How to Fix Frizzy Hair on an American Girl Doll

By Amelia Allonsy

American Girl dolls are great collector's items for young girls. The popular book series chronicles the lives of young girls throughout American history. There is a doll for each character: Samantha, Felicity, Kirsten, Kit, Rebecca, Sonali, Chrissa, Gwen, Molly, Kaya, Elizabeth, Josefina, Nellie, Addy, Ruthie, Emily, Julie, and Ivy. There is a doll to appeal to girls of all ages, races, nationalities, and socioeconomic status, which explains the American Girls' appeal to so many young girls. Unfortunately, doll hair is prone to frizz, much like human hair, so you'll need to take a few steps to keep your doll looking like new.

Shampooing

Fill a large mixing bowl with cool water and mix in a capful of synthetic wig shampoo.

Swish doll's hair in water, making sure to completely saturate all the hair. Let soak for 15 minutes.

Rinse with cool water, careful not to spray the rest of the doll's face. Dump bowl of shampoo water.

Gently, towel dry hair. Do not wring or twist the hair.

Conditioning

Fill large, shallow container with about 1-inch of Downy or other liquid fabric softener. If using concentrated fabric softener, add water to dilute.

Place doll's hair in the fabric softener, propping doll beside container if needed.

Work fabric softener through hair to cover every strand.

Let soak for one hour, occasionally re-saturating hair that is not submerged in the fabric softener.

Rinse with cool water and gently towel dry.

Brush hair carefully using a brush with metal bristles. For particularly tangled hair, you may want to purchase a metal tined comb for pets. For curly hair, use a metal hair pick to pick through tangles. Detangling spray may be helpful, although the fabric softener treatment should have softened the tangles.

Steaming

Add salt to the steamer water to maximize steam production.

Hold the steamer close to doll and run it along the length of her hair. Use the brush to hold strands tight while brushing.

Lay doll front-side down and flip her hair straight over her head to steam the underside of her hair.

Steam the ends a few extra times as these are usually the frizziest sections of hair.

Styling

Return hair to original style by referring to American Girls hair styling tips guide for specific instructions.

Curl hair by rolling hair in curls, pouring hot water over the curlers, and allowing to air dry. To achieve the proper temperature for this step, first bring water to a boil, then let sit for five minutes. Do not heat curlers before rolling hair.

Straighten hair by dipping in hot water, towel drying, then brushing it out. Repeat until desired level of straightness is reached.

Things You Will Need

  • Synthetic wig shampoo
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Towel
  • Large, shallow container
  • Unconcentrated Downy liquid fabric softener
  • Steamer (all-plastic unit like "Wonder Steamer")
  • Curlers
  • Wig brush with metal teeth

About the Author

A former cake decorator and competitive horticulturist, Amelia Allonsy is most at home in the kitchen or with her hands in the dirt. She received her Bachelor's degree from West Virginia University. Her work has been published in the San Francisco Chronicle and on other websites.