Doll Care and Repairs / Hair

How to Save Your Doll’s Curls

I have always avoided bringing high maintenance curly haired dolls into our home.  These dolls are notorious for bad hair.  From what I had read, this hair once tampered with will never be the same.  This troublesome hair has kept me from purchasing American Girls such as Caroline, and Nicki.  Although this dolls are beautiful, their hair just scared me too much.

Last summer however I did purchase an American Girl WellieWisher.  Yes, I like so many others I fell for the adorable yet curly-haired Willa.  Since her hair was in the cute pigtails, the fear of her curls never even crossed my mind.  That was until I allowed my 7 year old daughter, to play with her.

While tidying up the downstairs, I found Willa upside down in a box full of toys, with nothing on but her wellies.  Trying to calm my panic, I reminded myself that she is just a toy, and toys do end up in this position from time to time.  Thinking all was lost, I remembered a trick I had heard in the American Girl Store.  Armed with a spray bottle full water, and a wig brush I thought I would give it a try.


Here is my poor Willa with the 80s style hairdo my daughter left her with post playtime.


Step 1:  Take a small section of hair.  It is best to separate the hair according to the curls.  In the photo above you can see that my daughter has Willa’s full ringlet in her hand, this is what you want to do.


Step 2:  Dampen the curl.  You want to gently mist the hair, and not saturate it.  Make sure you mist the entire strand.  Try to avoid the wig cap, you don’t want to get that wet, if possible.


Step 3:  Brush out the damp curl.  Using a wig brush, brush the curl straight, as always when brushing hair start at the bottom and work your way to the top.


Step 4:  Twist the curl.  Immediately after brushing the curl out, twist the section of hair in the same direction as the original curl.

Step 5:  Repeat steps 1 through 4, until you have done this on every section of the doll’s hair.


By following these 5 easy steps, you too can take your doll from retro 80s to millennial chic in no time!  Be sure to do this treatment quickly after finding your doll’s hair in a frizz.  The longer you wait, the less likely that the curls will return to their pristine glory.

Seeing the ease and effectiveness of this method, curly-haired dolls no longer intimidate me, nor should they intimidate you.  Perhaps Caroline, or Maplelea’s KMF11 doll will one day find her way into my home.  You know it is my birthday today… a girl can always wish 😉


24 thoughts on “How to Save Your Doll’s Curls

  1. I used to think that curly hair never daunted me, seeing as I have both Cécile and #56, but now I have Lea Clark and am so scared to try braids or even ponytails on her beautiful hair! Do you think this would work to re-curl Lea’s hair after having it in braids or some other non-curly style?

    Amazing post! And of course…

    Have an absolutely wonderful day today! ❤


    Liked by 1 person

      • Does it normally work? I have never tried it before.

        To answer your question, I am not sure how it will work to braid Lea’s curls. I can tell you that my daughter tightly braided my doll’s straight hair, and caused it be kinky. After my heart slowed down, I was able to get the kinks out misting with water and brushing her hair. I would think that loose braids wouldn’t hurt Lea’s curls, then I would use this method after you take the braids out. If you do, try this let me know how it works for you!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Normally, yes. I always post a happy birthday graphic in the comments when it’s someone’s birthday, and it usually works. I don’t know why it didn’t this time. 😛 Happy birthday all the same, Meg!
        Thank you so much! I’ll definitely try this with Lea’s curls if I muster up the courage to braid her hair. I’ll let you know how it works! Thanks again!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Madi, I’ve had Lea for a year now and yes, I’ve put her hair in braids, French braids and ponies and it always goes back to being curly when I separate the curls and twist them a little. I barely even have to twist, it kind of wants to go back to being curly/wavy on its own.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Happy Birthday! Yes! Get Caroline! I actually find her hair to be the easiest curly doll hair to deal with. The curls on my Caroline stay neat for a long time before I have to redo them. Sometimes if the twisting doesn’t work, you can try curling the hair on a pencil or paintbrush or even the handle of the doll brush. If you have a doll with curly dry hair, putting it up in rollers often works, though my Nicki’s hair is so dry it only lasts for a couple days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was so disappointed in the quality of Saige’s wig. I was convinced that she had had her hair cut, but it was just her wig. Where is lacks in hair quality she makes up in cuteness… she is my favourite 😊


  3. Pingback: Fixing American Girl Caroline’s Hair | Canadian Doll Notebook

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