Mannequin heads are a basic tool of hairdressers-in-training. The mannequin heads are equipped with full heads of hair and allow the students to cut, set and blow dry them without concern that they might ruin a client's real hair. The problem is that after being subjected to dozens of hair styles, even the mannequin head can look a little tired and even bald in spots. To restore the hair on the mannequin head one must re-root the hair. Although doing so is a long process,re-rooting a mannequin's hair can turn a tired, balding mannequin head back to a useful educational tool.
Remove any existing hair from the mannequin head by cutting it short with a pair of scissors.
Remove the mannequin head from the base so that the inside of the head is accessible.
Remove the strands of the hair by pulling them out from the inside of the head with long nose pliers or tweezers.
Decide on the length of hair for the mannequin head. Most new mannequin heads come with hair that is at least 20 inches long when measured from the scalp to the end of the hair. For example, if you want hair that is 20 inches long, measure 24 inch long strands of hair from the hank that was purchased. This will allow for the knots at the end.
Thread a large-eyed darning needle with enough strands of hair to fill in the eye of the needle.
Begin re-rooting the hair at the center of the head and working out to the sides and back.
Place the needle at the edge of the hole, enter the head and exit through the neck of the head which is open and exposed because it is no longer attached to its base. You may need to use the long nose pliers or the tweezers to pull the needle through to the outside of the head.
Remove the needle and knot the ends of the hair using a simple over-hand knot. An over-hand knot is the most basic knot but also one of the strongest. Try the "thumb" method which means making a loop near the end of the hair and pushing the very end of the hair through the loop. Pull tightly. Add a drop of fabric glue to the hair knot and allow the knot to dry completely.
Pull the strands of hair back from the outside of the head so that the hair with the knotted ends are now inside the head. Pull each group of hairs that are in one of the holes out carefully, one group at a time until all are pulled back through to the outside of the head.
Repeat this entire process until all the holes are re-rooted.
Plan to spend several days re-rooting the mannequin head as it is a tedious job. Consider breaking down the job into sections of the head.
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Caroline Adams has been a professional writer and educator since 1980. She has published articles on health-care risk management and continuing education for health-care professionals. Her credentials include a nursing degree, a B.A. in pre-law, a M.A. in health-care law and a M.Ed. from DePaul University. She has taught at several colleges and universities in the Midwest including the University of Illinois and DePaul University.