You are never too old to play with dolls.
I've spent the past few days reliving my childhood, and the past day playing with my favorite doll. I love reminiscing and going back in time where things were simple and all that mattered was your own happiness.
The American Girl dolls and books were a big part of my life. I dreamt of owning my own doll for years before it became a reality. During my free time I would read all the books I could get my hands on. I loved getting caught up in the stories of each girl, and I imagined myself as her. During school recess my friends and I would rehearse plays and pretend we were the girls in the books. Each of my friends owned a different doll, and one day I planned to own Felicity. She was always my favorite.
It wasn't until I was 11 years old that I was finally able to purchase my American Girl doll. I believe she was even more special to me because she came from my own money, my own hard work.
I've saved her very carefully for all these years, hoping someday I would be able to pass her on to my own child. The funny thing about that, she was worth so much to me, that in the end I couldn't bring myself to give her away, even to my own daughter. I was afraid she would destroy her, and my treasure would be lost forever.
Yesterday I brought her out of hiding. Ariel knew she existed somewhere; she just never had any idea of the location. As we sat and watched a movie, I played with Felicity's hair. I brushed it out, and tried to make it shiny again. But alas, she was unfixable.
When the movie was over, I decided to Google and see what tips I could find on fixing up old dolls. This morning I headed to the beauty supply store and came home with a few items. I got a wig brush and some conditioner for wigs. Then I set to work...
Here's the before picture of her hair. You can see that I got the knots out, but her hair was lacking the shine and beauty she originally had.
I made sure to wrap her in a towel tightly and hung her hair over the sink. It was really important to keep the water off of the rest of her body, especially her face.
I bought a good deep conditioner for wig hair. I lathered it up really good, and let it set on Felicity's hair for about 20 minutes. I mostly put it on the ends and tried to keep it away from her scalp. I didn't want to have any trouble rinsing it out later. The ends are also the most dry and damaged part of her hair.
After rinsing the conditioner out, I made sure to brush it thoroughly. I used my new wig brush and was very careful to not pull any hairs out. I started at the bottom first and slowly worked my way up higher in the hair. By the end I could easily brush all the way from top to bottom.
Here's the after picture while the hair is still wet. You can see that the hair has a little bit more shine to it.
I wasn't completely happy with the results. I found the ends to still be frizzy, and damaged looking. I was disappointed and did some more searching to find a solution. I think this should only be used as a last resort, and I felt like I was at that point with my doll's hair.
I used a curling iron.
I made sure to put it on the lowest setting and I very carefully ironed the hair, and curled the ends. It made all the difference! The hair was still slightly damp, so I think this protected it from melting, and I never held the iron on it for more than a couple of seconds. The iron was cool enough that I could touch it and not be burned. If you were to look on the American Girl website, they would tell you NOT to do this, but I figured I had nothing to lose since the ends of the hair looked so damaged already. The low heat of the iron made the ends smooth again. They are not completely restored, but they do look beautiful. I'm not recommending to anyone that they should try this on their doll; I just wanted to share what worked for my Felicity.
I was very happy at the end of the day with how Felicity turned out. She seems like the new doll I bought years ago, and I didn't even need to send her to the American Girl hospital.
As I've remembered all the fun I used to have with Felicity, I decided to get out all my old books and read them through again. I did pass on the entire series to my daughter who has grown to love them too. She would like to save her money to purchase either the Kit doll or Molly doll someday.
I wanted to recommend the movies that brought my attention back to my childhood friend, Felicity. We checked all three of these movies out from the library and finished watching the last one yesterday evening. Each one is a very special story, and goes along well with the books. They all three have a bit of Christmas in them, a part to make you cry, and a part to make you happy. I enjoyed them so much! I told my husband as we were watching the last movie; I would have been in heaven if they would have made these movies when I was a child.
It's been a very memorable day as I spent it savoring my childhood. I believe it with all my heart when I say; you are never too old to play with dolls.
"We say that a girl with her doll anticipates the mother. It is more true, perhaps, that most mothers are still but children with playthings.” -Francis Herbert Bradley