American Girl dolls are every little girl’s dream. They’re pretty and sweet, each with her own story and personality. For the most part, caring for an American Girl doll’s hair is pretty easy — just mist with water and brush — but what do you do when your doll’s hair gets really dirty or matted? Luckily, it’s easy to wash your AG doll’s hair and get her looking her best again!
EditShampooing Your Doll’s Hair
- Cover your doll’s face and body with plastic to protect her from water. Wrapping a plastic bag around your doll’s soft body and eyes can help keep them from getting wet. Water can damage your doll’s stuffing, and it can rust the sleep mechanism that opens and closes her eyes. If you choose not to do this, make sure you’re extra careful not to get your doll wet.
- Carefully wet your doll’s hair under cool running water. When you’re wetting your American Doll’s hair, avoid getting her scalp too wet. Water can get inside of an American Doll’s head and cause mold, and if your doll has a wig the water can loosen the glue holding her hair in place.
- Lather your AG doll’s hair a with a mild shampoo. Squeeze a quarter-sized amount of shampoo into your palm, then lather it into your doll’s hair. You can use a special synthetic wig shampoo, baby shampoo, or even a mild regular shampoo. If you use regular shampoo, look for a hydrating formula. The extra moisture will help keep your doll’s hair smooth for longer.
- You can also fill a large bowl with cool water and add about a capful of the shampoo to the water. Swirl the doll’s hair in the water for about 30 seconds, using your hand to work the shampoo up to the roots. Then leave your doll propped with her hair in the water for about 15 minutes.
- Carefully rinse your doll’s hair under the tap or with a spray nozzle. Make sure you get all of the shampoo out of your doll’s hair. Don’t forget to be extra careful to avoid getting your doll’s body and eyes wet, and keep as much water as possible away from her scalp.
- Let your doll’s hair air dry. Gently blot the excess water from your American Girl doll’s hair with a soft towel, then air dry your doll’s hair until it is barely damp. Brush and style her hair before it is dried completely. Don’t try to brush it when it’s very wet, since it will be harder to get the brush through and could cause breakage. However, you also should never brush your doll’s hair when it’s dry, because this can cause frizz.
- You should never use a hairdryer on your AG doll’s hair, because heat can melt the synthetic fibers.
EditConditioning Her Hair
- Fill a bowl with cool water mixed with of fabric softener. To condition your doll’s hair, add of fabric softener to a bowl full of cold water. You can use any brand of fabric softener, but look for the non-concentrated kind.
- Use an unscented fabric softener, unless you’re trying to disguise an unpleasant smell in your doll’s hair.
- Use plastic bags to protect your American Girl doll’s eyes and body. Water can cause mold to grow on your American Girl doll’s body, and if her eyes get wet they may rust. Wrap your doll in plastic bags to protect her from getting wet.
- Another method for protecting your doll’s eyes is to tape cotton balls over them while you wash her hair.
- Prop up your American Girl doll so only her hair is in the bowl. Try propping your doll up on books or put the bowl in your sink and lay your doll on the edge of the sink. You want as much of her hair to be in the water as possible, but you don’t want to submerge her scalp.
- If your doll has curly or wavy hair, conditioning may remove her curls.
- Use a ladle or plastic cup to pour the fabric softener over the hair. To make sure all of your doll’s hair gets conditioned, you should carefully ladle the solution over any hair that isn’t submerged. Try to get as close to her roots as possible without wetting her scalp.
- Allow your doll’s hair to soak in the fabric softener for at least an hour. You’ll need an hour or more to let the fabric softener fully penetrate your doll’s hair. You can leave her in overnight if you want, but be sure she’s in a safe place so she can’t accidentally be dropped into the fabric softener.
- Rinse your doll’s hair thoroughly under cool running water. Once your American Girl doll has finished her deep conditioning treatment, rinse her hair using cool water from your tap or your sink’s spray nozzle. Her hair should feel much smoother and softer now that it’s been conditioned.
- Use a wig brush or pick to detangle your doll’s hair while it is damp. After conditioning, it should be easy to brush your doll’s hair using a special American doll brush, or a pick if your doll has curly or wavy hair. If you don’t have an AG brush, you can use a wire wig brush.
- Don’t use a brush that you use on your own hair on your doll. Oils from your hair can make your doll’s hair dirty again.
- You should only wash your AG doll’s hair if it really needs it, like if something gets in her hair or her hair is really tangled. Washing your doll’s hair too often can cause it to become frizzy and damaged.
- Never let water get in your AG doll’s eyes, as the water might rust the sleep mechanism.
- If you have a doll with very short hair, like Nellie or Kit, you should not attempt to wash their hair. The wig will become wet and it can loosen the glue holding the hair in place.