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Monday, February 16, 2015

Disney Animator's Toddler Mulan: A No Good Very Bad Hair Day

I purchased Mulan from the Disney store recently. I could not resist that face! She is a part of the Disney Animator's collection of Princess toddler dolls. Mulan comes with her shiny princess "satin" outfit and a "plush" pet, her dog, Little Brother.
This is her photo from Disney's website and these braids, thick as they look,  are sparse compared with the marine- towing- rope- gauge braids my Mulan came with

 Like all the Disney toddler dolls, she is made of heavy high quality vinyl and has a somewhat woeful expression. Her hair is dense, rough and a one-dimensional, very dark black, it is very well rooted along her hair line and is rooted into a two-pony tail style with a clear part from her forehead to the nape of her neck. Her hair was originally in two very big, very thick braids--when I unbraided them--Whoa! I was a bit disappointed --her hair is WAY too thick and choppily cut-really no other style than the braids can really be achieved with this hair this way. Her hair is also absolutely shellacked with hair gel.
To me, hair is the most important feature on a doll. I cannot just leave the manufacturer's style--I want my dolls to look unique and change their hairstyle with their outfits. I need options-I need good hair!

 I decided to thin out this haystack of hair a bit and actually found my always-misplaced thinning shears and very slowly began to thin her hair out to try and achieve some semblance of actual hair a child or even a child yeti might have. You have to be careful with thinning shears--you can actually make a fuzzy hair situation worse with them. I kept them below her chin level to prevent flyaways and made sure my cuts did not create more choppiness by varying the angle I held them and where I made the cuts along the length.

 After washing the hair, the spit curl on her forehead and the ringlets by her ears went totally frizzy, but this was a smaller problem. I took out a lot of bulk--but the hair remained very bulky. I went from slowly thinning each small section around her head to just going nuts with the thinning shears--thinking: I am probably going to have to reroot her anyway. 

This playline Ariel toddler doll has some of the best manufacturer doll hair I have ever seen, Ariel has left my collection -she now brings her lovely smile and super brushable hair to a special needs PreK classroom.
I have other Disney dolls and their hair is lovely--Tangled, Princess and Me Cinderella and also my Goodwill find, playline Toddler Ariel whose hair was silky and gorgeous after a day at spa. 

 I ended up thinning the hair mountain again and again and again, trimming the length and then after a second wash and condition, rolling it in small perm rods-I had to do each half of her head separately--because there is still so much hair I ran out of perm rods--Did I say she has too much hair? : ) This did not work either as the curls just fell out. I did not boil perm as in my experience this type of hair does not hold up to heat.

So I decided she must have a reroot. It was quite easy to remove her body, with little effort I just popped out the ball joint from the neck. Now I thought --I will just warm up the head and pop out the other portion of the ball joint--LOL not happening--it was glued in and the material of this portion was so crumbly-like a stick of Juicy Fruit gum--I was finally able to pry it out without damaging the head with a large screwdriver-but the joint is mangled. I think I can rig something up with a plumbing ball joint to replace it....will share that when I get there.....

I have several skeins of saran hair in shades of brown left over from other projects and I think that will look great on her...

Have you had any experiences with Animator's series doll hair? I had Pocahontas on my want list, but now I don't want any more dark haired dolls from this current line, unless I am ready to reroot them or they are older issues with possibly better quality hair.

Bye for now --gotta go vacuum up doll hair :) Stay tuned for Mulan's reroot.