A Boil Wash is a method of repairing a doll's hair with hot water.

Reasons For Performing a Boil Wash

Many dolls end up with rough, dry, or uncurled hair through improper hair care; a boil wash often successfully restores original luster and smoothness by relaxing the fibers. Damaged or ragged edges can also be restored; a ceramic straighter can be used in combination with the boil wash.

A boil wash can be used on curled hair with curlers to do a heat set, which will restore curls as the combination of heat relaxing and shaping the fibers and air drying while styled around hair curlers can style hair. Curls can also be placed in straighter hair using the method as a permanent curling method.

While this may be a last-attempt to repair damage before rewigging this method is now preferred over the now-discouraged Downy Dunk, which only masks damage and can actively ruin the hair fibers.

No actual soap or product is used, despite the name; only heated water and tools.


Clean water deep enough to dip hair should be heated to boiling or simmering, and then removed from heat as the water should not be actively boiling at the time of the hair dunk. The doll should be wrapped in a towel or plastic to prevent getting eyes and body wet and hands should be protected from the water to prevent burns. To restore curls, hair can be placed in foam, rod, or plastic curlers before the boil wash; these should be resistant to hot-water damage. Once the water is slightly cooled--but still hot--hair is then slowly dunked into the water until it is soaked over damaged hair. While hair is still wet, a low-temperature ceramic hair straighter can be used to restore damaged ends or hair (but not on curly and textured hair, as it will straighten hair and remove textures).

Hair should then be left to air dry protected from the body; curlers should be left in until hair is completely dry.

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