Scary Hair & Knitting Update

Here is another update on Lori and her bad hair woes.

After I’d oiled Lori’s hair on Sunday I decided to do a quick search for wigs online in case it’s totally impossible to make what she has any better. I got Lori in a doll lot from Naomi’s friend Sally so I didn’t pay a lot for her. Normally I wouldn’t spend a lot of money trying to fix a doll of this type but I happened to come across a site that was selling doll wigs pretty cheaply and they were based in Australia so shipping was not too bad. The wigs were $A10 each so I decided to buy two in different colours. Even if I don’t use them for Lori they may come in handy in the future and if not I’ll sell them for what I paid for them. The seller deals mostly in supplies for porcelain doll makers but I’m sure that the wigs will work on any doll as long as they are the right size. I measured Lori’s head and it was about 32cm in circumference so I ordered size 12-13 inch wigs.

Here is Lori on Monday afternoon. She had nearly 24 hours wrapped, then I washed and conditioned her hair one more time. It still feels coarse and there are a lot of little frizzy bits around the back especially. However I think it is a bit shinier and best of all the new fringe is laying flat. I have it pinned and will leave it that way until I’m ready to dress her. I trimmed it a bit at the front to make it more even and snipped a bit at the back too. Probably I’ll finish off with some hairspray.

I don’t think I will get it a lot better than this now. I could leave it as I have the wigs coming and I think I have created a good enough fringe to hold in place with a hairband. On the other hand, it’s a good opportunity to experiment with the different methods so I could do another oiling to see if I can get it to look any better. I haven’t decided yet.

It is quite interesting to see that although most articles describe more or less the same methods for washing and conditioning hair they vary in which products they recommend. Some say it’s better to use dishwashing liquid for a shampoo, many say to use Dawn while others say any good quality dish washing liquid is fine.The Dawn that is sold in the USA is available here online but it costs an absolute fortune so I will generally use Fairy which is made by the same company as Dawn or other highly rated brands like Morning Fresh or Palmolive.

shampoo photo courtesy of Pexels – public domain

Some people prefer to use a shampoo for humans but they are divided on whether it ought to be only baby shampoo or any shampoo you have lying around the house. Similarly with conditioning some say fabric softener because doll hair is synthetic while others say hair conditioner is fine. I’ve used all of the above at different times. For me it’s usually whatever I happen to have on hand. I don’t put fabric softener in with my washing because I’d read that towels and tea towels in particular get less absorbent if you use it on them. I did buy a bottle, mainly for use on dolls. I can see the sense in using it on synthetic doll hair.

It would be interesting to do a comparison. Find some dolls with the same type of hair and the same issues and try each product and see if there is any difference in the result. Has anyone actually done this? If so what happened?

I’ve also been making some progress with Lori’s outfit. I chose a reproduction of a vintage pattern because I usually like to dress dolls in era appropriate clothing. It is a cute little outfit, skirt, sleeveless top, jacket and hat. It’s knitted in 8 ply wool and it is all plain knitting and stocking stitch so it’s fairly quick to knit up. I’ve already done the hat and the top although I haven’t pressed them or sewed them together yet. I have to make a pom pom for the hat. I haven’t done that in years. I’m doing it in emerald green and white as I think it will suit Lori’s colouring.

I had better not show the pattern in too much detail because although the book was published 20 years ago I might still be breaching copyright. I just want to show how the pieces will look. When I’ve finished knitting and Lori’s hair is finished or she has a wig I’ll do another update.


  1. You’ve done an amazing job on Lori’s hair. I couldn’t believe it would look so much better. The little outfit looks good too, and not as wishy washy as the actual 50s/60s outfits which were often in very dull colours of whatever was at hand.

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  2. Lori’s hair is looking ever so much better. It’s wonderful that the fringe is lying flat, and I think once you get a hat on her Lori will look perfect. She actually looks much happier right now. After all the good work you’ve done on her hair, I would be tempted to leave the wigs for another doll. You can never have too many doll wigs! The knitted outfit is coming along nicely and will be cheery & bright on Lori. I like the older knitting patterns as I find the instructions are more clear than the newer patterns. Oh, and I am one of those collectors who uses whatever shampoo & conditioner are handy. However, I do soak dolls’ heads in diluted fabric softener if the hair is frizzy and dull. I rarely use the softenert on laundry so it’s nice to know the dolls benefit from it.

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  3. She looks wonderful! The outfit will be beyond adorable, and very festive! I like body wash or natural type soaps to wash hair, it is more mild less expensive. I add water to an almost empty fabric softener bottle and transfer it to hair color clear bottle w/ nozzle. Great for my hair pieces too to keep them soft. I have several old dolls that need a spa day and re-set. I have one I want to make a bee costume for Halloween and she will get sunglasses because she is missing eyes.(she looks creepy when I put a glow stick in her head for Halloween). I am looking for tin eyes and hope to learn how to put them in. I love TLC dolls. Great blog!

    Liked by 1 person

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