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How to Replace Doll Hair

One of the most entertaining parts about owning dolls is customizing them. While children customize their dolls through changing outfits, adult doll collectors enjoy changing more complex aspects of the doll, such as the hair, eyes, head and makeup. Doll enthusiasts may choose to do an alteration, such as replacing a doll's hair, to create a particular character, replace ruined hair or provide a more appropriate color and style for the particular doll mold. To replace the existing hair on your doll, follow these instructions.

Things You'll Need:

  • New Doll Wig
  • Doll
  • Small Paintbrush
  • Craft Glue
  • Flathead Screwdriver Or Chisel
  • Sewing Tape Measure

Remove the existing hair from the doll. Most doll hair is attached to the head by a glued wig cap. Run a screwdriver or chisel gently under the wig cap at the back of the head, pulling the hair back from the scalp as you work. The glue should come up fairly easily on older dolls. As more of the glue comes apart, hold on to the loose end of the wig cap and pry the rest of the hair off the head. If your doll's hair is rooted into the head, you will have to shave the hair as closely to the head as possible. If you like, you can also open up the head and pick the rest of the hair out of the holes.

Measure the doll's head at its widest point, from forehead to base. You will need to know this measurement to purchase a wig that fits your particular type of doll. Find a synthetic doll wig that you like in that size. If you are creating a fancy display doll that you do not intend to play with, you can also use human hair or mohair wigs.

Test the wig on the doll's head to see where the hair falls, and adjust it to your liking. Temporarily mark where the edges of the wig fall on the doll's head so that you will know where to permanently place the wig later. Clip back all of the hair to keep it out of your way. Take the wig off your doll and flip the wig cap inside out.

Line the inside of the wig cap with craft glue, making circles evenly over the cap until your reach the outside edge. Here, put a careful line of glue almost at the edge, and use a paintbrush to push the glue close to the edge. This way, the glue will not squeeze out the sides when you put the wig on the doll's head.

Turn the wig right side out and place it on top of the doll's head, following your markings. Press the wig to the head all over, and clean up any glue that squeezes out the sides onto the doll's face or neck. Let the wig dry overnight before touching it again, and then trim the hair to the length and style that you want.


If the existing wig is too stubborn to remove, soak the wig in hot water first to soften the glue. You can also try to dissolve the glue with an acetone-free nail polish remover. You can also apply the glue directly to the doll's head and place the wig over that.

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