CUSTOM: Rotini or Halo Hair

2 Jun

Baby I can see your Halo

This doll does not have an “Afro.”

People who were part of the Black Pride movement of the 1960′s  also took pride in wearing their hair natural instead of using straightening combs or chemical relaxers. Their pride in African culture was an Afro-centric view. The way they wore their hair was soon dubbed an “Afro.”

Fifty years later people often shorten the word and say [ 'fro ]

It is sometimes thought of as a comical word. I have decided to start calling it a Halo instead. Why? Because the Whorf Hypothesis says that thought follows language and I love this hair so I want to give it a name that isn’t about a particular political view (not that Black Pride isn’t great) but is instead about it’s beauty and power. It is a hairstyle that to me looks angelic and powerful yet gentle.

So, blah, blah, blah.

This post is actually a tutorial for creating Halo or Rotini hairstyles for your barbies.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • A doll
  • End papers (Sold at Beauty Supply shops)
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Pot full of boiling water

Note about end papers – if you start with a doll that has long hair and you plan to make style similar to the style shown here, you will not have to have end papers, they are optional. But if you start with doll that has shorter hair and don’t plan to cut it any further then end papers will be essential.

  1. Cut pipe cleaners into two inche pieces and bend each one in half. They will look like little “V” shapes.
  2. Section off a peice of hair and twist it into a tight spiral.
  3. Wrap the spiral in an end paper (optional)
  4. Place a pipecleaner onto the scalp and pull the twisted section into the crook of the pipecleaner.

5. When you finish each section twist the pipecleaner to lock the hair onto it.

Fully wrapped head

6. Once you have all the sections in pipecleaners, dip the head in boiling water for the count of ten.

7. Wait for the head to cool – usually a few hours, but overnight is best.

8. Take the pipecleaners out.

9. If you have length to spare, trim each curl to get rid of straight ends or strays.

If you want ROTINI style, don’t ever comb the curls out. If you want a HALO, brush vigorously and shape with your palms.  For a HALO, be sure to bring some of the hair down over the forehead and then shape it back up underneath.

Rotini Hair

Oh, and be sure to play this song while you wrap the hairs:

 

 

79 Responses to “CUSTOM: Rotini or Halo Hair”

  1. Vanessa Morrison June 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm #

    Great tutorial! I do have to disagree about the Afro being about a political view. Although Black Pride in and of itself, is about Beauty and Power.

    Afro
    –noun
    a hair style originating with black persons, in which the hair is allowed to grow naturally and to acquire a bushy appearance
    In all the definitions I saw, none of them ever even mentioned Black Pride. An Afro will always be an Afro to me.

    • kristlsmithtyler June 2, 2011 at 10:37 pm #

      I love everything about the Black Power movement…the Panthers, leather jackets and berets, dashikis, beads -I love it all but I think this hairstyle is about so much more than the 70′s and it seems like it will always be thought of like men’s platform shoes – kind of a 70′s joke unless it gets reclaimed. I just love super curly hair and I like calling it a Halo…don’t take me too seriously.

    • kristlsmithtyler June 22, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      I’ve been thinking about this alot. The thing that bugs me about the word Afro is that it is so generic. You would not likely have a haircut called a Euro because what does it really mean? Couldn’t all hairstyles originating out of Europe be called a Euro? Calling it an Afro is like calling it a “Black” – it sounds like a name made up by people who didn’t know any black people. Natural hair was so shocking that almost any natural style worn by a black person is called an Afro now. A woman with 1/2 inch long natural hair is the same as Angela Davis in the ’60s? Both of those are Afros? The real problem is probably that I am making a political point on an otherwise much less political blog. (though the blog itself is something of a politcal act)

  2. Lola June 3, 2011 at 1:27 am #

    That. Is. Awesome. I have done tight-ish curls by wrapping hair around straws and clipping it, but the ‘weaving’ part is genius. I did, though, discover that instead of “end papers” a small piece of paper towel will work just as well:D Now I know what I’ll be doing with my evening…

  3. Lola June 13, 2011 at 6:16 pm #

    So I tried this twice now–the first time, I used a long haired doll and trimmed her ‘fro afterward. It turned out uneven, but still looks good. The second one, I gave her a quicky haircut before hand and the ‘fro turned out much rounder. This is also a great way to deal with barbies with bangs–the second one had bangs, but I just cut them off completely and poured the boiling water on her head toward her face to force her ‘fro to cover her forehead. Looks great! Thanks for the tip!

    • kristlsmithtyler June 22, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

      Lola – do you think I was clear about the fact that you need to twirl the hair into a sprial before you start zig-zagging? I am not sure I made that point very well. Did you twirl the hair first?

    • kristlsmithtyler June 22, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

      Also, when you poured the boiling water over her head it was before the curling process right? then when you wrapped the front you kept the hair headed downward, is that right?

      • Lola June 24, 2011 at 7:58 pm #

        Yes, it was clear that it needed to be twirled first. But no, I was starting with straight hair, so I didn’t boil it beforehand, I twirled and binded it dry. Then I put her face down over the sink and poured the boiling water on her head. The previous one that I did, the one I did with overly long hair, I put her on her back and poured the water and it won’t stay down over her forehead.

      • Lola June 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm #

        I wasn’t able to just ‘brush it out’ though, I had to actually pick out the rotinis with my fingers. It wasn’t any big deal, though.

        • kristlsmithtyler July 13, 2011 at 4:07 pm #

          I did the same. I picked apart the rotinis first. I just need to add that step to the tutorial. Thanks for bringing that to my attention.

  4. Blackdollenthusiast July 6, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    Great tutorial. I will give it a try to add texture to dolls with bone straight hair or dolls with damaged hair from child’s play. I may experiment with some of my daughters dolls first.

    dbg

    • kristlsmithtyler July 6, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

      thanks. I read your blog often. May as well try it on a spare doll if you’ve got one. Now that I figured this out I have plans to do all sorts of other natural hairstyles. I love natural hair so it’s kind of exciting.

  5. Dana Hill July 11, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Nigger, Negroid, Negro, Black, African American…Now we’re uncomfortable with the word Afro? Let’s not mince words. Honestly, does it matter if we call it Afro, Fro, or as Kristi Smith Tyler has now coined it, “Halo.” Kristi, I absolutely love this tutorial blog on how to give the Barbie natural hair. You Go girl! I see your good intentions – I can see your halo ;-) But, when it comes to words to characterize black culture, can’t we all just get along???

  6. kristlsmithtyler July 11, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Dana – I totally get what you are saying…Vanessa didn’t like my intro much either.

    I am not uncomfortable with it – I just love natural hair and if you search on “Afro” people lump basically all natural hairstyles worn by people with tightly curled hair under the category of Afro. It’s not about not getting along, it’s about elevating an amazing thing that super curly hair is capable of achieving without any chemicals.

    I mean let’s stand back from the fashion excesses of the 1970′s and consider that this hair is capable of achieving the most amazing things with no chemicals at all!!

    I don’t think of this hair as a joke – I think of it as an amazing thing that we should all stand in awe of.

    That said, you don’t find it a little weird that every natural hairstyle save locks is called some variation of the word “Afro” – what if every natural hairstyle of white girls was called “The stringy”? — stringy straight, Stringy pigtails, Stringy short, stringy side part…that’s all I’m saying.

    • Dana Hill July 11, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      As the Founder of The Black Doll Affair, the question I’m most asked is, “Dana, “Why do so many of The Dolls wear make-up, wigs or weaves? Isn’t this movement about keeping it real?” My answer: “What’s real? The term “real” is relative and subjective. What’s real to one Doll is memorex to another. For you, Halo is real, for millions Afro is real. The Black Doll Affair is a self-esteem movement. Skinny, plus size, young old, natural, permed, rooted, weaved, dark and light, afro or halo.. my Black Doll is b’huetiful! She is EVERY woman and girl. We don’t have to tear down one word to build up another. Like the Garden of Eden, how bout’ we let all types of b’huetiful flowers blossom? Being careful of issues or new terms that divide and conquer. I jumped in on your blog, because I saw others taking on the new term and thought, ‘here we go again.’ First, we allowed ourselves to be divided by the dark skinned field negro and the light skinned house negro. Then, we separated ourselves with good hair vs. bad. Light skin women with long hair vs dark skin women with short hair. Followed by the higher educated English speaking black against the uneducated Ebonically speaking. Then, came the fight between the bourgeoisie and the ghetto fabby. Lately, we’re trending towards the MANE EVENT of natural hair against permed. My advise is build up, don’t tear down. The term Afro is rooted in pride and we should keep it that way. But, that’s just my opinion, Kristi. I could be wrong. ;-) PS. Thanks for the kind words about The Black Doll Affair Movement – Peace & Love.

  7. kristlsmithtyler July 11, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    Dana-
    My position is not about tearing down at all.

    But there is value in having these discussions re the hidden values in a phrase like “good hair” people need to see what values they have internalized when they say a phrase like that. I don’t see it as being negative to talk about such things. I see it as empowering.

    Judging people for choosing makeup and relaxers is wrong. But so is the opposite view. As a woman in Chris Rock’s documentary “Good Hair” said, “How is it that allowing your hair to stay the way it is when it came out of your head a Revolutionary Act?” I am certainly not creating a relaxed hair vs natural hair controversy. One already exists and I didn’t create it.

    I really doubt a silly tutorial about barbie hair is going to get any traction…it was just a thought that came to me as I was writing up my tutorial.

    Also, my blog is all about how people can make barbies into whatever they want to convey.

    Mattel has to do what sells the most. My blog shows how you can cut hair, make it curly, reduce makeup through repaints, change out bodies for diversity, find clothes that are more modest and less “glam”. People do have choices my blog is about using what is available to create what you want. People can have their barbies and teach their daughters whatever values they want to convey. It’s a really beautiful thing.

  8. Danielle July 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm #

    I love your tutorial Kristl! I can’t wait to try it myself. When Radiant Child Remi came out, I was thinking how much I’d like my dudes to have an afro/halo. My husband wore a big ‘fro and I want a doll that looks like him. I even saw someone cut Remi’s hair! Boo. I love this and I can’t wait to try it.

    • kristlsmithtyler July 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

      I had to look up Radiant Child Remi. Do you like his hair? I have like a beach Steven whose curls smell like Pina Colada. I want one with locs and then I will try to make one with a Halo (yes, I used the term, and I felt kind of silly but I did it anyway). I cut the hair of one of my Julian’s just so he would look diff than the other one, but it made him have plugs (a word I learned from black girls in high school- do you get what I mean by “plugs”?)

  9. Tracy India July 28, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    Awesome tutorial! I’ve got this doll, I’m gonna have to try this. :)

  10. Lola July 31, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    So I have tried this a few different times with different results–The one that turned out the best was lots and lots of tiny twists. I did one on a Fashionista–first, her hair was super-silky, and I did bigger twists on fewer pipe cleaners–it turned out as a very loose ‘fro. Not really fro-ish at all, but still looked good. Now I’ve got the pipe cleaners in the hair of an old Free Moving Cara–she had very textured hair to start with (which straightened about half of the way down with boiling water) so I’m interested to see how it comes out. I still have to reroot a rooted steven to make an afro’d man, but first I have to find his head:D

    • Elle December 25, 2011 at 8:10 pm #

      Will this work to get this doll’s hair: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mo1160/5299150965/

      (Barbie Basics Collection 2 #3)

      (Not the version on BarbieCollector.com, which more of a fro than anything close to what I can make “mini me”; and doesn’t match the #3 I bought. What I want is what the hair on my specific doll but brunette, which is kind of close to the pic from the link: tightER curls than common and very bushy, but still passing for European-textured, if that makes sense. I want a doll like I; she’s not enough! She makes me envious to have what she has on my mini-me/I need another to match ME closely. I’m not a blonde with tan skin, blue eyes and fuschia lips and I have a close-to-me doll but with very loose curls coming in the mail, but I so want this “Steffie’s” blonde actual hair curl and shape. Sorry, I don’t have pictures of MY doll.) I searched eBay and I just can’t see another white Barbie with these awesome curls! No. 3 has my favorite Barbie hair; so why not make my little fantasy tiny moi equaling? :-) Thanks, if you or the blogger can answer. :-)

      BTW, I don’t want to re-thread (after/before coloring/dyeing — taking off heads scares me!) and like I said, her face is far too tan to be me!

      • kristlsmithtyler December 26, 2011 at 5:06 am #

        I would start with a doll that looks like you. Your hair and skin tone etc.

        Then I would use v-shaped pipe cleaners but I would not wrap in a zig-zag. I would still twirl, but I would go in a simple circle straight up one side of the V. When you are finished wrapping the hair, I would take the “empty” side of the pipe-cleaner and wrap it around the “hair” side in the opposite direction used to wrap the hair. If that works to keep the curler from unraveling – I would stop there. If that doesn’t work and the curler seems to come undone, I would try wrapping the curler into a spiral.

        Remember, no matter what you try, you can always douse the unwrapped head in boiling water and start all over again. Don’t worry too much – you’ll get it eventually. Also, try things with a single curl, maybe on a doll you don’t like as much as your mini-me. Once you work out the curl pattern you want on a curl or two, then proceed with wrapping a whole head. When you are finished, please post a pic and details of how you achieved the look.

  11. centric December 13, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    now its going to take just as long to do her hair as it does to do yours and god forbiddens when it starts matting.. i mean the doll’s hair, not yours..not worth it

    • kristlsmithtyler December 13, 2011 at 10:17 am #

      Well the great thing is that you only have to do it once per doll. I find that kids enjoy the process and the act of wrapping the hair -its just one of thousands of craft actitivies you might carry out during the raising of a chile. The perming process allows ample time to discuss that some people are lucky enough to be born with this hair texture, while others have to be given it by someone willing to take the time and make the effort.

      I like to talk about this hair as the “only perfect circle in nature” and remind my daughter of my thoughts about a hair texture that some call “unruly” and “difficult” but that I consider awe-inspiring and like to refer to as “strong-willed” and “independent.”

      The act of creating this hair can be such an amazing experience. The doll pictured has had this hairstyle for about a year now and her hair is not matting yet :-) She’s a doll, she doesn’t get out THAT much.

  12. audrey reed December 13, 2011 at 10:58 am #

    love it. love it. love it. “it’? — your blog. the technique. the term “Halo”. the comments. and i love you Kristl. :)

    • kristlsmithtyler December 13, 2011 at 11:11 am #

      Audrey my friend – you are so sweet – I love you too!!

  13. Juanita December 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Have you tried this with the large Barbie styling head? I just bought my granddaughter one for Christmas & was wishing that it had an Afro like Go-Go (that’s me).

    • kristlsmithtyler December 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm #

      It would definitely work. I’ve done it on an 18 inch doll and she looks great. The key to nylon doll hair is that you use hot water to change the texture – never heat styling items like blow dryers and curling irons or straightening combs. That styling head can go from a natural black texture to a natural white texture and everywhere in between. She’s going to have a ton of fun and i iknow you are going to do a great job of helping her understand that all textures have value and provide a chance to do unique and exciting styles!!

    • kristlsmithtyler December 15, 2011 at 6:32 am #

      OMG!! Go-go has to be the cutest Grandmother moniker I have EVER hear of!!

  14. Annie December 14, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

    I don’t think afro is a negative term or that every textured hairstyle is a fro. Some people do tell me they like my daughters afro (when she isn’t wearing one) and it is annoying, but I don’t get upset by it.
    To me, the first picture is an afro. The second “rotini” style is not, to me.
    I hope to raise my daughter to love her natural, God given, hair and can’t wait to do this on the Barbie she found (before Christmas and totally destroyed the packaging. It wasn’t well hidden). Thank you so much!

    • kristlsmithtyler December 15, 2011 at 11:19 am #

      I agree completely Annie!

      I actually agree that the top picture IS the quinetessential “Afro” – I just want to stir the pot a little and ask people to re-consider the constant use of “Afro” in the naming of hairstyles that involve a natural texture.

      I actually love the use of “afro” in the name of the hairstyle “Fro-hawk” because it rhymes with Mohawk and Faux-hawk.

      But again, my opening paragraphs in this post are just me loving stirring a big ol’ pot!!

      • TheeAverageJo February 5, 2012 at 8:12 am #

        Why as a white woman are you trying to tell black people who may find pride in the term “afro” how to call their hair. Do you not see the problem in that? Also, with you having no first hand knowledge on it, you have no right to speak on it. It is alright to call it whatever you like, but trying to place that opinion on others goes back into the historical context of things and that’s water it’s safer for you to not tread. It’s one thing to be ignorant and say it’s political. It’s another thing to blindly think you are doing the right thing and COMPLETELY ignore what Dana Hill was trying to tell you. You didn’t internalize any of that at all did you? Take a step outside yourself and see how you might have come across to a black person… sometimes that’s all we ask of white people who mean well.

        • kristlsmithtyler February 5, 2012 at 9:31 am #

          Do I not see a problem in that? Yes and no.

          Yes, i have heard from a number of women (not on this blog, but in another version of the article) who have told me that they were hurt by what they perceived as my attempt to remove the link to Africa. I apologized several times for that. Removing the link from Africa was never my intention, certainly it was not a stated intention – so it had to be a leap in logic. My job is to apologize for allowing that perception to arise – by not being more clear in my reasons for the name substitution. And of course to apologize for causing anyone to feel bad. I did apologize for that.

          No, because I wasn’t TELLING anyone what to call it. My exact words are, “I have decided to start calling it a Halo instead.” So you go on to say that I have a right to call it whatever I want but I don’t have a right to tell others what to call it. And that’s exactly what I was doing. It should be kept in mind also that this is an article on my blog doesn’t target neo-feminist black women – it’s women of all colors who want their children to play with barbies. I have other readers, but that is the audience I target. Black Consciousness feminists seem to be most offended but I didn’t have any of those until recently. I have grown from their input, but they are still not my core audience.

          Additionally, I recently had a flurry of activity where at least 20 outlets posted links to my article. Only two of these outlets had comments of people being offended by things like my perceived exotification of black features, othering, co-opting, etc. So my article has been overwhelmingly accepted and embraced by the black community.

          Even with all that acceptance, I understand that racial topics bring out buried emotions and baggage. I have buried emotions and baggage of my own and sometimes I don’t do a good job of handling those emotions. I hope I’m getting better.

          I recognize in your approach and words a bit of training in advanced Racial and Feminist theory. In the classic scenario of the well-meaning-but-wrong-headed-white-person – the white person makes a number of predictable mistakes. The major faux pas is in listening to the perspective of the black person and either telling them they are being too sensitive or being patronizing by attempting to point out that whatever was said or done was not in fact, offensive (‘splainin). I do understand this classic scenario and I have seen it happen a number of times. I may have been guilty of it a time or two though since I don’t think I’m smarter than all black women, I wouldn’t be ‘splainin in the classic sense, even if it came across that way.

          A closer reading will reveal that that is not what happened in the case of Dana. I did not ignore Dana’s input. Dana is a glam type – make up and straight hair – she saw my article as stirring the pot more from the perspective of culture wars – Permed vs Natural. And in the end, she and I came to an understanding. We had a parallel conversation going on Facebook and that’s why she mentions my “kind words” about her organization. I am a fan of hers – even though I prefer natural hair and less make up – I think she is a FORCE and I love what she’s doing.

          You accuse me of not internalizing any of what she said and needing to “take a step outside [my]self and see how I might come across to a black person” – in fact I’ve asked two very close friends to walk through things with me and I’ve worked out a lot of kinks in the time since the controversy stirred up.

      • Annie February 5, 2012 at 8:43 am #

        Wow, TheeAverageJo, I have never experienced such a hateful comment. I am a little taken aback.
        You should have pride in the term afro. That’s what I hope to instill in my daughter. Which was the whole point of my comment. I 100% agree with Dana. I am not trying to place my opinion on anyone. It’s MY opinion and you have a right to yours.
        Just because I’m white doesn’t make me ignorant or blind. How dare you.

        • kristlsmithtyler February 5, 2012 at 9:53 am #

          Lucky for you Annie, she was probably “talking” to me. I don’t think she had a problem with your comment. It’s not clear from your original post that you are white. I thought actually that you were (are) black. I find it pretty fun when I can’t tell and get it wrong. that’s how life should be. In any event, you can take some solace in the idea that she wasn’t actually targeting you.

        • TheeAverageJo February 6, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

          Annie – Not a hateful comment. If you’re taken aback, that means it struck a chord with you somewhere… which is indication to another issue entirely that you may need to explore further.
          I do have pride in the term “Afro” – thanks; but I don’t think you read my comment correctly. I took issue with the changing of the term to Halo. I wasn’t going after your opinion at all, in fact, I never really read it, nor do I plan to. You’re white and you are ignorant to what it’s like to be a black person in the US. That is a fact. There are a plethora of things that you will not be able to teach your daughter because of that and vice versa as well. There is no denying that. In the same vein, I am ignorant to what it would be like to live as a white woman in the US.
          Kristl – I think it’s good that you are talking about this with people off line. A versatile and varied discussion is always a good thing.

          • kristlsmithtyler February 7, 2012 at 10:21 am #

            Average Jo,

            The reason Annie was taken aback was bc you accidently posted your comment as a reply to her’s. I would have been taken aback if I was her and not for the deep and profound reasons you propose but bc what she wrote was just sort of a nice, smiley face kind of comment.

            Your comment back to Annie was abrasive on so many levels – a perfect example “I never really read it, nor do I plan to.” Again, from her perspective, you replied to her comment so it was appropriate for her to presume you’d read her comment.

            Neither Annie nor I will ever know what it is like to be a black woman, but that’s no reason not to try, and thank god there’s a thing called “empathy” — which the attempt at which gives is the very essence of humanity and compassion. I think it’s important to keep in mind that this is a blog about curling a doll’s hair.

  15. Tameka Jones-Young December 15, 2011 at 10:36 am #

    Here ya go ladies and gents! Have at it!!!

  16. Julie Davis December 15, 2011 at 11:52 am #

    love this! need to go buy me a barbie

  17. Carla Lynne Hall December 15, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

    Until I clicked the link for the “Whorf Hypothesis”, I assumed you were talking about Lt Worf, the black Klingon character on Star Trek: Next Generation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worf. Oops!

    Seriously, this is an awesome tutorial for giving dolls a natural ‘do. Thank you for sharing!

    Carla

  18. Mayson Dickson December 16, 2011 at 1:06 am #

    Gonna try this on my American Girl Addy doll soon. Been wanting to give her a makeover for years. Cheers!

  19. Lisa December 16, 2011 at 9:29 am #

    Great tutorial, but just a clarification…. am I to dip the doll’s entire head into the hot water, or should I try my best to avoid the face and ears?

    • kristlsmithtyler December 16, 2011 at 10:38 am #

      It doesn’t matter. The dolls head mold and face paint won’t be harmed by the boiling water. If you are worried you can avoid the face but the boiling water won’t affect a modern doll. I will make the disclaimer that if the doll is like, from the 1960′s, I am not recommending ANYTHING. But even if your doll is from the 1980s or later you will not have any issues dipping the whole head.

  20. Jennifer Souza December 19, 2011 at 6:10 pm #

    Thank you! I live in Brasil, where people come in every skin color/hair combo imaginable. I gave some of my Barbies, that are being given to those less fortunate- inclduing the caucasian dolls. They all look wonderful! Thank you!

    • kristlsmithtyler December 23, 2011 at 8:41 pm #

      My neice is studying in Brazil right now. I know you do have amazing diversity there – all the more reason for a girl to need to give the doll of her choice a textured natural style.

      Glad you like them.

  21. Ashley December 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    I LOVE THIS! My daughter and I have natural hair. It upsets me when I see 4 and 5 year olds with perms and weaves. Its like we get brain washed at an early age that we aren’t good enough. I can go on and on about this topic!

    I showed my daughter ( 4 years old ) these barbies and she was so excited. She says “I want THOSE barbies!” I will definitely try this for a gift.

  22. Ashley December 20, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    I forgot to add, you are amazing and so creative to think of these ideas!

    Also I forgot to add that my daughter plays with dolls of all races but she likes the fact that these dolls look like us. I keep my hair short but her hair is big and beautiful! I figured I’d add that before someone says I’m teaching my daughter to be bias.

    As far as the term afro, I can understand why you’d want to rename it. For a clown wig, it’s often called an afro.

    • kristlsmithtyler December 20, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

      Of course my talking about re-naming it is pretty tongue-in-cheek. I just think people think it’s a joke and it started out as something SO RADICAL. It’s like if a bunch of white frats started having Malsolm X parties and dressing up as Malcolm or Marcus Garvey. I wouldn’t be able to change their names of course but one thing I have always loved about black culture in the US is that when new slang is introduced there’s a period of time when people who are not close to the community are completely in the dark. I sort of wish there was new term that kept them out for a while. It would be like a nice vacation.

      I do not allow blondes in our collection and i allow only a few to keep their butt length hair. I need to write a post on this actually. First, the number of grown women who are naturally blonde in this country (as opposed to say, Norway) is incredibly low. Many people do not realize that if you see 100 blonde women in a day, there is a great chance that you have not seen a single natural blonde. Hair coloring can be a fun way to express yourself but in the case of blondes I feel it is almost always pandering to men’s preferences. I don’t encourage Leah to have her dolls wear high heels so I don’t allow blondes (save very few exceptions).

      With the long hair, I only let the Indians and Native American dolls keep the really long hair. Mainly bc it is cultural and they don’t use their hair in a way I consider to be immodest. Anyway, I’m ranting. Don’t let people tell you that you have to have BBBBarbies in your collection to keep from being biased. Your daughter’s barbieland should look like the real world and it should be like your ideal world.

  23. aurra griffith December 21, 2011 at 1:48 pm #

    Where can i purchase these beautiful ebony dolls?

    • kristlsmithtyler December 22, 2011 at 11:38 am #

      There is a woman who makes them for re-sale. her prices are pretty reasonable (in my opinion). She sells the using facebook. Her facebook group is HERE: http://www.facebook.com/#!/naturaldollsbybeadsbraidsbeyond

      If you don’t have facebook try googling “Beads, Braids & Beyond” – she started out just doing braiding styles for girls hair and hair product reviews but now she also does the doll customization and re-sells them.

  24. Elle January 11, 2012 at 5:42 pm #

    I think I might be about to try your tutorial for my white Bavatarbie with looser curls. I like the pipe cleaner idea, and usually don’t see the hair I want elsewhere online. I am after BB 2.3. I am so in love with her hair & it makes me feel better about my over-perm (well it wasn’t what I asked for [pictures] and started out terrible [had to get it re-cut]; it’s now grown out to not be so poofy, but it’s still shorter than the Steffie [my Cori]). Well I felt better a while ago, but I love seeing “my hair” look hot in whatever form (game graphic girl/doll, whatever!).

    Anyway, wish me luck! I just hope I can get the curl right the first time.

    • kristlsmithtyler January 13, 2012 at 7:43 am #

      I’d love to see pics of how different wrapping techniques yield different curl results. kristlsmithtyler AT gmail DOT com.

  25. Sabrina Marie April 10, 2012 at 11:27 am #

    Thank you so much for this DIY craft! I am a Hispanic mother of one biracial daughter…and I have been searching endlessly for Black Barbie dolls that my daughter can identify with. Growing up I loved playing with my Barbie dolls but my favorites were always the brunettes and especially Teresa with the curly/wavy hair. I remember holding her in my hand for the first time as my mother unwrapped the doll from its original packaging and I saw her olive skintone, hazel eyes, and curly brown hair. I remember mymother handing it to me and saying ‘This is what you will look like when you grow up’. I loved that doll with all my heart and proceeded to play with her for hours running around the room making her sing and dance to my father’s CD’s. My doll was very special to me. Now looking for a doll for my daughter that resembles her has been a task to say the least. My daughter looks exactly like her father with a mixture of hair but with my complexion. A lot of the black girl dolls I come across are of a brown complexion and almost always they are wearing long, stick straight hair or slightly wavy hair at best. This year Mattel came out with a new series of black barbie dolls in differing shades and one with natural hair – ‘Trichelle’ from SIS (So In Style). But for lack of a better word the dolls look ‘ghetto’. I’m looking at the pictures of the dols in their flamboyaunt jewelry, short printed dresses and the girls look like they are dressed for the club. I feel like Mattel is trying to raise my daughter to be a video vixen with these dolls dressed for a ‘concert’ or whatever. It was rather stereotypical of a black woman or Latina even. But try as I might I couldn’t find another doll with natural hair. Now with this at home tutorial I can curlifu any Barbie’s hair whether she be a vet, doctor, astronaut, actress, teacher, mother, or any number of career/goal-oriented dolls that serve as a role model. I plan on buying my daughter a variety of Barbie including Asian, Hispanic, white, and black girls of varying shades and colors which would more accurately reflect her heritage and family background as well as her many future friends and classmates. But most importantly is to present my daughter with that Barbie that offers a glorified image of her own beauty. I remember how special that was to me and I want her to have the same experience down to the hair and complexion. Who know’s ma

  26. Deja-yoli July 15, 2012 at 11:17 am #

    Me and my daughter worked on this together it was our first time it came out amazing! We did the Halo! . Our barbie is so beautiful I love the natural look..

  27. Reveal Your Crown August 16, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    I love this! This is an excellent way for our young black girls to be surrounded by images that look like them, instead of images that try to force us to accept a standard of beauty that is not OUR own!

    http://www.revealyourcrown.com

  28. Cyber_Me June 10, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    OMG that is too cute and funky! Thanks for the tutorial and instructions! I will pass this on to all my little play soul sister daughters, and I will try it out my own Black barbie dolls in my collection !

    • kristlsmithtyler August 5, 2013 at 6:53 am #

      Thanks! I always love it when I hear that a little girl is going to get to play with a natural haired doll!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. HOW TO: Make Your Child's Dolls Have "Natural" Hair | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family - August 15, 2011

    [...] technique from our friends at Beads Braids and Beyond to achieve the look yourself. Kristl from How To Play With Barbies wrote a detailed tutorial on how to take little brown dolls hair from from bone straight (left) to [...]

  2. Barbie Gets An Afro For The Holidays - December 14, 2011

    [...] a few pipe cleaners here and some boiling water there the ladies, who followed an online tutorial, are turning the silky straight manes of donated black Barbies into fabulous kinky [...]

  3. Fashion ModREn » Barbie Gets An Afro For The Holidays - December 14, 2011

    [...] a few pipe cleaners here and some boiling water there the ladies, who followed an online tutorial, are turning the silky straight manes of donated black Barbies into fabulous kinky [...]

  4. Natural Hair Group In Georgia Gives Black Barbie Dolls A Natural Hair Makeover - December 15, 2011

    [...] a few pipe cleaners here and some boiling water there the ladies, who followed an online tutorial, are turning the silky straight manes of donated black Barbies into fabulous kinky [...]

  5. Fro-lific Gives Barbie A Natural Hair Makeover | Apple Daniels: Maven On a Mission - December 17, 2011

    [...] natural hair look? Using boiling water, end papers, and pipe cleaners the women followed and online tutorial that gave the perfect recipe for turning Barbies silky straight hair into luxurious kinky locs and [...]

  6. Barbie Better WORK! « LushCoils - December 18, 2011

    [...] what a Natural Hair enthusiast group from Georgia did! Want to transform your beloved Barbie? Click here for the tutorial and check out the inspiring pics below of Barbie at her natural [...]

  7. Black Barbie… « Rolling With Ruki - December 19, 2011

    [...] If you’d like to customize a Barbie for yourself or a loved one check out this blog for a step-by-step guide. I’m going to pick up some supplies and definitely try it too. http://playbarbies.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/custom-rotini-or-halo-hair/ [...]

  8. Barbie Goes Natural!!!! « N'awlins Natural - December 19, 2011

    [...] http://playbarbies.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/custom-rotini-or-halo-hair/ [...]

  9. Barbie Gets A Makeover From Natural Hair Group | Beyond Black Beauty - December 20, 2011

    [...] a few pipe cleaners here and some boiling water there, the ladies, who followed an online tutorial, are turning the silky straight manes of donated black Barbies into fabulous kinky [...]

  10. Barbie goes natural | Chocolate News Treats - December 24, 2011

    [...] group only aims to give out about 40 dolls, but you can find out how to give your Barbie a makeover here. There’s also a tutorial on how to create Locs for your doll. Or if you want to customize [...]

  11. I Can See Your Halo, Barbie. - CurlyNikki Forums - January 4, 2012

    [...] [...]

  12. Play·Time « con·fed·er·ate | art·i·cles - January 10, 2012

    [...] mother, and doll playing enthusiast Kristl Smith Tyler has graciously provided clear directions for how to give any doll a halo of her own.  Check out her site, How to Play with Barbies.  It’s amazing.  I especially [...]

  13. Nice Hair « Adinkra Love - April 18, 2012

    [...] http://playbarbies.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/custom-rotini-or-halo-hair/ [...]

  14. Barbie goes natural | 93.1 WZAK - May 17, 2012

    [...] group only aims to give out about 40 dolls, but you can find out how to give your Barbie a makeover here. There’s also a tutorial on how to create Locs for your doll. Or if you want to customize [...]

  15. Make·Over « con·fed·er·ate | art·i·cles - May 17, 2012

    [...] used the rotini/halo hair method described on How to Play with Barbies to change her hair from sad to sassy.  Check out the process [...]

  16. Natural Hair Barbie « Life In Apt 214 - July 17, 2012

    [...] you would like to turn your daughter’s Barbie’s into natural hair Barbie’s, go here for a [...]

  17. {Kids} Finally!! Natural hair dolls for our girls | afrobabes - October 12, 2012

    [...] you’ve ever tried to transform a straight-haired barbie into a curly- haired one, you know how tedious and difficult the process is.  You need a few hours to dedicate to the [...]

  18. Natural Hair Barbie… | :: Metallic Hello :: - December 23, 2012

    [...] a few pipe cleaners here and some boiling water there, the ladies, who followed an online tutorial, are turning the silky straight manes of donated black Barbies into fabulous kinky curls.The best [...]

  19. Natural hair Barbie dolls. Sooo cuuuute! | My Black Networks® -The Latest News from The African Diaspora - February 2, 2013

    [...] she? Huffington Post reported that you can actually re-create the curly fro hairstyle by following this tutorial. If I’m lazy enough I just may sit down one afternoon and curl my straight-haired graduation [...]

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