How to Untangle a Doll's Hair

Children love their dolls and often want to take them everywhere they possible can. It doesn't take long before being a child's favourite toy takes a toll on the doll's pristine out-of-the-box hair. When faced with the messy tangle of hair, you might feel that there isn't much that can be done to repair the damage. With the right technique the hair on your child's doll isn't without hope and those tangles can be removed to restore the doll's lovely locks.

Remove dirt and oil from the doll's hair. Pour warm water and 1 to 2 teaspoons of a mild dishwashing detergent into a bowl. Wash the doll's hair gently in the sudsy water. Rinse the hair completely to remove all traces of the soap.

Soak the hair's tangles 2. Dump the soapy water from the bowl and rinse it thoroughly to remove all traces of the dish washing detergent. Pour two parts water to one part liquid fabric softener into the bowl. Lay your doll so that she is face-side up and her hair is completely submerged in the liquid. Position the doll so that she does not slip, and leave the hair to soak overnight or for 6 to 8 hours. The fabric softener will act like a conditioner on the doll's hair and will soften the tangles for removal.

Remove the doll from the bowl. As gently as possible, begin to work out larger and easier tangles with your fingers. Once the larger tangles have been removed, again wet the hair with the fabric softener.

Brush the hair with the wire wig brush. If possible, separate the hair into two sections secured by a clip or hair band. Start working from the bottom of the tangle and work your way up to the doll's head. Be careful when brushing to prevent excessive tugging and reduce the risk of pulling the doll's hair from the plug.

Rinse the hair completely under warm running water. Run your fingers through the doll's hair as you rinse to prevent the hair from tangling once again. Comb through the hair gently with a fine tooth comb to ensure that all of the matted and tangled hair has been removed.


The doll's hair may not be in the same condition after the detangling process. Add a drop of baby oil up to a dime-sized amount depending on the size of the doll. This will help to smooth flyaway hair caused by damage from detangling. To prevent future tangling, pull the doll's hair back into a ponytail using a coated hair band.


This technique is not recommended for dolls with yarn hair and certain antique dolls.