One great way to make your dolls look more valuable on eBay is to fix their hair. If given the choice between a doll with matted hair and a doll with sleek and clean looking hair, buyers will choose the one with sleek hair. The good news is, creating beautiful hair on a doll is easy.
If you’re styling a doll with rooted hair and a vinyl head (like Playmates and Barbies), you can wash their hair with normal shampoo. Once their hair is clean, add scented conditioner and don’t rinse it. This will let you brush tangles out of their hair (Barbie brushes are great for this because of the hard plastic bristles). After you’ve gotten rid of all the tangles, rinse out the conditioner gently.
Some dolls will need more than their hair washed. In these cases, put their hair in a ponytail and secure it in a few different places to keep it from tangling. Then put the doll in a lingerie bag and wash it in the washing machine (use a delicate cycle). Once the cycle is complete, let the doll air dry and detangle its hair.
To detangle doll hair (for those who have been washed in the washing machine or just have clean looking hair), you’ll need to make a homemade detangler. All you need is inexpensive scented conditioner and water. Mix 2 cups of water with ¼ cup of conditioner in a plastic spray bottle and shake until thoroughly mixed. Then spray the mixture onto the doll’s hair until it’s fairly wet. Use your Barbie (or similar) brush to remove all the tangles. Start at the ends and work your way up to avoid damaging the hair. For dolls with a lot of hair, you may need to work in sections. Add more detangler as needed throughout the process. (Don’t worry about rinsing out the detangler when you’re done - it won’t hurt the hair. If you notice that the hair is stiff when it dries, just brush it out.) Let the dolls air dry completely once their hair is detangled.
For more information on selling vintage or antique dolls, check these resources: