Dolls can be cute when you first get them, but over time, it’s likely that the hair will start to look dirty and dingy. This is not only an aesthetic issue, especially if you have young children who love putting everything in their mouths. Cleaning the hair is essential in this case.
How to wash synthetic doll hair? Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to wash the hair and keep it looking its best. Since most dolls come with synthetic hair, you can use baby shampoo or fabric softener to refresh the hair and even add some softness and shine to it.
In this blog post, we’ll talk about some of the best ways to clean and care for your synthetic doll hair and what you should avoid.
How To Wash Synthetic Doll Hair
Washing synthetic hair is not at all similar to washing your hair. The main reason is that while your air has natural oils that can keep the hair shiny and fresh, oil can easily ruin synthetic hair.
Adult shampoo, which is very strong and is effective at removing natural oils, can be very harsh on synthetic hair.
Fortunately, fabric softener or baby shampoo are easy substitutes to wash synthetic doll hair. Whether you are using baby shampoo or fabric softener, the step-by-step is quite similar. Let’s take a look at how to do so.
Step 1: Mix baby shampoo/fabric softener with water
Before starting, make sure that the bowl you’re using is large enough to fit the doll’s head and hair.
Mix a tiny bit of baby shampoo/fabric softener (it’s recommended to use four teaspoons of shampoo/softener per gallon of water) with some warm water. The water should not be too hot, as hot water can damage synthetic hair. However, it should be warm enough to relax the hair.
Step 2: Wash
Submerge the doll’s hair in the water, making sure that the water can reach all the hair, but don’t submerge the entire doll in the water. Gently massage the hair so that the baby shampoo/softener can get into it.
If there are a lot of tangles, you should let the hair soak for about 15 minutes to an hour to allow the hair to relax, which makes tangles easier to remove. If, after an hour, the hair is still not soft enough to be brushed out, you can let it soak overnight.
Step 3: Wet comb the hair
If your doll’s hair has a lot of tangles, you can take advantage of the wet hair and comb out the tangles. The hair will become soft and relaxed after soaking in the shampoo/softener solution, so it will be easier to brush out.
For this step, make sure to use a wide-tooth comb or even a fork to comb out the hair while it’s still submerged in water. This will keep the hair loss to a minimum – you don’t want to rip out the doll’s hair while it’s at its most sensitive.
Also, don’t use a comb that you use on human hair to comb out doll hair. As we’ve mentioned, human hair has natural oils that can damage doll hair if it gets on it. You should use a clean comb to brush out the doll’s hair.
Step 4: Rinse & Dry
Rinse out the hair until all the baby shampoo/softener has been completely removed. Then, you can use a towel and gently scrunch up the hair with a towel to remove the excess water.
Don’t use a hairdryer to dry synthetic hair since the high heat can totally melt the synthetic hair. Just leave the doll on a dry towel in a dry, cool place overnight so that the hair can air dry.
Step 5: Brush & Style
After the doll’s hair is completely dry, you can brush it out and style it how you want it!
Things to Avoid When Washing A Doll’s Hair
While the process above seems very straightforward, there are some common mistakes that can totally ruin your doll’s hair. Here are some of the things you should avoid.
First of all, when you wash the doll’s hair, don’t submerge the entire doll’s body in the water. No matter what your doll is made of, it can be damaging to the construction of the doll.
There can be glue used to attach eyeballs, and soaking the doll in water can loosen the glue. If the doll is made of porcelain, water can easily damage the finish and the paint.
If the water gets into something harmless like fabric or stuffing, you should make sure that the doll can dry completely before it’s back in use to avoid mold and mildew.
Most dolls’ hair is made from a synthetic material that’s very sensitive to heat. Hot water, the heat from the hairdryer, or even a clothes dryer can easily melt the hair. When cleaning your doll and washing their hair, make sure not to apply high heat so that the hair won’t be damaged.
When brushing out tangles, make sure to be as gentle as possible to prevent hair loss. You should not pull the hair when trying to comb.
If the tangle is too stubborn, you can massage the tangle with your finger while it’s submerged in a softener solution to untangle it before brushing it out with a wide-tooth comb.
Tips To Keep Doll Hair Fresh After Washing
While washing doll hair is easy enough, it shouldn’t be done too often since exposure to water can damage various parts of the doll. Instead, here are various things you can do to keep the doll’s hair fresh.
First, if you simply need to untangle the doll’s hair, using a Detangle Spray is a great solution to remove small tangles without having to soak the hair in a softener solution.
When you style your doll’s hair, you should avoid accessories that can potentially catch and damage the hair. Things like small metal clips and rubber bands should be avoided. Instead, you can use small scrunchies and claw clips.
Baby oil is a great conditioner for doll hair. It won’t damage the hair, and it can even add some shine and softness to the hair, which keeps it from tangling.
You can add a drop of baby oil to your finger, gently rub it with your thumb and massage it through the hair. You should not use too much oil, however, because it can make the hair greasy and even attract dirt.
Finally, if your doll hair is damaged beyond repair, you can always use doll wigs.
Doll wigs are wonderful because they can be washed and maintained separately from the doll, which will prevent damage to the doll if you want to wash the hair. You can also get several wigs and rotate them when you want to dress up your dolls!