Skipper 16 – Headless Hollywood Hair

23 Jun

I really, REALLY wanted Hollywood Hair Skipper. Like, really. I love her cute face paint, and her super-long hair with the little touch of apricot in it, and her sparkly uber-80s outfit. So when she came up on eBay, I completely ignored the (kind of) honest seller’s warning – “this doll’s head is a little loose, its not coming off just a little bit wobbly, I think because of the weight of her hair”. My desire for this doll told me “aww, it’ll be fine – we’ll sort it”, when really I knew better.

I knew better because I actually already had four other headless Skippers. I had been wondering if there was any psychological reason why Skipper particularly might attract violence from her young owners, but (maybe reassuringly) this wasn’t the problem. I have discovered that the bodies of the 1987 Skippers have a few weaknesses. Firstly, some of these dolls are prone to developing white spots on their legs (some Barbies from this time get them too). Secondly, the plastic at the neck joint seems to be weak and prone to snapping at the top where it curves in to hold the anchor in place. Hence all the headless dolls.

As breaks went, Hollywood Hair’s wasn’t too bad. The anchor was still inside her head and a small amount of plastic had broken away from the top of the neck, so the anchor could still loosely sit inside but (contrary to what the seller said) it could be easily dislodged:


A while ago, Lon left a comment about Milliput on one of my posts. Milliput is an epoxy putty that dries hard and waterproof, and she suggested making a ball for the top of the neck. Well, I tried this (on another one of the headless Skipper crew) and I couldn’t get it to work – I had to remove the ball I made when the putty was half-dry. Maybe I just need more practice. But in HH Skipper’s case, I could see another way to make a repair.

I balanced the anchor back inside the head, and created a Milliput “wall” to hold it in place. Every now and again, I gave the anchor a little wiggle to make sure it wasn’t stuck to the Milliput, but otherwise I left it alone to dry for 24 hours:


When this was done, I painted the Milliput to match the colour of the body. I was pretty sure that the repair would sit below the lip at the bottom of the head when it was back on, but I just wanted to make sure it wouldn’t look too obvious if I was wrong. I also sealed over the paint once it was dry.

Then I turned my attention to HH Skipper’s head. This doll had been plenty played with and her hair looked pretty awful:


I started off by washing and then deep conditioning it, then I got the tangles out. Unfortunately, there were a lot of breaks and some missing plugs. I had been considering boil straightening it anyway to attempt to get rid of the frizziness, but I thought the breaks would show up too much if I made it straight so I plaited it loosely all over to give it a little wave:


The fringe (bangs) were tricky. It was sticking up all over the place and were obviously not going to go back into its original sheepdog shape. I really wanted to to straighten it, but because her hair was rather thin on top I decided to make a little quiff instead.

I also gave her outfit a wash, this was unavoidable because it was quite grubby. But if at all possible, if you are doing up one of these dolls yourself I would advise you to try and avoid it – I was very gentle, and I still lost a fair old bit of glitter from the stars decorating her top and leggings. I also added a piece of gold ribbon to replace her original hairband, which I didn’t get, and some matching flat shoes I had.

Anyway, the finished result:


The Milliput repair has worked out very well. Its useful stuff! She has very close to full movement of her head, although it is a little stiff around the repair. There is a tiny patch that shows from some angles under her chin, but it isn’t too obvious. The hair repair worked out great. Her hair is still rather thin, but I’m pleased with the crimped look. Its been time-consuming, but she’s a great doll and she was worth it.



3 Responses to “Skipper 16 – Headless Hollywood Hair”

  1. Blackkitty June 23, 2013 at 10:48 pm #

    There’s just something special about dolls with long hair, isn’t it? I’m glad you were able to save this doll, it’s so beautiful and the new hair style fits the look perfectly!

    • barbielea June 24, 2013 at 8:23 am #

      I’m a long hair fan myself, it’s just so wacky and fantastical … I’m glad I could save Skipper too, she’s well over twenty years old and relatively rare now. Thanks Blackkitty 🙂

  2. Andrea June 23, 2013 at 11:26 pm #

    She was so worth the effort. Especially with her hair not being cut by some aspiring little hair stylist. 😉 Thanks for the tip on miliput.

    May be you could restore the rubbed gold on her pants with fabric paint.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: