Friday, March 18, 2011

Reroot Doll Hair: Reroot Tool Method

Heddy before (left) and after (right)
Rerooting doll hair is an easy way to give your doll a new head of hair. There are many hair styles to choose from, but two main methods to reroot hair. In a previous tutorial, I covered the knot method to reroot hair. This one covers the reroot tool method. If you do not have a reroot tool, make one (and the needles to go with it!)

This tutorial covers how to use the reroot tool. My featured doll is actually just a spare head from a second-hand doll I rebodied. Let’s call her Heddy?

You Will Need:
  • Cotton Swab
  • Doll head
  • Doll hair
  • Embroidery sewing needles (size 7, 8 or 10)
  • Reroot tool
  • Waterproof craft glue
  • Wire Cutter
  • Pliers

1. Prepare your doll’s head. Remove it from the body,and cut the hair as short as possible. Mechanical razors and a nail scissors will get it super-short. You can use tweezers to pull hair out through the neck hole. For this tutorial I removed the doll’s scalp and pulled out all the hairs to show the ridge details, but this is not needed for rerooting. Just get the hair as short as possible so you can see the holes!
2. Poke holes. Some doll heads are very hard, need more holes, or have too-small holes. Use the pointed end of the needle to poke into existing holes or make new ones. Do this as you root. Do not widen all the holes before you begin, since they will just shrink back to normal size. For hard heads, use hole-poking needles 1-2 sizes larger. I keep a second reroot tool on hand as a “hole-poker” to save time and effort.

3. Prepare your hair. Take a small section and put it over your finger. Try to center it on the needle, since each strand you root in creates two strands of doll hair. The length of the doll’s hair will be half of the section, so hair that is 10 inches long will only be 5 inches after you root it in.

4. Scoop the hair up with the reroot tool. Put it to a hole on the doll’s scalp. Always start at the bottom row, and root your way up the spiral… one circle at a time.

5. Slide the needle into the hole. Pull out gently. Tension keeps the hair in the head, so the more hairs you root in, the stronger the hold! Do not despair if your needle breaks, just put a new one in. If the needle shifts or sinks into the tool, use pliers to tighten the bolt that holds the needle in. Practice makes perfect!

Pretend she has a head full of hair..
6. Glue the hair. Once you finished rerooting the entire head, secure the hair by pouring craft glue inside the head's neck hole. Slide a cotton swab inside to spread it around evenly. If you do not glue the hair in, it will fall out! Use water-proof craft glues like Fabri-tac and Beacon’s craft glue. Do not use Elmer’s or KrazyGlue— they seep out of the scalp and damage your doll’s hair.

7. Styling. Now you doll's hair probably resembles a troll's. Style its hair straight by pouring boiling-hot water over it and letting it air-dry. Click here for more detailed styling instructions. Please have an adult assist you if you are under 13, or have difficulty holding the tea kettle on your own.


  1. I think this is wonderful information and can imagine what a lifesaver it would be for so many dolls who've had a really bad hair cut or have lost most of their locks by a child's aggressive over-combing.

  2. I second that! What a nice way tio give new life to your dollies!

  3. I may have to give this method another try one day. Maybe I will change my mind how my rooting method. :-) Great tut!