Sunday, September 14, 2014

The frizzies

SunSet Malibu Barbies

Color Magic, blonde Twist N Turn and Plus 3 Barbies
and Now Look Ken

Twist N Turn Julias, Twist N Turn Twiggy

Hair Happenin's and SunSet Malibu Francie
and blonde, brunette and blonde Twist N Turn Caseys

One bend leg Skipper, two blonde Chrises
and three straight leg Skippers

blonde Chatty Cathy

I personally do not know what frizzy hair is.  When your hair is baby fine, poker straight, thin and oily, frizzies are the last thing you need to worry about.
My first exposure to dry split hair was through our Barbies when we were children.  Some of the dolls developed the problem even back then, late 1960s, early 1970s.  As an adult collector, I learned that this hair was actually Color Magic hair that had been reused.  Sometimes the brunette hair lightens to a shade that collectors call oxidized red.
Yet this doesn’t make sense to me.  Color Magic Barbie was sold in 1966, but I have 1964 Skippers and a Now Look Ken from 1976 with the same problem.  How much Color Magic hair did Mattel have left over if the strands could still be rooted into dolls a decade later?  Also, has anyone ever experimented on these dolls with the frizz to see if the hair would change color?
I’ve discovered one way to lessen how bad the hair looks, although the problem cannot be reversed.  First, cut off any stray hairs, although you know they won't magically grow back.  I've found older dolls with uneven rooting patterns; that is, there are locks/clumps that should have been shortened at the factory but weren't.  Go ahead, take a deep breath, and lop off the hair to even out the bangs.  Doing so will make the next step easier.
You will need some small Barbie size rollers, the ones with prongs.  Since you've gotten rid of the odd strands, next wet the hair and roll it up in the curlers.  Let the hair dry overnight.  When you remove the curlers the next day, there'll be more "poof" to the tresses.  You can even put a little hairspray on the doll to ensure that the hair will stay in place.
This salon work does not "fix" the problem.  But as I've noticed with my own hair, even if you can't make it pretty, you can at least make it look less bad.
I have found the problem more common with blonde dolls, particularly Malibus, although I have a few brunettes.  Dolls I have discovered with dried out hair are:
I also have a 1963/64 Charmin' Chatty with silver frosted frizzy hair, which leads me to believe that Mattel used this same hair on its other dolls as well.
In the photos, the dolls are wearing outfits from the same year that they were sold, unless otherwise noted.  The Chris on the left is my sister Joan's from her childhood and it was with this doll that I first noticed the horrible hair, even back in the early 1970s.  I “poufed” one of the Casey dolls’ hair.
Last but not least, I bought the Skipper with iron gray hair from Paul David.  He had no idea how her hair got that way, and I've never figured it out either.  It's that color all the way down to the lower roots.   It's not like it got bleached or anything, because the rest of the doll looks completely normal.

My bad hair dolls are
1964 blonde straight leg Skipper in original swimsuit
1964 blonde straight leg Skipper in 1901 Red Sensation
1965 brunette straight leg Skipper in 1910 Happy Birthday
1965 gray bend leg Skipper in 1920 Fun Time
1966 blonde Color Magic Barbie in Lunch Date
1967 blonde Twist N Turn Barbie in Best Bow
1967 blonde Chris in 3609 Plantin’ Posies
1967 blonde Chris in original outfit
1968 Twist N Turn Twiggy in 1725 Twiggy Dos
1968 blonde Twist N Turn Casey in 1209 Mini Chex
1968 blonde Twist N Turn Casey in 1213 Pazam!
1968 brunette Twist N Turn Casey in 1216 The Lace Pace
1970 Hair Happenin’s Francie in 1768 Waltz in Velvet
1972 SunSet Malibu Barbie in 3341 Long N Fringy
1973 SunSet Malibu Francie in 7710 Perky Fashions for Sand N Sea
1974 SunSet Malibu Barbie in 7746 Palazzo Pants Outfit
1974 SunSet Malibu Barbie in 7755 Dirndl Style
1976 Now Look Ken in original outfit
1977 Barbie Plus 3 in Best Buy 9153
1977 SunSet Malibu in 9470 Brocade Dream Steals the Scene

Also, 1963 Charmin’ Chatty in handmade jumper and blouse

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