Friday, September 17, 2010

Hair Part I

I have wanted to write about doll hair for a while. When I first started buying Genes, the hair was the deciding factor for me when choosing which dolls to buy.

I buy most of my dolls to work as models for the clothes I make. My favorite Genes the first few years were "Love Paris" and Symphony in G Minor". I used them a lot. They look great in hats, suits, and in evening wear.

I know what I don't like; I don't like long, loose hair, and I don't like high up-dos. My favorite hairstyle is a low chignon on the back of the head. I think it is the most versatile style.

I started restyling some of my Genes hair myself a couple of years ago. I was very nervous to do it at first. I can sew very well, but hair is not easy for me.


My first hair redo was "American Countess". She originally had her hair in a bun on the top of her head. It looked beautiful with her tiara and gown, but I needed a brunette model that could wear hats. I took her hair down, it was long and not too thick. I used the instructions on Studio Commissary and what I had learned at the hair class during the 2008 convention to make a low chignon. I was very happy with my first attempt. She is one of my few AD Genes that has a IT body.


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Distant Venus was next. She was my very first convention doll. I loved her beautiful face and silver hair, but her long wavy hair limited her modeling possibilities. I saw other people on the doll boards putting her hair up so I thought, "Why not?". I gave her the same low chignon as my American Countess. I left the curl by her face though. I think I cut a little off the bottom of her hair. I love the results. She has modeled many outfits for me. I especially love her in black, white, and red.

She is so gorgeous, and probably my favorite Gene ever.


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I didn't have very many Madras and I decided I needed a brunette Madra. I loved Special Scene Madra's face and her dark hair. I loved her hair in the promotion pictures, but my Madra's hair wasn't as nice, I could see it getting messy on me. I decided to try to copy "Symphony in G Minor's" French Twist.

The first thing I had to do, was very scary. She had A LOT of hair on her scalp. Especially on top of her head. I wish I could have transplanted her hair to my head! I had to thin it out so I scalped all of her hair except for a few rows of hair going around her hairline. She still had a thick ponytail even after I took out most of her hair. I should of taken pictures of the process, but most of you would have freaked if you had seen her! I had instructions to follow from a HLAYG magazine that were very helpful.

I started sectioning off her hair and pinning it close to her head. I covered all that up with the roll. I had to thin her hair out even more to get the results I wanted. I have a rule about doll hair; my doll's ponytail should not be thicker than my ponytail. That is so wrong! I'm pretty happy with the results, though I wish it was a little smoother hair-do.


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This is one of the first doll that I bought for the clothes. Her suit is stunning, but I hated her "Bride of Frankenstein" hairdo. I really wanted to give her a "Love Paris" double twist. I thought that would have looked beautiful on Zita.

My Zita before her redo, notice how messy her hair is.

When I took her hair down, it was long and thin. There wasn't much hair in the middle of her scalp. Unfortunately, it wasn't thick enough for two twists and I couldn't figure out how to make it work. It also wasn't thick enough for my good old stand-by low chignon. It was perfect for a braid though. So I braided it and pinned the ends under. I am satisfied with the way it turned out, but I would have loved it if I could have done it "Love, Paris" style.


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I bought this doll nude for a good price not long ago. I was attracted to her dark hair and her bangs. I wouldn't want bangs on all my dolls, but I like the variety. She came to me with her curls a little messed up, and they were on the top of her head, like I don't like them. I dreamed of styling her hair like "Color Deal" Ivy"s.

That was before I took her hair down. The top curls were long and I knew I could work with that part of her hair, but I should have stopped there. The back and sides were very short and uneven. She looked almost as bad and my "Special Scene" Madra would look if I ever took her hair down, but that will be NEVER!

Scary pictures of her hair while I was working on it. My husband asked me "what the @&*# did you do to her?" I was wondering that myself.

There was no way I could do the style that I really wanted. I ended up putting the back and sides up again, but it isn't as nice as the original back was. I twisted the top of the hair and pinned it to hide the mess in the back. This is least favorite redo I've done, but I still like it better than the original do, at least she can wear hats, and she may be wearing a lot of them. I do not recommend taking her hair down.


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When I first brought Stardust home, I told myself "I am keeping her hair down!" Her hair looked so pretty in the promotion photos, mine- not so much. It was a mess, and I gave into the urge to brush it out and "fix it". I tried to gel in the waves and clean it up, but it ended up looking flat to me.

I found a helpful article about doing an up-do in an old "Haute Doll" magazine that I have saved. I brushed Stardust's hair out and started pinning it up. I didn't cut anything off, and that is why her hair is so big. I didn't want to do anything drastic, and it could be taken down if I wanted to later. I gelled the ends of her hair into curls and sprayed it with hairspray. I love her now!


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I bought Calendar Shot nude at the convention. She didn't have her hairnet and her the back of her hair was in long messy ringlets. I knew I was going to have to put her hair up too. I brushed it out and straightened it with hot water. I gathered it into a low ponytail and then made two even braids. I didn't cut her hair and I twisted the braids around the back of her head. Hiding the braids' ends was the hardest part.


I received Oona at the 2008 convention for making an auction outfit. I was tickled pink. I love her but never liked her high ponytail. I knew I didn't want to take it down, but I wanted her hair up.

Her curls were always messy, and I felt like she could only wear evening wear with this style.

I braided her ponytail into three even braids and like Calendar Shot, twisted them around the back of her head.


This Gene was bought to be my Esther from "Meet Me in St. Louis" model. For more details about her hair click here.

I have my eye on a few more dolls that might need new hairdos. Fringe Festival Ivy, Glammed Up Ivy, and Love, Madra, better watch out!


Daveland said...

Diane - Changing the hair still scares me; you have done a fantastic job! Congrats for tackling what would be a difficult job for most!

mo in pa said...

I am amazed with your results. You have a fabulous job on each one.
I have to admit one of the reasons I collect Gene is hats. I absolutely love them & wish they were more a part of today's wardrobe.
Please keep sharing your new dos with us.
You have inpspired me to start to restyle my messy haired Genes when I retire next year.
Thanks so much.
mo in pa

Belladonna said...

I have been reading your blog from the most recent to the end. You are very talented. Lots of beautiful creations and pictures. I am new to this bigger dolls. They are not popular in Australia. I just started collecting Gene dolls in 2010, the year Gene is retired. Keep creating, I will keep a look for something I like and could afford.