Removing Barbie's head for any reason can be a scary task for someone who has never done it before. I can't tell you how nervous I was the first time I tried, and I have to tell you, it did not end well. Let's just say that particular doll became "headless" Barbie for life. YIKES! She is still not speaking to me. haha So....I thought I would share how I remove Barbie's head, so your first time might not be disastrous. I did not invent this method, so I can't take full credit for it. Here are a few things you will need to complete this daunting task. A hairdryer, heavy duty knitting needle, and big fingernail clippers are what I use. Some dollie experts use other methods to warm up Barbie's neck area, but I find a hairdryer works the best for me. In place of a heavy duty knitting needle, you could probably use something long, thin, and sturdy. A pair of scissors or jewelry wire cutters probably would work in place of the large nail clippers, but I haven't tried either one of these myself.
The first step is to move Barbie's hair out of the way so that you can heat the area around her neck thoroughly on one side and in the back. The heat makes the plastic/vinyl more pliable, and it's easier to get the knitting needle under the neckline. This also makes it easier to move the knitting needle around the neckline to maneuver the head up and over the neck knob. I hope this isn't clear as mud.
I really don't time how long I heat the neck area, but I really try to make sure I do a thorough job. I don't want to have to do it again. Who does? Right?
Here you can see that I start getting the knitting needle up and under Barbie's head. After I have it inserted under the neckline, I start moving it completely around the neck area while pulling up on the needle.
The above pictures show how the progression of manipulating the knitting needle moves the head up and over the first hurdle of the neck knob. The tricky part is getting the head up and over the prongs above the white disc pictured above. This is where I usually take a deep breath and then hold it. haha Sorry, I failed to get a picture of this, but I will try to describe it so you can get this daunting task accomplished. When you pull on the doll head slightly, you will feel resistance from the prongs. That's when I use my knitting needle to pull up slightly on one side of the neck area to get it over one side the prongs. After that, it is easy peasy as pie. The head can then just be pulled right off.
This is what the neck knob looks like on your dolls once the head is removed.
You do not have to remove those prongs if you don't want to, but it will be much easier to remove that head again if you do. You just never know when you might want to make another change.
Here is a little tip about cutting those nasty prongs off that I learned the hard way. I cup my hand around the clippers and neck knob so that puppy doesn't go flying as it's clipped. This can prevent putting an eye out of one of your loved ones or precious pet. lol
Here is the final result of removing the head. Success has been achieved. Now....the newer neck knobs are a bit different. But.....I've found the method of removing the heads is the same . Just another word to the wise about using this method. Only use it on your vinyl Barbie dolls. I have not removed any other doll's head other than Barbie...and one Ken doll. That's a whole new post. lol
Happy Barbie head popping to you. May you have success with this method.
Thanks for stopping by!