Hair & Skin Care
Learn how to keep your American Girl doll looking her best after many years of play! Find helpful hints for maintaining and styling her hair—whether it's curly, straight, or wavy. Plus, get advice on cleaning her skin, tips on removing stains and tangles, and troubleshooting problems at home.
Tips & techniques to try at home
Get step-by-step instructions on caring for your American Girl doll's hair and skin.
Choose a video:
Do your doll's hair up right in one of these pretty styles. Each one has just five simple steps.
Choose a hairstyle below:
Brushing and picking your doll's hair
Each doll's hair has a unique texture and cut. Some styling techniques and hairstyles work for some dolls, but not for others. Choose your doll's hair type below.
Helpful hints for hair care
For best styling results, lightly mist your doll's hair with water as needed before you brush or pick it. Use just enough water to make the hair easier to work with. Be sure not to get water in her eyes—they may rust! Try the misting bottle and styling cape from the American Girl Hair Care Kit.
When brushing or picking your doll's hair for the first time, some loose hair will come off. This is normal and will lessen over time. The wire Doll Hairbrush and Sparkly Hair Pick were designed to work best with American Girl dolls' hair.
Never use styling products such as gels, mousses, or sprays as they can damage your doll's hair over time. To help with styling, we recommend our Hair Care Kit for Dolls, which includes a misting bottle to lightly mist her hair with water.
Never use a blow dryer, a curling iron, hot rollers, or a straightening iron on your doll's wig. The fibers are made of a special acrylic and any heat source can dry, stiffen, frizz, or even melt them. We recommend the special doll-friendly rollers and accessories that are part of the Salon Styling Caddy.
For braided styles, tightly braiding the hair while damp will control loose ends. The misting bottle in the Hair Care Kit for Dolls helps you get just the right amount of water on her hair to make styling easy. Let it dry overnight, or for quicker drying, place your doll in front of—but not too close to—a cool fan. Remember, if you leave your doll's hair in a braid for a long time, her hair may have a permanent wave or crimp when you take it out.
American Girl's Bitty Baby dolls, created for girls ages 3 and up, are appropriately designed with hand-painted hair. When cleaning your Bitty Baby doll, avoid any abrasive cleaner that might scratch the paint, and always use a soft cloth.
Doll skin care
The skin of American Girl dolls is made of vinyl with a soft, matte finish. It's been developed to look as authentic and lifelike as possible. Unlike hard plastic, this soft vinyl is a porous material that will absorb some strong dyes found in textiles, makeup, colored markers, pens, and ink. That's why American Girl creates doll clothing with colorfast dyes to prevent any staining of the doll's skin, particularly over a period of extended wear.
Helpful hints for skin care
For general cleaning of your doll's skin, we recommend the following simple method using water and baking soda:
- Dampen a soft washcloth with lukewarm water.
- Make a paste of baking soda and lukewarm water.
- Rub the vinyl gently in a circular motion with the paste.
- Wipe with a wet washcloth to remove residue, and rinse washcloth frequently with lukewarm water.
- Towel dry your doll.
While cleaning your American Girl doll, always cover her eyes to avoid getting water in them, which can cause rust, and try to keep her soft-fabric body and her hair as dry as possible. And remember, never submerge your doll in water.
For ink stains, we recommend you call one of our experts at 800-845-0005 or e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our staff will be happy to offer further instruction or advise you on the proper procedure for admitting your doll to our Doll Hospital if she needs more serious care.
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