I came across my girls Barbie dolls while we were packing to move to our new place. They are at least 20 years old, poor things! And what a mess their hair was!
So I did some googling and gave this method a try.
Because I was doing a lot of doll heads, I put about .5 cups fabric softener in a 2 cup measuring cup then filled it with water. From what I have read, do NOT use fabric softener that is BLUE - it will turn their hair blue. The softener that I had was white so you can’t prove it by me.
I poured a bit of my solution into a 4 cup measuring cup then put Barbie in this very uncomfortable position in the cup making sure her hair was covered in the solution. Leave her in there for at least 10 minutes - watch not to get water in her neck area.
Rinse the doll’s hair until the fabric softener is removed.
I laid her on a towel while I combed out the hair. It is said that the best choice for brushing dolls' hair is a wig brush with metal teeth set into a rubber base. I did not have such a thing so I used a Barbie brush thinking that it must be ok since it came with the doll. I understand that the American Doll hair brush is a good one too. However, I did not have it at the time I was giving these Barbie’s their hair treatment.
Wrap the hair in paper towels and let dry - it is not recommended to use a blow dryer.
People have successfully fixed Rapunzel’s and Ariel’s hair as well. Apparently this method works on other “hairy” toys like My Little Ponies and others. Sounds like it will work on the American Doll too.
It made a big difference to these Barbie’s, that’s for sure!
The best tip for basic hair care is to do it often. Don't let your doll's hair get really tangled. Make Doll Hair Detangler by filling a spray bottle with 1 tablespoon liquid fabric softener and 1 cup water. Shake to mix well. Keep handy in the bathroom and use often.