The first time I saw human hair on a Blythe was on Shannon Taylor’s stream: “a human hair reroot is a great idea! I really really really love the look & feel of them. It just feels so natural. As for Lux, I did hers and it was hard! It was my very first and possibly my last time trying it. I got most of the hair from my sister-in-law (a few pieces of mine is in there too)“.
Photo: Shannon Taylor. Lux Sophia.
From my point of view, that idea of using human hair sounded weird and cool at the same time. Actually, I didn’t really know what to think about it because nobody was doing it at that time. Then, nothing new for a while until two customizers started to use human hair on their dolls too: Melacacia and Mr. Ripper. Then, Shannon then had another girl, Sally, with a human hair wefted reroot by Melacacia, and it looked gorgeous.
Photo: Shannon Taylor. Sally Lisette.
Let’s take a closer look at that new kind of reroots, the last one of my series, with Marcos, aka Mr. Ripper, a customizer with an amazing talent, who always recommends his customers to choose human hair for the dolls he creates under the brand name The Ripper Dolls.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper): Marcos and Jacob.
Hi Marcos! Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Marcos and I work as a window dresser in Barcelona, Spain. I am an amateur photographer. I love cinema and Blythes of course and I like more and more other kinds of dolls too. I love my family and my friends very much, and also Pancho, my pet.
How and when did you discover Blythe dolls?
A few years ago I was with my cousin and we discovered them on a website. The very moment we saw them, we both wanted to have one, although it took me several years to get the first one.
When and why did you start your collection of dolls?
It was almost two years ago through a Facebook contact who had a Blythe doll as her profile image. I asked her about Blythe dolls. She was lovely and told me that I could buy them in a shop in Barcelona. The next day I already had my Friendly Freckles. I have to admit that when I opened the box and got the doll out of it I did not like her… We all know in which state the little girls arrive sometimes.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Astrid – Friendly Freckles custom.
How many Blythes do you have in your collection?
I have 22 Blythe dolls. My collection is composed so far of 2 BLs (Goldie is on its way), 6 EBL, 2 SBL, 10 RBL, 1 FBL and 1 Middie. Kozy Kape and Kenner are on my wishlist and I keep 1 Blythe customized by me: Jacob.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Blythe family in January 2011. Some are still there and some are gone.
Why did you start to customize Blythes and how did you learn to do it?
When I bought my first Blythe, I sent a message to my Facebook contact to thank her for the information and tell her that I had bought one doll. When she answered me, she told me that Blythes could be customized and that there was a lot of information about it on the Spanish Blythe forum. I joined and soon after opened my FrFr. I asked many questions and finally managed to customize her, not without being scared, as it was my first time. The second Blythe I customized belonged to a friend of mine, and the third one was the first custom order I got.
Photos: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Custom review.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Carsten.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Bewitched.
Where do you get the inspiration for your dolls?
I guess it’s a little of everything. I created Mary Ann as a tribute to my nickname The Ripper Dolls. I love the character and the historical legend of Jack The Ripper, Mary Ann was his first victim and I thought that the play on words was perfect.
Jacob, the little Rabbi, was created because of my fascination and curiosity about the Jewish religion and the Kabbalah, a philosophy about which I recommend reading.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Jacob.
I love sad and somewhat dramatic dolls, but I must take into account for whom is the customization and what they want. Perhaps the clearest example is Daphne, a gift for a good friend of mine who loves colourful dolls. I also pay attention that the doll matches with the rest of my customer’s Blythe family of that person, unless they ask me for something very specific.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Daphne.
Why did you start making reroots with human hair for Blythe?
It was by accident. The first custom order that I got, Wonder (Alice in Wonderland), came with a human hair reroot made by her owner, who is a hairdresser. In the box, she sent me another wefted human hair as a gift. I used it for Jacob’s hair. I was thrilled with the result and then I went on making reroots with that kind of hair. In my opinion, this is the best hair and the one I like the most to work with. Junko Wong’s Sookie has three shades of human hair and that hair in particular is great. The root is very thick and gives the doll a totally real look.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Wonder.
When people order me a custom, I always recommend this kind of hair, it gives more possibilities than synthetic if you want to curl it for example. The hair movement and the feel of it are beyond words.
Technique: basics, tools and tips
What are the techniques, tools, treatments, and your advice regarding reroots wih human hair?
Marcos: “I only do reroots with wefted hair, mostly for lack of time to do plug by plug reroots. The wefted human hair is like the synthetic, just a little harder to sew perhaps. The tools are the same as for any kind of reroot“.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper).
Shannon Taylor: “The one BIG thing I wish I’d done before hand was paint the top of the scalp with a dark brown. This is because even though I filled all the holes with a good amount of hair, the light scalp still peeks through. I’m always having to be careful fixing her hair for photos. As for how I did it. I’d take a small amount for each plug and then make a double knot and then add a smidgen of glue. I always let them dry overnight to make sure they were solid“.
Mademoiselle Blythe: “I found a tutorial with pictures that could be useful here“.
Photos: Antonette Cely Dolls.
What are the pros and cons of human hair compared to other types of reroots you have done?
Marcos: “I always sew the wefted hair lines very close together on the scalp and thus the sewed lines will not be seen. The human hair is thicker at the roots than the synthetic, as I said previously, so the plastic is very well covered. It is easier to curl it or shape it than synthetic hair, which often does not get the shape we want. I still have not found any cons for human hair reroots“.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Human hair for the next custom and reroot.
Material and budget
Where do you find the appropriate material, and what is the budget for a human hair reroot?
Marcos: “Human hair can be found for about 35 € the package, which is enough for half a head. That means about 70 € for a full reroot. You can easily buy human hair wefts at hair salons or in hair specialty shops“.
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Kristen.
Mademoiselle Blythe: “You can also use your hair or those of your family members like Shannon Taylor and Melacacia”!
Photo: Melacacia. Human hair.
Thank you very much, Marcos, for sharing your Blythe love and experience with customs and humain hair reroots! Your dolls are utterly gorgeous and unique and I know a lot of people who have one of your customs on their wishlist, including me and with human hair of course! A little update for those who have a Ripper Doll in their plans: Marcos recently decided to stop offering customization services, but he will definitely go on making special dolls for adoption and for our greatest pleasure!
Photo: L’enfant terrible (Mr. Ripper). Custom with human hair.