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Restoring a modern Barbie doll with matted hair

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Step 3: Boil the kettle

Picture of Boil the kettle
Barbie-matted-hair-fixing-04.jpg
Now, get the hot water out. The water should be close to boiling, to start with. (If, however, you notice that the hair fibre starts to go into a zik zak sort of form, cool the water down a little. In some rare cases this may occur, but it's reversible with cooler water.) First, pour some hot water on the dolls hair and make sure it's wetted throughout. Don't burn yourself! (Rubber gloves might come handy, or you just be careful.) Comb the hair with the steel comb first, without laying the doll on the plate yet, unless you so prefer, adding hair conditioner here might help you out. When the metal comb goes through, try the flea comb or the eye lash comb, like in the picture here, on a plate. 

Now, if the doll has had a ponytail for the last 5 years, she probably has that somewhat hilarious tube hair -look, and you want to sort that out. You will want the neck hair back to where it should be, hanging down instead of pointing horizontally behind her. This is where the plate comes in handy. First, comb the hair on the plate like it's shown with the dark haired doll. Then, little by little start laying the doll onto her hair while combing, like shown with the blond girl. There are other ways of achieving the same result, this is just one of them, so feel free to experiment.

And last, hold the doll up and put her in sitting position while pouring the last of the boiled water on her head. (Holding on her legs will save you from burning your fingers.) Then, comb the hair in the position you want it to stay, towel dry and let her dry up over night. (Don't use the blow dryer even if you're impatient, that will easily ruin the hair!)

Put some clothes on the poor girl.

Once the hair is dry, it may be static. If this is the case, you can tame it down with some light moisturiser. (Spray thing is great to put straight on, but normal will do; apply to hands first and then stroke the hair before the moisturiser is fully absorbed into your hands.)

Take an "after" photo and post your before and afters on Instructables and on Facebook - be proud!

 
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candilee472 years ago
Wow Sebastyne, awesome work!!!! I wish I hadn't given my Barbie doll away :-( But here's a trick question--> will this work on my porcelain doll's hair?? It wasn't an expensive one, more sentimental than anything!! I've had it for just over 20 years and found it in a box I was unpacking since moving. A lot of the hair has fallen out especially in the front, but I think if I get her hair looking good she'll be beautiful once again!! I've already hand-washed her clothes and they came out good as new!!
Sebastyne (author)  candilee472 years ago
Thank you - and I really don't know about the porcelain doll. My guess would be no. However, what you could do is take one hair out and see how it reacts in water. Different fibres react differently, some shrink, some lose their lustre, and some go into this sort of zik zak shape. You might want to try cooler water, but it's a risk. Try googling for porcelain doll restoration instructions, there should be heaps!
PeoplesCar2 years ago
"Put some clothes on the poor girl."

I literally loled at this. Will send this to a friend of mine who is a Barbie collector!
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