How To Detangle Doll Hair: 4 Quick & Easy Methods That Work

My toddler’s brand-new doll’s hair constantly ends up in a tangled mess within only 10 minutes.

My daughter loves baby dolls with all her heart, but the only problem is that every time the doll’s hair gets tangled, she gets frustrated and wants a new one.

Luckily for her and for me, there are methods for making her baby doll’s hair tangle free and look new again!

Detangling a baby doll’s hair has been a lifesaver for us, and it has actually been fun to get her involved in taking care of her dolls’ hair with some of these methods. 

Method #1: Shampoo and Conditioner

One simple way to detangle a doll’s hair is to use shampoo and conditioner! You will need baby shampoo and conditioner, a comb, and a towel.

If you are like me, I still have lots of leftover baby shampoo in my bathroom cabinet despite my baby girl being 3 years old now. There’s no better way to use that leftover baby shampoo than on your child’s baby dolls! 

  1. Find your baby shampoo, and squirt a small amount into your hand.
  2. Apply and massage the shampoo into the baby doll’s hair.
  3. Set a timer, and let the shampoo sit in the hair for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Rinse the shampoo from the doll’s hair.
  5. Repeat the same process with the conditioner: apply, wait, and rinse.
  6. Start from the bottom, and brush out the hair until it is tangle free.
  7. Use a towel to pat dry.

You will start by shampooing your baby doll’s hair and massaging it in just like you would do your own hair.

Let that shampoo sit for a few minutes, and then gently rinse the shampoo out. You will want to completely rinse the shampoo out so that you will leave no residue.

Next, apply the conditioner, and let it sit in the hair for 2 minutes. Thoroughly rinse out the hair, and then move on to the next step. 

Brush the hair, starting at the bottom, and make your way up to the top. You may find it easier to split the hair into sections. When the hair is tangle free, use a towel to pat dry. 

Method #2: Fabric Softener

Mixing fabric softener with water is a game-changer! It can help you detangle the baby doll’s hair and leave it looking silky smooth.

You will need a spray bottle, fabric softener, a comb or brush, and a towel/washcloth. Who knew that fabric softener could play such a vital role in a doll’s hair upkeep? 

  1. Add 50 percent water and 50 percent fabric softener to the spray bottle. 
  2. Spray the doll’s hair liberally, and let it soak for several minutes.
  3. Start from the bottom, and gently brush the doll’s hair until it is completely detangled. 
  4. Rinse out the remaining solution. 
  5. Use your comb or brush to go through the hair one more time. 
  6. Use a towel/washcloth to pat dry. 

The first item of business is to create your solution. Add the fabric softener and water to the spray bottle, and spray the doll’s hair liberally.

If your doll’s hair is extremely tangled, you can put the solution in a bowl and let your doll’s hair sit in the bowl of fabric softener and water for as long as you want. You may even want to do it overnight if it is badly tangled.

With the solution still in the hair, gently brush the doll’s hair, starting from the ends and moving your way up. Rinse the hair thoroughly, and use a towel to pat dry the hair. 

Method #3: Hair Detangler

Hair detangler is a staple in our household. We use it every single day. My daughter’s hair tangles quite easily, and the only way she will let me brush her hair is if we use the “special spray” aka detangler.

She loves to spray her baby doll’s hair with detangler and pretend she is doing her own baby’s hair. The great news is that it is actually helping and working to get those tangles out.

The only downside is that using hair detangler only works on small tangles in a doll’s hair. You will need a hair detangler (I’ve found that this one works the best) and a brush or comb. 

  1. Gently mist the doll’s hair with the detangler. 
  2. Separate the doll’s hair into sections, and start to brush from the ends up. 
  3. When you finish one section, repeat in the next section by brushing from the ends up with smooth strokes. 
  4. Once the majority of tangles are out, apply one more misting of detangler, and brush through the doll’s hair. 

Start by misting the doll’s hair with the detangler. It is very helpful to separate the doll’s hair into sections and mist each section.

Start brushing one section at a time, and start from the ends. As each section of hair becomes untangled, move on to the next section.

After you have completed each section, apply one more misting of the detangling spray, and follow up with one brushing through the doll’s hair. 

Method #4: Boiling Water

Has your child’s doll ever had frizzy, curly hair that gets out of hand within minutes of play? The boiling water method can help detangle, but it also can straighten the curly hair on a doll.

You will need a mug, your sink, a comb, and a towel to detangle your doll’s hair using this method. 

  1. Fill a mug with water, and boil in the microwave for about 2 minutes.
  2. Take the mug to the sink, and hold the baby’s head over the sink.
  3. Gently and carefully pour the boiling water over her hair. 
  4. Comb out the hair starting from the ends. 
  5. Pat dry with a towel.

First, take a mug, and fill it with tap water. Place it in the microwave, and heat the water until it is boiling. This takes about 2 minutes.

Take the doll to the sink, and pour the water over the doll’s hair. After the boiling water has saturated the hair, comb out the hair starting at the bottom and ending at the top. Pat dry with a towel. 

How To Keep Doll Hair Looking Nice

Now that you have the baby doll’s hair looking nice and tangle free, how do you keep the doll’s hair from tangling up again?

If you can figure out the answer to this question, let me know! I have found a few tips that definitely help keep the tangles at bay, but children are messy and play hard, keeping a doll’s hair prone to tangling. 

If you have younger children, you will most likely have to repeat your method of choice many times during your doll’s life span. Here are a few tips to try to keep those tangles away for as long as possible. 

  • Use baby rubber bands to pull the doll’s hair back.
  • Braid the doll’s hair. You and your little can decide which braided style! 
  • Put a small drop of baby oil in the hair to keep its shine. 
  • Use your fingers to comb out tangles frequently. 
  • Brush the doll’s hair, but be careful of being too rough as it can easily make the doll start to lose hair. 
  • Repeat the methods discussed above. 

Closing Thoughts

Doll hair is quick to get tangled, especially when the dolls are loved on hard by their sweet owners. Luckily there are solutions for fixing your baby doll’s hair without having to buy new ones.

Baby shampoo and conditioner, using fabric softener, spray detangler, and boiling water can all help you in your detangling goals.

These detangling hacks have added new life to many baby dolls in our household. Try them out, and see if they can do the same for your little one’s cherished dolls.