Monday, April 28, 2014

Toddler Salon

This Ginger has a Saran or similar synthetic wig.

Over the weekend I was able to finish four more dolls from the big box I ordered and have been working on over the past week. I was going to write this all in one post, but if I cover more than one topic I get whiny emails from people complaining about the length, so here is today's second post.

I thought I would talk a little about styling doll hair. This is a topic people search often. I've written posts about it before, but this time I remembered to take a couple pictures while I was working.

This Pam's wig is mohair.

These little toddler dolls are perfect to use as a model for 1950s hairstyling, because they came with many types of wig. Ginny sometimes had a mohair wig, and sometimes a Saran or similar wig. Other Ginnys came with real fur Caracul wigs in the "poodle" style. Later Ginnys had rooted synthetic hair. I remember my 1970s Lesney face Ginny had very stylish long straight rooted hair when she was new. After years of play her hair was fuzzy and matted, though. Now I am able to fix this problem, but it bothered me quite a bit when I was a little doll mommy.

To fix that type of hair, brush the hair with a wire brush. Massage liquid fabric softener into the hair like shampoo and rinse out. Pour almost-boiling water over the hair and immediately brush with the wire brush, pulling the hair straight. Leave in a "conditioner" of 50/50 liquid fabric softener and water.

The Ginger clone has very soft synthetic mohair. I treated it as mohair.

My big box of dolls has Ginger, Pam, Lucy, and other unknown clones of these and they all have different types of hair. The Gingers all have Saran or other synthetic hair. The Pam and Lucy dolls and one of the Lucy clones all have mohair or possibly synthetic mohair. The Ginger clone with the painted feet has very soft synthetic mohair. I decided the Pam and Lucy dolls' hair must be real mohair since it's all so much less soft than the Ginger's!

Brush the Saran hair.

Before you clean a doll's hair you need to comb the tangles out so it doesn't mat up on you when you wash it. Synthetic Saran or that type of hair can be brushed with a wire brush. I ordered a doll brush from eBay for this purpose because I couldn't find a wire brush anywhere else.

Pick mohair out with a bamboo skewer. This hair was gray with dirt.

Mohair often becomes fuzzy and matted from storage. If you try to brush it in that state you'll often just pull it out of the wig cap. Instead, first take a bamboo skewer of the type you can buy with grilling accessories and pick the mohair out with the point. Once the mohair is all loose you can wash it. If it only needs styling you can brush it out with the wire brush and style it.

After picking and washing, the mohair turned yellow!

These dolls mostly just needed hair styling but some needed a good washing. I have suffered since childhood from awful nightmares about dead insects and I knew I was in big trouble when I pulled a huge insect casing out of the yellow-haired doll's wig. Sure enough, over the weekend I had a dream a toy I was restoring just dissolved in my hands into a pile of dead insects! Obviously, the yellow-haired doll got a good bath!

I used the Terri Lee and Ginny clothing lot.

Once you've finished brushing the hair you can wash it, if necessary. For mohair I just use shampoo or dish soap. For Saran or synthetic hair, especially dry hair, I use a mixture of 50% liquid fabric softener and 50% water. Besides cleaning the hair, you can leave this mixture in as a conditioner and styling aid.

Pam is cozy in pajamas.

If you need to set the doll's hair, use tiny doll curlers or the smallest perm rods you can find at beauty supply stores. None of these dolls needed a set so I don't have photos of that. For mohair, pour warm water over the curlers and let the hair dry for at least 24 hours. Do not use hot water, as this can felt the mohair, which will mat it all up so it looks like sheep's wool! For Saran hair, pour almost boiling water over the curlers, avoiding the doll's eyes. The hot water will lock the curl into place. When the curlers are completely dry unroll the hair and arrange the curls with your fingers or brush into style.

I gave Pam a robe.

Set the doll's style with hairspray. I use Mink hairspray when I can find it. It is especially good for mohair. It adds a shimmer that looks beautiful. If you want more relaxed curls just leave the style and the hair will straighten a bit over time. If you want the style to stay exactly as you've arranged it put a hairnet on the doll to hold the style.

Ginger clone got a coat and hat.

Now all but four of my little ladies have been to the salon and look super cute. I dressed them in clothes from my same lot of Terri Lee and Ginny clothes, including the handwritten Ginny tag clothing. I have two, a Ginger and a Pam, awaiting epoxy work. Two more, a Pam and a Lucy, need new wigs or glue removal. It's more than I could tackle over the weekend and I became overwhelmed and listed them for parts. Those dolls are very cheap. The starting bid is barely more than the shipping cost, which is included. So, if you want to buy a restoration doll or a fully-completed doll, make sure to visit the store:

A gold trimmed dress and gold satin bows accent her golden hair.

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