Doll Hair Types

NYLON: It looks beautiful, it feels beautiful, and it's one of the the easiest to style types of hair. It is extremely strong, and it's less prone to breaking than the other kinds of hair. It takes a curl very easily, and can just as easily be straightened again, if need be. It can be boil permed, but it doesn't have to be! Wet it with room temperature water, set it in curlers, let it air dry, take the curlers out, and you've got beautiful curls or waves! If you want really tight curls, a boil perm will never hurt, as long as you don't boil youir water at too hot of a temperature. Nylon and polypropylene can only withstand mildly simmering water, so when you see the air bubbles just beginning to rise to the water's surface in your pot, that's the temperature at which you should perm nylon and polypropylene. Any hotter than that, and the hair could frizz. Nylon can also be baked without having its integrity affected!

SARAN: Saran™ hair is a long-time favorite of many people, and it's the type of hair that is most often used for Barbie dolls (but Mattel uses kanekalon on Barbies sometimes, too). It has a waxy feel, which helps keep flyaway hair strands at bay, and it's weighted more heavily than other types of hair. It's somewhat resistant to curling, so if you're going to curl it, we would suggest overcompensating by about 50% by using smaller curlers and smaller sections of hair than you want the final result to be. It can be boil permed with VERY hot water... the hotter, the better. Saran™ hair is used primarily by Mattel (Barbie) and Tonner (Tyler, Sydney, etc.)

ACETATE This synthetic more closely resembles human hair than the other synthetic hair types sold on this site. We don't know of any toys that were ever factory-rooted with it, but it's very pretty. It can be boil permed, if you wish, and it can withstand VERY hot water.

POLYPROPYLENE: Polypropylene looks and behaves somewhat similar to nylon hair. However, many customers have told us that polypropylene is more like a cross between saran and nylon. It feels like saran, but it has the easy styling properties of nylon. Regardless, everyone who tries polypropylene absolutely loves it! Since polypropylene is nonporous, which means that it can't be dyed with fabric dye, or scented with our doll hair fragrances. Polypropylene hair should only be boil permed with mildly simmering water.

KANEKALON: The kanekalon hair sold on Dollyhair is DOLL GRADE kanekalon, NOT the human-grade kanekalon that you can buy at your local beauty supply store, which is very different! Human-grade kanekalon is manufactured with the idea of mimicking human hair. However, you can probably imagine how such thick strands of human hair would NOT be to scale on a small doll, such as Barbie. Human-grade kanekalon ends up looking inappropriate on dolls, and it's very stiff and bristly. DOLL GRADE kanekalon, however, is comprised of VERY thin strands, and is used by doll manufacturers for extremely stick-straight hairstyles, as well as for curly hairstyles. This is because kanekalon hair is EXTREMELY responsive to heat styling and can take any style you'd like it to have. Kanekalon hair can withstand the hottest boiling water for boil perms, making it possibly the most user-friendly of all the synthetic hair types sold on Dollyhair because it's very easy to style, and very durable against heat.
You're already familiar with doll-grade kanekalon hair if you've inspected the hair of Barbie dolls. Mattel is one toy company who uses kanekalon hair on their dolls. Generally, Mattel will use kanekalon hair on their playline dolls, while they'll use saran hair on their collector dolls. However, this is, by no means, a hard and fast rule, and you'll find many collector Barbie dolls with kanekalon hair and many playline Barbie dolls with saran hair.
You'll be able to distinguish kanekalon hair from saran hair by seeing that kanekalon hair strands are thinner than saran hair strands. Furthermore, kanekalon hair is not quite as shiny as saran hair.


image: a comparison of Kanekalon and Saran hair in dark brown colors.


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