This post details my first attempt at rerooting the hair of a Sindy doll and shows photos at various stages of the process. There is a short video at the end showing a close-up of rooting one length of hair, for which I used the knot method. (I haven’t included details on how to remove a doll’s head).
Having purchased Trendsetter Sindy I was keen to do a reroot on her but first I wanted a practise run. So another Sindy doll was purchased on eBay and apart from her hair, this little lady is in great condition for her age. However, I don’t think her body is the original one for her head but more about that later.
This Sindy was described in the eBay listing as a Diana doll and these were first sold in 1982 by Pedigree as Sunshine Sindy. Inspired by Princess Diana, this Sindy doll came with short, layered hair either blonde or brunette. According to the Petradolls website, Sunshine Sindy had Hong Kong marked on the lower back but this doll’s body doesn’t.
She is marked Sindy 033055X on the back of her head, correctly matching the 1982 Hong Kong short-hair Sindy, but her head wobbles a bit on the body. I checked this Sindy’s neck knob alongside Trendsetter’s and it is distinctly smaller. Also her head fits better on Trendsetter’s body and loses the wobble. So I’m convinced that my Sunshine Sindy’s head and body are not matched. I only mention this because after rerooting her, the weight of the new long hair now drags her head backwards. It probably wouldn’t have been so noticeable if I had kept the new hair short…..but I wanted a mermaid and in my world, mermaids have long hair.
Supplies for Rerooting the Hair of a Sindy Doll
Excluding postage, the nylon hair cost me £8.50; I used one 12.5g Standard size pack and one 25g Medium size pack and I did not have any left over. This hair length is 38 inches / 96 cm and comes tied together half-way along the length. So to reroot this Sindy doll, in total I used 37.5g of hair packed in 38 inch lengths.
Once out of the pack, the nylon hair easily becomes flyaway. I kept it wet with a spray bottle to make it stay together. I also cut my 38 inch length in half, thus working with 19 inches to be threaded through the needle. One 19 inch length rooted 2 holes and the finished hair length became approx 9 inches.
The tools I used were a long darning needle, sharp scissors, needle threader, pliers and a small bowl of water.
Remove Old Hair
With sharp scissors cut off all the hair back to the scalp and using pliers (working from the inside of the head via the neck), gently pull out the hair plugs.
Prepare New Hair
To do this I separated the strands of new hair with the needle, wetted it all and then tied a double-knot at the centre of its length. I didn’t count the strands but eyeballed the thickness to about 1mm and I prepared about 6 lengths of hair at a time. The knot in this nylon hair did tend to come loose but by wetting each strand in the bowl it made it easier to double-knot.
Method for Rerooting the Hair of a Sindy Doll
Things to Keep in Mind
I started at the back of the head, working around to the front in rows, using an elastic band to keep rooted-hair out of the way. I made many more (evenly placed) holes in the head for adding additional hair strands. This I did by poking the needle through the scalp with the pliers, gently but firmly. However, I kept to the original hairline around the head. I also made a small side parting by ensuring the hole placement was sufficiently aligned for thatching the parting. The long 19 inch strand fills two holes adjacent to each other.
Inserting the Needle into the Doll’s Head
When rooting with the long darning needle, the eye of the needle was pushed into the scalp (using pliers) from the outside, just enough for it to poke through the neck-hole. Keeping the hair-strand wet and stuck together helped ease it through the needle threader.
One end of the 19 inch length was threaded into the needle and pulled through the hole, as far as the knot. The second end of the length was then pulled through an adjacent hole. The double-knot in the centre of the hair-strand has kept the hair in place.
At this stage I didn’t really have a clue how my Sindy’s hair would be styled. The new, springy nylon hair seemed unruly and so it got tied back with an elastic band. Then I teased out the section for where the parting would be, leaving the rest held by the band.
There are some helpful YouTube videos that show how to thatch a doll’s hair parting. I’ve seen one that splits each strand in half to criss-cross it and another where the adjacent strands are criss-crossed. I chose the latter method. Because I added more holes to where I wanted the parting to be, there were enough of them to alternate the criss-crossing.
My Sunshine Sindy was without eyelashes in one eye and I was unsure how best to replace them. As I knew there would be more poking around inside her head I decided the best interim hair style for her would be plaits. So at the moment Sindy has the dreadlock look. I’m hoping that when her plaits are released she will be graced with wonderful waves.
Rerooting Video (1m 35s)
Here’s my short video showing the technique I used for rerooting Sindy’s hair.
My Sunshine Sindy doll is shown in the images below with her hair in plaits, patiently waiting for her eyelash appointment and part way to being transformed into a tropical mermaid. I eventually managed to pluck up courage to do her eyelashes using this same method and that will be the subject of my next blog post.