How a 1960s Swirl Ponytail Barbie doll is professionally restored
- Doe Deer runs the YouTube channel Doe Deer Wonderland, where he restores dolls.
- He shows us how he restores a 1964 Swirl Ponytail Barbie
- This includes rerooting the hair, sanding the scratches, and repainting.
The following is a transcript of the
Narrator: I'm Doe Deer. I have a channel on YouTube called Doe Deer Wonderland where I do doll restorations. This is a 1964 Ponytail Swirl Barbie. They had a limited run of about two years. They were basically the last dolls to represent '50s glamour. It makes them really valuable to collectors. The hair is basically a mess. It's frizzy. The paint has basically chipped away. She has a bald spot, which I'm going to be filling in.
So, first I'm going to wash the doll using dishwashing soap and a toothbrush. Then I'm going to put fabric conditioner in her hair and comb it through. I use just a normal hairbrush, and then I go over it with a fine comb once all the kinks are out. Next, I'm going to reroot the doll using nylon hair. That's a specific tool for doll rerooting. So it's a needle that's been cut. So I take the hank of hair, cut it to the length that I need, then I put it around my finger, and using the rerooting tool I just pick up small sections and insert them into the doll's head. Then I'm going to glue the hair in place. You glue it on the inside of the head so that the hair doesn't come out when you brush it or work with it.
Then I boil the hair to keep it down while I work on it. Boiling water basically calms the hair fibers and makes sure they lay in the position that you want them to. I am giving her a haircut and putting her hair in rollers. The hair that you order is not the correct length. You're always going to have some overhang, so you're just going to want to cut that to match the doll's length. I just wrap the sections with aluminum foil and then roll them around the rollers. The rollers I made myself using Fimo clay.
I go over her legs with a sandpaper block to address the scratches. As her face has become a bit green, I'm going to counteract that using soft pastels with no primer. The vinyl is basically like human skin. It absorbs anything you put on it. I go over it using a mixture of red and yellow and orange. Then I'm repainting her face using acrylic paint. The eyeliner is chipped, so there's pieces of it missing. The lips have faded to a white, which is common for dolls like this. I use a thin paintbrush so I can detail all the makeup. These are specifically made for detail work. Then I apply a semiglossy varnish on the paint job. The varnish that I use, it just helps preserve the paint that I applied, and it gives it a semiglossy finish.
Her nails are faded, and I need to go over them to make them decent again. The original hairstyle of the doll was basically a low ponytail with sideswept bangs and a flip around the ponytail. I brush out her hair. I am going to tie the hair in the back in a low ponytail. Then I use hair mousse to keep the hair in place. And I hide the elastic band with a strand of hair. Then I set the curl around my finger using hair mousse.
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