For the Littlest Brewster’s birthday, we gave her my old American Girl doll Kirsten (I’m dating myself, as Kirsten has not existed in American Girl Doll world in a looooong time.)
When I got Kirsten a few decades ago, my mom went all out (in usual Barbara style) and got the “Kirsten goes to school” kit and the “Kirsten celebrates Christmas” kit and the “Kristen has a picnic” kit and the bed and a whole bunch of random accessories. We figured LB would be in heaven and we were right – she adores the set.
Sadly, the years had not been kind to Kirsten – and her hair suffered most of all.
I searched the web for “American Girl doll hair fix” and came upon a few suggestions. The most common thing that people try is something called a “Downy Dunk,” which looked time consuming and like something I wasn’t really interested in doing.
I mean, LB’s four. She doesn’t particularly care if her dolly’s hair is as silky soft and beautiful as the day she came out of the box. Neither do I. But it would be nice if we could brush and style Kirsten’s hair without either breaking the teeth off the comb or being covered in doll hair debris. So I hunted around for a less intense, less involved fix than a Downy Dunk and came upon the “Downy Spray.”
The methodology is this:
1) Get an empty squirt bottle, add 2 Tbsp of Downy Fabric Softener, and fill the rest with water. Give it a good shake.
2) Protect your doll’s body with either a towel or a plastic bag. I cut a hole in the bottom of a grocery bag, poked Kirsten’s head through, and then taped it tight around her neck, sort of like the cape they use at the real hair salon. Then put your doll on a towel on the table.
3) Working in sections, spray the Downy Spray on your doll’s hair – completely saturating it – and comb GENTLY from the bottom to the top. It’s very important that you work in small sections and comb gently to avoid worsening the split ends. It can be time consuming and annoying but it’s worth it, I promise.
*Note: At this point, the smell of the Downy Spray was overwhelming and I felt like it was getting chemicals all in my mouth and nose. I used one of the surgical masks that we have on hand for chemically jobs but a handkerchief or bandanna over the nose and mouth would work well too. It was FRAGRANT.
4) After you’ve combed the hair all out, you may need to trim up the frayed ends a bit. I cut about an inch off Kirsten’s hair just to get the worst, unsalvageable stuff off.
5) At this point, you can let your doll’s hair air dry or (if you’re like me and you get impatient), you can blow dry it on a REALLY low setting. I did it on cool and it only took a few minutes.
Here’s Kirsten immediately post treatment:
And here she is after I blow dried her hair:
Her hair certainly isn’t like new after a Downy Spray, but it’s so much better than it was that I’m ecstatic.
So if you’re looking for an alternative to the American Girl Doll Hospital or the Downy Dunk, give a Downy Spray a try. It may be just the trick you’re looking for.