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Vol. 4, Issue 1                               QUARTERS 1-2, 2005


by Debbie Garrett

Index  | Welcome | Mailbag | About the Editor | Collecting NewsProfile of an ArtistDoll in the Spotlight! | Doll Care Basics | Resources | FAQ | Closing Words  


Made in the 1970s, this 20-in, vinyl, unmarked boy doll with molded hair was purchased  nude and played with for $12.  I dressed him in an outfit that my son wore at age 18-months and displayed him with my other dolls for approximately 10 years before deciding to try my hand at rooting hair.

How I Did It:

I purchased a kanekelon, curly ponytail from the beauty supply store and size 32 gauge felting needles from 

Photo courtesy of


For ease in handling the felting needles, I purchased a wooden handle, like the one pictured above, from, but lost it shortly after it was received.  

Photo courtesy of

To replace the lost wooden handle, Prillycharmin's own new and improved plastic needle holder was purchased.  This holder is actually much easier on the hands and provides a better grip.


Because it needed to be re-stuffed, I removed the doll's head from the body (but this is not necessary if you are just rooting).  Next, I took a large dose of patience.  Then, 1-inch to 2-inch strands of the kanekelon ponytail were individually cut and placed on the doll's head.  The felting needle was then used to slowly poke several areas of the strands into the doll's vinyl head--one strand at a time.  This had to be done with care because the felting needles are very sharp and because they break very easily!   This process was repeated until the entire head had been rooted as shown in the multiple head shots below.

Several pokes later, the end result is a cute boy doll that has a head-full of curly black hair, and a new outfit!

Before                                                                              After

Doesn't Gus look absolutely adorable now? 

If you would like to try your hand at rooting a vinyl doll's head, a link to hair rooting instructions, provided by, is located on the Resources page of this issue.

As an added note, Cyndy Stevens of informed me that: "In a week or so we will have a brand new felting needle handle...This is going to be our best handle yet!"

I may need to find some additional soft vinyl doll heads to root. :~)

If you would like to share  doll care tips, doll makeovers, or other doll-care-related  topics  with  The Black Doll-E-Zine please write to: (Deb).