How To Do Reborn Doll Hair Rooting
Unless you plan on having a bald reborn doll, you'll need to root in hair on their scalp. This will allow your doll to look as realistic as possible with a full head of life-like hair. Of course if you fail to properly root the hair, or if you don't use enough, your doll simply won't look right. Thankfully, hair rooting isn't difficult, but it is time-consuming and requires a steady hand; here's how you do it:
Choose Your Hair
First and foremost, you'll have to decide what type of hair you want to use on your reborn doll. Most artists, myself included, prefer the look of mohair for reborn dolls, as it looks almost identical to actual baby hair. Unlike real hair, it's durable and able to withstand tension and force if placed upon it. So just how much mohair do you need for rooting into a reborn doll? It really all depends on the thickness you desire. Some people prefer their dolls to have thinned out hair, while others want a fuller, more complete head of hair. This a personal decision that only you can make. With that said, you shouldn't need more than a couple locks of mohair no matter how thin or thick you want it.
In addition to choosing a type of hair, you also need to think about what color of hair you want on your reborn doll. Don't make this decision lightly, as it's not easy to replace their hair later down the road. Once you've rooted hair into your doll, it's generally there to stay. You might be able to pull it out and replace it with a different type of hair, but not without a great deal of work. One little tip I'll give to help you choose a hair color is to think about what color their eyes are and choose a similar color or shade to match. There's just something naturally attractive when a reborn has the same color eyes and hair.
What You'll Need For Reborn Doll Hair Rooting
Once you've acquired mohair for your reborn doll, you'll need to pick up a felting needle to create the holes. These can be purchased from most craft stores for around $10 bucks, or you can purchase them through Amazon or eBay for a little less. It's important to only use felting needles and not other types of needles because of their size. Felting needles are small and designed to create small holes without tearing into the material, which is necessary when rooting the hair in a reborn doll.
Something else that you may want to purchase before rooting your reborn doll's hair is a hair dryer. Now, you're probably wondering why in the world a hair dryer is needed for hair rooting. Well, the reason why some artists use them is to heat up the area of the vinyl before punching holes into it. Although it's not completely necessary, heating the vinyl up will allow the needle to go through much easier.
Steps To Hair Rooting
If you followed through all of the previous steps listed on our how to reborn a doll page, then you should have already removed the hair lines on your vinyl doll. If you haven't completed this step, you'll need to rub either some "Goof Off" or nail polish remover over the scalp of your reborn doll until the lines are no longer noticeable.
Now, you'll need holes to root the hair down into your reborn's scalp. Some dolls already have holes for hair, but most traditional vinyl dolls don't. If your doll doesn't have holes in their scalp, use the hair dryer to heat up their scalp, and then gently start pressing dozens of small holes wherever you want hair to be. Try to keep the holes spread evenly throughout so their hair will look even. Also, be extra cautious of poking holes into one another, as this can really mess up your doll. Continue pressing through until you feel like you have enough to create a solid head of hair for your reborn.
After you've created the holes on your reborn doll's scalp, you can start adding the hair. To do this, place the hair over the holes and gently press the strands in using the felting needle (size 38-40 gauge). Depending on how long the hair strands are, you may need to trim them down to your desired length. Keep doing this until you've filled all the holes with hair. Now take a step back and look at your reborn doll to see if they need any more hair. If they do, take the needle back out, poke more holes and add more hair. Chances are you won't get their hair right on the first try, so don't worry if you have to add more.
Once you're through rooting the hair in, you can position and style it however you want. Now, it's time to move on to the next steps.