To allow you to learn how to best take care of your collection we would like to share Carol Sluy's tips on how to wash Sasha dolls' hair. The information below is based on her own knowledge and experience. It is not endorsed or linked to the Sasha Morgenthaler museum or family.
CAUTION : Before attempting this hair washing method, be certain your Sasha does not have "falling hair". If hairs come out with a slight tug, you will end up with a bald doll...
Falling hair is usually only found on Brunette dolls from 1967-1980 but it is always safer to check.
If your doll has a human hair wig, please do not use this method.
- Several clean towels
- A wide tooth comb
- Cotton balls or rounds
- Baking soda
- A small bowl to make baking soda paste
- Blue DAWN liquid. This needs to be the original product as they have several that are much too stringent for a Sasha doll. Don't use the red, yellow or green DAWN it will tint Sasha's hair.
- pure cold pressed Argon oil
- LOMA “Nourishing” conditioner (This one has no wax, parabens, sulfates, gluten which is important since it will avoid attracting bugs or leaving a deposit on the hair).
- Ziplock bags of various sizes for clothing and to protect the joints from taking on water
- Absorbent, white cotton socks to use as a shroud and to protect the body from taking on water.
Step by step instructions
1. First comb out the hair until no snarls from root to end are present
Start at the end and go up and back down again until you can go straight through, with the little end of a comb, without pressure.
Then lay your naked doll on a towel by the sink with her head and hair hanging over.
Make sure not to tug on the roots. If you run into problems hold the hair and get the snarl out. You can lose a whole plug with a tug. A sink with a hand sprayer is preferable.
2. Prepare all your supplies and get the doll ready
Prepare all your equipment, insert the doll in an absorbant white cotton sock and plastic bag to protect her and avoid water from entering in the body.
Ue a tablespoon or two for 70's dolls and three for 1980's dolls. Squeeze it on the dry hair. Avoid the root holes as much as possible with both product and water.
Move the conditioner around so every hair is coated. Then once again comb through top to bottom. This should glide with no problems. If you run into a snarl, clear it.
4. Take Dawn dishwashing liquid and wash the hair
Squeeze it and swish it but never scrub it or allow the hairs to cross or get tangled. Rinse it and do it again.
I have my naked doll on a towel with her hair hanging over the sink. I squeeze and scrunch until the hair is clean... While in this position I comb through and it should be slick as a whistle. Sometimes I hold her straight upside down to rinse.
5. Squeeze her hair with a towel
Keep the same position, (lying on the sink) and squeeze to get some water weight off from it. Never rub or scrub. You can also squeeze while upside down but always be cautious to scrunch/squeeze. You don't want to pull out any curl.
6. Swish her hair back and forth
Here's one of the trickiest parts to write. Holding the doll upside down but fully supporting the neck and shoulders, swish her hair back and forth. Up and down to separate the hair. It should untangle and fluff.
7. Comb slightly
When you turn her right side up, you should have a fluffy mass of curls. You will notice that you have not touched it with a comb or brush since step 3.
You might have to take a comb to slightly rearrange the bangs but that should be all. Any combing will pull out the curl. Don't do it until it's totally dry for a few days and then only do what is needed to separate hairs.
Now set your doll with her face but not her hair towards a window and every couple hours for the first day, turn her upside down and scrunch her hair. Don't swish it around at this stage as it will start to pull out the curl.
9. Day Two after washing
in my house she would still be very slightly damp. So 2-3 times the second day go in and scrunch the hair. I usually hold her so her hair is angled down when I scrunch at this stage. Do not hold her straight down as it gets dry, anything you do that might tangle it is counter productive..
10. Day Three, keep it in a warm window
You might need to scrunch it again but I doubt it. You just want it to bake a day or two after it is totally dry.
Heat sets curls in old dolls but resist the urge to place her outside to toast the curl in quicker. Sasha doll vinyls, in the early years are not totally stable and your doll might get too hot and collapse or sink in on herself. The window will be hot enough.
11. Final step
At this point I would dress her and with the edge of a comb, comb out strands that need to be placed differently.You should have scrunched it enough that it shouldn't need a full combing or brushing. Brushing will make it real bushy and you will lose the free and easy look.
The only variant I could suggest is to use pure argon oil but use no more than a drop or two and make sure it is well mixed into yours hands. Most Sasha collectors will caution against this. Only use it if it is very, very well rubbed into your hands.
With the doll hanging upside down, I swish the hair back and forth over my hands so that the ends get a little. Then I get a little on the top.
I usually do this soon after the wash or before it's completely dry as this gets real greasy real fast. Experiment with a couple of well mixed drops in your hands and try it on your own hair first.
If you need to trim off frayed ends, turn the hair upside down while it is still damp and trim off the tips evenly. You will find that all the hair in your dolls head are the same length. When you hang them upside down and when wet, it's easier to get a good, even un-chopped up look.
If you cannot find Loma products and have to change, get one with no alcohol, parabens, paraffins, gluten, artificial fragrance or dyes. Try to find one with only plant extracts. The Dawn dish soap is important too. I have used all different types of Dawn but don't use the green or red one. Only blue or clear. I would not deviate from the Dawn.
Additional tip on how to wash your doll' body
We do not claim responsability for the consequences of following the instructions above but remain available to answer your questions or provide more details. Please contact Carol at firstname.lastname@example.org