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Dye a Barbie’s Hair with Paint Sticks – Easy Fun for Kids

dye Barbie's hair red with paintsticks

My eldest drives me mental with her dolls. Barbies, LOL dolls, any dolls! Firstly they are all naked. I really don’t get why kids strip their dolls? Apparently I did it and my kids have followed suit. They get these lovely dolls, well dressed and take all the clothes off within about 5 minutes. We quite often lose said clothes and the doll never looks the same again! It’s not just clothes. My eldest wants to put make-up on them, take their hair out (and that is NEVER the same again!) and draw tattoos on them. I don’t mind within reason but don’t want them cutting their hair or permanently damaging them. This has happened and I’ve gone nuts! Recently my eldest decided she wanted to try and dye a Barbie’s Hair.

At first I had no idea how she was going to do this but she came up with a way by herself with paint sticks and wanted me to take some pictures, so I could share with others. To be fair this kept her busy for ages the other day and I would take anything to keep her occupied.

She also styled and told me what pictures I had to take!

dye a barbie's hair red

The school holidays and the lockdown period have been long! As we can see some light at the end of the tunnel, I feel like I am counting the days down until they are back to school. I’m not a teacher and I know my eldest is getting a little bored. She needs her friends and to get back to learning.  My eldest figured out she could dye a Barbie’s hair with paint sticks and I was happy to let her get on.

Dye a Barbie’s Hair

Firstly I would recommend using an old Barbie, as even though the paint stick washes out and you can change the colour of the Barbie’s hair, there is some residual colour left in the hair. My eldest was very keen I wrote that, as wouldn’t want a best Barbie being used!!

Secondly make sure you have some newspaper or protection down for the table. The paint sticks we used wash off hands and tables fine, but just less mess!

We had some paint sticks sent to us from Baker Ross, which I am not sure are in stock now but you can also check out these from Little Brian.

paint sticks blue and yellow

My eldest picked one of of her older Barbies, who she said didn’t have the best hair.

The process was really easy!

dye a barbie's hair red with paint sticks

She placed some paper underneath her Barbie’s hair and simply coloured it in. For the purpose of this post, she chose red but she did also have a go with blue, after a wash out! You can add as much colour or as little as you want. Streaks or highlights are possible!

When done make sure you leave to dry for a while, as the paint is really tacky and when my eldest was showing me,  it went all over her hands and legs for that matter.

Once the paint is dry you are good to go. Style and play!

Wash The Dye Out

This is really simple as the dye just washes out and you can have a go again with another colour. I would ensure you supervise you little one over the bath, as we did have a few read spots but the paint washes off pretty easily!

The paint came out and she was ready to try a new colour or style! I would let the hair dry between goes and if you want to wash the Barbie’s hair properly, you can use a little shampoo. We used to let the girls play with their Barbie’s in the bath and the hair could get a little stinky! Shampoo worked a treat.

dye a barbie's hair and wash it out

This activity is simple and fun and allows kids that bit of control and feeling they are kind of doing something they shouldn’t be! I knew my eldest thought I would say no but as long as she used paper under the doll, an older doll and let it dry before playing, I was happy with that.

It kept her busy for ages, as she has suddenly really got into styling her doll’s hair!

Let me know if you have a go in the comments!

dye a Barbie's Hair with paint sticks





  1. August 30, 2020 / 3:37 pm

    I can remember stripping off my Barbies and then trying to make dresses for them out of ribbons. I also remember cutting their hair off! This is a great idea, well done!

  2. August 30, 2020 / 5:25 pm

    I may have been known to colour my Barbie’s hair in with highlighter pens! It is a great idea to give them a little makeover.

  3. August 30, 2020 / 6:21 pm

    What a great idea. I’d never have thought of doing that.

  4. August 31, 2020 / 1:37 pm

    What a fun way to use Paint Sticks! I used to love cutting and dying my Barbie’s hair – I remember making a goth Barbie when I was little.

  5. September 3, 2020 / 11:08 am

    THis is such a good idea, we used these paint sticks for decorating our festival flags

  6. September 5, 2020 / 2:23 am

    Love this! Such a fun and easy way to entertain kids as well as being creative! Thanks for sharing

    Laura x