I'll be using two dolls from the thrift store that had some seriously jacked up hair to begin with so they might appreciate a new style. Their replacement scalps come from Mattel's AA Nikki. I don't have any photos taking Nikki's hair off because I removed them almost two years ago when I was thinking I could make wigs out of them. That didn't work at all, but I kept them anyway because apparently I'm clairvoyant and knew that Jay would ask me to do this two years later.
Before, a sad state of affairs, but 20 minutes later we have
After, dark tressed beauties with interesting hair lines.
I removed their tops two ways. Barbie's was cut in front of the hair line perforations. Summer's was cut through the perforations themselves. If you are going to be using the scalped hair, you want to cut in front of the perforations, otherwise, you lose the first row of hair. I did it both ways to show you what the hair line would look like either way.
These are Nikki's scalps and they are actually bigger than the dolls I'm attaching them to, but I didn't want to cut up any of my current dolls so I'll have to modify them.
All Barbie heads are not the same. For example, Barbie's rooting is longer in the back than Summer's, and Nikki's ears are farther back than the Caucasian ladies. Even among the Nikki dolls the rooting varies so you'll have to match as best you can.
I had to remove some extra pieces in the back of Nikki's hair in order to get the front area to fit. If you are using long hair then it doesn't matter that the back doesn't fit because the hair will hide any gaping. Also, because of the way I'm going to attach this, yes, you can put a Black dolls scalp on a Caucasian one and vice versa.
I attached the scalp BEHIND the face. Trying to match the cut edges would be futile and not cute... unless you were intentionally making a Frankenstein doll. I didn't pretty up or smooth out the perforated face edge. If you are giving this a serious go then you might want to, but if the scalp you are using has bangs, it's not necessary.
This is what you are going for. By setting the scalp inside, the hair will fall nicely in front of the ears and around the face.
Barbie is not getting this hair but she wanted to try it on anyway. It looks good with her eyebrows.
Once you've figured out which hair to use and fitted it as best you can, apply glue to the scalp edge (front and ears only, not the back). Make sure you glue the little fleshy area in front of the hair too and not just the cut edge. I'm using super glue since it's fast acting and will bond better than anything else.
Unless you found a perfectly fitted scalp you will not be putting these dolls in pony tails because it will look ridiculous, like so:
However, if you style it right, for about 20 minutes of work (depending on your cutting skills), you will have a new hairstyle without having to reroot. Don't like it or want to change it, then dip the head in nail polish remover up to the glue seam for 5 minutes and pry it off. Rinse the face and scalp so they don't shrink and reuse if you want to. You should also be able to blow a hair dryer on that spot and pry it off as well, but I have no idea what kind of toxins heated super glue releases, so you're on your own with that.
EDITED TO ADD: [Tina comments] that you should, "Never, ever, ever overwarm super glue. Aside from some incredibly noxious and toxic fumes, you're also sending up some highly flammable vapor which can and will ignite at the slightest spark... say from an old hairdryer." So, you have been warned!
All in all, I'm quite ambivalent about this concept. In actuality, it's my interpretation of someone else's idea so I could totally be doing it wrong. However, would I recommend the technique I'm showing here? I'm really not sure, because as adroit as I am with an exacto knife I had a heck of a time cutting through the vinyl. Okay, I could just need a new blade, but still. Also, as fanatical as I am about quality control, seeing a jagged hair line is very irritating to me. But again, bangs or the right styling would eliminate that irritant.
At the end of the day, I guess it's about personal preference and/or your knifing skills. I will say though, they sure look cute with their new scalps.