Barbie dolls, especially vintage models, can fetch quite a pretty penny when sold to collectors. The inexpensive toy you loved as a child is now as good for nostalgia as it is for your bank account. However, collectors only want well preserved and maintained dolls. A Barbie doll's hair is often unruly and difficult to keep in its original style, and collectors expect near mint quality when it comes to these dolls.
Whether you plan to sell your dolls or keep them for display in your home, there are simple and cheap tricks to restoring your Barbie's hair so that she looks fresh out of the box.
Wash the Barbie's hair thoroughly with baby shampoo. Make sure the shampoo is dye free so it will not stain blond hair. Two to three tablespoons should be adequate for the job.
Rinse out the shampoo and apply a deep conditioner to the hair. With a large-tooth comb, brush through the hair to remove all tangles.
Let the conditioner sit in the Barbie's hair for at least an hour and then rinse out most of the conditioner. Leave a small amount of the conditioner in the doll's hair. The hair should feel slightly slick to the touch.
Comb out the hair so that it's straight and allow it to dry on its own.
Once the hair is dry, it should be tangle free and smooth. If there is still some frizz or tangle in the hair, repeat this process.
Wet the Barbie's hair thoroughly.
Roll the damp hair onto a hair clip. Roll smaller, separate sections of hair for ringlet curls and larger sections of hair for volume and waves.
Boil a pot of water and dip the curled hair into the water. This will set the curl. Only keep the hair emerged for 10 to 15 seconds.
Allow the hair to dry on its own and then gently remove the hair clips. The hair should be curled perfectly and will keep its shape until it is wet again or combed out.
Purchase a hair weave from the salon that match the Barbie's hair.
Trim the weave to the appropriate length.
Gather two to three strands of the hair from the weave and thread them through a needle.
Sew the hair into the head of the doll with one stitch. Pull the hair through the doll's scalp until the hair hangs at the same length on both sides. Sew more hair into the doll's head until you've covered all of the bald spots.
You can substitute fabric conditioner for the baby shampoo, but make sure the product is dye free. Cut straws can be substituted for hair clips when curling hair.
Never use a brush to detangle a Barbie doll's hair. This can tear out the hair or damage it. Always use a pick or a comb.