She had an ugly dress but was in good condition, and I couldn't help wondering why someone gave her away. Well, when I came home I found out why: seeping glue! Half of her head was completely hard, the earring was stuck at an odd angle, and the hair was completely sticky, like a kid would notice it (or a concerned parent). Seriously, Mattel!
After washing her hair several times, only making things worse, I decided to just cut it. My reroot list might be long, but it's mostly for lack of materials. Black nylon is one of the few hairs I do have, so I'm going to try that on Nikki, and maybe use the reroot tool again since that was a lot quicker that needle and thread.
Now, I've only tried removing all hair from one modern Barbie head before, and that resulted in lots of torn plugs due to all the glue. When I "de-haired" an older, pre-Glue Mania head that I couldn't remove from the body, I discovered it's easier to prevent torn holes if you pull the hairs from the outside, just a few strands at a time. (You just need to remember not to cut the hair as short as you can but leave a bit to grab with your tweezers.) That way you can control what exactly you're pulling on and avoid ripping the holes. Unfortunately, that doesn't work if every plug is stuck together in a big lump of glue, and that lump is stuck to the inside of the head. (Again: Seriously, Mattel??)
This time I was very careful, clipping the hair close to the scalp with a nail clipper, and repeatedly soaking the head in almost-boiling water so it was all soft when I worked on it. And it worked! Maybe it's because she didn't have much of a part and not a lot of plugs close together, but I got everything out with only a couple of tears. Hooray!
While I was at it I used my thinnest knife blade to carefully slice off the barbs on the earrings posts inside her head, until I could pull them out without ripping the ear holes. They look like they might glow in the dark, but so far they've been a disappointment on that front.
The whole head still feels a bit greasy, so I'll try to get rid of that before rerooting. I have a bottle of isopropyl alcohol but I've been hesitating to use it since I'm not sure I know how to handle it properly. I live in an apartment and the communal back yard doesn't feel like the place to work with chemicals, so when something calls for "a well-ventilated area" I just stand by the open window, and I'm not sure that's OSHA approved... Oh well, at least she's rid of the glue.
ETA: Based on the earrings and the hairstyle, I'm pretty sure it's this Nikki doll:
(As seen here on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mattel-W3899-Barbie-Fashionistas-Nikki/dp/B005VDU55G )
I think i've seen those in stores actually. Good to know they're fully articulated (since Mattel likes to make that a surprise nowadays).