Doll Anatomy 101 ~ Hair


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Who can own play dolls and resist styling their hair? Brushing a doll's hair is relaxing and can bring you back to your childhood faster than anything I know.

The biggest difference between dolls when it comes to hair is whether it is rooted or wigged. Rooted hair is sewn directly into the doll's head through small holes and fastened off inside. If the holes are small enough and close enough together, this type of hair is attractive, otherwise it looks like a guy with a bad plug job. Rooted hair is supposed to be best for young kids to play with because it is least likely to pull out. Wigged hair is sewn onto a stretchy cap which is glued to the doll's scalp. Wigged hair generally looks more natural than rooted.

Almost all play dolls have synthetic hair, also called modacrylic. Many wigs are of a brand called Kanekalon, which is so realistic that many have trouble telling it from human hair, which is why it's used in wigs for people. Rooted hair is generally  made from Saran. Human hair is occasionally used on high-end play dolls, as is mohair (from angora goats).

One thing to note about hair that is styled into braids or up-dos by the manufacturer is that they often do not look right when the hairstyle is taken out. For example, American Girl dolls who have two braids (Molly, Kirsten, Kaya) have the bottom of their braids cut off bluntly after it is braided, so the ends look ragged when the braids are taken out. Also, they have the hair at the part in the back of their head clipped short so that the braids do not pull the hair apart and expose the cloth of the wig cap. If you decide to restyle the hair of dolls like these, be prepared to never get it quite back to its original perfection.

If you have having a problem with your doll's hair, see the Articles page for information about hair care and re-wigging.

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Copyright 2004 Maria Greene All Rights Reserved

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This page was last updated 08/10/06