This blog began in 2010 as part of the publisher’s promotional materials for my travel book, The Single Girl’s Guide to Meeting European Men. The book rose to #1 on Amazon’s Best-Sellers List within two weeks of publication, and is still selling. The blog has been expanded to cover my other pursuits.

How to Make an Old Doll Look New Again

March, 9, 2016

Instead of “old,” I should say, “very loved.” If you’re a mom, aunt or cousin of little ones, you know exactly what I mean. They just can’t part with those favorite dolls no matter how matted their hair gets from gigantic hugs and being drug around…sometimes by the feet as their heads bounce off the floor.

Katherine Doll A

I’ve had this “Katherine” doll since I was a baby, and even now I’d never be able to part with her. My childhood clone has a permanent place in my home for posterity.

Katherine Doll B

I was chatting about this with Julie, my amazing manicurist. Many of you know her because I’ve featured her nail trends here on my blog.


She has an adorable granddaughter named Kylie who has an impressive collection of American Girl dolls. This is due in part to Julie, who is an expert at styling used dolls. Here is Kylie with Emily (left) and Felicity (right). Felicity was a Goodwill find for only $5.99! She was in really rough shape until Julie gave her a makeover.


I confessed that although my Katherine doll was still in good condition, her hair resembled a rat’s nest. I was so excited when she offered to work her magic for me.

Julie agreed to let me share these secrets to breathing life into a beloved doll:

Brush. Comb out the hair. If the doll is made of plastic, like those from American Girl, you can also wash their hair. Since my Katherine doll is all cloth, that wasn’t a possibility.

Heat Rack. Lay plastic doll’s hair over a heat rack to soften it.

Product. Slightly mist the hair. Add smoothing cream and a little gel.

Culers. Set it with rollers.

Katherine Doll C

My doll looks like she is completely new! Thank you so much Julie!!

Katherine Doll D



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