Note: Our wigs are designed to permanently replace your doll’s original wig but they can also be used temporarily if you enjoy changing out wigs often. If you plan to use them temporarily without gluing them down, please use a wig cap liner or seal the doll's vinyl before fitting the wig on your doll to prevent any marks underneath the wig cap. Read our Wig FAQ for more info.
Okay, on to rewigging!
First you will need to remove the original wig or rooted hair.
For wigged dolls like American Girl dolls and Wellie Wishers, this means pulling off the wig that is glued on to their head. For removal you’ll want to use a spoon to pry the wig up, a good bit of force, and some non-acetone nail polish remover to loosen the glue if necessary. Some wigs come off much easier than others. Pull at the hairline until you are able to get a small opening, then insert either side of the spoon and use it as leverage to pry the rest of the wig up. If you get stuck, apply non-acetone nail polish remover with a q-tip or eye dropper, let sit a few minutes, and try again. If you do use nail polish remover during the wig removal, rinse and/or wash the head after the wig is removed, careful to avoid any water near the eyes.
For rooted hair dolls like Our Generation, Gotz, Hearts for Hearts, and Glitter Girls you will need to simply trim the hair as close to the head as possible. Use a small, sharp pair of scissors and cut off the hair in small sections. When you are finished, there will be a short layer of stubble remaining; you will glue the new wig right over top of these short hairs.
* If possible, we recommend removing the doll’s head from the body before beginning work. This makes it easier to work on the head at a table and also prevents any unnecessary damage to the body during the process. The head of most American Girl dolls simply unties at the neck. You can use pliers or tweezers to loosen the knot. Some American Girl dolls have zip-tie closures, which require clipping the two stitches and zip tie at the back of the neck, then either stringing or zip-tying the neck when you are finished.
* Use caution when applying nail polish remover to a dark-haired AG doll. This may release the dye in the wig cap and will permanently stain the doll’s skin if the dye touches it. This appears to be particularly true of newer dolls. You can still use the remover, and it won’t matter if the top of the doll’s head underneath the wig becomes stained, but be careful that non of it drips from the hairline.
* Don’t worry if glue/hair residue remains after you remove the wig, you will simply glue the new wig over it. Some residue will actually help the new wig adhere to the head. If it is substantial you can use sandpaper to file it down a little.
Next step is attaching the new wig! See our video above for a visual demonstration. If you have never placed a snug-fitting wig on a doll's head, this can seam a little tricky at first so we have some techniques to make it easier for you.
First, remove any stray hairs from the wig interior. Then if you are attaching the wig permanently apply a small amount of glue on the inside of the wig cap where it will lay on top of the head. Avoid using excessive glue as it may seep through the fabric of the wig cap.
Place the wig on the head, aligning the part and top hairline in the front above the forehead. Hold the wig in place at the top hairline with one hand, and pinch the elastic on the back with the other hand. Pull down firmly to fit the rest of the wig onto the head, until the bottom hairline pops into place. Depending on the size of the wig, you may have to stretch firmly to pull it into place. The wig should fit snug like a tight glove, to ensure there is no excess bulk anywhere in the cap. Adjust the sides of the wig to fit around the ears. Make sure to pull the wig over any residual glue from the old wig at the hairline so that it will be completely hidden.
If you're attaching permanently, proceed by gluing the hairline circumference, starting at the forehead and alternating sides until you finish the bottom back. Wipe off any excess visible glue around the hairline as you go–you do not want to see glue anywhere when you are finished.
* Most customizers use super glue or E6000 for a good hold, tacky glue for more temporary. You can use other types of glue as well. If you are going to rewig on a regular basis, you might experiment to see what kind of glue works best for you. Please note that E6000 is extremely toxic. Regardless of the type of glue, please rewig your doll in a well ventilated area or outside.
* If you are using a glue that takes a while to dry, you can stick pins in the wig/head as you glue so it stays put, then remove when dry.
If you've glued the wig on, leave the newly rewigged doll to dry completely before brushing or styling the hair. Package instructions on the glue will provide information on how long to wait before it is securely dried. Usually this is between 24-72 hours.