Dolls With Braids…A Question For Readers/Fans/Collectors

This is something I always struggle with…changing a doll’s hairstyle from it’s original, out of the box style.  And I’m curious to hear what my readers think about this!  If your doll comes with any sort of braids, do you ever take them out?  Or do they stay that way for all eternity?

I currently own two dolls that had a braided hair style.   I say “had” because it didn’t take me long to take Marie Grace’s hair out of it’s braids and do a hot water dunk to straighten it.  I’ve never regretted it either because she has gorgeous hair.

Marie Grace before: (she and Kit had such a great time at this party!)

Marie Grace after:

Other than Marie Grace, I have one other doll (Grace Thomas who I renamed Christine) with a braid, but it’s only a small braid.  But I still haven’t taken it out.  I’m sure if I did, it would straighten out on it’s own over time, but then there is the whole issue of what if I decided I wanted to put it back the way it was???

Two of my dolls had portions of their hair pulled back, not in braids–Isabelle (Zara) and Joss (Wendy).  I wasted no time at all taking Zara’s hairstyle down but so far Wendy still has hers the same.  I think pulling them back to where they were before though would be way easier than a doll with a braid.

Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts about this!  The biggest issue I’ve found is that with changing clothes and moving them around, inevitably some hair comes out and then what do you do if you are wanting to leave it in the original style??  I’m not a “leave the doll in the box” kind of person, my dolls are “played” with, go places with me, etc.

Please leave a comment–and add your vote to the poll!

10 thoughts on “Dolls With Braids…A Question For Readers/Fans/Collectors

  1. I leave mine in unless I bought it knowing I would take them out. Then again, 20 years ago I bought an AG & cut her hair right out of the box so I wouldn’t second guess myself. 😉

    • LOL! I have a hard time with this, I know I really struggled with removing the wig from Abby (the first Saige doll I bought) but after I got the second one I didn’t feel so bad. Her hair was in such bad shape anyhow. Otherwise, most of the time I’m like you. I bought Fiona and Allie with the full intention of yanking their wigs off at that point, so it wasn’t even a question. I have a Caroline wig waiting for a doll for a project I want to do, but can’t decide if one of my current dolls is going to be the candidate or if I want to buy yet another doll…

  2. I am really bad a doing doll’s hair. I just leave it the way it is. The exception is dolls who have wigs. I sometimes change the wigs but I don’t change the style of the wig.

    I didn’t change my dolls’ hairstyles when I was a child. I did change their clothing though, well not Chatty Cathy, she still has on her original outfit.

    I like to see dolls in different hair styles. I just don’t have doll hair styling skills.

    • I’m glad to know I’m not the only one that struggles with doll hair. I can just never get it to do what I want! If I can’t pull it back in some way, I’m out of luck! LOL

  3. Yeah, I keep my dolls in their original hairstyle. Sometimes, like with Kaya or Kirsten in just braids, I take their hair out cause I know I can duplicate it.

  4. When my daughter got her Josefina, she wanted to keep her hair neat in the original braid. But after just a single change of clothes, the braid looked a bit messy so we redid the braid. But of course it didn’t look as nice as the original one.

      • Yes, it can be tough or impossible to return some doll hairstyles to their pristine original styles. I struggle with hair styling skills as well, though I’m trying to learn and practice. I bought the American Girl doll hairstyling book and am getting better at it slowly. I find a styling chair helps.

        Blaire’s hairstyle is so unique and complex (and probably beyond my skill set to duplicate!), I’ve decided to leave her waterfall braid untouched and try not to muss it or change her clothing too much. Nanea has such luscious waves I’m afraid to crush them, so I don’t restyle her hair either.

        On the other hand my Kaya is my very favorite doll out of 68 18″ dolls, and I like to hold her and change her into different outfits (she’s a modern Native girl who appreciates her heritage in my dolliverse). I found that her hair slipped out of her braids if I even just held her and began to look unappealingly messy over time. It also had a bit of an unnatural look because they had trimmed the ends of the braids AFTER they were braided. Even so, I held out for a couple of years before I took the plunge and removed them because I knew I’d never get them to original condition again. Since they were no longer pristine anyway, one day I decided to undo the braids. I agonized a bit over the decision, but I have not regretted it. I usually braid her hair into one large braid down her back if I want it braided, like the Navajo traditionally braid their hair. (I have two mini versions of Kaya, both of whom I leave in their original outfits and hairstyles.)

        I guess it’s an individual thing. In my opinion there’s no right or wrong way to enjoy dolls. Some collectors who want pristine “in the box” quality maintained of course wouldn’t feel comfortable removing braids or changing original hairstyles. Those us who like to actually interact with our dolls should feel comfortable removing them and changing our dolls any way we like, just as you have customized many of your dolls way beyond removing braids. Yes, it may reduce their resale or collectible value. But, for me there’s no joy and fun in worrying over value beyond the pleasure and comfort dolls give me as hobby.

        (Sorry this was so long! I guess your question fired my imagination and thought processes and touched me personally since I’ve had similar struggles!)

      • No problem! I have really mixed feelings about it and it’s weird how some dolls I’ve had no qualms about taking them out of their original hairstyle and others I’m not. I know eventually I’ll Wendy’s little piece of hair that is pulled back out of the rubber band…or it will just eventually break on it’s own!

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