Doll hair care

by Alison Rasmussen


I recently purchased a doll on Ebay that claimed (and appeared) to be in "mint" condition. However, when she came in the mail, her hair was a mess. It is a six year-old doll, specifically, and she'd been on display. I've included her original photo from the convention, though I didn't get her wearing her original outfit. She will be Anne Boleyn for my wives of Henry VIII collection.
To me, part of the attraction of these dolls is their hair. When it's less than perfect, it really detracts from the beauty of the doll. Robert Tonner uses saran (a type of synthetic) hair. The company website posts some tip on how to care for it. Here is what I did:
  1. Using a very diluted rinse of windex to warm water, I rinsed the dust and cleaned the hair. I didn't soak the doll, however--just swishing to get all the dirt out. You can also use Woolite or special synthetic hair shampoo. I rinsed with lukewarm water.
  2. Next, I added a small amount of fabric softener to a fresh rinse. I swished her hair around a bit, being very gentle, and let her remain in the bath for a short time.
  3. I toweled dry gently--the hair dries quickly in the open air, and all the sites I've seen discourage using heat if you want to maintain the style.
  4. Using a new animal hair comb with metal prongs, I combed through any knots. Starting the at ends of the hair and working slowly toward the roots allowed me to work thoroughly without pulling out any hair. I've read that you should never use a brush that's been used on real hair on synthetic hair, since natural hair oils build up and be transferred to synthetic hair.
  5. I followed with a small amount of hair gel and let the style air dry completely, the doll in an upright position.
  6. When the doll's hair was completely dry, I used the comb to refresh the style, and it's beautiful. I'm simply thrilled with my bargain!