This is an easy and inexpensive way to repair American Girl Dolls' hair using household items.
Total Time: 4 hours (approx.)
You may need to do this multiple times to get full effect, but remember to space treatments apart.
You can also just use shampoo and conditioner. Someone gave me a doll with frizzy hair (it had been sitting in a damp basement with water for several years). I washed the doll's hair with shampoo then used a general hair conditioner after. Tangles and hair went smooth immediately. I brushed gently with a wide toothed hairbrush to separate strands and used a blow dryer to dry (no brushing needed). I also used a 1 1/2" barrel large curling iron to straighten bangs. It took about 15 minutes altogether.
My mom was a doll doctor. She would wash the doll hair with dish detergent. Allow it to dry. Use a curling iron to style it. Spray with hair spray to hold. Use the same process you would with a wig.
By lzygranny from NC
also for doll hair that is very tangled you can put on lots of conditioner......wait a couple of minutes and comb through with a comb(it may take a bit of tugging).......then rince out the conditioner and let dry (using small clips to hold in place if needed)
i did this with old dolls with very matted hair and they turned out great........
PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL USING HEAT ON DOLL'S HAIR! It could melt. Always do a test strand on a small piece of the hair underneath. Another way to curl hair is to use "permanent" curlers, roll dry or wet hair, and then dip them into boiling water for a few seconds. Let cool and remove curlers. Let hair dry completely. BUT AGAIN...please do a test strand first...it's still a heat process.
Also, with washing and conditioning...if it is synthetic hair (not human), use fabric softener instead of hair conditioner. Any kind of liquid soap will wash them.
ALSO, one can use cut-to-size q-tip sticks to roll for tiny curls and bobby pins to secure, using alcohol to let air dry, IF synthetic of any kind, not human hair.
I always hated the "large curl" look, especially on the bangs and around the face of Madame Alexander sized dolls or Barbies. Keeping the scale according to doll size, for hair curls, looks best to me. : )
Easy! I just discovered this on a website last night. Steam! I boiled a pot of water and held the doll over it upside down, then immediately began to comb, repeat 1-4 times as necessary. I did 12 dolls with great results. Some I wrapped the hair around a pencil, held over the steam, then clipped with clothespins till this morning. Curls! I was able to save a baby doll with crazy hair - steamed then twisted into little curls and fluffed. I can't believe how easy this is!
I read for doll hair this is what you do; wash hair withh mild baby shampoo, then use diluted fabric softner to condition it, plus smells good. Next use a fine tooth comb to gently comb out tangles, snarls and matted hair. Let the doll hair air dry. You can also trim the hair if it is looking uneven or shabby.
I read you never use a hot curling iron or a blow dryer on doll hair... it's not human hair. You will melt the hair an possibly the doll.You can use straws cut 1/2" as mini rollers hold with clips or bobby pins. Wait 24 hours to dry and then gently comb out. Use wig hair spray to hold the style. Sorry, I have no pics but this works great! My dolls have wonderful hair!
I have used the dish washing liquid technique on several "Gene" dolls that I purchased which must have been played with a lot for the hair to be as tangled as it was. Just a drop or two in a sink of warm water, swish the hair in it for a few minutes then rinse. I then used just a little bit of my own spray on de-tangler.
To begin the drying process I wrapped a face cloth around the hair to press out excess moisture. After air drying, the little plastic hairbrush that came with one of the dolls worked just fine to brush out the hair. It was smooth and wavy and easy to style.
I bought 2 used American Girl dolls for my daughter, they both have slightly frizzy hair. Does anyone know of a way to improve the hair so it will be less frizzy?
Thanks in advance for any help!
Jennifer from Bend, Oregon
Look up a local doll hospital. Most of them can do it for a low cost. They use specialty products, like Twin Pines:
Their things are a little expensive, but well worth it to care for dolls that are collectable or will be played with for a long time, and a little bit goes a long lng way. They also offer free advice and are super nice, just email them! HTH!
justmagicdolls.com has tips for washing and they do a downy dunk---for frizzy hair they reccommend using a steamer--check it out--I found it trying to restore some of my older daughters dolls for my younger one.
I contacted american girl originally. They have the doll hospital, for $25 they will brush the hair, for $40 they replace the head. You have to pay initial shipping plus $7 or $8 return shipping.
I did the color treated hair conditioner suggested above. That did pretty good for one doll but the other is beyond help but better than it was.
The other suggestion above has some great tips that I will try soon, http://www.justmagicdolls.com/articles/HairCare/AdvancedHair.htm
Thanks for all your help!
I use Crisco baking lard it truly works the best; once the lard has sat for at least one hour I then microwave just the head (if possible) due to metal parts that maybe on the inside. Just for 60 seconds on high!!! when its done use a glove just in case and comb the hair.. works the best.. You can clean the excess lard out if desired though if left in; it gives a beautiful sheen.. not too much of an odor.
Also, try fabric softner. It does wonders for tangles as well as frizz in doll hair.
Look at this site...has some great advice!
Special Tips For Restoration of Barbie® and Other Plastic Dolls
You can either take baby shampoo and mix it with baking powder with water or use wig shampoo.
Easy! I just discovered this on a website last night. Fixing frizzy, tangled, matted Barbie doll and Bratz doll hair. Steam!
I boiled a pot of water and held the doll over it upside down, then immediately began to comb, repeat 1-4 times as necessary. I did 12 dolls with great results. Some I wrapped the hair around a pencil, held over the steam, then clipped with clothespins till this morning. Curls! I was able to save a baby doll with crazy hair - steamed then twisted into little curls and fluffed. I can't believe how easy this is!
I recently purchased a Build-a-Bear Pinkie Pie plush pony that I adore! One issue is that her hair is already frizzing some. I tried to brush it, but it made the frizz worse. Is there a way to de-frizz and clean her hair safely? It is doll hair on a plushie. And if I do wash and condition it (if that is safe) is there a safe way to put the curls back in? Please let me know if you know anything about this.
Isn't that odd! I just spent the morning combing out my oldest daughter's Pinkie Pie. I honestly thought it was a lost cause but I tried anyway. I used undiluted Downey fabric softener, just poured it on my hands and worked it into the mane and tail, gently working out tangles with my fingers as I could. I then used a detangling brush and brushed the ends out first, working my way back to the body.
It took a very long time, and some mats were too far gone and had to be cut out with tiny nail scissors, but she looks fabulous now. I rinsed out the fabric softener and rolled up sections with pipe cleaners. Next day, I took the pipe cleaners out and she looked lovely. Thanks for the tips, everyone!
By Zar from Fresno, CA
Sadly, when it's burnt like that, there isn't much you can do. If it's synthetic, it might have melted, but if it's natural, it's ruined, too. The doll looks like an American Girl. I suggest sending her to a doll hospital or doll restoration expert. It might be a shade expensive, but they're trained in putting in new hair and can probably teach you how to keep it from being burned in the future while still styling it.