how-to-rewig-an-american-girl-doll-diy

I frankly should not have been surprised when my daughter came to me asking how we could rewig her American Girl doll. My daughter’s obsession with her American Girl doll (Saige) has been previously documented. She comes up with the craziest ideas of things that we need to do or make for Saige and will not rest until it’s done. Saige’s dollhouse must be decorated for Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween and Christmas in advance of the decorating of our actual home.  So I knew her latest plan to rewig her American girl doll was not one that she would drop. Since I classify additional doll wigs in the “non-essential” category (e.g, way outside of the scope of my financial responsibility as a parent),  I told her she’d need to save up her money. A month later, we placed an order for the craziest colored wig I’ve ever seen. We purchased ours on eBay but Amazon also carries a pretty wide variety. Just make sure the manufacturer specifies that it’s for an 18 inch doll!!

Click on the image to see this wig on Amazon

Click on the image to see this wig on Amazon

Click the image to see this wig on eBay

Click the image to see this wig on eBay

Truthfully, I was a little hesitant to deface (de-mane?) a doll that had cost about $150, even if her hair had gotten kind of gross and matted. Plus, it seemed like it was stuck on there pretty well, so I wasn’t sure how to remove it. Reading up on it, I learned that others had used nail polish remover, but I didn’t find that to work so well for us. Instead, I experimented with a couple “goo remover” products we had on hand.

The How-To

Supplies

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1 18” doll in need of a fresh ‘do (if you can’t bring yourself to rip the hair off of your investment American Girl Doll, you could buy a generic one or find a used doll to try this with on eBay)

1 metal spoon

Goo Gone or Goof Off

New 18” doll wig (tons of options here on Amazon or here on eBay)

Glue gun / glue sticks or other adhesive

Directions

Step 1 involved carefully dripping Goo Gone along the doll’s hairline. We let it soak in for a few minutes and then went to town on sliding the spoon between the existing wig and the doll’s head and prying the wig off. This step actually wasn’t as difficult as I anticipated once I found the right solution (the nail polish remover didn’t work for us as it had for others). If you run into areas where the wig won’t budge, just drip on a bit more Goo Gone, let it sit for a few minutes and go back to prying.

rewig-american-girl-doll-remove-old-wig

When the wig finally comes off, your doll will look a little freaky. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Your doll may be left with some ‘baby hairs’ along the hairline that you’ll need to cut off.

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Once that step was complete, it was time for the fun part – putting on the new wig! I hemmed and hawed a little bit on what type of glue to use to affix the new wig. Because we were going for such a drastic change with the new wig, I wanted to make sure I used an adhesive that would allow me to undo the ‘do if my daughter hated it. But I also didn’t want the wig to fall off while my daughter played with her doll’s hair. I settled on using the hot glue gun.

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It took me a while to figure out how to glue the wig on – it’s a tight fit, so it was a bit of a struggle to glue and then pull it on without the wig coming off. After much trial and error, I realized that our best bet was to glue the front of the wig to the front of the doll’s head (forehead) and then let that set. Once the glue dried, I could safely pull the wig over the back of the head and glue it to the base of the head. I entrusted the videography and narration of this step to my 7 year old and the results….are as you’d expect. Hopefully you get the gist of the strategy to glue the front on first!

And just like that, Saige has a fresh new ‘do! Of course you don’t have to do the crazy rainbow wig. Rewigging (is that a word???) from brown to blonde, or from straight to curly would also be fun.

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How to Rewig an American Girl Doll (or Journey or Our Generation dolls)