Untangle Barbie Hair for Lovely Locks that Shine

I had way too much fun transforming the Barbies in our toy collection today.  They all went to the hairdresser and now transport glossy hair once again.  Just a sec, and let me turn on my best shampoo advertisement voice.

Girls!  Summer fun in the sun is here! Get rid of hair that’s full of tangles.  Say, “NO!” to dry and dull.   Turn lifeless hair into shimmering waves with Sparkle in the Sun Shampoo. The special formula will coat your hair in glossy protection so it will be easier to brush, leaving you with lustrous locks that shine.  Let your inner beauty sparkle.  Flick that hair in the sun.  Summer is here, and so is glorious hair.

Are you sold yet?  Let me show you how to make this “Shampoo”.

My kids play with Barbies in the bath often, so the hair gets knotted and yuk.  Once in a blue moon, we brush the hair out.  I read somewhere about using fabric softener to help remove the knots from Barbie hair and below are the results. Worked a treat!  This is how I did it.

how to untangle barbie hair

What you need

Fabric softener



Small brush (I used a Small Classic Stefan Brush which are fabulous)


1. Measure approximately 1 tablespoon of fabric softener in a mug of warm water. Stir.

2. Place the Barbie upside-down into the mug, and allow to sit for 10 – 15 minutes.

how to untangle barbie hair -- fabric softener

3.  Remove Barbie from water and use a small brush on the back of a sink to brush through the hair.  You may need to brush for a few minutes, depending how old the Barbie is and how knotty the hair.  For badly knotted hair, I used a little full strength fabric softener directly on the hair.

how to untangle barbie hair -- brush hair

4. Rinse hair under the tap and allow to dry (in the sun for quick results).

5. Once dry, brush hair again.  I used this method on Barbies with different coloured hair, and also age.  The pink is the oldest Barbie (about 4 years old) and the Red is the newest (about 1 year old).  It worked well on all of them, but it was especially effective and easiest on the  newest Barbie (Ariel).

how to untangle barbie hair -- different colours

how to untangle barbie hair -- ariel

how to untangle barbie hair -- ariel

The fabric softener put a little shine back into the hair and the girls were thrilled with the result, and played with the Barbies all afternoon.

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Kelly loves life at both ends of the spectrum: wearing high heel shoes one day and hiking boots the next; sipping tea out of a pretty cup and slurping hot coffee from a camping mug; challenging herself physically and stopping for quiet unhurried moments to feel the wind on her face. Kelly and her husband Matthew seek to live a fun and adventurous life with their four children and pet bird.

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  1. Robyn says

    Now that’s a GREAT idea! (The photo of poor old barbie upside down in the mug made me laugh and laugh!) I’ll have to try this on our bath barbies tomorrow – thanks Kelly!

  2. Melinda says

    Baby ! You made my night with that clever trick !!!! It’s gonna be hairdressing in our house tommorrow. Love it Kel xx

  3. says

    Im sorry but the advice given on dolls hair did not work for me at all, my Granddaughter has 10 Barbies at our home and two, Disney fairies, it was not successful on any of them.

    • says

      Not successful in getting the knots out, or making it shiny? I found, as I mentioned in the post, that I did need to brush for some time to get the knots out but it did help a lot and put the shine back into the hair. Sorry it didn’t work for you!

  4. Monette says

    I cut it short those barbie with super tangled hair.. I will try it tomorrow with 4 others 😉
    Thank u so muxh

  5. Anna says

    Good tips- here’s something tabby worked AMAZINGLY to restore my kids doll hair- after brushing with the softener mix, you rinse with boiling water (or near boiling) it takes away all the frizz- really was the best solution I found to making the hair look great again.

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