Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hair today!

Pocahontas insisted on wearing a top while showing off her improved hair, pointing out that nude photos are demeaningly reminiscent of health inspections at the old Indian School and make her feel like the subject of an experiment.

She also prefers to be called Rebecca Esennath Chavez, after two of her great-grandmothers in the O'odham (Pima) communities here in Arizona. Her hair improvement is the result of my research after my mother suggested fabric softener, which I don't have in the house -- so I was highly motivated to look for any alternative before trying that.

Scouring the internet revealed a complete lack of consensus on doll hair treatment. Some swear hair conditioner always works. Some say hair conditioner doesn't work on dolls older than the late 1990s. Some of the fabric softener cabal promise that spraying a diluted form on the doll's hair will remove any tangle; others insist that it requires a 24-hour soak, following by straightening in a ceramic flat-iron.

The Homesteading Housewife actually tested some of these claims. It seems that olive oil, mayonnaise -- and probably this gal's original, real-life choice of bear grease -- are full of fail. Fabric softener works, but hair conditioner is at least equally good.

This made my case for not running to Walgreen's in hope of sample-size fabric softener, but trying another round of hair conditioner. I washed Rebecca's hair in Woolite, then gave her a soak of several hours in diluted hair conditioner.

And you think it's uncomfortable being bent back of the sink at your hair salon...
After drying all night and getting a minor trim, even the back is starting to look decent. A little split-endy, but that's an ongoing problem here in the desert.

Rebecca looks better dressed in modern clothes than many of the dolls that are supposed to be contemporary. Other than the lack of shoes, she'd fit right in on the 41-Indian School Road bus at commuter time.

She's not a keeper, due to being unmatchable for articulation... but having found that festival dress is well within my sewing abilities, I'm tempted to take her on some photography jaunts around Phoenix at various native-peoples sites, since it'd be a good story.

Yesterday's high point was emerging from one of the many local coffeehouses to find a gal photographing Ken and Barbie on a bench on the patio. Apparently she was doing it for a photography class, more than as a doll hobbyist, but it was still cool and gave me some confidence that doing outdoor photos might be perceived as mild eccentricity rather than complete insanity.

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