Yesterday we looked at “How to Unbraid a Doll’s Braided Hair” (see link), and today we’re going to learn how to get a doll’s bangs (or as they say in the UK, “fringes”) to lay flat.
If you’ll notice in the photos above and below, the Anna doll from Frozen II has been played with a lot! And for whatever reason, her bangs/fringes are split and curling in two different directions, in the “before” pictures:
In order to get the bangs to lay flat against her forehead, you’ll need to give her a shampoo. I’m going to pick up where I left off in yesterday’s blog post, with the shampooing method I use.
If you want to learn how to pick the braids apart, I recommend going back to yesterday’s post.
You’ll notice in the image above that I use Dawn dish washing detergent to shampoo the doll. You may be wondering, why not just use people’s shampoo products?
Doll hair — especially for modern dolls, less so for antique dolls — is usually made of synthetic fibers. In layman’s terms, the hair is made of super thin strands of nylon — a plastics product — not animal hair.
So it’s a good idea to treat it with products that make sense for plastics.
Now, in previous blog posts about treating doll hair, followers have mentioned that there are a large variety of doll hair materials, and Dollyhair.com has a fantastic chart to help you distinguish between the different types.
Once she has been shampooed, I add just a titch of fabric softener to a cup of very hot water. Take a look at the image above to see what I mean by a titch!
You’ll notice that I’m using All liquid fabric softener in the photos above, but I don’t recommend that brand. Honestly, I’ve had more success with Downy fabric softener instead. Again, yesterday’s blog post about unbraiding doll hair explains why.
Essentially, I’m finding that dolls get more of a “split ends” look when you use cheaper fabric softener, as you can see in the image above. I was not happy about this at all, and next time I’ll be switching back to Downy.
But I digress…
Let’s get back to the steps for making those bangs/fringes look nice.
Next I soak the doll in the hot water that has the titch of fabric softener mixed in. You need to really mix the fabric softener into the hot water until it’s all dissolved.
Soak all of the hair in the water, but try to leave as much of the doll’s body outside of the water as possible. When I say, “soak all of the hair,” that includes the bangs/fringes.
If water gets into the hollow parts of the doll’s body, it can cause mold to grow. That’s why you want to leave the body outside of the water.
Set a timer for ten minutes.
Once she’s done with the hair soak, dry the hair with gentle pats, using a soft towel. Then brush the hair, starting with the ends of the hair.
Expect some hair loss, but patience and a gentle stroke with the hairbrush will prevent too much of this.
Brush the bangs/fringes and shape them into the basic shape you want them to hold when dry.
Now we come to the part where we re-shape the bangs/fringes.
Place an object that’s circular and either made of plastic or glass, over the top of the doll’s head. I used a glass baby food jar in the photo below (scroll down) because it was see-through, which made it possible to see inside, making sure no bits of bangs were sticking up.
You can also use a plastic ring, like the rings that milk jug lids have when you first unseal them. You may need to use masking tape to re-connect the two ends of the plastic ring, which will give you an opportunity to adjust the size of the ring to fit your doll’s head.
I don’t recommend using metal because it can stain the doll’s hair with rust.
Leave the doll in a window sill to dry, with her hair styled like you want it, including the bangs/fringes. Make sure the drying area isn’t frequented by children or pets who may disturb the doll as she rests in her styling zone!
If you enjoyed this blog post, and you’d like to see my videos, you might want to navigate over to my YouTube channel, ChellyWood1 to look through my playlists.
For anyone who would like to expand their dolls’ wardrobes, you should really check out my “How to Alter Doll Clothes Patterns” course and my “Design Your Own Doll Pants Patterns from Scratch” classes on the Creative Spark online learning platform. Here’s my bio page on their website, where you can learn more.
For any class on Creative Spark, you don’t have to follow a schedule. Just sign up when you’re ready.
It’s a one-time fee for the course, and there’s no specific time limit to finish your course. You can just take your time and learn at the pace that suits you. So go check out my paid courses on Creative Spark, using this link.
To read more about my free sewing patterns and tutorials, please visit the “Helpful Tips” page.
Disclaimer/Credit/Affiliate Marketing Link:
Chelly Wood and the ChellyWood.com website are not affiliated with any of the doll or toy companies mentioned in this blog post, but Chelly enjoys designing her doll clothes to fit a variety of dolls. To learn more about the doll companies mentioned in today’s post, please visit the doll or toy company’s website.