Forgotten Dolls

an encyclopedia of dolls and doll collecting

Selecting doll wigs -- tips, tricks, and how-tos


Selecting doll wigs

For certain types of dolls such as modern ball jointed dolls, the wig of the doll can be removed and changed.

Many new dolls of this type come with a default wig, but the doll's owner is free to change the wig to a wig which best suits the character for that doll.

Wigs are available in a variety of sizes, colours, and materials to suit every price point.

Options for doll wigs

Doll wig materials

Note: If the material is a natural fiber, it can be dyed any colour you like to suit your doll's character. You do not have that option with synthetic fibers.

Doll wig styles

When selecting a wig for your doll, first and foremost consider what colour and style would be best for your doll’s character. Do they wear ringlet curls? Pigtails? A short boy cut? Perhaps a fantasy colour would be best?

You should also consider the maintenance factor. I recommend avoiding curly or otherwise overly-fussy fibre wigs unless you are very careful with your dolls. If you like curly styles, buy a curly-type mohair or Tibetan lambskin wig; they are easier to maintain with a simple fluff and go.

The main thing about wig styling is to take your time, work on a small section at a time, and put the unstyled section into clips to keep it out of the way. Get one small section back into its original style before moving to the next small section. If your doll's wig is secondhand, keep in mind that it usually takes two to three hours to fix a badly mangled wig.

Tip: No wig ever looks good fresh from the package. Take a little time to style every wig when you put it on your doll so they look nice.

Synthetic wigs can be styled with any product intended for synthetic human-size wigs. Try your local beauty supply shop to ask them what they have for synthetic hair. I would recommend avoiding spray-on products due to the scale of many dolls, but any type of synthetic-hair gel or mousse would probably work. They will also have a shampoo suitable for synthetic wigs if you need it.

For wigs made of natural fibers such as mohair, use any product which can be used on human hair. Again, try to avoid spray products.

Doll wig sizes

Doll wigs are sized to fit particular head sizes. Most companies have a recommended size listed for particular dolls. This will almost always be an appropriate size for that particular doll.

To size your doll's head, use a tape measure around the edge of the headcap (if they have a head cap), or the circumference of the head from forehead around the back of the head. A tiny doll might need a 3/4 inch wig, while a large doll might need a 8/9 inch wig or larger.

Tip: If you can find one, a silicone wig cap can be used under a wig to protect the head from staining. This can also "tighten up" a wig which is slightly too large.

Where to buy doll wigs

Once you have determined a "look" for your doll, it's time for shop for doll wigs. If you are not using the doll's default wig, you will have to check the secondary market (typically a forum centered on this type of doll), and wait until you find the doll wig you are looking for. If you don't find the wig within a reasonable time, you can post a "WTB" (Want To Buy) with the model, condition, and the price you can pay.

Tip: Once you begin shopping for a wig, buy the best wig you can afford. A cheap, poorly-made wig will frizz and/or fall apart very quickly, and will frankly look like a cheap, poorly-made wig. Avoid the no-name brands that are often sold on some sites. They never hold up well. It’s better to spend your money on something that will wear well without shedding everywhere.

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