I've separated all of the part hair, as you can see. It's
sticking up, like a mohawk. The rest of the hair has been
tied into a ponytail around Barbie's neck, just to keep
it out of the way.
Now we're ready to thatch her part.
||Step 7) Using the
pointed end of the reroot tool (or any type of similar sharp
object), I'm going to separate a very small horizontal section
of hair. I'm going to lay this section of hair to the left,
as you can see in the photo below.
||Step 8) Doing the
same exact thing as before, I'm going to separate another
small section of hair, this time laying it to the right, instead
of to the left.
Step 9) Again, the same thing. I'm going to lay this third
section to the left. You see that I'm alternating, and each
small section of hair is being put on the opposide side
of the head as the previous section.
It's kind of difficult to get this hair to stay where you
put it, so it's very helpful if you glob some hair gel on
the head. This will make the hair stick down where you want
it to be.
||Step 10) You see that
the part is about halfway thatched now. I'm still separating
tiny sections of hair and laying them on alternating sides
of the head.
||Step 11) Here it is:
the fully thatched part! It's been pasted down with hair gel
in order to keep it in place. Don't worry about the bald spots
that are showing; they will be hidden when I do some more
Step 12) Here's another view of Barbie with her thatched
part being finished.
The next step is to remove the rubber band from around
her neck, and brush her hair into place.
After that, boil some water. Acetate, kanekalon, and saran can withstand
rapidly boiling water, while nylon and polypropylene should be styled with
water that's only at a mild simmer, since nylon and polypropylene are more
prone to frizzing if they get too hot. Saran is the most
difficult to style, so the hotter the water, the better.
Nylon, polypropylene, and acetate, and especially kanekalon, are all very easy to style.
For this tutorial, I'm using acetate hair. So I'm going
to bring my water to a rapid boil, and then I'm going to
pour the water over Barbie's head. While the water on the
hair is still steaming, I'm going to comb the hair and style
it into place. After that, one more dowsing of hot water
will set the style into place.
After that, you will want to follow-up by pouring ice water
over Barbie's head. This will further set the style in place.
Now all you have to do is let the hair air dry, which will
take about 24 hours..
Here's the finished reroot, and oh how pretty it is!
At this point, I could do a boil perm if desired, but I
think that Barbie's hair looks pretty with her straight
style, so I'm just going to leave it like this.