Wild Hair

Vintage dolls are likely to have very wild hair, if they've been played with. Baby Face dolls have hair that's difficult to manage.

And, the worst might be hair that has been re-rooted, such as this Baby Crissy doll. Isn't she gorgeous?

CLEAN HAIR FIRST. If it's a vintage doll, you need to clean the hair first. A little shampoo or liquid soap... and a lot of fabric conditioner or hair conditioner will help. If necessary, you may need to use some bleach if the hair is very gray or very dirty. Spray on bleach cleaner is my favorite for grayish dirty hair.

But be careful, because some vintage colors do fade, such as carrot top. And the redheads are so rare that you don't want to lose that lovely carrot color. So only use bleach if you have to!

KNEE HIGHS. When the hair is clean, combed, and conditioned, then you can dry the hair with a knee high nylon over the head to keep the hair down and in place.

STEAM IT. If the hair tends to "rise up" even when it's dry, then I steam it. Several people told me about steaming. Apparently the Blythe collectors have been doing it, and they learned it from the My Little Pony people.

Put a damp washcloth over the doll's head, and then steam the hair flat with an iron. Make sure the cloth is damp. Make sure you don't iron the eye area where you might flatten the eyelashes or melt them.

I use lots of "puffs" from the steam iron as I work. The steam trick does wonders for flattening the hair.

CURLING IRON. With Baby Face dolls, I like to finish up with a hot curling iron on slightly damp hair. I just curl the ends, and I take thin layers at a time. I count out 15 or 20 seconds with the curling iron, for each curl I hold.

The curling iron by itself doesn't tame the hair, but it is very helpful for doing the finishing touches.

CAUTION with the curling iron!! Many dolls have hair that will MELT, so you absolutely MUST test a small area to find out if your doll has the kind of hair that can be curled with a hot iron.

STRAWS FOR ROLLERS. For teeny tiny dolls, you can curl the hair using straws for rollers and bobby pins to hold it. This is teeny tiny work and it's not easy to do. I use lots of hair gel: I like the Clear Ice gel, which doesn't leave any shiny marks on the vinyl.

Copyright (c) 2002, 2012 Cynthia Stevens All Rights Reserved