How to Fix Tangled Barbie Hair -From Drab to Fab! [Tutorial]

Have you ever bought a doll second-hand from eBay? If so, you know what it’s like to receive a doll with messy, tangled hair! Often this kind of doll hair is very difficult to brush, and even more difficult to style!

Today I’m going to be explaining how to fix up your doll’s hair if it’s in a tangled mess. For me, I didn’t buy this doll from eBay, I bought her from the shops -expect her hair was up in a ponytail! And, well, we all know what happens when you remove that ponytail…

Hair everywhere! What a mess. It’s too tricky to brush like this, so let’s just wash it out.

Before you begin, make sure you have your supplies ready. You want to have a tea towel, a hairbrush (one made specifically for dolls is better, but you can also use a human hairbrush if you don’t have one), and a mug of boiling water.

You want the water to be as hot as possible! I like to pour it straight from the kettle. The heat will straighten the doll’s hair and make it much easier to work with. If you want the doll to have curly hair, you can always curl it again yourself later.

Dip the doll’s hair in the mug of water (working with a mug is much easier than a bowl).

Brush, brush, brush! It’s okay if some hair falls out.

If you find the doll’s hair is still tangled, add dish soap to the mug and wash it. Rinse under warm water until clean.

Brush and repeat as necessary. If you like, you can add a tiny bit of conditioner (just a pea-sized amount, or else it’ll make the hair greasy), and that’ll make the doll’s hair look shiny and easier to brush.

All brushed! I did this without soap or conditioner, just plain hot water.

Here’s the back. To dry the doll’s hair, leave out on the tea towel in an open area with lots of sunlight. You don’t want to use a hairdryer, or else the hair will burn off! (Trust me, I’ve literally burnt off doll hair before!) It should take around 24 hours to completely dry -perhaps more if you live in a colder area.

hair fix

And that’s how to fix up doll hair! Remember:

  • Make sure to use HOT water (best if it’s straight from the kettle)
  • Soap might not be necessary -try water first, and if it still looks messy, then use soap
  • A little bit of conditioner goes a long way
  • Make sure to brush, brush, brush! If the hair is very tangled, this can take quite awhile
  • If you want to style the doll’s hair (eg; in braids), it’s much easier while it’s wet because there are less flyaways

Good luck! xx

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8 thoughts on “How to Fix Tangled Barbie Hair -From Drab to Fab! [Tutorial]

  1. Hey Holly! Great tip! I don’t think I would’ve thought of using a mug! Clever!

    Okay, so, remember that “totally random” thing I promised I’d mention? Well, the suspense is over! I’m gonna tell you all about it today!

    I obviously have no idea what type of music you’re into, but I was wondering if you’ve ever heard of Karen Carpenter? If not, she and older brother Richard Carpenter were very popular American singers in the early 70s-early 80s.

    I thought you might enjoy listening to some of their music, so I’m going to leave a few links below. Before I do that, however, I must regrettably inform you of a very tragic thing about Karen Carpenter. You see, around 1975, when she and Richard were at the peak of their carreer, she began suffering with anorexia nervosa. Despite seeking treatment, she passed away tragically in 1983 at the young age of 32. I mention this because in some of their music videos, she appears very gaunt and thin, which can be very painful to watch. In the videos that I’m going to link you to, however, she generally appears relatively healthy.

    Here are the links;

    I hope they work, and I hope you enjoy. If for some reason they don’t, just let me know. Anyway, that’s all I have for today.


    1. Oops! I’m so sorry! I totally did not mean to send you links to the same song! I’m sorry! I’m new at this stuff and I clearly don’t know what I’m doing. I tried to delete it but it wouldn’t let me! Sorry about that!

      Okay, so now that I’ve humiliated myself, I’m not gonna try to send anymore links. I guess you can listen to this one and see what you think. I’m sorry as I totally wanted you to hear some more. What if I just type out the song titles and you can search for them on YouTube? I wanted to make things easier for you but I guess that went all wrong. Anyway, I won’t be sending anymore links anytime soon! I hope you’ll excuse that little mishap!

      Anyway, here are a few of my favorites of theirs, okay? They are all on YouTube, and should be the first thing that comes up when you do a search for them. Hopefully.

      Here are the song titles: “Hurting Each Other”


      “We’ve Only Just Begun”

      “I Need to be in Love”

      “A Song for You”

      “Yesterday Once More”


    2. Ah thanks! I think you accidentally linked the same song multiple times haha, but I googled around and found some other ones by the same artists.

      I thought I had never heard of them before, but one of the songs I was familiar with (Close to You, I think it’s from a movie).

      When I’m exercising or doing something more “high energy,” I prefer to listen to modern pop music, but older songs like these are great for cleaning or studying, when you don’t have to focus on the words.


      1. Yeah, I did accidentally link the same one five or more times! Lol! Better stay away from links until I know what I’m doing.

        I would not be at all surprised if “Close to You” was in a movie, as the majority of their songs were not written by Richard Carpenter and none were written by Karen, so maybe they got that one from a movie. (Although depending on the year the movie was made, the producers could’ve out it in their as a reference to the Carpenters after they’d done their version of it) I know for a fact that Richard got the song “We’ve Only Just Begun” from a TV commercial in 1970!

        Yeah, I think they’re great for cleaning, but knowing myself I’d probably end up too distracted to use them as background for when I’m studying. Sometimes I’ll listen to these on Saturday mornings when I have nothing else to do! They’re good songs for the mornings because they are pretty mellow, which I like!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, I’ve never tried it in a mug! But I will definitely try that some time soon – I actually just washed a couple of dolls that I got yesterday, and am writing a blog post about it!
    I thought this might be helpful with both human and doll hair, I’m not sure if you know it or not: Now, how do I explain this… I’m not sure if it will make sense, but here I go! I’ll explain it with human hair what goes to the waist – Grab some of the hair (about 5-10cm) at the bottom of the head, and brush that part of it till there are not knots. Then brush that hair with some hair above it, and keep going up till you are at the top of your head. Then the knots don’t bunch up and the bottom, go out smoother and is less painful. I’m still not sure if that is a good explanation…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My hair’s not long anymore, but when it was, that was *exactly* how I brushed it! How crazy! I used to spend aggesss brushing out all the knots and then my grandma taught me how to do it that way. I was so amazed.

      Liked by 1 person

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