Friday, 2 March 2012


This is a great weekend project for you and your little ones....or if your like me and are just a big kid at heart who happens to be obsessed with barbies, lol.  If your little girl is quite young you may have to do the hair wrapping for her but I'm sure she will enjoy passing you the pipe cleaners and picking out the colours. :)

You'll need a barbie, if you have little girls you likely have a ton around the house...if not you can pick one up from Wal-mart for about $7  You'll also need pipecleaners and boiling water....that's it!
Begin by cutting your pipe cleaners in half; into about 2-3 inch strips.  Then bend those strips in half to form little "v" shapes.  Section small pieces from Barbie's hair starting from the back and place your v shape at the base of the strand.  Then begin to wrap the hair around the pipe cleaner in a zig zag motion.  You can simply twist and fold the ends to keep it in place.  For all of my hair stylists/junkies you will find this similar to a flexirod set :)

After the whole head is complete, dunk into a bowl of boiling water for about 10-15 seconds and allow to dry completely, preferably overnight.
Once completely dry, untwist the pipe cleaners and unravel the hair.  You should be left with what looks something like a twist out.
Continue to fluff or "pick" Barbie's hair and use scissors to trim the fro into shape.

I surprised my 4 year old great-neice, Jaela with two new barbies.  Of course she loved them both equally but when I asked her what she especially loved about each one she said she loved the dress on "straight hair" barbie and loved the hair on her new "afro barbie"
Good luck! (in my best Michelle Phan voice)


  1. cute. I was wondering how I could make this happen. I've seen some awesome afro Barbies on Tumblr

  2. This is the cutest thing! And sooo creative :) I love this, Toni.

  3. hi toni, i've followed your instructions and am now waiting for barbie's hair to dry (can we spell IMPATIENT?!). thank you for the video. you've got a great teaching style.

  4. I just tried this and the results were great! Thank you for the tutorial.

  5. I knew it was hard to find black dolls with natural hair styles, but now that I'm actually looking, damn is it hard. I've been looking for dolls to make Steven Universe's Garnet character since she's my daughter's favorite character, and if I hadn't found this tutorial, I'd be paying upwards of $80 for a doll that I was just going to have to style the hair on myself anyways. It's so ridiculous. Now to start my search for a short fat doll so I can make the Amethyst character... Thanks for your tutorial and your work. The doll looks really great and totally like she was bought that way!


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Hi, I'm Toni. A natural hair enthusiast, blogger and jewelry designer who enjoys experimenting with all things hair and beauty. I hope to share a bit along the way. :)