It lasted a long time until I was able to find a Jewel Hair Mermaid that was not soooooooooooooooo expensive like all the others. For many years I had 3 Jewel Hair Barbie dolls but the fourth was missing. Then I got one in a lot but her hair was not perfect. The problem with these dolls is the hair. You have almost immediately tangles in their hair. She is definitively the Barbie with the longst hair ever made but the problem was to keep the hair in good condition. As a child this was a real nightmare. Tangles, tangles, tangles. I sold my version of the Jewel Hair Mermaid in 1997. I found the Afro-American version along my road as collector more than 10 years ago for real good price and the Midge in blue too. Teresa followed in 2011 0r 2012.
So why is she in my opinion cooler than Micheal Jordan?
- I don’t know Michael Jordan in person
- I have never owned any Michael Jordan dolls as a child
- I’m not a fan of basket ball players
- Michael Jordan has short hair
- There is no movie about her
- She’s cheaper than any Michael Jordan TV appearance
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 ).
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.