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.

You Might Also Like...


  • Reply
    September 8, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Kelly Be A Fun Mum
      September 8, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      I know! I looked at the picture and thought it looked a bit disturbing. lol

  • Reply
    Melissa Hawes
    September 8, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Do you think this would work for Rapunzel, too?? My daughter’s doll is very knotted :S

  • Reply
    September 8, 2012 at 9:22 pm

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

  • Reply
    ellie @ emerald pie
    September 9, 2012 at 7:22 am

    Oh we’ve got a few of those barbie heads here too – thanks for the fabric softener tip. Now I know what we will be doing tomorrow!! 😉

  • Reply
    September 19, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I am going to try this on the dress up wigs today

  • Reply
    September 24, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Apart from the great tip, I just love that you used a ‘Beached As’ mug! 🙂

  • Reply
    Milk Bottle Lids: Dinner Plates
    October 2, 2012 at 7:25 am

    […] How to Untangle Barbie Hair […]

  • Reply
    DIY (No Sew!) Barbie/Doll Clothes
    February 7, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    […] How to Untangle Barbie Hair […]

  • Reply
    My Brown Paper Packages
    February 11, 2013 at 8:40 pm

    Yes, this is a big problem so thank you for solving it 🙂 So simple, I can’t wait to give it a go.

  • Reply
    June 14, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    you can also put it into a spray bottle half water half fab softner and it works just as well 🙂

  • Reply
    Laughing Kids Learn
    September 30, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Great tip. My little girl isn’t into Barbies just yet but I’m sure my collection from when I was little could do with this recipe. Thank you.

  • Reply
    DIY (no sew) Ribbon Doll Skirt
    May 16, 2014 at 12:12 pm

    […] How to Untangle Barbie Hair […]

  • Reply
    DIY (no sew) Ribbon Barbie Doll Skirt
    May 16, 2014 at 12:17 pm

    […] How to Untangle Barbie Hair […]

  • Reply
    The Magical Waters of Pink Water Bay | Be A Fun Mum
    September 7, 2014 at 7:02 pm

    […] How to Untangle Barbie Hair […]

  • Reply
    Susan Johnson
    November 10, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      Kelly - Be A Fun Mum
      November 10, 2014 at 7:15 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    February 6, 2016 at 11:50 pm

    Do you have any technique to colour Barbie’s hair ????

  • Reply
    April 5, 2016 at 1:53 am

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

  • Reply
    January 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      January 16, 2017 at 7:08 pm

      *That worked*

  • Reply
    Bronwyn Norris
    October 8, 2019 at 1:51 pm

    I am still traumatized by seeing my barbie.pinned to a dartboard with darts thru her boobs courtesy of my big brother. Thirty years later l have never had another barbie in my house.

Leave a Reply