One of the most frequent questions I get as a seller of doll hair is- “I took my hair out of the original bag and now I don’t know what type of hair it is! How do I know what kind of hair I’m using???? Help!!”
Telling what type of hair you have is extremely important for a number of reasons:
- If you are selling left over hair (or trading with someone)- it’s important you know what you are selling because there are people out there that have allergies. One of my good friends, Lucky, has a bad reaction to polypropylene. So bad that if poly has even touched a bag of nylon, she will break out into hives. Scary right? I have artist friends who have the same reaction to mohair. They can break out into hives or even have their throat swell up. No one wants to put anyone in danger, so always make sure you know what type of product you have.
- Sometimes you will have a specific style in mind for your custom- to dye it, or boil perm it- there are certain hairs that won’t take regular dye, or won’t hold a curl well unless you really work at it. Some hair can even melt! Nothing more frustrating than working so hard on your custom and then having your hair not turn out the way you want, or even ruin the custom.
- Many many hair manufacturers will tell you what they are selling is nylon when it is actually not. This happened to my store and my UK counterpart back when I first started selling hair 7 years ago. They sold us polypropylene, saying it was nylon and there was a huge backlash about it. As soon as we found out that it was in fact poly, we immediately changed and properly labled the hair and found real nylon from a different supplier. I’m not sure why these companies do this, perhaps it is to meet some sort of quota and make the sale, but it’s extremely important to my company that we make sure we label our hair correctly.
So how do I know what I’m using??? There are several ways to tell what type of hair you have. I have a couple youtube videos that I’ll link below but I’ll give a quick rundown on the types of hairs out there and how to work with them.
Nylon– this hair is most commonly found in My Little Ponies. It is nylon 6, it can be easily dyed with rit or acid dyes. It will take and hold a boil perm on the first try- very very easy to curl. All nylon withstands up to 400 degrees heat. It feels silky and soft and is very easy to work with.
Kiwi Hair– This is a new type of hair that has come to the market in 2013. A lot of doll companies are switching over to it. It is more durable than nylon and saran, can be dyed easily as nylon and will take and hold a boil perm. This hair is silkier than nylon and monofiber. Very easy to work with
Saran– this hair is most commonly found on barbie dolls and other fashion dolls. It is heavier, and will pick up the oils on your skin very easily- so can become oily itself and will need to be washed after rooting. This hair is more difficult to curl- however if you stick it in boiling water, then immediately into a bowl of water with ice and repeat the process 3-4 times, let dry 24 hours, it will hold the curl. The ONLY dye that will work on saran is a product called idye poly (or Rit Dyemore). Regular Rit and Acid Dyes will not work on saran.
Monofiber– this is often found in BJD wigs, so so silky. Like nylon, it is high temperature hair and will withstand up to 400 degrees heat. This hair is more difficult to curl- however if you stick it in boiling water, then immediately into a bowl of water with ice and repeat the process 3-4 times, let dry 24 hours, it will hold the curl. You can also use a curling iron on this hair and a flat iron. It’s really awesome for straight hairstyles. The ONLY dye that will work on this is idye poly (or Rit Dyemore). Regular Rit and Acid Dyes will not work on monofiber. It is very light and wispy and works best to root while wet.
Polypropylene– Poly is easily confused for nylon, but it has a drier feel to it. It also has a harder time curling like saran and sometimes has a tendency to tangle a bit while working with it. The ONLY dye that will work on this is idye poly (or Rit Dyemore). Regular Rit and Acid dyes will not work. It also separates very easily into plugs.
Kanekalon– There are so many types of kanekalon. Doll Grade Japanese- the softest and nicest- it breaks easily and is recommended for using the needle knot method in rooting as the tool is too hard on it. Doll Grade Silky- this is stiffer and takes the same process at curling as saran- usually recommended for straight hairstyles. Last but not least is regular kanekalon- this is super kinky and floofy- awesome for styles like mermaid and crimped 80’s and also used for dreadlocks. The doll grade silky and regular will only withstand low temperature settings. The only type of dye that will work with these is idyepoly (or Rit Dyemore). Regular Rit and Acid dyes will not work.
Nylatex– this is a lower grade nylon and works much the same as doll grade silky kanekalon.
Acetate– this used to be used on dolls. It has a more “natural” feel to it, it’s made up of cellulose. I’m not sure about styling or dying for this as I do not carry it.
Synthetic– When a hair is labeled as “synthetic” this is usually because the manufacturer’s didn’t specify as to what type of hair this is, so it is basically a generic term- my guess is it’s probably closest to either yaki hair (very similar to kanekalon but not heat resistant- meaning it will melt in heat easily), or kanekalon. It’s a coarser type hair in comparison to nylon and other hairs but still fun to work with. When hair is labeled as synthetic- it is a good idea to test a small strand when you are wanting to work with boiling/hot water or curling products such as flat irons and curling irons.
*I’d suggest testing any type of hair you are unfamiliar with using out before any type of styling- just to make sure it will work for the project you have in mind.
Not only do I sell doll hair, I also customize dolls, toys, my little ponies (basically anything I can get my hand on). My advice is to try each type of hair at least once, because there are so many wonderful types and colors out there and why limit yourself to just one type? I use anything and everything- including yarn! This gives me even more ideas and creative things I can express myself with and who knows maybe you’ll fall in love with a whole new type of hair! I certainly have my favorites, but I enjoy working with them all. Once you really get to know the hair you are using and all the different types then the possibilities are endless! 🙂
Here are the links to my youtube videos discussing doll hair ( when they were made, I wasn’t aware that idye could dye nondyable hair)
Since 1977, Star Wars has captured the hearts and imagination of millions of people. It’s no surprise that there are some amazing pieces of fan art out there. Here are just a few for you to enjoy!
10. Minion Darth Vader
Nievette Reynaldo, owner of etsy shop, My Five Lucky Charms creates quirky polymer mash-ups. While Darth is usually the one ordering his minions around, this combo is just too cute to pass up!
8. Wickett the Ewok Littlest Pet Shop Figure
thatg33kgirl’s username says it all! This awesome lady creates all kinds of fun geeky toys and what collection wouldn’t be complete without this cuddly littlest ewok? You can find her work on etsy as well as instagram @thatg33kgirl
7. Jabba the Hutt Littlest Pet Shop
Amayzenozzitiesemporium‘s etsy shop is a trip down memory lane with nostalgic nods to all kinds of fun 80’s entertainment as well as horror flicks. Jabba has been sold, but there’s much more to see at aMayzenOzzities!
6. Darth Maul Littlest Pet Shop
Yup, I couldn’t resist, I made a Star Wars custom as well! Star Wars has always been a favorite of mine (although I have to admit I wasn’t as crazy about the three prequels). This little guy has been sold, but as always you can find tons of customs, doll hair, collectibles and more at my etsy shop, Retro Dolls US and follow my instagram to see all my past and present customs.
5. My Little Star Wars
Rizzo Michelle, another fellow pony customizer, has created several Star Wars favs using various generations of My Little Pony as the bases. My personal favorite is the tauntaun. She also creates adorable stuffed animals and clothes. You can find her on instagram.
4. Yoda Vinylmation
3. Plush Princess
Kim of MrDollsyPlushberley has several huggable plush toys for sale. This Leia is the perfect pal for your own little Princess!
2. Custom Dianoga
Star Wars IS Magic!
and last but definitely NOT least…. is this Battle Damage Raritrooper by Jerzy! Created for The Helmet Wars Art Exhibit, this does not disappoint! You can find her customs and tattoo work on Instagram, Etsy and Facebook.
Hope everyone has a great day!!
Today’s artist feature is The Horror Den where everything is handmade and everything is horror. Victoria is an artist from Cleveland, Ohio. Pretty cool- she’s only an hour away from me! 🙂 She has a wide range of items to purchase- custom dolls, jewelry, candles and more! Thanks Victoria for sharing your work with us!!
Which was your favorite piece? Comment and let us know! Do you have anything crafty you’d like to share with us? Send me a message and I’d be happy to feature you!
To see more of Victoria’s creations click here: The Horror Den
3D Printing, Alice in Wonderland, art, Artist, Atari, custom, Dunny, Halloween, Koopa, Kurt Russel, Lego, Mad Hatter, Mrs Pac-Man, NES, ooak, Pac-Man, Patrick Swaze, Road House, Shapeshifter, Sonic, Sonic the Hedgehog, star wars, Tatooine, The Thing, Tombstone, toy, Tusken Raider, Wyatt Earp
Sorry it’s late but here’s the feature on Custom Toys, which we’ll do every Thursday. Comment and let me know which one was your favorite. If you have custom toys you’d like featured, shoot me a message!!