Saturday, June 1, 2013

J-Doll - Safe Wig Removal

All of the pictures shown of the J-Doll were taken by me. The doll is shown wearing part of the outfit she was dressed in by Groove, Inc., the manufacturer. The wig is a Monique wig designed for 12-inch fashion dolls.

This was almost too easy! 

I did a bit of research online and thought about similar things I'd done and what had or had not been successful. The first thing I tried worked; it was incredibly easy. Best of all, it did not require the use of toxins or harsh chemicals.

My Research 

Before attempting anything, I searched online to see what others had attempted and what the results were for them. I found a number who had cracked the J-Doll's head. I found others who'd scratched the head or caused hairline fractures. I saw dolls whose little heads had been crudely glued back together.

The fact is that the doll is not designed to have her wig removed, so the options were either to use force or chemicals. I wasn't hopeful...

I listened to several collectors on YouTube. Some complained that their lack of success was due to the doll's poor quality, not their mishandling. These people lamented the fragility of the doll while holding her pressed to the floor as they jabbed away at her little head with a craft knife! Clearly, these people had little of use to share with the rest of us, outside of the fact that using force to remove the wig is a poor choice.

The wig is very securely attached. The glue holding it in place is not water based, so it can only be dissolved with solvents, which would ruin the doll's face up and possibly damage the plastic itself. Additionally, the glue is rigid and firmly adhered to the head, so the wig cannot be pulled off with gentle force alone.

The solution didn't come from any source that dealt with removal of doll wigs. In fact, it came from a flash of memory I had of removing something that had been glued into place using the same type of glue. It was easy...

The Method

How do you remove labels and stickers from glass, metal, and plastic kitchenware? You soak it in hot, soapy water and then you peel the label away and scratch off the residue with your fingernail or a gentle plastic scrubber. This is basically the method I used to remove the J-Doll's wig. 


I soaked the doll in hot water with a small amount of Dawn dishwashing detergent for about a half hour. The Dawn detergent contains grease cutting surfactant agents (non-toxic) that infused through the wig and the glue creating just enough weak points that it became possible to gently ease the wig away from the doll's head.

If you try this, note that the water should be the same temperature used when washing dishes or scrubbing. It should not be so hot that it is painful to put your hands in it.

The Actual Removal

After the soaking had created weak points in the glue, I ran my fingernail gently around the edge of the wig. I patiently loosened the wig this way, breaking the glue bond little by little until I had it off. During the process, I did not hold tightly to the doll and I carefully monitored the position of my hands so that I did not put stress on her delicate arms and legs.

Ready for Wigs!

Now the little lady is ready to start her wig collection! She can wear size 3 and 4 wigs. Some 5s will work. She's shown wearing a size 4 wig manufactured by Monique. It was specifically designed to be worn by Barbie. She was photographed standing next to a seated Tonner doll to show scale. The Tonner doll is a 16 inch Fashion Jane (Tyler body type, 2004).


  1. I just read your J-Doll review after bringing my first one home. I'm so glad that I did before I open her! I didn't realize they're quite fragile. Thank you for that wonderful review! I heard their hair is hard, and I was excited when you said you'd think about removing her wig. Now THIS post gives me an option if her hair is coarse & unruly. Yes! Thank you again. :D

  2. Thank you for your comment. I love my doll more now that I can change her wig. You'll probably end up doing this. BTW, your dog is very adorable!

  3. Is her original wig still usable? I mean, can you take it off one doll and put it on another or is the wig left in such bad shape that you have to get rid of it?

    1. The wig is reusable and does not fall apart when you remove it. However, you probably won't want to use it agian since the hair is so coarse. I am hoping that the company will start using better wigs or at least stop gluing them onto the doll's heads, so that we can easily switch them out for other wigs.

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  5. Thank you so much for writing this tutorial! I used your advice to finally rewig my J-Doll and it worked great! (I had to soak her for an hour though!). I am so happy I can now give her a new hair style! Thank you thank you!

  6. I used your advice and my melrose J-doll now is bald, awaiting new (nice!) hair. I can safely say even newer model dolls have hard, coarse hair and the Melrose model has it split in three very different lengths. It's ghastly. The doll is very pretty but that wig couldn't have been cut or styled to look any kind of decent. I have no idea what the designer was thinking, putting such an ugly and low quality wig on a pretty girl like her. It doesn't matter now, though, because my girl is as good as new (her seam on one side wanted to split in spite of my gentle touch so I fixed it with gel control superglue with no issue whatsoever). Best of all her eyes did not come off and her face still has all its makeup. Thank you!!

    1. By putting cheap wigs on them the manufacturer keeps prices down. I'm so glad I found out how to remove the wig cause like you said they're ghastly and it's gotta go. Can I use this method to remove an American Girl doll wig?

  7. Thank you so much for this post! I have a j-doll whose wig needs replacing and I really don't want to damage her. Your method sounds perfect!

  8. Do you use hot hot water? or just water from the tap