Since the discovery that washing the gross shellac out of a doll’s hair can actually be bad for them, I’ve been trying to find another way to clean and soften the bangs and bobs and other helmet-like aspects of my horde of dolls’ hair. What I’ve found works just as well as washing is combing!
Using a regular comb doesn’t work so well, because the hair is often so stiff that the teeth just bend against it or make grooves without actually pushing the glue out. But small, fine-toothed combs with sturdy bristles can get the hair as soft as washing it.
In my case, I’ve been using a very small, very sharp eyelash comb. Its teeth are basically a row of thick, rather blunt needles, and while I would never, ever, ever want to put it anywhere near my eyes, it works very well for combing out the glue. But I think any thin, narrow comb with strong teeth would do just as well.
For comparison, here’s a picture of one of my Operettas before I combed out her hair:
And here she is afterwards!
I think it holds shape pretty well! The curls are bigger and looser, but a bit of training with a pipe cleaner will fix that. The hair wants to hold its shape, and if it gets messed up, wrapping it around your finger (or a pencil or something similar) and combing over it will help get it back the way it was.
I did this for both of my Operettas that still have their stock hair, and I think it turned out pretty nicely both times:
So um, yes! Hopefully this will be helpful to somebody. I’ve used this method to de-gluify both of my SS Frankies, both of my Rochelles’ bangs, DotD Ghoulia’s bangs, and two of my Operettas with no problems so far.