So I decided to go ahead and do some "mini-lessons" regarding doll hair. I have been rooting, re-rooting, and styling doll hair for eight years. So first up - types of hair!!
There are a lot of different types of doll hair to root with these days. I am covering the three types of hair that I've identified as extremely common (I am not going to be addressing mohair today - that deserves a separate entry all it's own!).
Left to Right: Maven (Barbie Basics default hair), Obitsu 02 rooted Black, Kaede (Volks Rooted White Gold)
- It's cheap and readily available in a ton of different colors.
- It's very easy to work with and once boiled down it remains very straight
- It has a nice, silky texture
- It doesn't hold curls or styles very well. You can see the doll on the right (Kaede) has curls in the bottom of her hair, they were much bouncier a few months ago. Also the redhead on the left (Maven) is looking a lot of the wave from her hair already and she was finished just a couple of months ago.
- The color fades drastically with time. I have watched nice ruby reds fade into a dull red, and a nice light blue, light purple combo I have fade into gray.
- Saran can also become a bit greasy with handling (or even when it comes to you). This is easily fixed with a conditioner wash though.
You can buy saran hair at RestoreDoll. They have excellent customer service and I've never had a problem with them!
Left to Right: Renji (Cherry Pie), Melusina (mix of Starlight and Moonlight), Genesis (mix of Vampire Kiss and Volcano), Seraphina (mix of Virgin Snow and Starlight)
Nylon hair is the hair you find in My Little Ponies. Individual strands are much thicker and it feels plasticy. They are very silky and shiny fibers. It's a dense fiber.
- Nylon is extremely easy to style and holds curls and styles like a dream!
- Nylon is shiny and looks very nice under lights.
- Nylon offers a lot of really wild colors.
- Nylon can look very "fake" since is a denser plastic and is very shiny.
- Nylon is slippery, and when using the handknot root method, this can cause your knots to slip out easily if you make them too close to the end.
- Nylon is really easy to root too thickly with it if you are used to rooting with Saran. The same amount of Saran you would root, you need to reduce almost by half when using Nylon because of the thickness of the individual strands.
You can buy Nylon hair at DollyHair. To be honest, when I don't root with Nylon hair it's because I want to avoid DollyHair's slow ship times and bad customer service. I love Nylon hair - but I hate the fact that sometimes it takes almost a full week to ship it to me and then when I ask about it, I don't get a very friendly reply. I recall almost waiting 14 days for hair that was in stock on the website to ship to me. Still if you feel you're in a patient kind of mood - it's worth getting because of the variety of color and the ability to ask for specific percentages of mixes.
(Calli, a poor unfortunate Barbie Basics)
Acetate is the new horrific trend I am seeing from Mattel. Acetate is truly the most horrible thing I have ever seen a doll rooted with. It is made out of plant cellulose, which translates to very thin, brittle, frizzy craziness. I have tried everything I know how to do to make this hair workable and the short of it is just - you can't. I understand there is a history with acetate, as they used it for doll hair in older dolls a long time ago.
- Uhhh... nostalgia??
- Everything. The color is horrible, the texture is horrible and it doesn't style worth a crap.
Mattel has used acetate in a couple of their newer dolls. My suggestion is the rip it out the instant you can and reroot it with something that doesn't make your doll look homeless. You can order this from DollyHair... but honestly, why would you?
Here is a comparison photo of the three different types. I wish I had all of the same color to show you, but I don't have it just yet. I may follow up with it in a different post.
Any questions? Feel free to comment and ask them! Also, I'm taking suggestions for the next Doll Hair 101 mini-lesson, so go ahead and let me know what you'd like to know about.
Hope you liked it!