Scalping – SBL Blythes

Sawing is not as scary as it sounds!

The Superior head mold brings in some challenges to the customizer, as the whole top of the head is one solid dome of plastic, sealing the front and back head pieces. We now have to use a jeweler’s saw to cut across the dome to seperate the two halves of the head.

  1. scalping Superior BlytheThe first step will be to cut along the scalpline with a sharp x-acto/pen knife. You will cut just the back half if you are doing eye surgery, all the way around if rerooting.
  2. Superior blythe scalpwe’ve noticed a trend in later SBL models – their scalps are attached with far less glue than the first few dolls released, and in some cases, the scalp flanges come out cleanly. Puchimadam recommends you make your first cut across the back of the scalpline only 2-3mm deep, then gently tug the hairplugs to see if the flange will pull out. it may lift in some areas, but stay glued in others. you can selectively trim off the glued flange sections, salvaging as much flange as possible.when the time comes to re-attach her scalp, you will need to use sharp scissors to trim the long sections of flange down to 5mm. the full-length flange is nearly impossible to fit back into the channel.
  3. Scalping SBL blytheIf you are only opening for eye surgery, stop cutting a little past the side seams, then carefully lift her scalp away from the head and fold it inside out towards the front. If there is a lot of glue underneath the scalp you will have to use an x-acto knife to slowly slice through the glued bits so that the scalp can go free. (Try not to cut hair roots otherwise those roots could fall out.)If you plan to reroot, try pulling the front flange out.  if it is glued too tightly, continue cutting the rest of the scalp.
  4. sawing superior blytheI like to make a cutting guide by pulling a piece of masking tape across her head from side seam to side seam.Start cutting her across the top of her head… move carefully, slowly, and keep the saw horizontal. Be sure to protect your worksurface from dust, wear protective eyewear and keep your mouth closed!
  5. opening superior blytheAfter you have sawed just up to the point where the channel starts, insert an x-acto knife into the crack, and then with a careful and slow sawing and prying motion against the dome, cut through the layers of plastic inside the dome. Please do it away from your body so that if anything goes flying when it breaks through, you don’t cut yourself.
    Also stick the tip of your x-acto knife into the rubber flange that is left in the channel and slice it so that it too is severed and ready for popping open.
  6. opening sbl blytheYou may want to just cut as much as you can, and then periodically stick a screwdriver into the crack and do little twisting motions in an attempt to ‘pop’ the last bits of the seam. It may be all it needs to finally come open.If she is folded over and scalp still attached to the front side, you may want to let her scalp go back to its normal resting place (unfold it!) so that it does not stretch out the rubber. You can always fold it again to put her together.

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42 responses to “Scalping – SBL Blythes”

  1. Helena

    Don’t get high on saw dust. 😉

  2. Michelle

    Please be very careful with the craft knife. I’ve just come back from A&E after slicing through my thumb quite badly while scalping a Blythe.

  3. Leilel

    Hiya, no matter what i do i just cant seem to pop her head apart, wfter having sawn the dome. I tried wedging in screwdrivers, and ive even tried squashing her head from the side to further pressurise the seam but it just wont pop, and her face is still totether. I wondered if you could help, i would be very pleased if you could, many thanks, Jules

  4. Helena

    Jules, you might want to re-do the step 5.

  5. Melissa

    Exactly. step 5 is the trickiest. it helps if you have a new x-acto blade and go very slowly. Please make sure to cut away from you, like Michelle said, the knife is very sharp and if you push too hard and she pops open, that blade can cause some trouble.

  6. funksoulavette

    This site is so useful.. 🙂

    I am now in the midst of opening up my prima head using this as a reference..

  7. Sarah Mae

    My NF came scalpless, and i popped her head apart by taking out the screws, and gently prising the face plates apart.
    why do people saw if i may ask?

  8. jade

    oh dear this is all harder than anticipated, im killing my dear prima violet eek, ive never done this before

  9. snowgirl

    What kind of GLUE do I use to put her back together??

  10. Annette

    Do you have to scalp the doll before a simple wig replacement? Or can you just apply the wig when you take the scalp off? Thanks!

  11. Jeannine

    If I want to do a hair reroot do I need to saw through her head or is that only for messing with her eye mech? Thank you. 🙂

  12. Scalp opening for Superior type dolls « Blythe Education for The Boyfriend Weblog

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  13. newbie

    can you scap and change the hair on petite blythe? i´v been meaning to buy a blythe put don´t know if i should buy a regular size or petite (cheaper i don´t have the money…) but restyling really seams like the fun part to me.
    answer this and make me a happy blythe customizer to be… ^^

  14. newbie

    “scalp” darn…

  15. verilens

    I just scalped my SBL…and when the scalp came off (there was no glue at all!) it looked nothing like step 2, more like step 3. What exactly is that in the step 2 picture? Her scalp had no flanges to speak of…?

  16. Melissa

    Verilens – what blythe do you have?

  17. Verilens

    She’s a PiccaE.

  18. Melissa

    verilens – interesting! maybe they changed the scalp mold in later SBLs!

  19. Melissa

    verilens – did you cut all the way around your scalp? the picture in step 2 shows a doll that had so little glue that her scalp was not cut. if you cut all the way around, then the “flanges” are still inside her plastic head. Don’t try to remove them, it will make gluing the scalp back on more difficult.

  20. Verilens

    Thanks Melissa ^^

  21. Novelty12

    I’m gonna take my girls scalp off, next week!!! But I don’t have the guts to cut her open!! 🙁

  22. Jo

    Novelty: You should try popping the front or back of the face off with leverage before you saw. I’ve fully customed two SBL dolls now and I didn’t need to saw either one. The doll’s head is actually in three parts – the hard plastic scalp pops out of the front and back head pieces quite easily in my experience, just by shearing force on the glue which holds it in place, by using a padded screwdriver around the split in the neck to gently pry open the two sides. I really can’t see the point of sawing through the scalp, unless the original SBL doll heads actually were one whole piece of plastic.

  23. gloria

    Jo which sbl blythe did you opened like that?…doyou mean pop the scalp first,then unscrew the 2 screws at the back/bottom of her head then just prythe back or front faceplate off?…or just take the face plates apart with the scalp still attached?

  24. Amber

    When I attempt to put my doll’s head back together there are gaps on either side. What does it all mean!? ;~;

    Am I not pushing both sides together hard enough?

  25. purple princess

    I’ve also managed to give my SBL sleep eyes without having to saw her head.

    I pulled at the scalp to get it away from the face plate and then managed to lever and pull the face plate off, the glue cracked a fair bit when I pulled her face off the top ridgy bit of the dome but she’s fine :o)

  26. purple princess

    forgot to include that she’s violetina :o)

  27. Lords of Dames

    Well, still prefer the hot water method without cutting open the scalp. It takes patience and trying but eventually the sbl scalp will open. Tried it with Samedi Marche Encore.

  28. Amanda

    Hello, Just thought I’d share:
    I recently got my first Blythe on eBay: Mademoiselle Rosebud. During my unsuccessful attempt to open her head, I discovered that she is an SBL “egg-head” model. *PHOOEY* I will try again to just pop off her face plate, as JO suggested, but being a 98 pound weakling, I don’t expect much success. **DOUBLE-PHOOEY**

  29. Kenny

    I’m reading this tutorial because I’ve been trying all evening to open an SBL, very unsuccessfully. The face and back plate never did pop off, even after prying from the dome with an xacto. I’m going to have to saw. The good news: the scalp just came right off, with no prying of glue and a just little tugging. Bad news: it won’t fit back into the gutters perfectly, there’s a quite a gap between scalp and forehead. Not sure what I’ll do yet—bangs are a good last resort.

    There’s also a bot of marring on the seems where I struggled to separate the front and back plates, but I bought this SBL used and a little abused, so it will be part of filling and filing quite a few mars and scratches—good practice.

  30. Amanda

    Hello again, and Update:
    I searched again on YouTube for an SBL head-opening tutorial. I found one where the Mod-er pried the two sides of Blythe’s head apart using just a taped screwdriver and upper arm strength. *very jealous*

    After watching the clip and re-reading this tutorial, I think that the main thing keeping my Mlle. RB’s head from popping is the last part of one of the side seams, up near the scalp. I feel much more comfortable using a Dremel (hand-held power tool) on that small area, so I’ll try that next.

    I also didn’t realize that I need to trim the flanges before replacing the scalp. That will help a lot *DOH*

  31. elle

    I have a Frosty Frock. My first blythe, and my first time trying to take one apart. I did not SAW her… that seems like a dreadful thing to do to a poor girl. Like others I carefully removed her scalp using an exacto. I did cut part of the flanges off, but managed to preserve the ones near the back (better than nothing!).

    After unhooking the spring/eye mech, and undoing the 2 screws; I used an exacto knife to ensure there was no glue between her faceplate and the dome.

    Using a large metal crochet hook (left some scuffs along the edge of her faceplate–I’m sand-matting mine so will even it out then, in the future will use a padded/tape covered tool instead), some patience and careful levering… I attempted to “POP” her faceplate off… not as easy as it sounds. I honestly thought I’d missed a screw or something… her faceplate didn’t budge much. I put it aside and watched and rewatched vids on YouTube of girls doing this effortlessly (or so it seemed!) Tried again, her face plate finally did come off… with some minor cracking.

    **I did not realize exactly how these dolls were made prior to taking one apart. At the top of her faceplate there are 2 little plastic walls that go on either side of the edge of the “dome”. The outside wall being her forehead.** Although I was sure the FOREHEAD wall was no longer glued to her dome… the inside wall still was and that is what ended up cracking and made it difficult to remove the faceplate.

    In the future I will try hot water to loosen the glue as “Lords of Dames” suggested. And then try popping the faceplate off! Either way, much better alternative than the saw. Hope this is of some help to someone!

  32. Lilian

    Hi Melissa,

    I recently bought an ADG and I’ve heard those are notoriously hard to scalp due to immmense amounts of glue. Would soaking the scalp in hot water help?

  33. blythesf

    I’m so happy to find a place like this one for real it makes it easy trying to customize thanks a lot <3

  34. Fifilatrixabel

    I have an RBL factory girl, steeping in water right now. I am trying to get the last inch of her scalp off without losing the flanges. I only did it on one side and face popped open too – bargain!
    I will let you know if I get the other half off without a saw!

  35. Ellie

    Thanks for the tutorial! I took my doll’s scalp off some time ago to reroot her, and since taking it off it seems to have stretched, and is now slightly too big for her head! Any idea how I can shrink it back?

  36. Ann

    Hi, Im new but an adventurous Blythe lover. I am thinking of customizing Blythes and have started to collect tools and blythe doll facial plates for practice. I need help in selecting the proper Dremel to do lip carving (eventually) and other fine detail work. I am exhausted looking thru Ebay for the proper dremel. I don’t think I need 100 piece dremel set do I? Anybody out there that can give this newbie advice? Many thanks.

    1. Yen

      Any cheap dremel will do..too high powered will not give u more control. Just draw your lines first.

  37. Yen

    Will an rbl scalp fit well on an sbl girl? I despise scalp gap, and want bangs anyways, but I’m nervous! Thnx for an insight.l.

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