My girls can be quite rough with their toys. Majority of their dolls are stripped naked within hours of them being purchased and they then proceed to brush the doll’s hair until it fluffs out and knots. This is how we detangle and how to repair dolls hair.

Salon Experience for Dolls

I decided to try to ‘help’ restore these previous fashionistas to their former glory by attempting to repair their hair … think salon experience, but for dolls. I mean, most of them are princesses right? They deserve a little pampering.

If you’re looking for how to fix doll hair, I used this method on all the Barbies, Anna & Elsa, Tinkerbell and all her friends, and all the My Little Pony’s mane’s too. I decided not to do the Troll dolls because their hair is still fabulous and this can only be because it is un-brushable.

After researching various methods on the internet (okay … Pinterest), I decided to give it a go. By the way, the girls helped with all of this, with minimal interference from me, except I did the actual brushing. This is a really great fun activity to do with your kids, it’s a great way to spend time together, and it teaches them to look after their toys, as well as about hair care!

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Step By Step Instructions on how to repair dolls hair:

We gathered together all the dolls who needed help and lay them out on the counter.


What you will need:

  • A bowl of warm water
  • 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner
  • Hair Repair leave-in spray or Detangle Spray
  • Fabric Softener mixed 1:1 with water and put in a spray bottle
  • A brush – it must be one of those with the plastic protective balls on the ends of the bristles.


  1. Wash the dolls’ hair in the warm water with the shampoo and conditioner
  2. Rinse off under a tap of running water
  3. Spray generously with the Hair Repair and Fabric softener
  4. Brush gently. It is best to start brushing at the ends then work your way up to the roots of the doll head. If you brush too vigorously you risk pulling the hair out of the doll’s head.
  5. Lay them out on a towel with their hair flat, and leave them to dry overnight. Don’t use a hairdryer or anything like that as most of these dolls are plastic, and their hair is synthetic. It could melt accidentally and I have no hack for how to stop your child crying.
  6. In the morning you can brush them out again and they should be good to go.

Some need a little Extra TLC …

A couple of them were really really bad so I tried soaking them in the fabric softener and water mixture in a bowl for half an hour, lightly rinsed and then tried to brush it again. It worked on some, but on the one, the damage was too severe so I had to give her a trim. Sorry, Rapunzel.


They came out okay in the end. Not as good as when they were opened from their packaging, but considering what they’d been subjected to, I mean, considering that they were well-loved, I think it worked out okay.

I would NOT recommend trying to use any straighteners on them … lucky Rapunzel’s hair was long. Right now she almost resembles Rapunzel at the end of the movie!

Other Doll Hacks!

Here’s the video I put on YouTube of how to stop losing the doll shoes. It’s a quick and easy hack that will ensure it’s virtually impossible for the dolls to lose their shoes, even Cinderella.

Thanks for reading. If you this easy way how to repair dolls hair hack helped you. If you have any other hacks for dolls, please share them in the comments below.