Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Beach Wavy Hair for our Dollies (a Tutorial, yes!)

Ella and her beach wavy hair

Hey hey, guys! When I started sharing photos of the recent holidays diorama over at my Instagram account, there had been quite a number of dolly friends who loved the hairdo I did for Ella. Some even requested for a tutorial!

I also loved what “happened” to Ella’s hair makeover, but naturally, I did not document how I did it. When I first started gathering up my thoughts and confidence to finally write the tutorial for this beachy-wavy hair, I even thought I was using a certain tool instead of the actual one. I tried the “wrong” process to a "for-makeover" doll and the results were a mess.

So, I summoned up all the deities to bring back that memory when I was able to chance upon this fun 'do for Ella.

Ka-boom! Yay! I finally figured it out when I was digging through some of my many, many boxes and found the buried secret tool.

For the re-creating of this hairdo, I chose Luna because I think her default long hair gives her too much of the sweet side, and not enough spice. I’ve always wanted my girls to have that spice in them.

She's way too sweet in that long straight hair, isn't she? Or I'm just imagining, which I always do anyway. LOL! Let's get started?


These are the things you will need. A pair of trusty scissors, lots of hair pins, those toothed pieces, and a couple of combs, wide-toothed and that human eyebrow comb that works so well for picking hair strands to perm. There really isn't much difference from the doll hair perming tutorials we can find around the internet, but it’s that toothed thing I kind of devised that made the waves kind of look like how they are when you're done. How I made those? Read some more...

Note: I recommend doing this process at night, so she can dry her hair and set the waves overnight.  But of course, up to you. Just make sure the drying time allows for both hair and the toothed pieces dry enough.

Prepping your doll’s hair

Dividing doll hair into 3-4 parts
* Wash her up if she had been in the box for a long time. The hair should be free from dust and all things not nice.

* I used shampoo and a bit of conditioner to make her hair bouncy.

* Towel-dry hair. I brushed her hair using that big Barbie pink one such that it looks like she’s had it straightened/rebonded.

* Divide your doll hair into three to four parts –three parts vertically, then if you want, divide horizontally the center or back, to make your fourth part.

* Decide during this time what hair length you want to keep for your doll. For Ella, I cut her hair leveling her collarbone. Since at first I planned on retaining Luna's long locks, I went straight to the next step.

Prepping your tools

Those thick, toothed triangular cardboard pieces, though. =D
I took out thick cardboards from around the house that I cut in long triangular, toothed pieces. I chose this shape because I thought a cone could best shape a luscious looking perm. Since I don’t want round curls, I thought (flat) triangles would be best since it would give those vague, simple edges instead. Then I gave them “tooth”, so the hairs stick in between the "tooth" and stay secured, of course with the help of the hair pins.

Why cardboard? I don’t know really. I guess, it’s the only thick but soft enough material and still give the shapes I want, that I can find at that time. Well, I guess the cutting part pretty much dictated it, too since it will be hard to cut into plastic or harder materials unlike just thick paper.

Then I took out some hair pins. I think I used at least 50 pieces for Luna as I permed all of her hair, unlike Ella’s, whose bottom back parts I left untouched. I used two pins for each wrap.

With your toothed cardboard pieces and hair pins ready, let’s start perming!

Perming time!

* Pick a side to perm first, then start from the bottom of it. This way, all your set hairs are on the bottom, not getting in your way when you’re working through the top.

* Pick an amount of hair, not too thick, not too thin. Wrap it around your toothed cardboard.

* Secure with your hairpin on both ends.

* Do the rest of the other hair divisions you made.

* Once all hair wrapping is set, you can now proceed to the very effective boil perming procedure that I’m sure most doll collectors/stylists would know by now -boil perming!

* Boil some good amount of water, maybe about 3 to 4 cups. Once your water is boiling, turn off your stove and prepare your doll’s best position such that you can imagine how her hair would fall down once everything is done. In my case, I just let her sit in the sink, her head in normal, upright position.

* Run down boiling water on your doll’s head for several seconds.

* Pause for maybe 10 seconds then repeat the process up to three times. Make sure the hair curls are still secured.

* When you think hair’s been permed enough, place the doll on a towel, pat her hair such that they won't be dripping but with enough moisture that will set the perming overnight.

* Carefully place the set strands to places you want them to fall.

The next day…

* Slowly take off the hairpins and the cardboard pieces. In six hours, at least here in my tropical country, the cardboard will be dry enough. Drying time probably depends on your part of the world, or the season, right?

There you go. You can style her hair with some hair gel to keep some strands from sticking out. I didn’t do it with Luna’s in the following pictures as I was busy debating if I should retain the long hair ala Jennifer Lopez, or she sport shorter locks. Of course, my scissors won!

I hope you can get some useful tips from this tutorial. It was fun recreating the look with Luna. I love that she looks more fun now.

If you guys are trying out this tutorial some time, please let me know what you come up with. I’m sure there will be different results. It would be wonderful if you can comment if there are things I might have missed, or things that you can suggest for a more effective approach. That would just be so awesome!

Anywhoo, I’m off now. I hope to chat with you soon, though!

Hugs and kisses from the Philippine islands,
S h a s h a


  1. I really do love this hair style on Luna, both the long and the short versions of the style. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    1. Thank you, Phyllis! I like that the girls are given a more natural look when their hairdos aren't too neat haha!

  2. Hello from Spain: Fabulous tutorial. I like long hair curl. Keep in touch

    1. Thanks, Marta =) Yes, the long hair is rather something hard to part with but my scissors (and my fondness for shorter hair) decided and won! LOL!

  3. Thanks for the tutorial. I think that the triangle cardboard is an smart idea if you don't want super defined curls.


    1. True! I only probably want super defined looks if the girls would wear something dramatic. But as you guys know, I'm more into daily clothing stuff so my girls' hair should be pretty just everyday styling, too =)

  4. Her hair looks gorgeous! Thanks Shasha! I need to give this a try.

    1. Yes, please do. Thanks so much, Georgia Girl!


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