Barbie doll wiki : Things to use for Barbie repair – the little green ears

In my next article I’d like to continue where I stopped last week with the hair topic. Repair is not limited to hair. There are other problems every collector has to deal with like green ears.

The awful green ears

I think there’s almost nobody out there who doesn’t know the problem – green ears – just awfuuuuuuuuuuuuul. It’s not only a problem of Vintage Barbie limited to the years 1959 until 1967. Nope, that’s also a problem of modern collector Barbie dolls with earrings. By the way the problem exists in the human world too. When you buy earrings but not made out of silver or gold, you buy the problem. Costume jewelry earrings tend to have this problem because the metal reacts with our skin. We can’t exclude to sweat or transpire. As long as we do so the problem will occur. In the case of Barbie it’s similar. She can’t sweat but the rubber of the head is/was in permanent contact with the earrings. I don’t know exactly what the early earrings with the pearl ends were made of. I guess it was copper or a similar metal because copper tends to show green discolorations after a while. Think of church roofs. In Germany we have many clock towers roofs or bell towers roofs made out of copper.

Why green ears appear

I think the copper reaction works like this … when the roofs are exposed to nature for a while with sunshine, rain, snow, hail, frost and wind the copper reacts with all the wheather influences. It seems that it’s very a similar thing with the Barbie earrings. The reaction doesn’t come immediately but after a while. Let’s say the child stopped to play with her early Barbie and the Barbie was stored in a garage or on an attic, not really exposed to the elements but let’s say the roof is not well isolated and when there is frost the doll also is exposed to it. Frost has to do with water that changed its physical state then we should have no doubts that the reaction of the earrings comes from the water/humidity on the attic. These early earrings were not tested for any green effects on dolls. As I read again today it was all a matter of costs. It was easy to produce in Japan because the wages were low after WWII there. When we guess they used cheap earrings it’s very clear why the phenomenon appears. They used cheap metal. In the early years Barbie was just produced as a toy, not considered for collectors.

How we can solve the problem and treat the ears

Now that we know the reason why the green ears appear, we can solve the problem. Nevertheless the biggest problem is that Mattel used different chemical mixtures for the heads. It seems that the material changed a bit from doll to doll. Bubble Cut Barbie dolls are easy to cure. When you want to learn how to fix them just buy Clearasil cream and smear it onto the ears and put the doll in the sun. The more sun, the better.

With Ponytail Swirl Barbie dolls it’s another story. Although I’m no chemist I assume that the material is different. Why? I tested it and I got a great Ponytail Swirl with original hair do but she had green ears. I wanted to treat her. Result? The procedure lasted more than two summers. In the first one I hardly put her outside on my balcony because I was afraid of forgetting her. In 2017 my Bubble Cut head was stolen by a bird after forgetting it on the balcony over night. That was not what I wanted for my Ponytail Swirl. So sad if she had been stolen. My plan this year was to put her outside in the sun but only for the time I was at home. My first test last year contained Clearasil cream, Benzaknen ( a cream for acne treatment with 10% peroxid for bleaching available in Germany), Remove Zit. I stared with Clearsil and then came to the idea that Clearsil does not work here. So I changed to Benzaknen, had to stop my test during the winter and wait for spring since the winter here is always very foggy and sunless. This spring I put her in the sun with fresh Benzanknen, changed it every day but I had only little success. I wanted to use Remove Zit as well but the summer was over before I had the time to do so. From my experiences on Superstar Barbie I can say that Zit leaves ugly stains. You need another chemical counterpart to get rid of the stains. That’s why I’m careful with Remove Zit.

That was the first video I made about the Ponytail Swirl green ear problem but had no idea that it would last that long to cure her. In the meantime I removed the green ears. A hint from another collector helped. She used Poliboy Gold & Silberbad for her head and the green ears vanished within 14 days. I had similar success. One of my books recommend Haggerty Silver bath for the treatment. Two products available in different countries under different names? Other collectors from the USA have reported that they use CLR (Calcium Lime Rust remover) with the old formula and had success too. A video with my results is planned in the next weeks about my success. I still have to do some X-mas present preparations before I can come back and do full time video cutting.

Problems with the availability of products

I heard from some other collectors that not all products I refered to in this article are globally available. We can e.g. buy liquids like CLR only with a ton of difficulties. We have to pay for shipment, go to the donahue and pay VAT. The limit to import goods for free ends at 22 € including shipping. Poliboy is not available in the USA. That’s why I double checked my books and found Haggerty. Maybe the information is useful to some of you. Remove Zit is hard to get in Germany and the dealer want very much money for it. I got mine several years ago and paid around 30€ . The best before date is soon after you buy it. There’s no label with ingredients on the box.

How to get rid of the problem

Remove the earrings from the head. Treat the head like described above. Some collectors use transparent nail polish before they use the earrings again and paint them with nail polish so that the head and the earring have no contact with each other. You can just let them out and put them on the doll stand.

When a modern Collector Barbie has signs of green ears, remove the earrings and put them in a little bag. Try to avoid contact with the clothing of the doll. I put them in little zipper plastic bags in the box of the doll. Don’t treat the dolls, just let them rest in their boxes. The green often vanishes itself without any procedure. I’ve done a video on this topic too.

When you’re a collector of LEO India Barbie dolls, this information is helpful to you too. I recommend to remove the earrings of Indian Barbie dolls as well because the golden earrings are made of some real metal that can cause pale heads. Only a few collectors know about the problem. Whenever you get Barbie dolls from India take the earrings out.

Barbie doll wiki: Things to use for Barbie repair – hair

Some Barbie collectors do repairs themselves and some don’t. The ones who repair the dolls maybe consider themselves as very talented. That’s often not the truth. Some of them only have better techniques and know what things to use for Barbie repair. Sometimes you only need the faith to believe in what you’re doing. Some of the things exist in every household.

I don’t want to go too much in depth in this article. I just want you give an overview what is possible to do diy.

Hair repair & restoration

It is not so hard to repair Barbie hair. The only exceptions are melted hair and Color Magic Barbie hair. Color Magic hair is very fragile or it at least has become very fragile over the decades. We shouldn’t forget that it’s fifty years old now. Frizzy Barbie hair can easily be treated with conditioner. You put the conditioner in and work your way through the hair with a comb. The hair should be lovely after treatment again. I made a video about frizzy hair some months ago. Just watch it and you’ll understand how easy it is to do. It’s a great method to remove tangles.

Another thing you can do with Barbie hair is to restore a gone hair style like the flips from the 1960s and 1970s. The curls can appear again when you know the little tricks how to do them. Another example I’d like to show you is my Francie flip video. In this video I show you what to use as little curlers for her hair.

That’s not all you can do yourself. No, I’m no professional hairdresser but I learned in the last decade a lot about Barbie hair. So, what can you do when the hair is cut? Then you have two options. You can make the best out of the cut or you can give her a reroot. A reroot is practically to give her new hair.

For a reroot you can use replacement hair. You can buy hair for Barbie dolls in several shops online. I can give you the name of some of them like restoredoll.com ( have ordered there myself), I bought a lot from mylittlecustoms.com ( but the shop is almost sold out every time I look around). There are several other online shops for Barbie hair but I have not bought from all of them. When I buy hair, I order a lot of hair and then I have a stock at home. I used the loop & lock technique for rerooting (giving Barbie new hair). It’s what the sewing machine in the factories did ( but much faster).

Problems with Superstar Barbie dolls

Of course please don’t forget to plan enough time and use the right needles for your restoration. The ones I use are called “doll needles”. It’s a pack that contains three needles. I use the shortest of all three. The other two are bigger and I don’t want to destroy or enlarge any precut holes in the head. Sometimes it’s easy and sometimes it’s a hard task. You often find the problem with the holes when you work with late Superstar Barbie dolls. They have so many holes and so many hair that it’s very difficult to keep everything in perfect condition.

Another problem can dissolving make up be. In some Barbie faces the make up comes off. Certain countries are known to have this problem like Spain. US versions usually don’t have the problem. So don’t say I haven’t warned you. Maybe I can figure out the origin of the problem in the next weeks. Anyway I’d like to give you this information before it’s too late. When the make up of Barbie starts to crumble within a reroot it’s hard to stop.

Incredible possibilities to be creative

Doing reroots can give you incredible possibilities to make OOAK Barbie dolls. You can use any color you find for your reroot but I recommend to use Saran or Nylon hair with good quality. Why? The hair looks more natural than cheap wig hair for carnival. You can buy the length you want and need. You can mix different hair colors. Creating unique Barbie dolls is no problem. The only thing you need for this is your fantasy.

New eyelashes

In general it’s no problem to insert new lashes to old Barbie dolls. I recommend to use a normal needle for the replacement. I’ve used black Saran hair for my restorations yet. Insert long hair. It’s easier to work with long hair than short hair. Don’t forget that you can always cut the hair afterwards. My technique here is also the lock and loop technique.

That’s the easiest technique imitating a sewing machine with your hands. It’s clear that not everybody has a special sewing machine for hair at home. These machines need lots of space and are very expensive. The easiest way to solve the problem with your hands with the lock & loop technique.

New Barbie and Barbie body projects

Can you imagine that you find yourself in a maze and don’t know how to get out? That’s how I feel sometimes when I get new parcels for new projects.

  • In a positive way you can leave your every day life behind you for a while and spend time with Barbie dolls.
  • It can also feel a little bit like “Hey, there’s so much work to do.Why don’t you move your ass?”
  • Sometimes I also feel like a gold digger from the last gold rush, you know somebody who can’t stop to work because when you don’t work today you don’t have anything to eat tomorrow. ( I know a strange imagination)
  • What makes it even harder is the fact that I’m still looking for a full time job (I wonder if there is the right job somewhere for me. The last job interviews were rather deterrent than inviting)
  • Hey but nevertheless I continue working on my projects and on new videos, guys. Do you know these feelings?
  • I have a new lot that I’d like to show you . Here are some pics for my new Barbie and Barbie body projects …

Repaint and summer heat don’t fit together

Last week I did a repaint in the blurring summer heat. It was not just a repaint for me but one I plan to make a video about and it was so hot that the thinned acrylic color dried very fast. Let’s say it dried faster than one could paint. This has never happpened to me before but it was a very interesting thing to see. I really had to paint very fast. I prefer to do it in a slow way. This was a new experience to me. Interesting but not to refer to any beginner of repaints. Nevertheless I managed it.

Be patient when you repair Barbie dolls

Nobody says it’s always easy with the repairs. Sometimes you just need patience. This is true in my case at the moment too. I have repaired a Barbie doll in the last weeks and then the right color for my repair was missing. I ordered acrylic colors and found out that they didn’t match. So I ordered another color from where I bought it the first time. Since it came from overseas I needed patience. Almost done and then the next problem. The second leg didn’t want to stay on the doll. The hip knob tends to break again and again due to old glue that was invisible and therefore hard to remove. Exhausting….. but nobody said it’s always easy to be a good Barbie doctor.

Finding the right acrylic color for my Talking Barbie

It’s not always easy to do things the way you want them to be. That is true for my Talking Barbie in repair. The repair itself is done but what is missing is the right color for finishing the repair. I ordered several skin tone color last week in Germany and realized that it was not the perfect tone that I need. In the color I used was too much pink and not enough orange. So I ordered the color from the dealer where I bought it the last time. Hopefully the color will be here until next week. Usually it’s no problem. The next time I’ll be more careful with the color and put in there a drop or two of water every six months. I don’t want a dry acrylic color again. It’s always expensive to replace the stuff. Gonna take a pic a soon as the right color is here.

New experiments and new material for video stuff

At the moment I try out new things. In the next weeks you can find me on Instagram. I created an account for my youtube channel Busy B from Germany. And I also found a ” Black Magic” outfit, one of my favorite outfits from the 1960s and a Francie head. So you will hear a lot from me and my new stuff in the future.

The only Vintage Kens resources you will ever need

When I started to collect Vintage Barbies I had no idea how to distinguish all the different Ken dolls. Now I have one from each year (1961- 1964). When you have a look at the pics you can see differences. The make up differs each year. These pics show only the straight leg Kens.

Finally a Japan body

Several years ago I got in different lots a  Twist n Turn Japan body (from 1967) and in another one the right head. I restored the doll down to her waist but the legs of the body had bite marks and the joint was coming out of the knee. In the last weeks I was lucky enough to find the right body with good legs. So in the next weeks I can finally finish a repair project that lasted several years. It’s good to know that my search has come to an end.

I will tape how to clean the MOD Barbie and how to do the rest that two dolls become one.

MOD TnT Barbie

 

Barbie Hair

Have you ever asked yourself what kind of material they used for Barbie hair? I did ask myself this question years ago and I found the answer. The answer is not so easy to explain. The material changed within the years. I’m not 100% sure but I think the early Barbie( 1959 – 1984?) dolls had Saran hair only. Some of the early Barbie dolls and their friends have the problem that the hair feeling is similar to straw. Maybe they changed the composition of materials within the decades?

Anyway, nowadays you can buy Saran hair, Nylon hair and Kanekalon hair ( used from the late 1980s on ).

Barbie hair

You can see Saran on the right and Nylon on the left. Nylon hair was used for the Rockers and Rockstar series in the mid 1980s. I assume there are more Barbie dolls with Nylon hair but I don’t have all of them so that I can look it up. Nylon hair is much shinier than Saran hair. Saran hair is available in natural colours like blond, brunette, titian and black. The main difference is the effort to style it. Nylon hair is easy to style. Just one hot water treatment and the job is done. For Saran you need more effort. It’s not so easy to bring it in any form you want it to. It has a kind own character.

The third material is Kanekalon hair. Kanekalon was first seen in the late 1980s and has a feeling like wadding. It’s also called wadding hair among collectors. It was mainly used for the 1990s dolls with massive amounts of hair like Totally Hair Barbie or Jewel Hair Barbie. I assume the reason they used it is the price. Saran is more expensive. Hollywood Hair on the other hand has Saran hair.  Kanekalon hair tends to tangles. You think you have all tangles out and bang new ones are in.  No problems for collectors but for children a real nightmare.

Kanekalon was widely used for Barbie dolls in the 1990s. Ski Fun Barbie & Midge, Paint n Dazzle Barbie and many more had Kanekalon hair. There are a few exceptions like the Strolling Fun Barbie & Kelly.