bitty baby, American Girl Doll, doll hospitalIt’s no surprise that the amount of love shown to this doll is directly proportional to the ease M has when trying to brush this doll’s hair.  The easier the brush moves through the hair, the more she plays with it, the more she loves on it.  There had not been a whole lot of hair brushing going on as of late and this doll has been relegated to the bottom of the toy bin.Thinking I could remedy the situation with the hair and in turn rekindle the romance between M and the doll, I went to Pinterest in search of a de-tangling recipe to alleviate the knots and tangles in this mane.  The fact that I was even doing this was mind boggling even to myself. I wanted to find a quick and dirty trick that would just get things going.  The recipe I settled on called for one part fabric softener mixed with three parts water in a spray bottle.  Spritz the offending tresses and then brush your way into tame 1Fabric softener? Check. Waterbottle? Check. American Girl Doll hair brush where I thought it would be when I needed it?! Check. I was ready to go.Now, before I continue, let me just make the observation: Of all the pins that I saw related to this doll hair de-tangler, none of the pins – NOT ONE – had an American Girl Doll getting her ‘do done.  They were mostly Rapunzel dolls or Barbie Styling heads. In my estimation, doll hair is doll hair. I whipped up the water/fabric softener cocktail and got down to business.There’s a reason why there were no American Girl Dolls in the pins with the doll hair de-tangler.  See, it wasn’t until I was brushing out clumps of sweet mountain lake scented wet doll hair that it occurred to me, “Hmm, maybe I should have looked up how to care for this hair on the American Girl website.”  So, with soggy fingertips, I Google searched American Girl Doll hair care on the iPad.

Guess what?

You don’t use doll hair de-tangler on American Girl Dolls.  Like ever. If you have a curly hair American Girl Doll, such as the one we have, you should only use water and your fingers to de-tangle and style the hair. Here was my face when I read that last part:

Of course you do.

So, I gave the doll’s hair an epic rinse before breaking out all of my hair implements in order to wrangle it back into some semblance of a style.  And of course, I was trying to do this as covertly as possible lest M wander through the kitchen and spy what I’ve done to her doll, thereby rendering it persona non grata in her purview.  About half a dozen hair balls later, I ended up with this:

photo 3

Not great, but not bad. And here we are about a year later with more dolls in need of hair care.  So knowing what not to do, I am going to jump in to figure out what I should do for this particular type of hair.  More googling confirms that finger detangling is the way to go to restore hair like Cecile’s.  As for Addy’s, the recommendations include Downy Dunk, finger detangling combined with toothbrush styling, or just straight-up washing with baby shampoo.  The more links I clicked, the more information spooled out. The more information that spooled out, the more it was beginning to look like Addy and Cecile were going to be added to the wash day line-up, right beside M, C, and V.  “Washing and styling” two more heads? To you sir, I say no, no, and again no.

The biggest take away in this entire exercise has been that I would rather fill out paperwork and send them both to the American Girl Doll hospital for a “wellness check” and “hair styling” (i.e. swap out the old head for a new one), rather than spend a Sunday afternoon finger styling synthetic hair on a doll that I spend more time interacting with than it’s nominal owners.

Yes, there is a teachable moment here. Yes, I will more than likely set up both M and C with the various tools needed to transform our kitchen into a doll sized hair salon. And once we have successfully coiffed Cecile and Addy, they’ll be returned to their respective perches for V to have at when none of us expect it. And I will continue to dress them, match their socks and shoes, and keep them as close to pristine as possible.   It would seem I’ve gotten my very own — well, two — American Girl Doll, afterall. Better late than never, I suppose.