How to untangle matted hair on a doll. (Best hack ever!)

It all began last evening when my daughter moaned that she couldn’t find a doll with manageable hair to practice braiding on. With all the years of playing, her dolls somehow forgot the importance of managing hair and all sat in a pail with happily matted hair.

How to untangle matted hair on a doll   Best Hack Ever!

How to untangle matted hair on a doll: Best Hack Ever!


Thanks to the power of Google, there are more than just a handful of suggestions, solutions and tips out there to solve the problem of the matted hair rage. Everything from fabric softener, shampoo with conditioner, oil and the whole 9 yards can be used, but we chose to go with what we have in stash…

the half filled conditioner bottles left over from hotel stays, a wide toothed brush and water.

Brush, conditioner

I wasn’t sure it would work, so Mama tried it out on Ariel first and we had a successful outcome, so Dottie was then put in charge of the rest of her dolls. And she patiently worked through the 6 step process easily, without a hitch.

I should have grabbed the camera for better pictures but the phone was closest, so please bear with me on this!

6 simple steps to untangling matted hair on a doll

Step 1: Pick the doll with matted hair. Look at the tousled mess on her head for the last time and get to work.

Step 2:  Wet the doll’s hair with a little water. Don’t run it under the tap and cause the hair to drip with the excess. Just wet it enough to work with the hair.

Step 3: Take about a quarter’s size dollop of conditioner in your palm.

Step 4: Work the conditioner into the hair.

Step 5: Slowly begin brushing out the hair starting from the bottom and working your way up.

Step 6: Ta-dah! Now that the doll’s hair is tangle free, set it aside and allow it to dry.

How to untangle matted hair on a doll Best Hack Ever!- with Mommy Snippets

What a difference!


About Marina

Marina is the grateful, Texas-based, Mommy of a book-loving, 9 year old daughter, a 5 year old son who loves all things that fly and a serene 1 year old daughter. Her husband (and best friend) is her biggest support as she shares snippets from the awesome life God has blessed them with on Mommy Snippets.

What tides her through each day?...A hot cup of cardamom chai and Philippians 4:13!


  1. 1

    I’ve heard of this before, yet have never tried it. We have so many dolls with messy hair, I could open up my own doll salon here! lol

  2. 2

    My gosh, my kids dolls have dread locks! I so need to try this hack out! Thank you!!

  3. 3

    This is a smart idea. I remember having dolls as a kid with the messiest hair and this would have been a great trick to help!

  4. 4

    I do the same exact thing and it works like a charm. My daughter loves her dolls but treats them horribly!

  5. 6

    Ha! I remember these days. My daughter would get so frustrated trying to untangle doll hair that she’d cut if all off. -_-

  6. 7

    We need to do this with our AG dolls!

  7. 8

    That is sincerely awesome!!! I hated tangled doll hair as a kid, too!

  8. 9

    That is such a cool idea. Thanks for sharing!

  9. 10

    Ha! What a great idea! It’s been many years since we’ve seen Barbies around here but I remember those days of tangled messes. I have to save this for the grandbabies, I am hoping one at least is a girl!

  10. 11

    WOW! This can work on my kids hair, I sometime use water to detangle the dolls hair.

  11. 12

    I started doing this a few years ago when kiddo was still playing with toys in a bathtub. We also picked up a baby Tinkerbell and he hair was fried but kiddo still wanted her. So we tried this. Worked out fairly well.

  12. 13

    Impressive! I normally just help those find their way to the “big dollhouse in the sky!” Now I can give them a second change!

  13. 14

    I’m sure this will be us soon! My daughter is going to be asking for Barbies!

  14. 15

    I so wish I had known about this hack when my daughter was little. Her solution was just to cut all the hair off her poor Barbies.

  15. 16

    I need to do this tip to about 100 dolls in my home! With 3 daughters, we have a lot of unruly doll hair!

  16. 17

    I have all boys, so no dolls here, but I could have used this back in the day.

  17. 18

    Barbie stylist is something I never thought I’d be. I have know found myself in that position many times. :)

  18. 19

    This reminds me of when my little cousins use to bug me to untangle their doll hair for them. lol Great tips for the day I have a daughter!

  19. 20

    That is a great tip. What does the hair look like when dry?

  20. 22

    This is great to know! We’ll have to start brushing. Thanks for sharing.

  21. 23

    Great tip! My daughter has quite a few dolls that have matted hair like this. We need to get to working on them!

  22. 24

    How clever! It seems so obvious but is one of those things that never cross your mind until you hear it from someone else. Dolls can have silky smooth hair again. Hooray!

  23. 26

    That is a huge huge difference!!! Now we know, I’ll have to do it next time my girls ask for their to be brushed.

  24. 27

    I wish I would have known about this when I was a kid. This happened to my dolls all the time.

  25. 28

    This is so cute and such a useful hack! When my daughter was younger, she played with Barbie’s 24/7, I remember spending hours trying to comb the hateful knots out of their hair, only to find I was actually ripping the hair out!

  26. 29

    This is awesome! We have Anna and Elsa toddler dolls that have a rat’s nest in their heads! Thanks for the tip!

  27. 30

    WOW that is so cool. I will pass on to my girlfriends for their daughters. I remember when I was a little girl how tangled my dolls hairs would get.

  28. 31

    What a great idea to fix the dolls hair. I have some friends that could on their kids dolls to help for sure.

  29. 32

    Not an issue for my boys, but will definitely pass along to my BFF for her THREE girls. Lots of doll hair to manage!

  30. 33

    This is such an amazing idea! We need to do this to ALL of my niece’s dolls.

  31. 34

    This is great! I never thought to do this and we have a bagillion dolls around here!

  32. 35

    How does it look when it dries is my question! This is great, my littlest’s dolls look like that.

  33. 37

    Great idea! As a kid, I used shave Barbie’s head to get the tangles out and then get really upset that all my dolls had no hair.

  34. 39

    Now that is awesome! I will have to book mark this for my daughter to see, she has some barbies and dolls with matted up hair that i swear I am going to throw out soon if we don’t get their hair fixed 😉

  35. 40

    Apart from the fact I wish I had known this about 10 years ago I am so happy to have found this tip!
    My daughter had a shocking bunch of scary haired dolls when she was little and used to resort to giving them haircuts. This resulted in even more scarily haired dolls!
    I have a bunch of little nieces who NEED to have their wise Auntie teach them how to detangle their dollies hair, thank you!

  36. 41

    I love this!! I am going to pin for later when my daughter is a bit bigger!

  37. 42

    Wow! We’ll be opening a dolly salon tomorrow thanks to your post! Thanks so much!

  38. 43
    Ashley Candelaria says:

    Just tried this on our $30 target horses. It actually worked! Took me forever because of how tangled it was.