Getting hair for your doll is something all doll owners want. However, most people get confused about what type of doll hair to get. Here is a complete guide on the 9 most popularly used materials for doll hair.
Let’s get right into it!
Different Types of Doll Hair
Nylon is a good material for doll hair. It is often found in My Little Ponies and other toys with hair. It has a high melting point of about 220 Celsius (415 Fahrenheit). The high porosity of Nylon makes it ideal for dying. You can use acid or rit dye to efficiently dye nylon hair for your doll.
Nylon hair is also suitable to be permed or boil washed due to the high melting point. Any doll hair made purely from Nylon is quite easy to dye.
However, you must avoid using human hair dye on Nylon hair. This is because human hair dye fades and stains Nylon. As a result, you must only use dyes that are suitable for Nylon itself.
It is one of the most popular materials for doll hair. You can get it in a wide range of colors. It is also effortless to style if you are into that.
Next in line is Kiwi hair, a new introduction to the doll hair market. Ever since its introduction in 2013, many toy and doll companies have shifted towards Kiwi Hair.
It is believed to be superior to Saran and Nylon hair due to its high fade resistance and longer durability. It is stunning to look at and feels like silk when touch. You can also easily style Kiwi Hair just like normal hair.
More importantly, given its high porosity, you can dye it in various colors using Acid or Rit dye. Like Nylon, Kiwi hair can also be permed and boil-wash with ease.
Saran’s hair is quite commonly used in monster high dolls, barbies, and a range of other toys. It is similar to Nylon and Kiwi hair in that you can boil, wash and permit. However, one drawback of this material is that it is non-porous.
As a result, it is not the easiest hair type to dye. Normal dyes such as acid or rit dyes don’t work on it. Instead, you would have to use industrial dyes. However, even they don’t produce good results.
So, unless you are really into dyed hair, Saran is a good hair type for dolls. It does have a high melting point at 160 Celsius (320 Fahrenheit). However, it is still not recommended to use a curling or flat iron on Saran doll hair.
Nanofiber is a premium quality synthetic hair that is known for its quality. It has a high melting point of around 400 Fahrenheit, making it suitable for ironing. Nanofiber hair is also commonly known as henlon and is commonly used in cosplay wigs or BJD wigs.
Depending on how the vendor is selling, you can find it in both welt form or loose form. One drawback of Monofiber hair is that it is non-porous. As a result, you cannot dye it with regular acid dye or rit dye.
However, you can perm and boil wash it, but keep in mind that monofiber isn’t very curl-friendly. In order to make curls work with monofiber hair, you have to dip them in boiling water and then immediately into the icy water. Repeat these steps 4-5 times and then leave the hair to dry throughout the night.
Another convenient method to hold curls with monofiber hair is to use both a flat iron and curling iron together. First, use the flat iron to flatten the hair, then use the curling iron. Repeat these steps a few times before you get the perfect holding curls.
Even though it is non-porous, some industrial dyes do work on monofiber. As a result, you can get colored hair. However, not of the best quality. Moreover, there is also the risk of staining when you use industrial dye with this type of doll hair.
It is also not suitable with hair dye as it also stains and fades out eventually. As for how it feels, monofiber is quite slippery and silky to the touch. This makes it a bit difficult to work around it. However, if you want to make it easier to work with, you can dip monofiber hair into water or use a spritz bottle to wet it.
Doll hair made from polypropylene are also flat and curl iron friendly. The material has a high melting point of 320-347 Fahrenheit (160-175 Celsius). Most people confuse polypropylene with Nylon because of how similar they look. However, it is easily distinguishable upon touch since polypropylene has a direr feel.
This type of hair is not the easiest to work with, especially when it comes to curling. You will often end up tangling the hair, which can get on your nerves. Moreover, regular acid and rit dyes don’t work on this material either. As a result, you would have to resort to the only dye that works with it, idye poly (or Rit Dyemore).
One really good thing about this type of doll hair is that it is quite easy to separate into plugs.
Kanekalon comes in a wide range of types. The nicest and the softest type of Kanekalon is the doll-grade Japanese hair. However, it is quite vulnerable in the sense that it breaks easily. As a result, I recommend you use the needle knot method to root the hair since the tool can be pretty hard.
Doll Grade Silky is another type of Kanekalon which is stiffer and more durable. Moreover, you would have to be careful when curling this type of hair because it has similar properties to Saran. As a result, I would recommend this type of doll hair for straight hairstyles only.
Then comes the Regular Kanekalon, which is floofy-awesome and super-kinky for styles like dreadlocks, crimped 80s, and mermaids.
All three types of Kanekalon have low melting points, so I wouldn’t recommend ironing or curling them. Moreover, you also cannot use regular rit or acid dyes on this type of hair. Instead, you have to resort to industrial dyes, which again put it at risk of staining.
Another popular type of doll hair is Nylatex which is mid-grade Nylon. As a result, you won’t get the same quality as Nylon, but it still has quite similar features and feel. It is a tad bit stiffer than Nylon but has a silky texture to it, similar to silky Kanekalon.
You can boil wash and permit, but this type of hair isn’t curl-friendly. You have to do the dip in boiling water followed by a dip in icy water trick for the curls to hold. This material is also not compatible with regular dyes, so you have to resort to industrial dyes. But again, there is a risk of staining.
When a manufacturer labels a hair type as synthetic, that means it is not specified what material was used to make it. Synthetic is used as a generic term to describe hair made from synthetic materials of varying proportions.
I think it is either quite similar to Kanekalon or yaki. However, the hair does not offer high resistance against heat in both cases. As a result, you will burn or melt them with a curl or flat iron.
This type of hair is coarser when compared to other hair types. However, you will still have a good time working around it. I would recommend you always test synthetic hair by putting it in boiling water to see if it will work with your flat iron and curling iron.
Ombre Synthetic is known for its high melting point, allowing it to withstand temperatures as high as 360 degrees. As a result, you can use a flat iron or curling iron at low settings without damaging the hair.
The good part about this material is that you can easily make mini braids and dreads or simply leave them away for a unique look.
Must Have Products For Doll Hair Care
There is a wide range of doll hair products that you can use. Doll hair needs to be treated with care and requires maintenance like real hair. However, how you need to maintain it varies from one hair type to another.
In any case, there are some basic products and tips that you must know to look after your doll’s hair.
A flea comb is a great doll hair product that helps with detailing and smoothing out the hair. It has pretty tightly packed teeth that make simply combing a pleasure and separate sections to style.
You can also use it to assist with a flat iron or to comb the hair once they are out of boiling water. I use a great personal trick to bend one of the comb teeth upward. This allows you to easily separate sections of hair for styling without needing any other tool. Do try it!
The two-sided comb is what you need for regular brushing as well as detangling the hair. It also comes in handy when you are dealing with curled hair since the wide teeth make it easy to comb through. A hair pick works like a charm with a two-sided comb.
Toothbrushes are incredible for smoothing out doll hairstyles as well as taming flyaways. Moreover, you can also use toothbrushes as a comb chase alongside a flat iron on wavy hair. It is also a great doll hair product if you want to work around partings and bangs.
Wire Wig Brush
Wire wig brush works wonderfully with BJD wigs or Kanekalon hair. It especially comes in handy when working with tangled hair.
Cellos are another great doll hair product that helps tame bangs and keep hair flat. You can even make cellos on your own. I DIY my cellos using tape and Ziploc bags. They are great to be used on doll hair, especially if you are storing the doll for a while. It will ensure that the hair stays organized and flat during the time it is stored.
Hair clips and bands
Hair clips and bands are equally useful for doll hair as they are for human hair. You can easily find both of them in smaller sizes that are compatible with doll hair. They help with both separating hair sections as well as styling.
This is another great addition to your hair products for doll hair. Haircutting shears are the go-to tool, whether you have to trim or cut.
What’s Too Much For Doll Hair
It is generally fine to use the same products on doll hair that you use on your own hair.
However, there are some products that you must avoid to keep the doll’s hair in good health.
Doll hair does not need to be oiled. No matter what type of hair you use for your doll, never oil it because it won’t do any good. In fact, you will have a hard time getting rid of the oil, and it will create a mess around the house if you move it a lot.
Human Hair Dyes
Most types of doll hair aren’t compatible with human hair dye. As a result, even testing human hair dye on doll hair will ruin them.
Hair essential creams
You will be wasting your money if you use essential hair creams on doll hair. They are not natural and do not require hair care products to stay in good health. Instead, you just have to keep them clean and away from stuff that can harm them.
There is a wide variety of doll hair out there that you can choose for your doll. You know better what you expect from it and which hair type has the best to offer for your doll.