Women’s Group Gives Barbies Natural Hair Makeovers for Christmas

December 13, 2011  |  


An African-American natural hair group is planning to hand out Barbies to girls at Booker T. Washington apartments in Columbus, GA, for Christmas, but before giving away the dolls, the women plan to give them a bit of a hair makeover.

“When you look for dolls, they all have straight hair,” group member Candice McBride told the Ledger-Enquirer. “It’s tricky even to find ones with brown eyes,” she added noting the European features visible on most dolls despite the fact that they come in 50 nationalities.

Using an online tutorial for halo or rotini hairstyles for Barbies, the ladies will transform the texture of the dolls’ hair via pipe cleaners, end papers, and boiling water.

“We wanted to show the girls that basically, it’s okay the way God made you,” said Jennifer Henderson, another member of the group. Henderson said her 2-year-old daughter, Imani, isn’t into Barbies just yet, but she does like dolls.

“She’s into baby dolls. I’ll brush her hair and she’ll brush her doll’s hair,” she said. “She wants to do what she sees me doing.”

The ladies plan to make over 40 dolls before the holidays using this recipe. What do you think of this idea for making over straight-haired Barbie dolls? Have you ever tried this?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

More on Madame Noire!

Trending on MadameNoire

View Comments
Comment Disclaimer: Comments that contain profane or derogatory language, video links or exceed 200 words will require approval by a moderator before appearing in the comment section. XOXO-MN
  • Oneloveunited

    i love this idea… my hair never looked like my barbie’s hair! Brilliant!

  • my best
    friend’s aunt makes $82 hourly on the computer. She has been laid off
    for 9 months but last month her pay was $8317 just working on the
    computer for a few hours. Read more on this site…g00.me/7k

  • Lan

    my friend
    is a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now she is seeking a good man who can give her real love, so she got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.

  • Wow

    Great idea, I’d like to see a follow up on the type of reception these dolls got when they were presented to the little girls.   I wonder how many of the cheap lace front wig wearing mothers are going to be mad that their daughter was given a “nappy headed” doll.  My wish is that I’ll be proven wrong. But we can’t expect little girls to find beauty in their own image when the majority of us don’t find beauty in our own  hair.  So much that we’d rather look a burning hot mess with these straight, stringy, too shiny, glue stains on forehead, alopecia creating oh so obvious tacky weaves and wigs and don’t get me started on slathering the creamy version of drano on our scalps just to have straight hair; than figure out how to rock what grows out of our own heads.  We’ve got issues that Barbie can’t fix. The crap that we put our hair through just to make it straight speaks it loud and clear, WE’VE GOT ISSUES!!!!

  • Pingback: The Fashion Bomb News Breakdown: Black Barbie Gets an Afro, Behind the Scenes of Rihanna’s Giorgio Armani Ad, and Get Fit in Chanel Running Shoes - Bull City Billionaires()

  • Vk

    I am Asian and just permed my hair to tiny curls, so I can have an Afro! I think it is so fun and cute, if you are born with it, flaunt it bc it is so adorable!

  • Pingback: Afro Barbie & Me | BicheMaison()

  • Tabs Lewis!! Email me at kristlsmithtyler AT gmail com for a discussion re photo rights

  • Ashleydgraham85

    This is a good idea and but not all black people have this type of hair… I’ve been natural all my life and mine isn’t “nappy”… Im not bragging Im just trying point that out….

    • It is, i would say, kind of a weird point to make. We all know that all blacks don’t have the same type of hair. Not sure what your point is.

    • Wow

      So b/c you don’t have “nappy” natural hair it somehow moves you up the totem pole of natural hair hierarchy???  Really?? SMH

  • The doll is so cute!   Great idea. Too bad enough of us didn’t buy from Olmec toys who put out African American  fashion dolls the quality of Barbie. the company no longer exists.  They also did baby dolls.

  • Tabs Lewis

    hi i would like to use the image of the barbie in a book i am publishing let me know if that is permissible.

  • Tabs Lewis


    I would like to use the African American Barbie image for a book I am publishing – Let me know if that is permissible.


  • Vonjoans

    I think you are saying this for attention.  Don’t be ridiculous.  You know the doll with the afro is adorable!

    • Caribe1

      maybe so but it sure don’t look good on an afro-american females.

      • Caribe – did you know poor whites are the group most likely to be racist? The reason is because the think that if blacks rise up, they will be left at the bottom so they try to keep blacks down so they can remain in second to last place.

  • Vonjoans


    • Caribe1

      why, because your one yourself.

  • Elegance

    I’ve seen the tutorials on how to curl the dolls’ hair and I was so amazed! I really loved them. I think it’s a great idea and I hope the girls like it too. Maybe they can include instructions about how to curl doll hair and pass those out too. The only thing is that I don’t think you can come the dolls’ hair once they get a make-over. But I guess girls do have certain dolls who’s hair you can’t comb (e.g., cabbage patch dolls with the yarn hair). I love the look of the dolls though 🙂

    • you can comb it the same way you do real natural hair – but you have to be know your place. You can’t step to this hair with demands and attititude – because it will give it right back.

      First, this hair is not unruly or difficult – it’s Independent, Strong-willed, and doesn’t just collapse the first time someone asks it to. It wants to stand up and shout and if you want it to do something different, you better not come in making demands bc it will let you know who’s boss.

      I tell my daughter to treat her natural hair dolls hair with respect and let the hair know gently what your requests are and you will get a long just fine.

      IOW when my daughter combs this dolls hair, she knows she has to come at it with reverence and respect.

  • Lol

    WOW what an ignorant a**hole trolling the comments! LMAO!  I shouldn’t even be addressing this person, but I had to say it.  Aren’t comments moderated? This is just ridiculous.

  • tastythoughts

    i love this idea


    oh! oh! I want one!

  • Cocolicious

    It was a rare doll, but I had a Mattel Barbie with this type of hair when I was little.

  • Wanda White48


    Blackwhite’Planet.COMIt’s a person’als place where to- connect with beautiful and
    excellent people! a nice best place for bla-ck whit-e sin-gles, to interact
    with each other…no bounds or extremes in front of true love. . …@love it ★★★★★★ 😉

  • kelz

    I think it’s a great idea. Kids, especially girls, need to see that being naturally curly is a beautiful, acceptable way to be. 

  • Pat

    Great idea. Let’s stop brainwashing our black kids and show them how to love themselves and people that look just like them

    • You can also darken the eyes to a rich Ebony using an Ultra-Fine Point Sharpie Permanent Marker. 🙂

    • Lan

      my friend
      is a 27 years old doctor,mature and beautiful. and now she is seeking a good man who can give her real love, so she got a sername Andromeda2002 on  Agedate.СòM, a nice and free place for younger women and older men,or older women and younger men, to interact with each other.Maybe you wanna check out or tell your friends.