Monday, January 9, 2012

How to detangle/restore doll's hair.

Now here is a good trick for someone who wants to quickly restore their doll's hair whether it is for a child's play doll or your own collectable.

The first thing you need to know is that you can't save everyone. Sorry! I know this is a cruel reality but the truth is that sometimes the hair is just too far gone. However, I have a very difficult time giving up. I am committed that way.

So let's assess your doll. Most doll hair is made up of a plastic called saran. There are other types of doll hair but they are all generally a form of plastic. This will work on your child's baby doll, Barbie, your collectable dolls, etc... Even My Little Pony has plastic hair.

The first thing I do is shampoo the hair with regular dish washing liquid. This is a harsh detergent so it is going to get out anything that might be in the hair. Often the factory hair will have a form of hairspray or a sticky substance that holds the hair in place. You want to remove all of that and dish washing liquid will do the trick. I will wash the hair a couple of times just to make sure it is clean and free of residue. After that I condition it and comb it through. If the hair still feels like there is something in it try a little baking soda mixed with your dish washing liquid.

If the hair is too far gone, matted and really terrible you can always use a little oil in the hair to help comb it. If you do this you will need to re-shampoo and condition it after.

So depending on the condition of the hair your doll should now be restored. You can allow the hair to air dry or blow it dry with on a medium heat setting with a blow dryer. Blow dryers on hot will burn your doll hair. Melt it! So be careful with that blow dryer. If you don’t feel confident about it let it air dry. You can always set your doll in front of a fan.

If your doll’s hair still looks icky even though you can now comb through it then you need the boiling water method. This is after you have washed, conditioned and combed through it. I use a glass measuring cup to boil two cups of water, takes about 4 to 5 minutes in the microwave. Next you set your doll upright in the sink and pour the boiling hot water right over the top of the head. Immediately after comb the hair in place. Be very careful not to burn yourself. You can always hold your doll with a towel. The hot water will smooth out the plastic in most cases but remember I told you not every doll can be saved.

Never dip your doll’s head or hair in the boiling water. This will ruin it permanently. No saving that.
Your doll should be almost as good as new by now. You might have to trim it with scissors to clean up scraggly edges.

If you have a terrific doll and the hair is simply not fixable, the next step would be to reroot your doll with brand new hair. I have a DVD on both rerooting doll hair and restyling doll hair available on eBay or my website.

For more information you can contact me at or visit my website at .

Links on eBay for Rerooting and Hairstyling:

In any case I really hope I helped save a doll’s life today.

Happy doll collecting! LL

1 comment:

  1. I do the same thing LoLo.. except with oil I use Downy fabric Softener.... and conditioner... then re-shampoo. Nice to have another weapon (oil) in the arsenal of saving dolly hair. Great Article!!