Hair – Dying and Rerooting Mohair

The rooting technique’s almost the same – but the fun of mohair is in the dyeing and prepping!
All you need is a box of RIT or other fabric dye, mild dish soap, salt, a pot of boiling water, and a little creativity! This works with most natural hair fibers (not synthetic!)

  1. blythe mohair rerootFor the most versatility and control over your finished color, I recommend you buy bundled mohair. Wefted mohair can be used, but you’ll need to cut it off the weft before rooting it. About 1.5-2 ounces (1.5 yards of weft) is enough to cover a Blythe (SBLs take a little more than EBLs). for the poofy look, buy curly mohair. Wavy or straight mohair will be more smooth.
    If your mohair is very “natural” (meaning there are leaves and twigs in some of the hair) First you will need to carefully cut the rubber-band and gently wash the banded end by rinsing it in warm soapy water. (Do not agitate it much with your hands or the fibers will lock.)Split the bundle into four or five smaller sections. Wet the hair. You will have to add a little soap to break the surface tension and get through the oils in the hair.
  2. blythe mohair rerootSet up your dyebath – for my project, I decided I wanted a varied, dip-dyed look, so I made several small dyebaths of varying intensities. (Ignore the directions on the box – you need a pretty concentrated dye if you want a bold color.) Don’t forget a pinch of salt and soap (this helps break the surface tension of the water, allowing the dye to get into the hair fiber) !Pull out a tiny section of hair and do a test-strip first to acquaint yoursef with how long it will take to achieve the desired color.I used a bamboo stick to hold the tips of my hair out of the dye, since i wanted them very light. I left my hair in the boiling dye for 2 or 3 minutes.
  3. blythe mohair rerootRINSE each section thoroughly in warm water until the water runs clear. Do not agitate them if possible — just let the water run straight through.Different dye baths and soak times will give you different intensities. Notice how dark the “roots” are on some of these pieces.Dye ALL your mohair before planting a single root to avoid mismatching or blotchy results.
  4. blythe mohair rerootWhile the hair is still wet (the hair needs to stay wet while you are working with it – do not store wet mohair for prolonged periods of time, it will rot) pull apart individual plugs. If any locking has occurred, just pull at the knotted area. overly knotted hair may need to be ripped out and thrown away. I like to work at the sink so I can use running water to smooth out my plugs. (Water is the magic ingredient when working with mohair.). Mohair should only be rubbed from root-to-tip. rubbing it in the opposite direction will damage the surface. You can see to the right of the picture that some of the plugs have frizzy ends. Big knots can be easily torn off.
  5. blythe mohair rerootYou’re ready to root! Use larger crochet needles with mohair – I used a #10/11 for the part and hairline, and a #9 for the field.Follow the locked loop technique, but instead of folding each strand in half, fold it about 2-3″ from the cut end to maximize length.The fluffiness of curly mohair means that you do not need to thatch the partline. If you plan to root your scalp without skipping many holes, you may not even want to root a partline. just begin at the crown and spiral down.
  6. blythe mohair rerootSave your tiniest plugs for the hairline, and don’t forget to mix your colors around!Notice that I skipped quite a few holes in the field, but filled every hole (you can get away with every-other hole) in the hairline with a tinier plug.If your un-planted strands dry out, re-wet them. You’ll get big knots and stray hairs if you root them dry!
  7. blythe mohair rerootDon’t be afraid to mix different colors and values of hair – the results will have much more depth than a solid color!Good luck!

53 responses to “Hair – Dying and Rerooting Mohair”

  1. Cynthia

    Thanks a lot Melissa!!! 🙂 Cross your fingers 🙂

  2. Cynthia

    Hi Melissa!!

    I didn’t understand the use of the salt and soap when dyeing. Does the salt AND the soap go into the hot dyebath? or just the salt and then I have to wash the hair with the soap? hehehe… I’m confused. And… can I dye the blond hair of my SBL the same way as you dye mohair? cause I’ve heard some pretty scary stories about stained bodies and faces. I would like to dye her blond hair brunette. Thanks!!

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