The Golden Lady!
Dolls -n- Daggers:
Dolls -n- Daggers:

ips and ricks for oll air

This page is not yet 'complete'
but I got tired of procrastinating until it was perfect? *grin*
It doesn't yet cover embellishments, nor specific styles.
Pictures and better 'step by step' instructions coming soon....ish.
The problem being, of course, that it takes two hands to do pretty much anything with a head of doll hair, and I JUST haven't figured out how to grow a third to take pictures with? *grin*
If you have any questions please feel free to write!

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asic nformation

reparing the air:

emoving hellac:

  • Mattel, in it's infinate wisdom, has started using a very stiff shellac on all but the very cheapest of it's 'playline' dolls
  • It's hard as a rock, you're going to want to get rid of it, and it's stubborn.
  • Soak the doll for at least an hour in hot soapy water, 'scrub' the hair (rubbing it against itself) rinse thoroughly and brush it out while it's still wet.
  • Odds are you'll have to do that more than once - but she'll look much better when you're through!
  • She WILL keep the curls she originally had, the soapy water won't straighten her hair, I promise - but the original styling WILL suffer.


  • Almost every doll you ever put your hands on is going to have tangles, even straight from the box - and brushing her hair will remove quite a bit of hair along with them .... don't stress, most fashion dolls have a great deal more hair than they really need and can afford to lose quite a little bit before it makes a visible difference - ie. removing handfuls of the stuff won't bother her final look a bit.
  • I like a leave in de-tangler to make it easier to get those tangles out, some artists swear by fabric softener, mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with water, some artists use armor-all for the heavy duty tangles - it's all a matter of what works for you!
  • If the dolls hair is curly and/or been curled and you've brushed it and now it's a frizzy mess - simply wet it down again, brush it WHILE it's wet then finger comb the curls back into place. The curls should spring back into place with a little patience - remember this is plastic, not 'real' hair, you're not going to 'wash out' the curls. DO NOT comb/brush it again after it's dry, or you'll just have to start over again.... *grin*
  • Miniature hair nets are great for protecting the dolls hairstyle while you get her dressed, they can also be used in shipping to keep her hair nice for her final owner.

< src="bulletblue.gif" width="32" height="44" alt=""> tyling asics:

  • Now that you have a head of shiny clean tangle free hair - what *are* you going to do with it?
Braiding the Hair Curling the hair:
  • To change the hair style you want heat - you can use boiling water, steam, a curling iron set on LOW, a blow dryer also on low and you're very careful - but the hair must be heated to retain the new style. I find that boiling water is safest for the doll hair and easiest to use, but some styles are easier with other methods.
  • If the dolls hair was in an up-do and you want it down...or it was originally curly and you want it straight - or you simply want a 'blank canvas' to work from.... - sit your clean, detangled doll in the sink and pour just boiling water over her head for about 10 seconds and immediately rinse in cold water - lovely straight shiny hair ready to play with!
  • If it's a 'down' style I sit the girl in the sink and pour just boiling water over her head for 5-10 seconds - if it's an 'up do' I dip her head in a pan of boiling water for the same amount of time - immediately rinse with cold and *poof* it's permanently set (unless I boil it again). For Hamilton dolls, Jakks dolls or the big girls you need to increase the time in the boiling water up to 15-30 seconds, they use a different type of fiber, which is more resistant to heat.
  • The fun part - TOO MUCH HEAT WILL MELT THE FIBER - too long in boiling water or steam, curling iron or blow dryer held in one place too long or on too high a heat setting.. - will melt and 'frizz' the fiber - and the *only* solution to that one is to cut the damaged pieces out.
  • Bitsy plastic bands are wonderful for the finished style - but most of them will snap with heat. If you're creating a partial up-do or using braids to set the curl - use something else to hold the hair in place. I like a 24ga. plastic coated wire, but you can use white ribbon, or thread, or anything you can think of really - be careful of colors though - some dyes will transfer to the hair....!
  • You can use almost anything for a 'curler' - depending on the kind of curl you're looking for.
  • Some of the things I use: pipe cleaners, stir sticks, straws (my favorite), 'permanent' rollers and sponge rollers.
  • USE end papers - you can pick them up at any beauty supply, they'll be near the 'permanents' - I would never try to do this without them!
  • You will not believe how much good a padded clamp to hold the doll in place while you yank on her hair will do until you use one!
  • *Always* roll towards the face.
  • Use a thick hair gel instead of water to help you roll the hair - it helps a lot in controling the hair while you're rolling
  • Keep in mind that fashion dolls don't mind if you stick pins in their head - doing that eliminates 'band lines' from your curls too!
  • Remove the curlers after a couple hours while the hair is still partially damp, comb or pick the hair into it's final style at this time
  • If you've curled it and it's TOO curly, you can run very hot (but NOT boiling! Hot from the tap is plenty) water over it and it will loosen the curls - *however* if the water is too hot you'll get completely straight hair again and have to roll and boil it yet again.....

A quicky pictograph here...

Supplies: - hair gel, cut straws, doll with clean hair in clamp, perm papers and straight pins and a tail comb

Use your tail comb and pull out a *small* vertical section of hair - coat it with hair gel, comb it perfectly smooth and lay a perm paper underneath and another on top.

Align your curler slightly below where the actual hair ends and roll TOWARD the face - hold in place with a straight pin stuck through the curler and into the dolls head (ouch!)

utting the air:

  • You need to start with clean straight hair, see above.... *grin*
  • You'll want a tail comb, water bottle, hair clips and a sharp pair of scissors with short blades (no more than 4").
  • It's MUCH easier to fix a haircut you've left too long than to re-root the entire head because you've cut it too short!
  • A pair of thinning shears is a remarkably useful tool - human hair breaks/splits/thins as it grows out, doll hair, of course, does not. Thick ends are something humans strive for, but quickly become awkward when the hair is only a couple inches long.
    Shoulder Cut - or - How to Even the Ends
  • We're going to start 'easy' with a shoulder length straight cut
  • Decide where on the back you want the hair to fall
  • Pull all of the hair up into a high ponytail and secure with the hair clip
  • Keep the head upright and even
  • Use the tail of the tail comb to separate out a thin section from the base of the neck
  • Spray it down with water and comb it straight down holding it between the index and middle fingers of your left hand
  • Hold your fingers parallel to the floor and drag them down the hair to just past where you want the hair to fall after it's cut
  • Cut the hair just above your fingers
  • Using the tail comb pull down another this section and wet it down
  • Comb all of the 'down' hair between your fingers and pull them down until the first section cut just slips out and cut the second section
  • Continue cutting thin sections of hair combing it all straight back until you've finished the head.
  • Now then - Start with the head upright and even and comb the hair straight down from a center part - you'll have two straight sides and a back section. - The back section will look great, the sides will be a bit ragged.
  • Turn the doll's head so that it's in profile to you
  • Bring that side of the head up into a high ponytail
  • Use the tail of the tail comb to separate out a thin section of the hair
  • Comb it between your fingers with a small section of the 'back'
  • With your fingers either parallel to the floor or slanted as you choose pull your fingers to the point where the back section just slips out and cut the section you're still holding just above your fingers.
  • Repeat from asterix and do the other side in the same way.
  • No paniking - I know that sounded on the complicated side - but once you've done it you'll discover it's quite easy!
Thinning shears in use

Shoulder cut

  • Layers are also - really I promise! - quite simple, they merely take practice.
  • The ONLY 'trick' involved is to pick *one* angle and stick to it.
  • For 'minimal' layers, or thinning the ends without thinning sheers simply comb vertical sections of the hair out from the head at a uniform angle and cut perpendicular to the floor.
  • A short very layered style is actually easier - just turn the doll upside down and cut all the hair parallel to the floor
  • For this type of style it makes it easier if you first straighten the dolls hair into this position - ie. hold her upside down in a pot of boiling water. (Do NOT let her hair touch the sides or bottom of the pot!)
  • Once the hair is cut re-boil perm it into it's final style.
Minimal Layers

A short layered cut

  • To leave the hair long in back but give it short layers in the front .....
  • ......ok, yes, this style is occassionally called a 'mullet' or various and sundry other very uncomplimentary terms.... but ya know? - it's also very flexible and sometimes JUST what the doll needs!.....
  • .... ah hem
  • Use your tail comb to give the doll an even part across the top of the head going from ear to ear
  • Put the hair you wish to remain long into a ponytail so it stays out of your way.
  • Comb the hair you wish to be layerd straight up.
  • If you want pretty and sedate layers cut straight across
  • REMEMBER - it's easier to cut it a little bit shorter if you've left it too long - than it is to re-root the entire section because you've cut it too short!
  • If you want 'spikey' layers angle your scissors and take 'bites' out of the section you've combed up.
  • The doll to your right is Marishka
  • I pulled random strands out from the sides and left them long, and in this pic her hair in back is bound into a braid
  • To get the 'messy' look like this, after her hair has been cut, use ultra, heavy, mega, whatever styling gel, rub it into the layered section and rub her scalp in small circles. Once you have a nicely tangled mass - grin - pull on selected strands to get the look you want.
  • The Mullet
    Spiky Layers

    e-ooting the air:

    ying the air:


    Alrighty! - that's about enough for now.. more as I get pictures taken!

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