Have you ever asked yourself if the Totally Hair Barbie had the same make up in every production place around the world? If your answer is no, then you are right. There are many different make ups depending on the production place. Here are some of them as examples.
Thanks to Christian Felipe Silva for the permission to use his pics.
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.
Today I can proudly present you the complete Totally Hair Barbie family. It consists of Totally Hair Barbie (blonde), Totally Hair Barbie (brunette), Totally Hair Barbie (Afro-American version), Totally Hair Whitney (Steffi Face), Totally Hair Ken and Totally Hair Courtney and Totally Hair Skipper. Totally Hair Courtney and Skipper were only available in the US at Toys r us. Totally Hair Whitney was only available in Europe and Canada and is the most expensive doll of this series. It seems as every collector wanted her. Of course the Afro-American version was not available in Europe. She has a more metallic make up than her sisters with green and yellow instead of blue and lilac eyeshadow. I really like the idea.
After several years of searching I have now the whole family and I’m really happy that I own them. I had the Totally Hair Barbie when I was a child and she was the Barbie that I had to wait for her three whole weeks. The demand for her was big when I was little. I was so happy that I found out the American name of the doll since she was called here in Europe “Ultra Hair Barbie” and I learned that I had the luck that the demand was not as high as it is at the moment. It’s a real good feeling that I have the whole family and that I have the blonde version nrfb now. Unfortunately the of my doll was after serveral years not as thick as it has been at the begin and the plastic of the nrfb doll has become yellow in the meantime. I always felt a little worried about the fact although I was not the one who played with the dolls every day. I more often used them as models and only redressed them.