How to care for your doll's hairHow to care for your doll's hair

A letter to the young ladies who have received our dolls:

Dear Customer,
One of the very best things about your new doll is her beautiful hair.
But if you’re not careful, one of the very worst things about your doll may be her hair. 
Because your doll’s hair can get dirty, and it can get messy, and sometimes it can get badly tangled. But we know that you love your new doll, and want her hair to look good, so we created this page just for you. It’s about how to take care of your doll’s hair.

Why you need a doll's hairbrush:

There are two reasons why you might brush your doll’s hair:
  • First, every time you take dress or undress your doll, her hair gets a little messed up. So you will need to be brushing her hair regularly to keep it pretty and tangle free.
  • A lot of 18" doll's clothing has Velcro™ fastenings. Be extra careful not to let the hair get caught in the Velcro. Velcro EATS doll hair!
  • (This is why it is good to put your doll's hair in a ponytail before changing her clothes.)

  • Second, when you are styling her hair;  like changing it from braids to a ponytail for example, you will probably need to use your brush to divide it into sections. But you need to have the right brush.
Doll's Hair Brush with metal bristles
Did you know that you have oil in your hair? It comes from the skin on the top of your head, and it’s what makes your hair so shiny and pretty! But when you brush your hair, that oil gets on your brush. So you can’t use your brush on your doll’s hair! You will have to get her a doll’s hairbrush. 

Now because your doll’s hair is not made from real hair, but made from pretend hair, also called 'synthetic hair,' we need the right kind of brush: a Doll's hairbrush.
  • A doll’s hairbrush should have wire bristles, and no rubber ends.Metal Hair Pick for African American and Black Dolls with Synthetic Hair
  • Plastic bristles can cause static, which makes the hair stick up and look funny!
  • Rubber bristles can catch in the hair and break it. 
  • If your doll has curly hair, then you should have a metal hair pick instead of a brush. 
  • And finally, you need a misting bottle, because the best way to brush her hair is to get it a little wet first. 

How to brush a doll's hair

Well, before we actually talk about brushing, let's talk a little bit about 'clean.' 

"Are your hands clean?" 
"Where are you going to put your doll when you brush it? 

So we're ready to brush her hair. What do we do?
  • First, mist her hair with your mister. Just a little. It doesn't have to be too wet.
  • Pick a section of her head.
  • Now start near the ends, and brush out her hair, using short, gentle strokes. 
  • Work your way up: ends, then middle, then top, gently brushing out any tangles.
  • Continue to the next section. 
  • If you are going to style your doll's hair, clip aside the sections until all of the hair is brushed out.
  • You can use plastic butterfly clips or barrettes, or cloth covered scrunchies.

How to wash your doll's hair:

No matter how careful you are, everybody's hair gets dirty after a while. 

Yours does, mine does, and dolly's hair gets dirty too. How do we clean it? 

  • Get a big bowl and fill it half way with cool water. 
  • Do not use warm or hot water because the heat can relax curls.
  • Gently stir in one-quarter teaspoon of baby shampoo.
  • Undress your doll, and put her in a plastic bag up to her chin. This is to keep her body dry.
  • Dip your doll's head into the bowl, and gently swirl it around, until the hair is completely wet.
  • You may use a spoon to get the top of her head and scalp wet.
  • Gently massage the shampoo into her hair, being careful not to twist, pull or break it. 
  • Get as much of the doll's hair in the bowl as you can, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Empty the 'shampoo' and refill the bowl with cool clean water, swirl and rinse three times.
  • You can also use your mister bottle to rinse off the shampoo. 
  • Hold the doll upside down so her hair hangs, and gently shake out the rinse water.
  • Wrap the hair in a soft cloth like an old towel, and gently squeeze out the water. Do not twist or wring your doll's hair.
  • Brush out her hair when most of the water is gone, but while it is still damp, damp like when you use your mister.
  • Remember: do not brush wet hair and do not brush dry hair. Only brush damp hair.

'Air Dry' your doll's hair.

This one is very simple:

Never, ever, ever, use a hair dryer!!! It will melt your doll's hair!!! And that goes double-triple for curling irons! No!! 


Never Ever!!

Just let it air dry. 

General Hair Care

  • Between washings, a light mist and brush should be just fine.
  • If your dolls are not played with, they can still get dirty from house dust, so ask Mommy or Daddy to get a can of air to blow the dust off. 
  • Same with styling, remember always mist and brush gently.
  • Some doll mommies have told us that they like to put one hand on the top of the head while brushing with the other. Fewer hairs get pulled out.
  • Do not use metal hair clips or rubber bands in your doll's hair, both will break pretend hair.
  • Do you have a doll stand? It's a good way to hold your doll so that you have both hands free, and it holds the doll upright.
  • Once a year, on your doll's birthday, you can condition her hair. To make it shiny use baby oil. Shake the bottle so that the inside of the bottle cap gets wet from the oil. Unscrew it, and turn it upside down on the table. Put the first finger of each hand into the bottle's cap and get the oil on the finger. Gently rub it into your dolls hair. Too much oil will make the hair sticky for dirt. You want just enough oil to make the pretend hair shiny again.

Oh-Oh, I got Tangles

Tangles are a problem. That's why we told you to mist and brush gently when you change your doll's clothes. But if you do get tangles, here are few tricks we've learned:
  • Detangle Spray: Use a baby's detangle spray for minor tangles. Spray a little on and gently work your brush through the hair, starting at the ends.
  • The fabric softener soak: If your doll's hair is in really bad shape, tangled and frizzy and awful, you can shampoo her hair in fabric softener. Use three cap-fulls in a large bowl half-full with water, and then just follow the same process as in the "How to wash your doll's hair." 
  • Unfortunately this will also straighten most doll hair. You will need to re-set, curl and style it after.  

A final word

  • Most of our doll's vinyl faces, hands and legs can be cleaned with a little baking soda on a wet wash cloth. Be gentle, and do not scrub!
​PS: These are general suggestions only - based on all our years in the doll business. But The Pattycake Doll Company can not guarantee this doll's hair care guide for your doll. Different manufacturers use different materials for their doll's hair. Please use care and gentleness with your doll's hair and body when cleaning. 

Feel free to share this Doll Hair Care page with friends:

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