Sunday, November 13, 2011

Toy Hacks: Give a Cheap African American Doll a Natural 'Do!

Now, this is what Fostering Thrifty Families is all about. Are you are as tired as I am of passing by Black dolls because you just can't handle giving your child a doll that looks like a white doll dipped in brown paint? Do you roll your eyes at how the "African American" dolls nearly always have pin-straight or slightly waved/ringleted hair with no texture, and want something better to help your kids appreciate the gorgeous texture of natural Black or biracial hair? You don't need to buy the few, hard-to-find dolls that have more realistic hair (and are nearly always more expensive). All you need a straight-haired doll, a pot of boiling water and a package of pipe cleaners! As the awesome natural African American / biracial hair care blog Beads, Braids and Beyond writes in their Natural Hair for Dolls Tutorial:
The search is over. No more buying expensive dolls just because they have curly or natural hair. Parents and caregivers, I have discovered the hottest thing since sliced bread..... This tutorial details the steps for giving a straight-haired doll a curly style that approximates the tiny twirls of hair that are associated with African-diasporan people all over the world. The curly of African hair is said to the be "the only perfect circle in nature."
This is so exciting that I'm getting ready to go out to our local discount store to buy a $10 Black babydoll I passed up the other day because its hair was so darn straight. What a great, inexpensive holiday gift this could make!

There is something to be said for financially supporting companies that make culturally appropriate, self-image-affirming dolls for kids of all races. I'm not saying that it's not worth supporting some of the awesome companies that make dolls with textured hair. When I can afford it I love to buy handcrafted toys or toys created by truly multicultural companies that use environmentally friendly materials to make diverse and beautiful toys. We do not love having lots of what I call "plastic crap toys" around. But when money is tight, this is a budget-friendly alternative for helping provide dolls that will help our kids appreciate the beautiful and unique textures and hair-dos of Black and biracial hair.

 What the blogger calls "fusilli-style" - Very cute. [Photo from Braids, Beyonds & Beyond]

No more permed-looking dolly hair! [Photo from Braids, Beyonds & Beyond]

Click here for the tutorial. 

To purchase the doll used in the demonstration photos, click below.