Guide to Basic Hair Care

All of the doll wigs we sell are made out of synthetic fibers, meaning that the strands of hair are not real human hair.  Synthetic hair differs from your own hair in a number of different ways, so it requires special treatment quite different from caring for your own hair. We’ve compiled this guide to help customers learn about basic doll hair care.

Doll wigs are made up of hundreds of unique strands of synthetic hair sewn at one end into wefts. These wefts are then sewn horizontally into a stretchy mesh cap that you place on your doll’s head. Generally, these wefts are sewn in concentric rings from the part at the top of the head down to the edge of the mesh cap.  Hairs will inevitably loosen from the wefts and fall out, no amount of sewing is gong to prevent this.

    The key to doll hair care is to minimize the number of hairs that fall out, and to maintain the quality of the hairs still in the wefts.

Thinning Wefts
Missing Wefts
    First, a wig brush is imperative to good hair care.  We aren’t just trying to upsell you on our doll wig brush. We really do mean that it is imperative. You can buy a child-sized wig brush from the American Girl Doll Store for $8.00, or on eBay, or an adult-sized one from your local beauty supply store. Whatever you do, don’t use a human hair brush.  A human hair brush has the natural oils from your hair, plus whatever hair products you use, which is not good for synthetic hair in a doll wig. A wig brush, on the other hand, is designed to be used with synthetic hair, so it minimizes the number of hairs pulled out and reduces frizz. Make sure that your wig brush is only used on doll heads, don’t allow it to be used for real people!
    Second, use the proper brushing technique for your doll’s hair. Wet the hair down with a water bottle so that it is all damp. Start brushing from the bottom, and when the first inch or two is smooth, start working on the next section up, until you get to the top. Bottom to top is the opposite direction of how people are taught to brush their own hair, but this technique minimizes the number of strands pulled from your wig. Be gentle! Unlike your own hair, the doll’s hair will not grow back! Ripping through knots in the hair pulls out far more strands than patiently working through the knot. If absolutely necessary, you might put some human hair conditioner on a knot to help detangle it. Just rinse it out  thoroughly afterwards. If you desire, you may blow dry doll hair on low heat without harming it – just don’t tangle it up again while blow drying!

 Third, use the right products and tools on your doll’s hair to minimize damage when styling.

Cotton covered elastic hair bands: Yes.
Regular rubber bands: No.
Headbands: Yes.
Clips: Yes.
Straightener: NO!!!
Curling Iron: NO!!
Hot Rollers: Yes.
Human Shampoo: No.
Liquid Dish Soap: Yes.
Mane ‘n Tail: Yes – rinse thoroughly!
Blow Dryer: Yes, on Low Power & Low Heat

    Add curls by using hot rollers, or for very small tight curls, wrap damp hair around a pencil. Remove curls by wetting the hair and brushing it.  Remember to protect the eyes from water!

We do not recommend brushing curly or restyling hair, and neither does American Girl according to the hang tag that comes with their curly haired dolls. If absolutely necessary, you may finger-comb the curls.

This is basic doll hair care. If you need extraordinary measures to save your doll wig, we offer our  Rejuvenation Kit, which walks you through more advanced hair care processes.

    Finally, even the best wigs will wear out over time, no matter how careful you are. When this happens, brows our selection of replacement doll wigs. Just follow our directions for re-wigging, or buy our Doll Rejuvenation Kit, which walks you through the whole process with pictures and video.

    If you or your child loves to play stylist and is frequently brushing and styling the doll’s hair, we recommend you purchase a doll with that is rated to have a high styling level. All of our wigs are marked, Low (for curly or braided wigs), Average (cute styles which are great for the average kid), and High (less exciting styles, but very thick wigs good for stylists). Visit our guide to learn more about styling levels.