Have you ever had the problem when you got a used Barbie doll that her hair was dry, frizzy and you had no idea what to do to get it in shape again? How to get soft Barbie hair with fabric softener?
This happened to me several months ago. I had a Barbie doll that I purchased. She came without box and was surely deboxed for decades but I think she was stored in a climate that was not perfect for her. Sometimes you can’t change how the dolls were stored in the past but you can give them a chance for the future to do it better. Can you safe the hair? Yes, it’s possible.
What do you need for the hair care? Only things you probably have at home. That’s the good news. You can do it either with fabric softener or with conditioner for your hair. Both things work. I have tried it in the last years. What I can’t predict is how this will have an impact on the hair of the dolls in the next decade. I don’t have enough partners here to get any reliable results in conjunction with chemicals & the age of the dolls.
From what I know from the point of view today I can say that doing the procedure once or twice to your doll there should not be a big negative impact. However if you do this more often I think it could harm the dolls.
Forgive me but this is not really investigated in our time. The scientists just start to learn the impact of age to plastic. I hope this is helpful when you know how to get soft Barbie hair with fabric softener now.
When you grew up in the 90s you know what I’m talking about. If not let me tell you that crimped hair were wide spread in the 1990s not just for dolls. Especially in the early 90s this was a big thing. Even my cousin had a crimping iron. I did not know about this whole trend until she explained her crimping iron to me in 1995 or 1996. I know this is rather late for crimping irons but they still exist. You can still buy them today but the trend as big as it was in the 1990s disappeared somehow. Mainly due to fashion reasons I think.
Maybe they come back in some years like many trends come back every 20 or so years. I’m showing you a pic of what I’m talking about.
Anyway Mattel used this unique hair technique to make the Barbie dolls look like they were very hot, cool, stylish, trendy. In my childhood almost all of the Barbie dolls I knew had these waves. In my world these waves had no names. One could not imagine that it might change one day with the waves. I know this sounds crazy especially when you came to Barbie later or earlier but in the 90s these crimp waves were huge. However with in the almost 3 decades that passed by since these crazy crimp waves appeared for the first time. Many dolls have somehow lost their waves. My Totally Hair Barbie suffered under this problem almost from the beginning. I think she lost her waves after being braided with a normal 3 stand braid for a longer time period. So this phenomenon is not new to me but I search for ways how to restore these waves and try to make them look like they were freshly deboxed. This is not always easy because most of the time they are missing a lot of hair in their ends due to the fact that the hair fibre used mainly is Kanekalon hair. Some rare dolls also had Saran hair and their hair stayed intact. You can see this when you search for Hollywood Hair Barbie and compare the offer with Totally Hair Barbie dolls on ebay. Hollywood Hair Barbie never had this problem. The reason is the fiber. I never understood it as a child. That’s something I learned along my way as a collector.
In the 1990s we find mainly Kanekalon hair. It’s the cheapest kind of hair that can be mass produced. Maybe that’s the reason why a lot of these 90s Barbie dolls had a huge amount of hair at first? After the first tangles they had less and less hair. That’s also the reason why the ends of the Totally Hair Barbie/ Ultra Hair Barbie can often be found with very thin ends. Tangles – the dead of every Barbie doll with Kanekalon hair. If you compare this fibre with earlier Barbie dolls from the 1960s, 1970s or 1980s the 90s is the first decade where the problem of general Barbie doll hair loss appears.
Now let’s turn back to the main problem with the waves. Kanekalon as a fibre is easy to work with. You can bring the hair in any form you want and you can curl the hair with every curler or curling iron you have. The art here is to find a way that your doll hair keeps this position permanently and here my job starts. I try to show you easy to follow ways to get your doll to a shape as good as new. This is not always easy and a lot of testing is necessary for good results but you get them as soon as they are available. If you have ever tried to re-crimp Totally Hair Barbie or Ultra Hair Barbie successful let me know your recipe.
Often when Supersize Barbie dolls are offered their hair is cut or they have other issues so that they are not perfect anymore. For one of the problems I made a video. It’s about the mechanism of the Supersize Super Hair Barbie.
She has a pull string mechanism similar to the one used for Talking Barbie. Some of you may think …. well that’s outdated. You are right up to a certain degree but the fact that the mechanism is working that simple brings us to the point that it can be repaired again once it’s broken.
I imagined something like a stick in her hair & her head and I thought that the string is attached to this stick in her head somehow. The understanding of the mechanism is correct up to a certain degree but it does not work with a stick but a simple plastic ring and to this ring is the string attached that comes out of her neck again. I admit I thought the hair would come out easier. It’s sometimes a little hard to pull but it works and it works for more than 40 years. How many toys with function do you know that work without problems until today?
That’s still a kind of quality work, isn’t it? Which device has worked for you the last 40 years without any failures? I don’t know much devices. Probably a fridge, a freezer or a mixer would still work but the energy efficiency is very bad.
Nevertheless I think it is possible to repair her. The missing or cut hair can be replaced with new hair and the mechanism can also be restored. The ring should not be very hard to replace. For the line I would use fishing line and the ferrules are also available online. All parts should no be hard to find. From this point of view a repair should be possible without any problems. Like always you need the skills to repair the doll. In my opinion the only hard thing to find is the pink ring in her back but it’s possible to use something else to replace the ring if you want. It’s up to you … like always.
I was recently asked how these tiny bobby pin curlers work. Some of my viewers had problems to understand the mechanism I showed in one of my last videos. So I thought it would be a good idea to make another video about this topic to make the function.
So the function is not really hard, we simulate human hair curlers here but in a smaller dimension. Instead of one big rubber we use two small orthodontics elastics ( rubber bands without any heat problems) and one bobby pin. It doesn’t matter what bobby pin you use, probably the easiest is when you use what you have at home. We need one elastic to keep the curl in place and the other one serves as a closure for the bobby pin.
To demonstrate it better I have made another short video about this topic.
Many among my viewers are big Francie fans and some of them have No Bangs Francies but not all of them do. That’s sad somehow but for the ones that don’t have any No Bangs Francie I have found a solution.
I have no No Bangs Francie and the prices exploded over the last years. I did not buy any of them but two years ago I got a Francie head, a former brunette and I immediately had the idea to make her a No Bangs Francie but I found no good body for her. I had problems until September of 2021 and then suddenly found one which was shipped to me from overseas.
After vacaction and other time consuming projects I began to work on this project a month ago. I rerooted the whole head over the incredible amount of nine working days and continued with my styling process.
Can you really duplicate a No Bangs Francie style? I would say that it’s possible but you have to have a lot of patience and a lot of imagination because I had no instruction how to finish this project. All I did was just to play around with my new steamer and cut the hair later. You want to see the result?
I just saw that I blogged nothing for about a month. The last month was a very busy one for me. I had less time to work on my projects after work due to winter weather. We got a lot of snow that caused traffic problems. I wasn’t able to use my bike for some weeks. Let’s cross our fingers that the winter will be over soon.
Coming home later caused some time problems. I was not able to blog so much as I did before. I somehow felt tired after work and my projects from January were time-consuming. For example I did a re-root and 3 days after working for approx. a hour daily on it, we got snow. We got a lot of snow. Approx. 50 cm in 26 hours. It was snowing all day long. Nice to look at but bad for the traffic.
So my project lasted longer than I wanted it to last since I did work on several videos when I did my re-root. Last year in September I found a Barbie head worth to re-root. I prefer the Vintage Barbie dolls at the moment. It’s less work because you just have to root the outer circle and it’s not full re-root. I think a full one would have lasted even longer. I already did a Ponytail Swirl Barbie in 2019 in a flamboyant red tone. This time I wanted to do a blond version. Somehow she reminded me a little bit of Marilyn Monroe while I did this. I even found a photo with a similar style. That’s how she reminded me of Marilyn.
The styling always needs a lot of time because the hair in not cooperative. After all I had 4,5 hours of film. I filmed the whole re-reroot of this Barbie but I knew I had to cut it down. Starting with 4,5 hours I managed it to come down to 1,5 hours without problems but even the 1,5 hours were way too long. I didn’t want to make a documentary. I wanted to show my viewers the makeover, the transformation. After cutting for one week I finally came to about 40 minutes. This was way more acceptable than the 1,5 hours. At the end I came down to approx. 35 minutes. Way better than before. If you want to see it, have a look below. I linked the video.
You might wonder how do I mention the tagline? Am I serious about this? Yes, I am. No, this is no joke. After eating them for a long time in my bread I discovered that flax seeds are even more versatile than I thought they would be. Why? You can do so many things with them that you probably don’t know all the areas to use them in. One of them I knew was simply eating them for breakfast or in breads. What I did not know were the other areas I stumbled across.
I don’t know how you feel about wearing a mask due to the coronavirus when doing grocery shopping but I hate to wear it. The result is that I avoid going shopping if possible. My preference is doing online shopping because it’s delivered to my doorstep and I don’t have to care about wearing masks. That’s also how I came across the flax seed gel. Doing some research for some of my next videos I came across a recipe for flax seed gel. I admit I was a bit sceptical at first. Would something that easy really work? Two options came into my mind, trying it or buying a hair gel from a supermarket. Before going to a supermarket I wanted to try the homemade flax seed gel. I always have flax seeds at home. So trying the recipe was no problem. At the end I had a lot of gel even from a small amount of flax seed. The consistency was a bit wobbly and I had my concerns about this stuff.
What to do with so much flax seed gel?
At the end after my repair adventure in the Barbie world I had far more gel than I needed and I had to find a solution what to do with the gel. I did some more research and found out that it’s possible to use it for your own hair care too. You can use it to feed your hair with Vitamine E by simply smearing it into your hair. The smell is a bit strange but it disappears after washing the gel out. I can recommend you to let it in your hair for 30 minutes before you wash it ( if you don’t use any silicone shampoos) to feed your skin. Anyway, here’s the video with the recipe.
I know that I’ve been posting not enough in the last months but I try to improve my number of posts in the next weeks. Sometimes I need more time for my videos because you know I’m a part-time youtube creator. Sometimes you need more time because things don’t work out they way you want them to. It’s normal but you as a creator feeling stressed when it does not work as you want.
This is not always the case but it can happen and I want to encourage you don’t let this come too close to you.
I have an example for you. The creation of the first part of this video was no problem. Everything was running smoothly. This was not my first try. I already recorded another video with the same topic in 2019 but back then I used another cutting program which gave me less freedom than DaVinci Resolve.
It’s just the way how to come from A to B. There is a product that does the work for you.
What caused more trouble was the second part. The hair was not co-operating here in the first place. I had to some tricks to get it under control and needed two evenings to tape the re-creation the hairstyle. After filming I realized that although that my hand was in the way again, like often. So I had to tape the whole process again but with another doll.
The try with the second doll was no problem. It did work out like it should. The little waves at the end stayed in place at my Ponytail Barbie dolls. So far no problem. Only the fact that this first record was anything but professional was annoying me. You know it try to do it as original as possible. It’s not impossible to recreate it but sometimes you have to find creative solutions for strange problems.
That’s a very good question but it’s easy to answer when you know what hair fibre your doll has. In general there are only three hair fibres that were ever used by Mattel. You have Saran hair ( early dolls have until mid 1980s used widely), Nylon hair ( some 80s dolls have Nylon hair, very shiny, you find it mainly on MLP My little Pony) and Kanekalon hair ( mainly used in the 90s for Barbie dolls with giant amount of hair).
What you can do with every doll head is wash the hair to revive it. It’s artificial hair so nothing can really happen except that Barbie dolls produced in the last 15 years could loose their hair because they are glued in with resin or a glue, anyway something very gluey and stick but not resistant to heat. It seems that Mattel glued the hairin the head after they bought new machine which work automatically. It seems that the new machines don’t need a worker anymore. This a way of cost saving but what about the quality? Do you know that the glue comes out of the head after you debox the doll and comb it? Some modern collectors say the hair has a feeling like wax, not very pleasant. The original way how dolls got their hair is this one…
Here you have a worker but no glue. You can imagine it like a sewing machine for doll hair. Your thread is the hair. By the way these machine are expensive up to 3000 € and more in used condition.
But back to the topic now
The easiest way to revive the hair is by washing it. Treat it with conditioner instead of soap. I show you in one of my videos how I do this. The procedure is a little labor intense but it’s worth the procedure because the hair is always looking much better than before. What these sewing machines for doll hair do is this here
So basically due to the pattern inside the head that the machine made nothing will happen when you treat the doll with the conditioner. The hair pattern done by the machine is secured inside the head. You must proverbial cut the hair very short to be able to destroy the pattern. This here is my way to revive the hair …
This method also works for shorter hair and is a very good method to save hair so that your doll doesn’t loose so much hair. This method also works for Saran and Nylon hair but these fibres don’t tend so much to tangles. By the way the doll in my video has Kanekalon hair and I think this fiber was used mainly in the 1990s because it was cheap.
So I hope I’m able to give you a good idea how you can treat the hair of your doll to revive it.
In the last days I had the idea to share with you some documents about Barbie hair and I wanted to upload the document on Facebook but it seems impossible since Facebook pages don’t support documents, only pics. What a bullshit… So let’s avoid the problem. I post it here and then you can get it from here. No problem.
I want to test the whole thing and see if you like my idea. For the start I’ve only done one doc. Let me know if you like the idea. I could also do it for other hair fibres than Kanekalon hair.