Google Header -->
Skip to main content
Curly Nikki

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!

By January 27th, 202181 Comments

I was so excited to try the Natural Hair for Dolls Tutorial that I went out yesterday and bought a couple of straight haired So In Style Barbie Dolls. I did it a little differently than Kristl but all methods produce beautiful results. A absolutely loves all her new dolls!

Below are the two dolls I purchased. Grace (blue dress) and Chandra (white tee). I bought them both at Walmart. Grace was almost $8 and Chandra was almost $12.

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!Pipe cleaners in

I started by parting off a small section of hair. I wrapped the end of the pipe cleaner around the section of hair near the roots so it would stay put. I then rolled the hair on to the pipe cleaner. I left a little space inbetween as I rolled the hair on. Once I got to the ends I folded the pipe cleaner over the ends then wrapped it around once or twice and cut the remainder of the pipe cleaner off. I continued this process for about 40 minutes to an hour until I was finished. I then dipped her hair into a pot of boiling water for a 10 count,as Kristl mentions in her tutorial. I left the pipecleaners in overnight. I removed them in the A.M. and separated her curls. I cut all the straight ends off.

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!Pipe cleaners in/the back
Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!After removing the pipe cleaners

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!The back after removing the pipe cleaners

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!Separated the curls and viola! Big hair!

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!The back

For Chandra, I knew I wanted a different curl pattern, so I did the same exact process as above, only I parted off much larger sections so she didn’t have nowhere near as many pipe cleaners in her hair. After dipping her hair into a pot of boiling water I only left them in for about 3 hours, removed the pipe cleaners and separated the curls.

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!Pipe cleaners in

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!And out

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!Separated

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!Natural dolls!

Do It Yourself- Natural Hair Dolls!Grace and Chandra after their makeovers.


CN Says;

THIS! Such a novel idea! Boog will most certainly be playing with dolls of the highly textured variety ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Redseouls says:

    This is freakin fantastic!!!?

  • Curlylisa says:

    Thank. You for the Information. Me and my mommy are working on a curly hair project for my dolls.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am beside myself! I remember when I was a little girl and the only doll I had that even came close to having natural hair was my Brandy doll that had braids. My straight haired dolls didn't bother me as a child, but then again my mom let my sister relax my hair when I was 7:( Needless to say, I was used to my hair being straight but I always thought big, curly hair was beautiful. I'm 26 and my daughter is only 7 months but I will be turning all of my saved Barbies into naturals for her:) This is just waaaaaaay too cute for words!!! Kudos to the creative mama that came up with it! I love finding fun ways to teach our children to love themselves as is. My husband will definately laugh at me for boiling a dolls hair but I cannot wait to try this! LOL!

  • Anonymous says:

    i love this!!!!! this is so amazing and my niece asked me last week when buying her a doll like this…"Why are ALL the dolls hair so straight and are none like mines, am i weird?" and i had to tell her no that she had natural beauty one of a kind…lol but now i came across this i'm excited to give her dolls make-overs!! She will love this ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    maaaaaaaaaaad craaazy coooooooool!!!

  • Ieshia (kinkynaturalme) says:

    Girl, you just came up with the next BIG THING!!! serious money making dolls. Great idea for my hair as well thank you ima try it on mines.!

  • misskorilyn says:

    This is pretty rad. My sisters and I all still have the natural hair Mattel Barbies we got over the years. For those looking for Barbies to purchase that already have "natural" I have attached some links. Mattel does make "natural" hair Barbies with varying features. They aren't going to make a wider variety unless people actually go out and buy them, but at least they're trying.

    My FAVORITE NATURAL HAIR BARBIE BY FAR is: The Hard Rock Cafe Barbie. She plays electric guitar like me and she has big hair, like I want ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Guyanese Sista says:

    Love this! I don't have kids but I'll be buying some dollies just so I can do this.

  • Anonymous says:

    I am going to do this for my little girl. She's only 18 months old, but I want her dolls to look a little more "like her". Thank you so much for posting this!

  • Anonymous says:

    You brought the life back to the dolls – they look so much more real:)You left me speechless:)

  • Anonymous says:

    Visit us at "Love for all Naturally Curly Hair" on facebook – ( – and weigh in – share this site with any friends you think would like to join – join us for positive images of people with naturally curly hair and embrave all naturally curly hair, African or otherwise, so this hair straightening madness in our culture can find some positive images to fight it, (especially for our younger crowd, especially for MY daughter!) ๐Ÿ™‚ Still Leigh here at also if you'd like to contact me directly.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! I want to do this with my daughter! Are you or anyone else selling the end result naturally curly haired dolls? She is only 4 and I'm worried if I mess up this will not be good for her. She is biracial and asking for straight hair and I'm besides myself. I DONT like Barbies in general but I think I would LOVE to use Barbies to do THIS with them in order to offset the images of Barbies that she has already seen and liked. Maybe 2 Barbies would not be the end of the world (they are too sexist to me – body and facial proportions that no woman has breast / leg / waist / eye size wise… I think she contributes to a really horribel self image in most girls and reflects the ridiculously skinny yet large breasted definition of females, not to mention to lack of a butt!) You can email me at with any information. I might write you back from another email I use more often. THANKS! – Leigh. Leigh Salvage, Western MA.

  • Anonymous says:

    AWESOME! You are so creative and shame on the manufacturers for not being true to naturally curlies! Sisters rock!

  • Anonymous says:

    I dig it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm almost in tears. Can't wait to do this for my little girl (who, at 3, doesn't even care about barbies yet!) I can only imagine what this would've meant for barbie-obsessed me when I was young. THANK YOU endlessly!

  • Shanta Hayes says:

    I love it! Now my girls dolls can have hair like ours.

  • Anonymous says:

    This is sooo cute!! I think I want one for myself too! Lol.

  • Jasmine says:

    lmao i'm amazed at how great their hair looks! wow! that is just too cute.

  • Vikkitti 'MZSNSHYN' Garner says:

    Wow this is WONDERFUL!!!! I am 46 and my girls are 30 and 28 but I am going to my FAVORITE PLACE TO SHOP WAL*MART and buy me some straight haired dolls (all races) and let them go NATURAL LIKE ME.

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm grown and do not have any kids. However, I'm getting me a Barbie just so I can try it!

  • Anonymous says:

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! My daughter is 9 and loves these styles; she said she's going to try them on her doll but most importantly, she said, "My hair is okay like this. I can wear it naturally!" She has been begging me to flat iron it now, she's happy with the way it is! YOU should find a way to market this to little girls-maybe a book on how to style their dolls hair. It would be great for their self-esteem!

  • FLIRTINi* says:

    I looovvve it!!!!!!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    They Look AWESOME!!! I'm going to try this on my daughter's Brat "Head" doll. Guess I'm going to need a BIG pot! Lol!

  • Nikki @ BBB says:

    @Anonymous, I think so. Not sure what the outcome would be, but I think it would be different.

    Thanks again everyone. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Anonymous says:

    mom of three boys….. might have to try for that girl after all! LOVE THIS!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    Would bending or zig-zagging the pipe cleaners after the hair has been wrapped around them make a difference in the doll's hair texture?

  • Keli says:

    LOVE IT!!! My Bunny is only 2 now and still in favor of babydolls, but once the Barbie phase kicks in, we will be performing makeovers! Maybe by that time, Mattel will be offering a natural doll for purchase… .:fingers crossed:.

  • Anonymous says:

    Omg This is so cute!!! I'm a collector of barbie and barbie type dolls, the desinger kind, and this post caught my eye immediatly. I wish I had little girls to do this for( I have 2 wonderful boys)I also wish they just sold them this way for the little girls. it seems that only the expensive ones get that privilage(I have 4 or more over 50 bucks with textured hair and a range of colors) But this is so cute and if i do have a daughter one day then I will keep this in mind.

  • NikNak says:

    I love that NikG is so into teaching her kid how to enjoy her natural beauty. Usually by A's age, little Black girls are permed up. Kudos to her.

    Now I need to find a little girl to give a doll to.

  • Elegance says:

    This is so wonderful! Their hair actually looks afro textured and beautiful! I would totally do this if I had a daughter! I actually thought in the past about using pipe cleaners in my own hair because they would be like flexi-rods with bristles to hold the hair…I may revisit the idea ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Oli says:

    Fricking brilliant!

  • Demi says:

    ( ๏พŸใƒฎ๏พŸ)just soo lovely! Will deffently try this one day!

  • PHope says:

    That is genius!!

  • Rissa Katharine says:

    That's so cool! I'm going to try this and braiding the dolls' hair, and maybe using toothpicks for a 4b-c curl pattern? I HAVE to try this!

  • The Antifash says:

    So cute!! I am 25, and I want one lol! I need a find a cute way to incorporate it in my apt decor lol.

  • Anonymous says:

    Chandra is working that look. Love the hand in hair pose. Girl, better work. Those dolls are proof how sometimes you do look better natural. Makes me want to grab my dolls and just start doing this. Favorite post so far.

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG THIS IS PERFECT!!! My nieces are having their birthday parties next week and I'll be making these for them….so awesome!!!

  • MLP aka SHAMEL says:

    Very nice! I don't play with dolls anymore but they listen very well. No I am not crazy I just remember my sister playing and talking to her dolls. Each doll had their own voice and she would hold a dialogue with them. Let's bring back the Natural… Would you like to be a guest blogger on my page, connect with me here Nikki and God Bless.

  • mizcreativelyme says:

    nikG, this is too cute and genius. girl, with all your skillz you could turn cealie's hair from color purple into a fiya twist-out n have mista actin right. have 'em sayin, shugg? who dat be???

  • BlackAngel Playah says:

    This is super cute.. I wish my mom had known the beauty of naturally curly hair and made some of my dolls curly. ๐Ÿ™‚ At least she always bought black dolls. LoL!


  • Anonymous says:

    Super cute!!!!

  • Bird says:

    How stinkin adorable is this?!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    This is too cool. Thanks for sharing. I'm 41 but I think I need to revisit childhood through these dolls. Lol.

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG!! I am loving this!! I will have to do this for my God daughter! Thanks for the wonderful tip.

  • DrChuck24 says:

    how freaking creative! the dolls are too cute ๐Ÿ™‚

    thanks for sharing….

  • Anonymous says:

    As a little girl I wore braids and I saw how they curled the synthetic braids in the braid shop…so of course I did this to my Barbies…I didn't have pipe cleaners…I used the small curl rods. Everyone thought I would grow up to do hair because I was always changing my dolls' hair. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Nikki of BBB says:

    Thank you all so much. I give all the credit to Kristl for this idea, please check out her blog, Here is her original guest post where she used a larger doll,

  • luvmylocs says:

    we are so creative as a people! i love it!

  • geniusmd says:

    OMG! I'm itching to run to Walmart to get a doll and try this out. …yes I'm 23! lol

  • nneka says:

    aw, this is so cute. i wish they came like this in the store though ๐Ÿ™

  • Anonymous says:

    I love this idea! Wish it were out years ago. Thanks!

  • PhenomenallyMe says:

    I am in awe. Kudos to you. I truly don't think I would have ever had an idea like that, not that I have kids yet but amazing! AND they look good!!!! *Tear*

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    Wow! This is too deep! Seems like the dolls have a similar process as we do to get our hair bumping.

  • Ai says:

    Gorgeous! When I have a daughter she will DEF. have a big haired Barbie. I may just do this for my neice!

  • GiGi Curls says:

    GET OUT!!!!!! I am so doing this…for me!!!

  • Kayla says:

    I was going to buy a natural doll to celebrate my BC, but I don't think so anymore! I'm gonna do this instead!

  • Anonymous says:

    That is so cool. Makes me want to go buy some S.I.S. dolls. lol

  • Anonymous says:

    That's great. I'm old enough to remember when barbie dolls came in one version and one version only…blue eyes and blonde. My cousin and I often used markers (or when we were desperate-crayons) to color their skin. Yes, they were pretty funny looking lol.

  • Ashley says:

    that is the most amazing thing I've ever seen in my life! I'm so grateful that you shared this!

  • Chantel says:

    I wish I could've done this too my barbies back in the 90s! I can't wait to have a lil girl or niece I can do this for ๐Ÿ™‚

  • modest-goddess says:

    wow this is such a good idea, I don't have kids but maybe I'll do it as a gift

  • Lela7 says:

    @ Anon 4:09: if u actually go the site, the tutorial shows how to create type 4 kinky looking hair on a doll.

  • Anonymous says:

    WERK Momma!

  • Anonymous says:

    OMG! This is the fly-est, dop-est (a word?)! You really should immediately set up shop to market these dolls. So serious!

    You have mad skills. I love the styling that you do with your daughter, but I am wondering (really, begging) if you would be willing to help out Mothers of curlies with type 4 textures? PLEASE!

  • Lauren says:

    Dope. Super dope.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow wow wow wow wow!! Awesome!

  • Anonymous says:

    omg. this is so cute:

  • Anonymous says:

    this is so ridiculously fantastic. OMG. Such a creative mommy!!! My barbie's straight hair never fazed me and never made me think twice about my kinky hair but i would've LOVED to have this as a tot.

  • Christie B. says:

    This is an awesome idea!!!!! I love A's hair! I'm 27 and transitioning and your site is awesome. If I have a little girl, will definitely try some of these styles. I don't know how to cornrow….so it's gonna be a challenge!! I love these tips for myself!

  • MrsWardy88 says:

    GET OUT!!! My baby is almost a year, but I've GOT to keep this in mind!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Unknown says:

    This is so awesome! As Angelina said they look so much better with natural hair, this would be the perfect gift for my cousin's birthday. Thanks for posting!

  • leslie says:

    OK!! I'm heading to Walmart NOWWW!

  • Anonymous says:

    Hmm…wonder if this will work on the American Girl dolls. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • momoftwinzz09 says:

    Cant wait to try my hand @ this for my daughter. Great post!

  • Angelina says:

    WOW!! The dolls look so much better with natural hair!!

  • Jae Manolo says:

    That is soo cool!

  • Anonymous says:

    Totally love this post. Dolls transistion to natural hair!

  • Natasha says:

    Okay, I'm 22, have no daughters but I want to go and buy a dolly to style their hair!! Only thing, I don't think I'll find a dark skinned dolly in Birmingham (UK).

  • Tonia says:

    Okay…..I LOOOOOOOOOOVE this!!!!! I have no girls to make this for but this is too cute for words!!

  • kai says:

    Wow, i love them! Chandra looks so stylish. Grace's hair looks like it would be here curl pattern while Chandra's looks like an awesome, twist/braid out. These dolls are fierce!

  • Anonymous says:

    Absolutely beautiful!

Leave a Reply