I began rerooting dolls about 3 years ago. I have no idea how many I have completed…never thought to count. I don’t believe it can be more than 50 although, when I am in the midst of a rooting project, it feels like I have rooted hundreds! I’ve mentioned previously what an arduous task rooting doll hair is. I’m sure that there are experts out there who would disagree, but in my experience, rooting an entire doll head without the benefit of a machine is hard work. Maybe I’m doing it wrong, but a complete reroot with nice thick hair takes me at least 2 days of work as long as my shoulders, neck and hands hold up. And usually, after each reroot, I swear I won’t do another. But, like giving birth, one soon forgets the pain and instead focuses on the glorious results. 🙂 And I do love the results! Even a partial reroot has the ability to change a doll’s look immeasurably!
There are various methods for rooting hair into doll heads. I almost always use the hand knotted method. Occasionally, I’ll use the punch method but only if I am able to coat the inside of the head with a non-water-soluble glue to ensure that the hair won’t pull out. And the way I look at it, if I’m going to remove the head anyway, I might as well knot-root the hair. It might take a lot longer, but I can rest assured the hair is permanently rooted unless someone is really, really determined to pull it out. I have seen tutorials and read descriptions of other methods using needle and thread to secure the hair. I actually tried one of those methods. Once. It was just too complicated for my brain. Rooting hair with a rooting needle and knotting the ends has become almost therapeutic for me. That’s not to say that it’s not hard on certain parts of my body, but I don’t have to concentrate too much on it. My hands know what to do. It’s a bit like when a horse just knows the way home. You don’t have to do too much; just give him his head. Separate the hair into plugs, thread the needle, insert into the head, pull the hair through, knot mid-strand, cut, repeat. While I’m rooting hair, I can listen to music and actually listen to it. Often, when I’m painting a doll face, a CD will end, and I will have no memory of having heard the songs! My focus, when I’m painting, is total and intense. Rooting doll hair is a tad less consuming. The worst part of a reroot for me is when I have about one-fifth of the head remaining to root. By then, I just want to be FINISHED. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s almost like a Road Runner cartoon. The tunnel just goes on and on and on…like the light is a false façade on a moving railcar! But, as I mentioned, the end results are almost always fabulous, and by the time the doll is painted and complete, I’ve forgotten all about the rooting pains. Nevertheless, give me a paintbrush ANY day!
See the difference rerooting can make: