2.08.2013

My Little Pony Spa Day (a.k.a. de-frizzing and re-curling ponies' hair)

Yesterday was a stay-at-home-all-day day.  After Wednesday, I didn't want to risk it (I'm kidding...mostly), plus I was still feeling a touch under-the-weather.  So I thought to myself this morning, "What can I do with the girls on the cold, wintery, day to keep us all occupied for a few hours?"  Then I remembered this pin from a while back about fixing frizzy doll hair.  I wondered if it would work the same on My Little Pony Hair.  After a quick google search, I found a page about restoring My Little Ponies.  Perfect.

Miss E has more than a small obsession with them (no--we haven't seen every episode on Netflix 7-8 times--I have no idea what you're talking about), and Miss M is picking up on it.  I love how she says "Wywight" for Twilight Sparkle, and can perfectly pronounce "Pinkie Pie!"

Miss E got the idea from her cousins, not long after starting her My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic collection, that it would be great fun to bring her ponies into the tub with her.  Which is fine.  But after the 50th bath and a lot of pulling and rubbing and general messing-with their hair got, it was looking a little sad.  With some of her newer ponies, she wised up and stopped taking them in the tub.  Their hair has stayed a lot nicer.

An example of pony hair that has seen better days (Rainbow Dash):


Since fixing their hair would involve playing in water and playing with ponies, I knew both my girls would not only be up for it, they would LOVE it.  Of course, I didn't call it "fixing the ponys' hair."  I told Miss E we could do a "My Little Pony Spa Day."  (Being a sly mom, I also told her we couldn't do it until we cleaned the house.  I thought she would go for it, but she was my enthusiastic helper for a couple hours! She was SO exited for the ponies to have their spa day--it was wonderful!)

After all the cleaning, this kinda-sick momma needed a short rest, so the girls got to watch an episode of My Little Ponies.  This was totally appropriate, I thought, because there are several episodes where the ponies go to the spa. In Season 1, Episode 20: "Green Isn't Your Color," Rarity and Fluttershy go to the spa several times.  The ponies also go to the spa at the end of Season 1, Episode 9: "Bridle Gossip" when they need to soak in a poison joke remedy.  The season 2 finale, A Canterlot Wedding: Parts 1 & 2, might be good, too.  Miss E seems to think that in order to get ready for a wedding, one must have a spa day.  She might be right.

Finally all of Miss E's (mostly) patient waiting paid off and we were ready for our My Little Pony Spa Day. We set up on the kitchen table, so we had plenty of room:


If you are doing this yourself, here are the things you will need:
  • conditioner
  • a fine-toothed comb or a pony or barbie comb (I thought the fine-toothed comb worked the best for pulling the hair really straight.)
  • towels
  • plastic straws
  • scissors (to cut the straws, or the pony hair if the ends are unrepairable)
  • bobby pins
  • a flat iron or curling iron
  • elastic hair ties or scrunchies (if you have them--I haven't owned one for many a moon)
  • boiling water
  • a large bowl
We started out bathing them all in soapy water and then rinsing them.  Honestly, unless you found your ponies at the local thrift store and they are gross, you can probably skip this step.  It was, however, Miss M's favorite part, so it was probably good we had the tubs for her to get soaked in.

1.  If you are just dealing with the hair, the first step is to decide how much work the hair needs.  If it is still soft and smooth, just not curling nicely anymore, you probably only need to get it wet before moving onto step 5.  If the hair is tangled, hard to work with, or frizzy, it will probably benefit from some conditioner after getting it wet.  I just put some on my fingers and rubbed it in.


2.  With the conditioner still in, comb through the hair as best you can.  Then rinse.  I tried rinsing it in a big bowl of water on the table, but the water got slimy pretty fast, so I ended up just taking them over to the sink and rinsing them under the running water.  Miss E enjoyed doing this for me, too.


3.  Once the hair is combed and rinsed, dry it with a towel.


4.  Then you have to decide if you want the pony's hair straight or curly.  Miss E wanted Rainbow Dash's hair straight, but all the rest got a curl treatment of one sort or another.  The ones whose hair was REALLY frizzy, like our dear friend Rainbow, got the next step: the straightening iron.


You can do this dry or wet--it seemed to do the same thing either way--but I thought it was easier to melt the hair if it was dry when I put it in the straightening iron.  Yes, I melted the ends of some.  It still ended up looking better than the frizzy mess that it had been before straightening, so I think it was worth the risk.  I had my straightening iron at 330 degrees.

Here is Rainbow Dash's before and after:



4.  After it was de-frizzed, it was time to curl it.  I decided to heat up the hair (as suggested in the Barbie hair tutorial).  It made sense that heating it up would make it more susceptible to being re-molded.  You can either dunk the hair in the boiling water and then put it in curlers, or you can put it in curlers and then dunk it in the water.  I think they each have advantages.  If you dunk first, you can towel dry and it will take a lot less time to dry after putting in the curlers, but it won't be as hot when the curlers go in.  The opposite is true of the dunk after method: hair is wet longer, but really hot when curled.  Either way, you should only have it in the boiling water for about 15 seconds.  You don't want it to melt to itself.

We tried a number of different methods of curling.  Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy got plastic straw curlers.  Pinkie Pie's hair was actually still in really good condition, but on the show, it is extremely curly, and when we got her, her hair was mostly straight except for some curl at the ends, just like all the other ponies.  Since we were going through the process anyway, we decided to give her hair some extra pizzazz.  If you know Pinkie Pie, you'll know how appropriate that is. :)



To make the straw curlers, I just cut the straw into appropriately short lengths, wrapped the hair around it in the direction I wanted it to go, and slipped a bobby pin on both ends.  One bobby pin should keep the straw from untwisting (at the top) and one should keep the ends of the hair secured to the straw (at the bottom).  Make sure you put the flat part of the bobby pin on the outside against the hair, and the bumpy part on the inside, so you don't leave indentations on the hair.


Rarity, Princess Cadence, and Princess Luna got Crayola markers instead of straws because I wanted their curls to be larger.  I secured these with elastic ponytail holders.  I used one to secure the hair to the marker and one to secure the marker to the pony, so it wouldn't move.


For the rest, I just wrapped the hair around the pony itself and secured it with an elastic.  For the main, I wrapped it around the front legs, for the tail, I either wrapped it around the rear legs or around a front leg, depending on how long it was.  The Cutie Mark Crusaders (Scootaloo, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle), Plumette, the light-up wings Rainbow Dash, and a G3 Starsong got this treatment.


5.  Then we set them all on a towel and waited for the hair to dry.  This could take some time.  I warned Miss E that she wouldn't be able to play with the ponies for the rest of the day, and she was fine with that.  She informed me she liked playing with her Merliah (Barbie in a Mermaid Tale) better anyway.  Fine with me.

6. Take the curlers and ponytail holders out and admire the results.





Some notes: 
  • After taking Pinkie Pie's hair out, I decided to redo it more like Rarity's.  The curl was perfect for Pinkie Pie, but not so perfect for little girls to play with.  It would have been a frizzy mess in no time.
  • I don't think it's necessary to boil the hair.  It seems to work just as well to get it wet in warm water from the tap.
  • Straightening and curling the hair makes it look better, but it won't repair damage.  Rainbow Dash's hair looks SO much better, but it's still not soft and smooth.  The treatments worked better on some of the other ponies, but it's probably better to just not let them get that bad in the first place.

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