September 14, 2020

294 Comments




 

 


How To Permanently Curl Doll Hair

Have you ever wondered if you can curl your dolls hair? Well, we've wondered that very thing and are super excited to bring you this tutorial created by @forofsuch. She's recently joined the Pixie Faire team as a contributing content creater, and she has so many great ideas for crafts and tutorials, so be sure to stay tuned for more amazing posts!  Read on to learn the process and then decide if you want to try this out on your own!

With Courtney Moore™, American Girl’s® new historical character coming from 1986, about to be released, I’ve had super curly hair on my mind! I couldn't wait for the new doll to be released so I used my Maryellen doll and transformed her into my own custom 1980s girl, and these are the steps I took to curl her hair in fantastic 80’s fashion! (Update 9/15: the doll is now available online!)

Bonus! Be sure to scroll to the end of this post to enter the Giveaway for the American Girl Hairstyle Essentials Set!

 

Hair Curling Supplies:

  • Curling rods or “perm rods” (not the pink foam kind)
  • Curling papers
  • Ponytail holder or clips
  • Room temperature water in a small dish or bowl
  • Food thermometer
  • Hot water heated to 165° F  in a clear or glass cup
  • Ice cold water in a bowl or cup
  • Comb or doll brush
  • Washcloth, towel, or paper towels
  • LOTS of patience!

Step 1:  Remove your doll’s head from her body, if you can. If your doll has neck strings, just untie the knot. If she has a zip tie, you can carefully snip the stitches keeping the fabric together at the back of the neck, then push the fabric aside to expose the zip tie. I then use scissors to cut through the zip tie. It is important that you protect the doll’s neck from the point of your scissors while doing this. When you finally cut through the zip tie the scissors may jerk forward, scratching your doll. I usually use a piece of paper folded several times to make a thick pad and hold this over her neck where I am working with the scissors. 

Step 2:  Let’s start curling! First, section off all of her hair except for the bottom two wefts of hair. I tied up all the rest of her hair with a ponytail holder, but you could use clips are whatever you have! We are going to just curl this bottom section first.

Step 3:  Curling! Take a small section of hair, or a bigger section if you want looser curls, and comb it out, then dampen it along the whole length with water from your room temperature bowl. Starting at the top, close to the head, wrap this section of hair around the curling rod, in a spiral shape, without twisting the hair into a rope first. Keep the hair wrapped flat against the curling rod. When you get to the last 1-2 inches, get a curling paper and wrap it around the end of the hair, then wrap this final bit around the rod and secure with the band that comes on the rod. (If ANY hair is left sticking out, it will be set that way when you heat and cool the hair, so it is very important that all the hair gets in the curling paper.) Continue to wrap small sections of hair until you have all the hair that is out now set in rods.

Step 4:  Time to hot water dunk! (If your wig is not on the doll, you can continue to curl all the hair in this manner, sectioning off 2-3 wefts at a time and putting small sections on the rods, and then dunk the whole wig in a larger bowl all at once. I would put the wig on the doll to do the curling so the curls lay nicely against the scalp, then take it off for the dunking. If you are curling the wig while still attached to the doll, you can also continue to curl all the hair if you have enough curlers. I used an American Girl brand set that only came with 12 curlers, so I did mine in steps, not all at once.)

When you are ready to dunk your curlers in the hot water, it is time to heat the water. Wait until this point so that you can be assured the water is the right temperature. I have found that the exact temperature is very important. I’ve read and watched tutorials that recommend boiling the water, then letting sit from 1-5 minutes, then dunking. This cools the water down some, but you never know how much. In my first curling attempts I used a curling iron set on low and used it on damp hair. This worked, the curls were beautiful, but the texture of the hair was ruined. I would say I fried it!  

The exact temp I use is 165°F. This temp gives you wonderful curl setting, but leaves the hair soft and nice to play with. I would either boil or microwave your water, then let it cool some, but definitely use a thermometer to know when it reaches this ideal temperature. 

Once you have that perfect temp, it’s time to dunk! I did one curl at a time in my measuring cup, but again, if you have the whole wig ready, you may need a larger bowl or dish. Dunk each curl in, up to the scalp, and hold it there for a count of 10-15 seconds. This is also important! Don’t just dunk and pull out quickly. Make sure each curl gets the whole time. After the 10-15 seconds, take the curl out of the hot water and dunk it in the ice cold water for a moment or two, until you feel like it is cooled throughout.

 

Step 5:  Finish the whole head! Once your curls are out of the water, I like to use a washcloth or towel to squeeze as much moisture as I can from the curl. At this point you can let them sit a bit in the curlers, or you can take out each curl. I find it easier to leave them in at least while I do the next row of curls so the rods keep the lower hair out of my way. Whatever you decide, you can now proceed to continue sectioning off the bottom 2-3 wefts of hair at a time and putting this hair in the curling rods and curling papers. 

Step 6:  Let the hair out! Once all the curls have been dunked in hot water and then cooled, it’s time to release the straps holding the curlers closed and unwrap the curls! Do this in the opposite motion of when you wound the hair around the curlers. Don’t yank or pull, be careful – you want to keep that wonderful shape intact! The curls should look like beautiful Shirley Temple-esque ringlets at this point.

 

Step 7:  Separate the curls! Once the hair had dried a bit to the touch, but was still a little damp, I began to separate the curls. I took each individual ringlet (this takes a while) and separated it into 2-3 separate curls, depending on how thick it was to begin with. Doing this inevitably creates a little chaos, but I found the little “curlettes” very easy to finger curl back into their original shape. You can do this when the hair is perfectly dry, too, but I found the hair to be maybe a little extra frizzy when I did a few curls like that. Here is a picture of the curls on the left separated, while the curls on the right are still in ringlets.

Step 8:  Enjoy your fun hair! Once you separate all the curls, your fabulous curly hair is done! I would let it dry completely before doing any playing or styling. Reattach your doll’s head either by retying the neck strings very tight, or by putting in another zip tie. Look for zip ties with very small ends on them, but still at least 8 inches long.

Thanks, everyone!

@forofsuch, for Pixie Faire

 

ENTER TO WIN An American Gir Hairstyle Essentials Set!

To enter this week's contest, simply click the link below and then enter through the giveaway widget at the bottom of the blog post, there are many things you can do to earn multiple entry points!

Contest Details: You enter through the entry form that is embedded on this page and appears just below this paragraph, if you don't see it, be sure to visit the page from your desktop or an alternate browser such as Google Chrome. It may not appear on all mobile devices. The complete rules and entry details appear on the entry form. This is not a comment contest - in other words, leaving a comment on the bottom of this page is not an official entry method. The only required entry method is to leave a comment under this post and then confirm that you did it in the contest widget. One person will receive the PF Gift Card. You can enter once, or gain multiple entries by completing the other entry methods and increase your chances of winning. Please review all Terms and Conditions on the giveaway page before entering. While we wish we could run this contest everywhere, for legal reasons it is only open to eligible residents of the U.S. and Canada, not including Rhode Island. This contest is exclusively endorsed by Liberty Jane Clothing and Pixie Faire. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

We'd love to hear from you. Leave a comment and tell us - What's your favorite 1980s Fashion Trend?

Commenting below and confirming your entry in the widget above gives you one entry method, the other methods are listed in the widget above, be sure to enter in as many ways as you can to receive the maximum amount of entries to win the gift card!

Looking for sewing patterns for the new Courtney Moore™ doll? Be sure to check out our 1980's Fashions Collection!

 (This post and giveaway are not endorsed or affiliated with American Girl®, no endorsement implied.) 

 


100 Comments

Florence
Florence

September 20, 2020

I LOVED the “embellished” look. Everything could be decorated with gemstones etc!

Ellie
Ellie

September 20, 2020

I love bright colored leggings paired with legwarmers!

Diana
Diana

September 20, 2020

I loved the bright colors.

Nathalie
Nathalie

September 20, 2020

Hi, thanks for this awesome and fun giveaway.
I personally own a 3 foot doll with short hair but would love for her to have long curly hair.
Would you know where to buy the hair to do this?
In any case what I loved most in the 80’s were the Coke, Pepsi and 7-Up shoes and they had elevated platforms.
Those were the coolest shoes for me.

Michele
Michele

September 20, 2020

I loved the leg warmers, big sweaters & outfits with shoulder pads!

Julie
Julie

September 19, 2020

I loved the big curly hairstyles and all the wonderful bright colors!

Toni
Toni

September 19, 2020

I loved the super bright colors of the eighties, Ye! My mom permed my hair & had a hard time combing & brushing it out. My hair was super fine thus it was tight & was washed a few times before it relaxed. it was supposed to give a body perm. At that time we didn’t know to use a little conditioner.

sandy
sandy

September 19, 2020

Loved the draped blouse / pantsuits with big shoulder pads. Also loved the Farrah Fawcett hair style. Have seen shoulder pads twice in my lifetime. Just wait, they will be back again (probably a bit smaller).

Connie
Connie

September 18, 2020

Big hair and super tight jeans.

Nancy
Nancy

September 18, 2020

I liked the denim skirts and jumpers.

Ann L Burkle
Ann L Burkle

September 18, 2020

My favorite trends were legwarmers and lace gloves

Delpha
Delpha

September 18, 2020

Big curly hair and big chunky sweaters

Jennifer Hepler
Jennifer Hepler

September 18, 2020

Neon colors and lace gloves.

Glenda
Glenda

September 18, 2020

I loved the bright colors and my curly hair was finally fashionable😀

Darlene Harper
Darlene Harper

September 18, 2020

I loved the 80’s and the bell bottoms and the different fabrics that came out polyester.

Stephanie
Stephanie

September 18, 2020

Love the curly hair!

Annlee
Annlee

September 18, 2020

I loved some of the fashion of the 80’s and the curly hair.

kelly
kelly

September 18, 2020

Love the 80’s look brings back memories
I worked in a salon and did many perms like that

Sharon B.
Sharon B.

September 18, 2020

I remember the leggings and oversized sweaters being comfortable to wear. I also liked all the Gunne Sax dresses, although I remember wearing those in the late 70’s for prom dresses.

Rebecca
Rebecca

September 18, 2020

I loved all of the bright colors of the 80’s.

Miranda
Miranda

September 18, 2020

I love the leg warmers and scrunchies of the ’80’s.

BevM
BevM

September 18, 2020

Thanks for the tutorial on curls! The 1980’s were not mu favorite style years, but I did like the big hair.

Bobbie
Bobbie

September 18, 2020

I liked the hair styles in the 80’s

Keo
Keo

September 18, 2020

I loved wearing suits.

Tracy
Tracy

September 18, 2020

I loved my sweaters in the 80s.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

September 18, 2020

I loved the suits, with the shoulder pads and wearing the matching hats. The big thing in the 80’s was trying to look like Princess Diana – I was a teenager and her hairstyle was all the rage. Also, matching up your pantyhose with the dress was a big thing back then too- and having two colors- the spectator look.

Jill McClure
Jill McClure

September 18, 2020

Apparently the 80s didn’t impress me. I do remember the big shirts and permed my already naturally curly hair into a “fro”. Stirrup pants? Don’t remember wearing those after the early 60s.

JoAnne
JoAnne

September 18, 2020

My favorite things of the 1980’s were stirrup pants and long sweaters. I have kept one pair of stirrup pants in case they come back in style. I also loved my Dorothy Hamill haircut.

Susan Jo Petersen
Susan Jo Petersen

September 17, 2020

I was in my late 30s in the 80s. I loved suits with shoulder pads and Gunnie Sax dresses for church (I do hope we get a couple of Gunnie Sax style patterns) in 1987 I permed my long straight hair and loved it.

Mara
Mara

September 17, 2020

I loved the jeans that fit tight through the calf & ankles. They looked awesome with high heels. I also liked getting my hair permed & now, after menopause, my hair went natural curly with small ringlets all through.

Mary Cox
Mary Cox

September 17, 2020

My favorite part of the 1980’s fashions were the big chunky sweaters.

Lorie
Lorie

September 17, 2020

My sister has curly hair. She will love this doll. Thanks for Sharing.

Stephanie S.
Stephanie S.

September 17, 2020

My favorite would be curlys9 and big sweaters.

Ashley
Ashley

September 17, 2020

In the 80’s I loved my stirrup pants, now I look back and like the acid wash jean jackets.

Bonny
Bonny

September 17, 2020

I loved dancing to the disco music and the longer jackets with padded shoulders.

Connie M
Connie M

September 17, 2020

Stirrup pants! Loved the neat look. The pants never wrinkled.

Sam
Sam

September 17, 2020

The clothes themselves from the 80’s I am not a big fan of in general. Certain pieces and attributes, likes leather jackets, fishnet, neon colors, jeans, sequins, I am a fan of.

Cath
Cath

September 17, 2020

I dunno, the 80’s were pretty big and wild, permed, teased, processed, edgy. My favorite is wispy bangs and wavey hair down the sides to the shoulder, something that’s easy for a real girl to wear and not spend her life maintaining the look. Thanks for the opportunity. Happy stitching.

Maria L Badani
Maria L Badani

September 17, 2020

During the 80’s I had my first job, and loved those suits with padded shoulders with high heels

Cristy
Cristy

September 17, 2020

My favorite part of the 80’s was the music and then of course the hair!

Piroska
Piroska

September 16, 2020

I loved shoulder pads and the long sweaters with stirrup pants.

Rachel
Rachel

September 16, 2020

I loved the bright neon colors and of corse the big hair.

Donna Landreth
Donna Landreth

September 16, 2020

I would love to try it. It looks real cute. Thanks fir the awesome giveaways.😘

Carol vandevanter
Carol vandevanter

September 16, 2020

I love the Bling and big hair!

Sher’ C
Sher’ C

September 16, 2020

Favorite 80’s fashion looks are two-toned acid wash jeans, Swatch Watches and Beat It/Thriller jackets.

Helen Thomas
Helen Thomas

September 16, 2020

wedge shoes and shoulder pads were great

Diane R
Diane R

September 16, 2020

I was a single mom in the 80’s and liked wearing baggie pants that I think were called Zubas or something like that. The teen girls around us would wear high waisted pants with suspenders, blouses with shoulder pads and big hair.

Laura M
Laura M

September 16, 2020

Goth / punk rock.

Grace W
Grace W

September 16, 2020

preppy fashion statements!

Sarah
Sarah

September 16, 2020

I was a teen in the 80s, I loved it all! If I had to pick a fav though… sweatshirts with the neck cut out, and jean shorts.

margie
margie

September 16, 2020

the new styles of blue jeans ..

Marilyn Nawara
Marilyn Nawara

September 16, 2020

Shoulder pads and big hair were my favorites.

Cheryl
Cheryl

September 16, 2020

I love the Care Bear items, reminds me of my daughters when they were young girls. Thanks for the tutorial on curling hair. I will try this when I am feeling brave!

Laura
Laura

September 16, 2020

I love how easy this is

Deb
Deb

September 16, 2020

Sorry, I didn’t care for the ’80’s. Although it was fun to dress my baby girl in all the bright colors. I didn’t care for all the “biggness.”

barb
barb

September 16, 2020

My favorite fashions of the 80’s was the big shirts and big sweaters with scrunchies, I made matching scrunchies to my shirts and sweaters. It was just comfortable clothing. And always bright colors.

Renee B
Renee B

September 16, 2020

I really liked the Gunnie Sax dresses and would find patterns to sew them. Bow blouses and lots of ruffles. Thought the big shoulder pads looked ridiculous, like wearing football gear! And the guys were finally going back to get their hair cut professionally. Young adults were dressing up again and going dancing again.

Hannah
Hannah

September 16, 2020

I love the acid wash jeans!

Allison T
Allison T

September 16, 2020

I love the fun, bright colors!

abi
abi

September 16, 2020

the scrunchies!

Barbara H Peart
Barbara H Peart

September 16, 2020

My favorite style of the ’80’s was being “just me” in leggings and big shirts over my jeans. Plus those hair styles!

Mary
Mary

September 16, 2020

Legwarmers with long skirt, boots and big shirts!

Tammy
Tammy

September 16, 2020

I loved the big hair with the teased bangs that stood up almost straight!

Simone
Simone

September 16, 2020

I like the Care Bears, scrunchies, and a lot of 80s music.

Karen Weeks-Kozma
Karen Weeks-Kozma

September 16, 2020

I am really looking forward to patterns for the 80’s era

Denise M Mullins
Denise M Mullins

September 16, 2020

I hated the shoulder pads, loved the oversize top’s and my jeans that I lived in. And the long curly hair. I was in the 70’s in the hippy days, and raising kids in the 80’s.

Alice
Alice

September 16, 2020

I love the tutorial as I have a group of dolls, who I am making clothes for to donate to the local Women’s society for their Christmas boxes, now I can make the hair look great again.

Suzi
Suzi

September 16, 2020

Sorry but I did not like the 80’s fashions! lol I’m an old hippy from the late 60’s and early 70’s!!
Thanks for the great tutorial and the give away!!

Marilyn
Marilyn

September 16, 2020

I liked the big hair, big sweaters with shoulder pads.

Lyn K
Lyn K

September 16, 2020

The dresses with shoulder pads

Sarah B
Sarah B

September 16, 2020

Favorite 80’s trends are big hair, jelly bracelets and early Madonna’s style with lots of lace.

Vicky Wells
Vicky Wells

September 16, 2020

I loved the stirrup pants and long sweaters. Thanks for the curling tutorial.

Laura
Laura

September 16, 2020

fashion dresses for work and the colored jeans for play.

Sparkle
Sparkle

September 16, 2020

Jeans were my every day wear and I loved living in them. Topped with a big shirt made it the perfect comfortable outfit.

sharon
sharon

September 16, 2020

colored jeans

Meg
Meg

September 16, 2020

My favorite 1980s Fashion Trend was scrunchies. Thanks for the giveaway!

Pamela W
Pamela W

September 16, 2020

I attended a dance studio at the time, so I wore a lot of legwarmers! They worked well to keep my ankles warm at the bus stop going to school too. I had a favorite denim jacket as well with lots of pin-back buttons all over the back.

Chalae Carter
Chalae Carter

September 16, 2020

I love the big curly hair and the bold colors!

Diana
Diana

September 16, 2020

Big shirts and leggings !!!!!!

Gail
Gail

September 16, 2020

I liked the ruffles on dresses and blouses. Thanks for the giveaway.

Bridgette
Bridgette

September 16, 2020

That was supposed to say scrunchies!

Michelle
Michelle

September 16, 2020

All of it! LOL!

Shasta
Shasta

September 16, 2020

Scrunchies!

Bridgette
Bridgette

September 16, 2020

The denim skirts, and the waist bands like on Courtneys jeans

Cindy
Cindy

September 16, 2020

I can’t choose a favorite!

Bridgette
Bridgette

September 16, 2020

The scrunched!

Rachel
Rachel

September 16, 2020

stirrup pants

JUDY
JUDY

September 16, 2020

Loved the leggings with the long sweaters,

Karen Bellomy
Karen Bellomy

September 16, 2020

I loved the featherd hair not the big hair

Sharon Noel
Sharon Noel

September 16, 2020

I loved the big hair of the 80’s and of course the scrunchies to go with it. Leggings and oversized shirts were a must and the guys had mullets.

Janet
Janet

September 16, 2020

I loved the dresses and the ruffles.

Connie
Connie

September 16, 2020

Loved the oversized clothes and the big hair.

Betty
Betty

September 16, 2020

I loved the oversized sweaters which I knit for myself.

Candice Lacy
Candice Lacy

September 16, 2020

I loved stirrup pants, big shirts, neon prints, and curly perms!

Marianne
Marianne

September 16, 2020

My favourite trend from the 80s was leg warmers with matching wrist & head sweat bands.

michelle
michelle

September 16, 2020

leg warmers with leggings and the bright colours were fun

Patti
Patti

September 16, 2020

I loved all the clothes, like the sweaters with shoulder pads and how they were longer as well. The hair was big and looked very different than the long and straight hair. Would be fun to recreate those styles for my doll.

Bobbie
Bobbie

September 16, 2020

My favorite fashion trend in the 80’s was the shoulder pads. I look at pictures back then and we looked ridiculous, but that has the trend.

Rosemary
Rosemary

September 16, 2020

eyelet prom dress

Shirley
Shirley

September 16, 2020

My favorite hairstyle was curls put in a banana clip. This was so pretty and still is.

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