Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Esther Gets New Hair! Re-Wigging a Doll With Plugged Hair!

Greetings and Salutations Doll Friends!!

Welcome to another Make-over Blog Post! I am on a bit of a roll with the Doll Makeovers lately! I started on Liberty's makeover I kind of got to thinking about another doll we own. She is 
a blonde 18" Our Generation Doll. Our Generation Dolls are made for Target and they have a whole line of dolls and doll accessories for them. We got ours at a Garage Sale or Thrift Store at some point although the particulars of her arrival escape me. Here she is with the other dolls, on the far left in the blue-green dress with pink trim. 

We've always loved her because she has the most gorgeous face and Our Generation dolls, in my opinion, are made nearly as well as American Girl Dolls and they are about a third of the price new. So I think that's swell, an option for kids that just can't afford a over $100 for a doll or for a younger girl who might not be quite ready for one yet. I digress. Suffice to say, they are great dolls. 

That being said, we got ours from a garage sale or thrift store and ours must have been owned by a younger girl who must not have taken care of her hair very well. I say that because this dolls hair was a train wreck from the moment we got her. It was bushy and just a mess. I've since learned a wonderful technique that I am reasonably sure would've saved her hair and made it nice again. It's the Hot Water Dip and is genius. 

However, I didn't know this technique when I decided I was going to 'do something about her hair' and I cut it. I wanted to give her a hair cut but as it got shorter and shorter and looked worse and worse, I learned that I wasn't cut out to be a hair stylist. Cutting hair is not a skill I possess. I made it lots worse. I didn't even take photos of the progression, it was so dreadful. What to do now? I decided I'd research giving her a whole new wig. I wasn't sure if it was even do-able being as she was a 'hair plug' type of doll, meaning her original hair was put in to her actual scalp in 'plugs' and she has them all over her head. Other dolls, such as the American Girl Dolls and Liberty Landing dolls, have wigs originally. So I looked it up. Low and behold, while I didn't really find any directions other than people talking about how they'd done same procedure as a wigged doll, they just removed all the hair first. Literally, cut it all off, down as low to the roots as possible.

These are all before photos. As you can see, her hair was always up because it looked really shabby down. 

As I may have mentioned before, I tend to be a bit of a 'fly by the seat of my pants' type and once I take a notion to do something, I tend to just get started. So, after her hair cut proved to be a bomb, I just sheared it all off and ordered a wig. I probably should have waited to shear it all off until after I actually got the wig because it ended up being over a week before the poor dear had hair again!

Here are she and Liberty while they are waiting for their wigs. Make-overs create quite an appetite!

Electra is serving them and treating them nicely because she imagines it must be quite an ordeal to lose one's hair. Her own hair is a bit of a mess too but I love her gray and purple wig so much, she will be stuck with it no matter what. I did, after this photo, do the hot water dip on her and I can report her hair looks better than it ever has done. I'll have to post photo at end of blog... 

So, not too many days passed and a wig arrived. I'd ordered a long curly wig because I guess I've always wanted to have long curly hair and so I always gravitate towards that style in doll hair. I realized quickly that I might have chosen wrong because the wig was, well, a bit unruly and unmanageable. 

Here it is after I've done my very best to tame it down! I hot water dipped it even and this was as good as it got. I like the wig well enough but for another doll, I think. I imagine it on a Hawaiian doll or a Samoan doll because it's just the right texture for them. On this light eyed girl though, it was a bit much. I thought... So I didn't glue it on and ordered an alternate wig. Figured I'd try a different style and see which I liked better. So... Again my poor doll was waiting for her hair to come in the mail.

See the left photo? That is how the wig was when it arrived and I'd brushed it out and then the right photo is after I hot dipped her and brushed it out and let it dry. 

Still not satisfied, I decided I'd hot dip it again and put foam rollers in it to see if it made it any more manageable. Here it is after that process. Still not glued on but kind of fun to see how I can effect change on doll wigs. 

My daughter says 'She looks like an opera singer' in this wig. Like I say, I like the wig but not really on this doll. 

I think we have a winner! This is the wig right after it came out of the envelope from the mail!! I loved it immediately and knew it was just the perfect wig for this doll! She looks gorgeous!

So she wasn't real keen on having me show you these photos. They aren't her most flattering shots. Actually, after taking these, I got even more of the hair off... Just trimmed as close as possible with scissors. Wanted to get as much hair off as possible before I glued the wig on because I was afraid the hair would mess up the glue sticking well! 

So, see all those little tufts of hair still coming out, I got most of those off... It is tedious business, let me tell you and you end up with lots of little tiny hair fragments all over. I did it over a trash can to help keep the mess to a minimum. 

After you shear off all the hair, be sure and wipe down her scalp with a dry cloth or a dry paint brush to get all the little hair bits off. Again, I am suspicious they might interfere with the wig sticking well. I could be wrong but better safe than sorry!

Last shot of her before glue went on!! (I trimmed more hair but didn't think to photo!)

So my procedure wasn't real scientific. I just slathered on some glue and used a sponge type 'brush' to slather it all over. I only thought to take one photo of the process because I was afraid the glue would dry and the wig wouldn't stick. So... Just put a liberal amount of glue on her scalp and slather around her head with brush. Get up to her original hair line and make a pretty even coat all over her head. 

Another bit I forgot to photo was the inside out wig... I followed same procedure as I did with the Liberty doll though. You put the wig on doll and get a feel for where you want it to sit on her head, then, with longer wigs at least, you pull hair into a ponytail before you turn it inside out so you can keep the hair out of the glue as much as possible. 

Here she is with the wig glued on! Now the hardest part of the process, in my opinion... Waiting 24 hours for the glue to dry without touching her at all!!

All done! I love her with the darker hair with no tangles!!! She looks perfect! I think the darker hair really compliments her green eyes. With her new wig, she could very well become one of my favorite dolls! Which brings me to a point you might have missed... This poor doll never did end up getting a name! So... I've pondered what to call her since I put her wig on. You know me, I tend to like names from the Bible of characters I think are swell. So I've decided to name her Esther. Because Esther was a brave and amazing woman in the Bible!!

Gorgeous Esther!!

So that's it for now! Thanks for stopping by the Doll House! See you next time!


  1. This is awesome. I just bought a used my generation doll on ebay for 18 dollars. Cheapest I could find the doll. I currently restored some amg dolls. Some I bought differen american girl body limbs and built the doll from scratch with the head and etc. Even to the point of eyes and wig. This blog helped me. I will just cut the root of the dolls hair once I measure her head and find a wig that can fit it.

    1. I am so glad you found it helpful!! I'd love to see photo of your customs when you get them done!! :) Customizing dolls has become one of my favorite aspects of my doll hobby. It's kind of addictive! Having a 'one of a kind' doll is just fun! Have a great day!