Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Trying to Remove Product from Doll Hair



Dialog and Images from Video:


"You probably can't tell from the video, but my fingertips are pretty dry. But after I run them though this dolls hair a few times, they now have a shine to them. I'm going to try some things to get rid of the oily residue applied by the manufacturer.


First attempt will be with regular dish detergent. I will not be trying shampoo and conditioner because mine come with various oils in them anyway. But I will be giving baking soda and vinegar a try. I don't put any water on the hair first. I just slop the detergent on it. I smoosh it in real good and then comb it through. I left the detergent in for 15 minutes before rinsing it out in cold water. My dryer has a cold setting so I'll use that to speed this up. The hair is completely dry, but still looks wet. It also still feels oily. That didn't work, so onto the next thing.


I'll be using a small bowl, the doll (of course), baking soda and vinegar. Spread the baking soda evenly throughout the hair. Next prop or position the doll so her head will rest in the bowl. I put the vinegar in a smaller cup just to make it easier to pour. Put in enough vinegar to reach her hair line but don't let it cover her face. Let the hair stay in the solution until it stops fizzing, which might take 3 to 5 minutes. Press the hair into the liquid to make sure it gets all the strands. Unless you are used to touching vinegar and baking soda, you should wear gloves to do this or you'll feel a burning sensation on your tips. Once it stops fizzing, rinse the hair out in cold water. It still looks wet once it's dry and it still has an oily feel to it, BUT not as oily as when I started.

I want to try one more thing. Boiling Water!


Stove on high. Pot of water. Comb doll's hair so it's hanging upside down. Let water come to a full boil and then turn stove off. Once it stops boiling and is just simmering, it's ready. Submerge the hair into the water up to the hair line and don't let the water go over her face or let her body touch the edge of the pot. Count to 10 and pull her out. My camera was at a bad angle, but you should have seen the amount of oil that spread into the water. Maybe 3 fresh dips into hot water would have done the trick, but I think I've done enough to this poor doll.


Compared to a "normal" haired doll, you can see that because of the still existing residue, the test doll's hair dries in clumps while the other doll has singular flowing strands. And when you comb them, the test doll's hair retains the spacing of the comb. But the other doll's hair will just flow back in on itself.


Final thoughts. Dish detergent did nothing. Baking soda and vinegar had some effect, but not much. The boiling water did have an immediate impact but I think you'd have to dip it multiple times to see a significant reduction in oil."

49 comments:

  1. Thanks for the suggestions, Muff! I enjoyed your video. I don't think that I've had a doll with oily hair like this. Is this what happens when you try to rinse the goop out of a doll's hair (the goop that makes it stiff and hold a style)? I have dolls like that, but I've just left the goop in their hair.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Roxanne! This was a thrift store doll and she came that way. I hadn't run into a doll with oily hair like hers before. On dolls with stiff styled hair, after a few detergent washings and conditioner, the glue weakens but the hair still has a kind of tacky feel to it.

      Delete
  2. I will surely gonna dip my doll's hair in the hot water multiple times,hopefully I can get rid of that annoying stickiness !! Thanks for the suggestion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pam, the hot water will work on oily hair. If stickiness is your problem, then hot water will probably turn the glue to mush, but once it cools, it's just going to be tacky. I would definitely condition it first for at least an hour or more and rinse that out. If it still isn't to your liking, then dip it into hot water to break up more of the residue and follow that immediately by another conditioning session.

      Delete
  3. Try stain remover for laundry or soap for auto mechanics! Someone probably tried to clean something else in the hair (glue, for example) with oil and then the oil wouldn't go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Black Kitty, if I find another doll with hair like that I would try stain remover or even goo gone. But since I actually like this doll I wont try it on her in case it breaks down the hair or I screw it up and get it in the root holes and it all falls out.

      Delete
    2. I totally understand your feelings, it's too beautiful a doll to ruin! However, at least 10 people can back me up on the automotive soap and the stain remover I used myself with no problems ;)

      Delete
    3. Black Kitty, I just picked up some Lava soap so we'll see how that does.

      Delete
  4. Poor doll! Gives a new meaning to "bad hair day". I haven't had a doll yet with that oily of hair, but if I do, I will know what to do!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, Phyllis. Hopefully I won't come across another doll like this.

      Delete
  5. Hi, thanks for sharing your experiments. I find that some dolls' hair develops an oily/sticky feeling when the synthetic fiber starts to break down. I would have scalped that one and made her a wig but then I prefer my wigs to most of Mattel's hairstyles anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Limbe Dolls, I figured that the oil was put in there on purpose. I didn't consider it was breaking down. I have some Liv dolls still in their boxes that are showing an oily appearance to their vinyl, so it is a possibility.

      Delete
    2. I have a doll with very frizzy hair. Any suggestions?

      Delete
    3. Nancy B, first I always use conditioner to detangle a frizzy haired doll. Then I let the conditioner stay in for about 2 hours. I rinse the hair out and then smooth in a little bit hand lotion. Always works for me.

      Delete
  6. Hi Muff, that was interesting! I wonder what product it exactly is that's in the hair, it sure is meant to stay in :-). I do think it still looks very good after the different experiments, so it's good quality! And she's a very pretty doll by the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Night Owl, it must be good quality hair to put up with all I did to it!

      Delete
  7. While it must be frustrating for you, it's helpful and reassuring to see the experiments that didn't work.

    I am now fully committed to boil-washing at all times and in all situations. Boil on!

    That doll has a great face -- I see why it was worth it to keep trying. Her hair actually doesn't look bad in its current state.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Smaller, I used to boil wash all the doll stuff I got from the thrift store because I'm quite the germ phobe, but I've relaxed a bit and only boil a few things that look particularly yucky. If you have doll clothes that have cracked and worn graphics on them, boil washing is great at removing them easily.

      Delete
  8. I love seeing how the results of these experiments - although I do wonder what products the manufacturers are using that makes them so hard to remove!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. jSarie, it sometimes feels like they use a silicone hardening gel on stuff but who knows. We also don't know what kind of chemical reaction all this stuff will have in the waning years. Play with it while it's good, I say.

      Delete
  9. Thanks for sharing these techniques of oil removal from the doll's hair. I would suggest leaving the hair in boiling water longer than 10 seconds, up to 30 is what I usually do for boil perms and none of the dolls have incurred any damage to the hair. Several dips might still be required.

    dbg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Debbie, leave it in longer, you say? When I first started wearing braids I would dip the braid in boiling water for 60 seconds and the steam would eventually give me an ear ache. I figured that 10 seconds was long enough to do something to a doll, but not long enough to over heat the face paint. I have yet to boil perm a doll's hair, but I'll remember that when I do and I'll see what happens at 30.

      Delete
  10. Thanks for sharing the results of your experiments. Good to know what products don't work as well the ones that do. Save time = good.

    I imagined the doll screaming as the hot water hit her scalp. (Thinking about times, I've had too hot water myself. Insert scream.) I like how your models seem to gaze into the camera. Especially the Asha-faced doll. Like they're taking their modeling jobs seriously ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL, D7ana, well now that you've put that tortuous image into my head I'm feeling quite sorry for my doll. They already go through so much Frankensteining and now I can add hot water torture to my list.

      Delete
  11. Hello from Spain: I also use the boiling water. Great experiment.Your tips are fabulous. Keep in touch

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Marta! Glad the tips were useful.

      Delete
  12. Hmmm when I fully unpack etc my Barbies I will pay attention see if this is a problem. Thanks for the heads up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Grandmommy, hopefully this was just a one off, and as Black Kitty suggested, someone actually did put that oil in there to get rid of something else.

      Delete
  13. Que buenos consejos, gracias.
    Saludos.
    Me gusta mucho tu blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola, Lindaivette y gracias por pasar por aquí. Espero que los consejos serán de utilidad para usted.

      Delete
  14. The tricky part to me seems to be removing the hair product, styling gel or whatever, without making the glue seepage worse. For that reason I'm not sure I'd dare try the boiling water method if the head seemed to have a lot of glue in it, but for older dolls is might work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anderson, see, I wondered if too much heat would melt the glue inside the head, but I think as long as it's not for a long exposure, it might soften it, but it will harden back once cooled.

      Delete
  15. Uhmmm.....someday I'm going to try to take off that strange glue from my Mermaid Barbie doll......I've been brushing them forever......

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hmmm! What about something to absorb the oil? Like baby powder? Then you could try the boiling water treatment again?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Presto, I don't have baby powder and haven't used it since I was a wee little kid. It's for absorbing things? LOL, I didn't know that. I thought it was to mask the stinky butts of babies.

      Delete
    2. Baby powder is something I was going to suggest, too. People use it on doll hair when it gets too greasy/sticky from glue, and they claim it works amazingly welll. Never tried it, myself -- I just re-root my glueheads.

      My other thought was dressmaker's chalk. Apparently, there is an old trick to get oil stains out of nice fabric. Just put the ground-up chalk on a stain, leave it for several hours, and it soaks the oil right up. I haven't tried this one either, but I wish I'd had it in my bag of tricks when I spilled oily pasta all over my favorite pants in college. I still miss those pants.

      Delete
    3. Saturday, now you and Presto have got me thinking about adding some baby power to my doll tools! I am not a sewing person, so I don't have any dressmaker's chalk either.

      I love hearing all these tips and tricks!

      Delete
    4. Baby powder do miracles to oily hair! Ok, only temporally, but it works better than others things.

      Just powder the hair really good, leave it for few hours and then wash it out.

      Delete
    5. Thanks for that baby powder tip, KiciaKocia!

      Delete
  17. Enjoyed the video. I haven't seen such oily hair before, either. I've used the boiling water technique quite a bit in the past. Hard to tell since my dolls hair is usually a little unkempt. As Debbie stated, you can leave it in longer without damage to the doll. Most doll makeup isn't removed by just hot water. I often use hot water to remove heads and the makeup isn't affected. Loved the word, 'smooshing'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vanessa, I'm pretty sure "smoosh" is in the dictionary, if not it should be, lol. I bought some Lava soap to try but haven't done any testing with it yet. If it doesn't work I try a longer boiling since you guys say it wont damage the face paint.

      Delete
  18. Hi Muff, I had the same problem with a "collateral" (LOL) doll that I got in a bag at a Thrift Store. I tried boiling water at first as well. The hair still had a sticky, tacky feel afterwards. Then I tried my favorite gunk remover, W-D 40. I sprayed a liberal amount on the hair and rubbed it in for about 30 seconds then cleaned it out with Dish washing detergent. I had to shampoo the hair a couple of times but when it dried it was clump free.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ollie! Seems like we all have our little ways to try to combat the sometimes ickiness we find at the Thrift Store.

      Delete
    2. Hadn't thought of that, might give it a try! /here again via D7ana's pinboard

      Delete
  19. Thanks for reminding me about this post, Muff! I've added it to the #NoMoreGlueHeads Pinterest board.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Hi Muff. I know this post is a couple years old, but I have a FR doll (Veronique Body Double) with a serious case of super gelled hair that is not only hard, but has turned a crusty shade of grey. While searching for a solution, I found this post of yours. You save me the trouble of trying out the first two methods, though I must say, my doll's hair even resisted the boiling method. I read somewhere (BlackKitty maybe) about using stain remover + vegetable oil which worked perfectly. I dipped a toothbrush in "Energine," a product usually used for taking out greasy stains in clothes. I rubbed a bit of vegetable oil in. Then I shampooed the hair in dishwashing liquid, rinsed then dried the hair. When dry, I rubbed in a little vegetable oil and the doll's hair is now perfect!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, April! Thanks for this info! I will definitely bookmark this so I can fix my greasy/gelled head dolls. I never would have thought of vegetable oil because I never use it. I'll have to add that to my grocery list.

      Delete
    2. Oh yeah, that was me. I rubbed oil first and then stain remover, but I'm glad it worked for you! Indeed, there are types of gunk that will only dissolve in oil. I remember when helped grandma paint her house, we washed our hands in gasolene to remove paint stains, and then used soap+water.

      Delete