Doll Hair Repair: The Simple Way To Make Dolls Look Like New

If your daughter is anything like mine, she is rough on dolls. Somehow they end up outside, dirty, and their hair becomes a tangled mess! After some browsing, I found an awesome tip for doll hair repair that made her dolls look like new again. At first I was skeptical, but this really worked and my daughter was thrilled! So if you want your dolls to look like new again, try this out and you will be amazed!

The simple doll hair repair trick that will have her looking like new!

Doll Hair Repair

As I mentioned, my daughter is rough on her toys, especially her dolls. I started to get rather frustrated seeing tangled messes of doll hair where once was a lovely head of plastic hair. So, I decided to turn to Pinterest in my quest to repair this situation and I came across something so simple, that it might just work. All it required was a brush, fabric softer, and a spray bottle.

The Test Subject

Ariel Doll Hair repair before

This is Ariel. Ariel is a well loved doll belonging to my daughter, but she has been through a rough time lately. Recently, she was left outside in the elements, covered in dirt, went for a swim in the kid pool, yet lived to tell the tail. As you can see, Ariel is a hot mess. She was perfect as my first test subject for doll hair repair.

What You Will Need

  • A doll with tangled hair
  • Some liquid fabric softener
  • a spray bottle
  • a hair brush
  • water

The Process


After you have all of your supplies, the process is rather simple. I actually did not have a spray bottle, though one would have made this much easier. What I did was take my fabric softener and put a little bit, maybe a cap full, into a plastic cup. Then I filled the cup up the rest of the way with water. One it is all mixed up, you need to wet the doll’s hair. What you are going to want to do next, is soak the doll’s damaged hair in the solution. Spray the hair with your spray bottle, or dunk it in your cup.

Next comes the fin part. You are going to want to start brushing that hair. This part can be a bit tedious, but be as gentle as you can so you don’t rip all of her hair out. I personally like to start with the ends and work my way up.

Ariel doll hair repair during

After you have gotten the hair semi brushed out from one way, you are going to flip the doll over and brush the hair from the other side. This ensures that you get all of the tangles out for good.

Once you have all of the tangles out of your doll’s hair it is time to rinse! You will want to make sure there is no fabric softener left and the water runs clean. Then, you are done! See, wasn’t that simple!

I let Ariel stand on my counter overnight to air dry. You won’t want to use a blow drier, because the hair is plastic and it will melt.

After a good overnight stint, your doll hair repair is complete. She is dry and ready to take on the world again!

Ariel's doll hair repair.

Now I need to try this with the rest of my daughter’s dolls. I have heard that you do not want to try this doll hair repair trick with American Girl dolls though. We personally don’t have any, but I would not want to risk ruining such an expensive doll. I will be doing this with the My Generation doll from Target though, since she is also a mess right now.

In all seriousness, I was impressed with how well this doll hair repair trick worked. It is quick, simple, and you do it with stuff you probably already have at home anyways. So next time you have a hot mess doll with a frazzled mane, go ahead and grab some Downy and go to town!

Fix Tangled Doll Hair And Have Her Looking Like New In No Time With This Simple Trick


  1. Kristina says:

    Cute! I don’t have any dolls as of right now I have all boys but I wish my mama knew this when I was little. If my kiddos do get a doll they like I’ll know what to do for hair!!

  2. karen says:

    Wish this was around when I was a little girl – because it would have been fab to have my dolls have their pretty hair again! Laughed at your comment about not blow-drying … or it will melt! lol

  3. Brittany says:

    I remember as a kid crying when my doll’s hair would get all tangled. It was the worse moment because there wasn’t a way to fix it. Unless you do what I did and cut it 🙂

  4. Jean says:

    Such a clever idea that worked really well on your daughter’s Ariel! I love Pinterest for finding out great tips like this. I bet your daughter was really pleased with Ariel’s new ‘do!

  5. Heather says:

    What a great parenting tip! My oldest daughter is now eight and has passed down all of her dolls to her two year old sister. Poor thing, the dolls are in horrible shape and need some magic done to their hair!

  6. Lyd says:

    This is SO easy for untangling a dolls hair! I remember when my dolls hair used to be completely matted. Wish my mom knew how to untangle back then!

  7. Angie Rose says:

    Oh my goodness, when I was a little girl my dolls hair would get so unruly. I had an American Girl Doll, and I played with her so much her hair turned into a rats nest. My mom (or me) so needed to read this post back then! Such great tips!

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