What Is Barbie Doll Hair Made Of? 4 Little-Known Synthetics

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Barbie dolls are undoubtedly the world’s most renowned doll on the market. These toys were first launched in March of 1959, and they have been going strong ever since.

Barbie has had a significant influence on women all over the world and has even branched out into various other forms of entertainment such as television, video games, music, and more.

If you are wondering what is Barbie doll hair made of, then we’ve got you covered.

What Is Barbie Doll Hair Made Of?

A lot of consideration goes into making a Barbie, and the type of Barbie itself often determines the fiber that gets used when creating the hair. The makers need to look at whether the doll is going to have styled hair, curled hair, or colored hair.

In the event that these types of hair are used; they need to pick the best fiber to ensure that the doll’s hair remains looking as good as it did when it was first bought. Here are the different types of Barbie doll hair:


Saran hair is definitely the most commonly used hair on Barbie dolls. It’s a plastic-based fiber that is quite inexpensive and comes in a wide range of colors. Saran hair is also malleable and can handle specially blended colors.

While the Saran fiber does have a greasy feel to it, that can typically be taken care of with a few washes. The fiber is best used straight because it doesn’t style well or hold curls, which is the primary reason you can find other hair fibers used on different Barbies.

If your Barbie’s hair is made of Saran, it’s suggested that you keep it out of UV lighting and keep it in its box, especially if it’s a limited edition. This is important if you want to make sure it stays intact because Saran hair can fade over time.

Another benefit of using Saran hair is that it’s a synthetic polymer fiber, which means that the length of the hair can be as long as you like.

If you need tips on how to wash synthetic hair check out Tips on How to Wash Synthetic Doll Hair; Best practices 2021


Another type of hair used on Barbies is Kanekalon hair. It feels much more natural than its Saran counterpart, and it holds color and style very well. It’s a high-quality synthetic fiber that is mostly used because of its ability to hold particular styles because it doesn’t lose its shape.

In addition to being used on some Barbies, it’s also one of the most popular synthetic materials that are used for making wigs. It has been used for more than 50 years and offers a softer, shinier appearance than many other synthetic fibers used to make doll hair.


While nylon fibers are most commonly found in other types of dolls, they have been used with certain Barbie dolls over the years. When comparing it to Saran, it’s much thicker to the touch and does have a plastic, dense feel.

Nylon fibers are quite easy to work with when styling, and they do hold curls and color very well. When used in Barbie doll hair, it’s typically because the specific doll has a style of hair that calls for a fiber that holds a form and doesn’t lose its shape.

One of the downfalls of using nylon for a doll’s hair is that it is more slippery than many other fibers. This makes it difficult to work with.

Also check out 5 Best Nylon Doll Hair for Rerooting Dolls.


Some newer Barbie dolls can be found with acetate as their primary source of hair. Acetate is made from a plant cellulose fiber and is very thin and brittle. It is rather inexpensive, which may translate into the reasoning behind why some of the newer Barbie dolls are sporting the fiber.

Unfortunately, using acetate as doll hair results in hair that is is frizzy, doesn’t hold color or shape, and texture doesn’t feel natural.

What Is Barbie Doll Hair Made Of

What Are Fibers?

Now that you know what’s used to make Barbie doll hair, it’s time to explain what fibers are. Fibers are a thread of material that gets combined in order to join hair. There are various types of fibers, but under most circumstances, only two are used with doll making—natural or synthetic.

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers are mostly polymer- or cellulose-based. The cellulose fibers are plant- or wood-based, but because of the extensive process used to create them, they can’t be deemed a natural fiber. Common cellulose fibers are acetate, rayon, and tencel.

Polymer fibers, on the other hand, are plastic- and petroleum-based. Out of all fibers, they are the most processed, but those processes make it easier to control the length, appearance, and consistency of the hair. Some common polymer fibers are Saran, nylon, and acrylic.

Natural Fibers

Natural fibers are animal- and plant-based. There is little chemical processing that is involved with their fabrication, which helps with keeping the fibers in the natural category.

Common plant-based fibers include linen, bamboo, and milk protein. On the other hand, the most common animal-based fibers come from goat, alpaca, silk, wool, and human hair.


Now that you know and understand the common fibers used in Barbie doll hair, and you have a rundown of what fibers are, you are now equipped with the knowledge as to how to take care of them properly. After all, Barbie dolls are not little investments that should be left to waste.

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Fun additions to dressing up Barbie hair

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Unicorn or mermaid Barbie Fantasy Hair doll doesn’t need to choose -she comes with two fantasy looks that each include a colorful crown with hair extensions, themed top and accessories. The transformation to a mermaid or unicorn is easy! Put on the t-shirt with the unicorn graphic or use the one with the mermaid, then add the matching headpiece. The colorful hair extensions on the crown add even more colors to the pink, blue and glittery streaks in Barbie doll’s long blonde hair. The set includes a brush, elastic hairbands and two clips so kids can create fantasy hairstyles, plus a pair of sneakers to expand the storytelling and styling options. Kids 3 to 7 years old will love switching up Barbie doll’s look and sending her out to shine! Includes Barbie doll wearing fashion and accessories, two crowns with hair extensions, two graphic t-shirts, a second pair of shoes, elastic hairbands, two hair clips and a brush.

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