How to Restore Doll Hair

Dolls are a part of childhood. Most girls have at least one doll and many have grown up with several dolls. When people play with dolls, their hair gets dirty, dusty, frizzy and tangled. The appearance and value of a doll goes down when the hair is a mess, especially when it is tangled and filthy. Unlike human hair, which is washed easily, doll hair restoration and cleaning requires extreme care to avoid ruining the doll and having all of the hair fall out.

Wrap the doll in a plastic grocery bag so that only the head of the doll is showing. This will protect the doll’s body, especially if the doll has a cloth body.

Fill a bowl with some cool water. Add about a capful or a teaspoon of mild wig shampoo to the water and mix it. Add a teaspoon or so of baking soda if there are odors in the doll’s hair.

Saturate the doll’s hair in the soapy water. Move the doll around and tilt it so that all of the roots get wet. Set the doll so that the hair can soak for 15 minutes.

Rinse the doll hair with cool water. Gently squeeze the hair of excess water, but do not twist or pull on the hair.

Pour fabric softener or conditioner into a shallow dish so that it is around 1/2 inch deep. Dilute the conditioner or fabric softener, if it is concentrated, with a little cool water.

Place the doll hair into the conditioner. Work the conditioner into the doll’s hair so that each strand is completely saturated with conditioner. Use a spoon to pour the conditioner onto the hair and saturate the roots.

Soak the doll’s hair for an hour 1. Rinse the conditioner free with cool water. Make sure all of the conditioner is removed, or the doll hair will end up greasy.

Squeeze excess water out and then set the doll on a towel. Remove the plastic grocery bag. Comb out the hair once it is damp and allow the hair to dry completely in an airy area.

For straight hair, use a steam iron on the hair once it is dry. Place the steam iron close to the doll hair and run it along the hair. Turn the hair upside down to get the other side.

Style the doll hair as preferred.


You might need a new wig or to reroot the hair if there is too much damage or lost hair.