Q: How much hair do I need for my doll?
A: As you probably already know, we offer pre-cut hanks for Barbie (and other dolls with a 4" circumference head), Gene (and dolls with a 5" circumference head), and My Little Ponies. Our hanks are extremely generous, and the vast majority of the time, unless the you're an extremely heavy-handed rerooter, you will have a lot of hair left over when you're rooting a Barbie or Gene doll. That's why our Barbie hanks are actually enough hair for a 5" circumference head, like Monster High, and our Gene hanks are enough for a 6" circumference head. If you need togive your doll longer hair than our pre-cut hanks, or if you have a doll with a particular head circumference and you're not sure how much hair you'll need, then please refer to our reroot tutorial, and also see the detailed information at the bottom of this page.
Q: How do the different hair types compare, and what are the guidelines for heat-styling the various types of hair?
A: NYLON: It looks beautiful, it feels beautiful, and it's one of the the easiest to style types of hair. It is extremely strong, and it's less prone to breaking than the other kinds of hair. It takes a curl very easily, and can just as easily be straightened again, if need be. It can be boil permed, but it doesn't have to be! Wet it with room temperature water, set it in curlers, let it air dry, take the curlers out, and you've got beautiful curls or waves! If you want really tight curls, a boil perm will never hurt, as long as you don't boil youir water at too hot of a temperature. Nylon and polypropylene can only withstand mildly simmering water, so when you see the air bubbles just beginning to rise to the water's surface in your pot, that's the temperature at which you should perm nylon and polypropylene. Any hotter than that, and the hair could frizz. Nylon can also be baked without having its integrity affected!
SARAN: Saran hair is gorgeous! It is a long-time favorite of many people, and it's the type of hair that is most often used for Barbie dolls (but Mattel uses kanekalon on Barbies sometimes, too). It has a waxy feel, which helps keep flyaway hair strands at bay, and it's weighted more heavily than other types of hair. It's somewhat resistant to curling, so if you're going to curl it, I would suggest overcompensating by about 50% by using smaller curlers and smaller sections of hair than you want the final result to be. It can be boil permed with VERY hot water... the hotter, the better. Saran hair is used primarily by Mattel (Barbie) and Tonner (Tyler, Sydney, etc.)
ACETATE: This synthetic more closely resembles human hair than the other synthetic hair types sold on this site. We don't know of any toys that were ever factory-rooted with it, but it's very pretty. It can be boil permed, if you wish, and it can withstand VERY hot water.
POLYPROPYLENE: In my opinion, polypropylene looks and feels just like nylon hair, although many customers have told me that it's more like a cross between saran and nylon. They say that it feels like saran, but it has the easy styling properties of nylon. Regardless, everyone who tries polypropylene absolutely loves it. The only drawback with polypropylene is that it's completely nonporous, which means that it can't be dyed with fabric dye, or scented with our doll hair fragrances. Once again, polypropylene should only be boil permed with mildly simmering water.
KANEKALON: As I state on the kanekalon hair ordering page, the kanekalon hair sold on Dollyhair is NOT the human-grade kanekalon that you can buy at your local beauty supply store. It is DOLL GRADE kanekalon, which is very different! Human-grade kanekalon is manufactured with the idea of mimicking human hair. It is, however, manufactured by Asian companies, so their effort is to mimic ASIAN human hair. I would love to have the gorgeous, thick hair of an Asian girl, rather than my own Caucasian hair. However, you can probably imagine how such thick strands of hair would NOT be to scale on a small doll, such as Barbie. Human-grade kanekalon ends up looking inappropriate on dolls, and it's very stiff and bristly. DOLL GRADE kanekalon, however, is comprised of VERY thin strands, and doll-grade kanekalon is gorgeous. It's extremely easy to style, and works well for both stick-straight styles AND very curly styles. It can withstand very heat, so you don't have to worry about melting it during a boil perm. It's the easiest to work with type of hair for beginners, and it's very versatile. Kanekalon hair is often used on Barbie dolls.
PILOT HAIR: Made by the Pilot company (you're probably familiar with their pens), Pilot hair is very elusive. Pilot makes synthetic hair that changes color! Some of their hair types change color very easily, while others aren't as sensitive. Pilot hair looks and feels very similar to nylon hair. I'm not actually sure WHAT kind of synthetic Pilot hair is, but I think it's safe to say that it's either nylon or polypropylene.
Q: When will you have (insert color name here) back in stock?
A: We restock our supply based upon many different factors - the availability of particular colors, the popularity of particular colors, and how much available space we have in our stockroom. When you buy doll hair, you have buy A LOT of it. So it needs a place to be stored. Often, decisions to place new orders are made spur-of-the-moment. If you ask when or if a particular color is coming back, unfortunately the immediate answer will always be that we just don't know.
If you're looking to reroot other dolls, here's the information you need in order to know how much hair to purchase!
All of the information below is also covered in a detailed, illustrated tutorial on THIS PAGE. If you read both the tutorial and the information below, you should be very well-versed on the subject of doll rerooting.
Blythe dolls have a head circumference of 8", but they have very high foreheads, so they generally need only as much hair as a doll with a 6" circumference head would usually need, UNLESS you're one of those people who likes to root their plugs really thickly. Therefore, a Blythe doll will need somewhere between-one-and-a-half to two Barbie-size hanks.
Patti Playpal dolls also have head circimferences of 8", but since Patti dolls are so tall, most people prefer to give them long hair, and most people like to use the 38" hanks, which result in Patti's hair being 19" long after she's been rooted. If you want Patti doll to have 19" long hair, you will need to buy eight 38" hanks to reroot her.
Here's how this information is calculated: you'll need to measure the circumference around the doll's head, in inches. If you measure right above the eyebrows and around the head with a measuring tape, horizontally, you'll get the circumference.
One Barbie hank is enough to root a doll with a 4 inch circumference head, which is what Barbie has, so if your doll had a head that's 12 inches in circumference, for instance, then you would need 3 Barbie hanks. (3 hanks x 4 inches per hank = 12 inches of doll head).
Similarly, Gene has a head that's 5 inches in circumference, so if you had a doll whose head was 10 inches in circumference, you would need two Gene hanks to root your doll. (2 hanks x 5 inches per hank = 10 inches of doll head).
The length of the hanks would still be the same, and remember that you will be folding these hanks in half when you root the doll, so the doll's hair will be half this length: short= 6.3 inches (so the doll's hair will be 3.15 inches long), medium= 9.5 inches (so the doll's hair will be 4.75 inches long), and long= 19 inches (so the doll's hair will be 9.5 inches long)
Here's a bit of information that you may need: When someone orders a hank from me, I spin the hair around my spinning machine a certain number of times. The hank, after it's spun, is always 38 inches long to begin with. This is the longest length hank I can produce. A Barbie medium length hank has less hair than a Barbie long length hank, obviously. So let's take the Barbie medium length hank for instance: normally the full 38 inch hank is cut in half, and then in half again. The finished hank is 9.5 inches long. The Barbie long length hank, on the other hand, is spun twice as many times around the spinning machine, and then the 38 inch hank is only cut in half once. So the finished hank is 19 inches long. Although the medium hank is shorter than the long hank, they are both the same width, or thickness. In other words, both hanks give you the same number of hairs, but the hairs themselves are shorter in the medium length hank.
NOW... if you need your doll's hair to be LONGER than 9.5 inches, here's what you'd need to do: I'll send you the hanks in their full 38 inch lengths, which is the longest length my spinning machine can produce, and you can cut the hanks as you see fit. For instance: Let's say that your doll has a head that's 12 inches in circumference, but you want her to have very long hair. I can send you the full 38 inch hank and you don't have to cut the hank in half at all. Then, after rooting your doll, she will have hair that's 19 inches long! Of course, you would need twice the normal amount of hair, so instead of buying 3 Barbie long hanks, you would need to buy 6.
Now that you understand how this works, you understand that if you order a Barbie medium length hank from me but ask me to send it in its full, uncut 38 inch length, the 38 inch "medium" hank will be HALF as wide as the 38 inch "long" hank. Why? Because in order to have enough hair to root Barbie's head, the medium length hank is intended to be cut in half 2 times while the long hank is intended to be cut in half 1 time, and if you don't cut the hanks at all then the medium hank will not be as wide as the long hank.
Taking this information further, if you were to take the Barbie long length hank in its full 38 inches and not cut it at all, and if you were to root a Barbie doll with it, Barbie's hair would end up being very long (19 inches) but you would only have enough hair to root half her head, and half her head is 2 inches.
In conclusion, a BARBIE LONG HANK, in its full 38 inches, if you don't cut it at all, is enough hair for a doll whose head is 2 inches in circumference. A BARBIE MEDIUM HANK, in its full 38 inches, if you don't cut it at all, is enough hair for a doll whose head is 1 inch in circumference.
With this information, you can now figure out how many 38 inch hanks you'd need for your doll, if you want your doll to have hair that's 19 inches long. For instance, if your doll's head is 6 inches in circumference and you want her to have hair that's 19 inches long, you would need to buy either THREE Barbie long hanks (3 hanks x 2 inches per hank = 6 inches of doll head) or SIX Barbie medium hanks (6 hanks x 1 inch per hank = 6 inches of doll head). Obviously, the long hanks are a slightly better value for your money, so you would want to opt for the long hanks.
To save money, you can incorporate the knot method when you root your doll. The knot method is just as secure as the needle and thread method, but I don't like it because it takes a lot longer to do. In the interest of saving money, however, you can use it. Here's an example of how this method can help you:
Order a 38 inch hank from Dollyhair, and cut ONE THIRD off, which would be 12.6 inches. This leaves you with one length that is 12.6 inches long, and one length which is 25.3 inches long. You can take the 25.3 inch lengths and root them with the needle and thread method, which is the easiest method and goes very quickly, and then for the 12.6 inch hair you will have to root it with the knot method, where you don't fold it in half and you just knot the end of the hair that's inside the doll's head. This would give your doll hair that's 12.6 inches long, once she's rooted. Obviously, if you were to do it this way, you would need to buy slightly more hair, but the plus side of it would be that the doll's hair would end up being longer.
If you have any other questions or if this information is confusing to you in any way, all you need to do is E-MAIL ME and send me the following information: 1) the circumference, in inches, around your doll's head. 2) The length, in inches, you want your doll's hair to be AFTER she's been rooted. I will e-mail you and let you know exactly what you'll need to order, and this way we can make sure that you don't end up spending extra money on hair that you don't need.