How to Detangle Doll Hair Without Fabric Softener – 6 methods

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Many children enjoy playing with dolls because they are small and soft. Unfortunately, one thing that many kids don’t like about the toy is how easily its hair becomes tangled after being played with for hours on end!

Dolls have been a favorite childhood pastime since before time began. But even as we’ve advanced in our technology through history, doll-hair always seems to become knotted just too quickly!

Generally speaking, doll hair is synthetic, and the best way to detangle it is to use a fabric softener.

However, sometimes, using a fabric softener to detangle doll hair isn’t the best way for you. Luckily, there are other ways. This article will teach you how to detangle doll hair without fabric softener.

How to Detangle Doll Hair Without Fabric Softener

Getting rid of tangles is challenging enough for us, humans. What more when it comes to doll hair? While using a fabric softener is the most common method of removing tangles from doll hair, it is not the only method.

Below, we list a few tried-and-tested techniques of detangling doll hair without having to use your precious fabric softener.

Using a Hair Conditioner

If you don’t want to use fabric softener, you might want to consider a hair conditioner instead. This is a method that works great to detangle a doll’s hair, and you probably have everything you need to do it right at home. Just make sure that it has enough moisturizing properties before putting any on the actual toy because if there aren’t enough then they might start getting dry and brittle in some areas which will cause them more harm than good over time.

Step 1: Collect some hair conditioner, have a water source and grab a brush or comb.

Step 2: Start by wetting the doll’s hair with water, and then put a small amount of hair conditioner onto the hair. Work the conditioner into the hair, paying special attention to areas that are tangled. You might want to work extra conditioner into the tangles with your fingers.

Step 3: Once the conditioner is fully into the hair, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. Then, take your brush or comb and start working your way through the hair, removing the tangles. Don’t pull too hard, as you risk breaking the hair, but pull hard enough to get through the tangles.

Step 4: Once the hair is fully detangled, rinse the conditioner out of the hair and allow it to dry. Don’t use a hairdryer, as you can melt the doll’s synthetic hair, which is what most doll makers use.

Using Coconut Oil

Another option that you have when searching for a method of detangling doll hair without fabric softener is to use coconut oil. Coconut oil is one of those household items that most people have available. It is a tried and true method that has been around since the early days of computers. It’s simple, inexpensive (you can even make your own), natural ingredients leave no harmful residue in their wake making them perfect if you have sensitive or allergy-prone skin like me!

Step 1: Start by taking your doll and working the coconut oil into the tangled areas. Then, spread it out over the rest of the hair.

Step 2: Allow the oil to sit for a few minutes, and then take a comb or brush to work out the tangles.

Step 3: After brushing, wash the doll’s hair with baby shampoo to get the coconut oil out. Rinse in hot water, and do one more brush through.

How to Detangle Doll Hair Without Fabric Softener

Using Boiling Water

Some people claim that they have had better success with boiling water when it comes to untangling their doll’s hair. The only thing that you have to keep in mind about this method is that you need to use caution around the boiling water; you don’t want to get burned!

Do you think this might be the method that’s perfect for your doll’s hair? Here’s how you can do it too.

Step 1: To use boiling water, you should first brush your doll’s hair as best as you can.

Step 2: Boil some water on the stove and place the doll’s hair into the water. Allow it to soak for about 30 seconds and then remove the hair from the water.

Step 3: Dry the hair with a towel, and then brush out the hair again.

Using a Metal Wig Brush

Another option that you have if you don’t want to use fabric softener on your doll’s hair is to simply use a metal wig brush. You can order one of these online for less than $10, and because they are made of metal and not plastic, they give you a bit more power to get through the toughest tangles.

This method requires a bit of elbow grease, of course, but if you don’t want to put any products into the doll’s hair, it is a good option.

Using a Commercial Detangling Spray

Though most doll hair on the market today is synthetic, you can still use some of those same techniques that work well with natural locks for detangling. One of these products is a commercial detangling spray. You can find this spray at almost any large store, such as Walmart or Target, or online.

Typically, this spray can be found alongside other hair care products, and it is only a couple of dollars per bottle.

When you get your spray, simply follow the directions on the bottle—except applying the spray to your doll’s hair instead of your own. Once the spray is on the hair, allow it to sit for a couple of minutes, and then brush it out until the tangles are gone.

Using Baby Powder or Cornstarch

If you have a doll that has wool hair that is tangled, then that means that you cannot get it wet. Therefore, you need another option. For this type of hair, using baby powder or cornstarch to remove the tangles is quite effective.

Step 1: Apply the cornstarch or baby powder to the hair and use your fingers to work it through the tangles.

Step 2: Take a brush and carefully remove all of the tangles.

Step 3: When you’re done getting all of the tangles out, some of the powder might remain. If this is the case, you can take a soft cloth and use it to wipe the remaining powder away.


Now that you have some tips on how to detangle doll hair without fabric softener, you can easily fix your doll’s hair with little worry and make them look fantastic once again.

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