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Dream Doll Hair Is the Grown-Up Version of Your Favorite Childhood Pastime

Loved playing hairstylist on your dolls growing up? Dream doll hair is the adult way to make those looks come to life. Here, iconic pro-inspired looks to try.

If some of your fondest childhood memories involve playing with your dolls, you’ll be obsessed with dream doll hair.

Our mini BFFs always had first dibs on the latest fashion and hairstyling trends. We’d spend countless hours putting them in a carousel of cute outfits and then beautifying their manes with every ponytail, braid, and temporary hair color under the sun—and we’d be lying if we said we weren’t just a teensy bit jealous of their style.

From quintessential volume to iconic bombshell blonde, recreating dollhouse-inspired magic has never been easier with a little help from the hair pros. Here are a few whimsical ‘dos that give our dolls a run for their money.

What is dream doll hair?

Dream doll hair is medium-length to long hair that’s styled to be bold, flirty, and feminine. Envision lots of movement and volume, whether in the form of free-flowing strands, a teased half-up, half-down style, or a flippy ponytail. When worn all down, dream doll hair is a bouncy, airy style that you can easily run your fingers through, created with lightweight products that won’t weigh locks down.

As far as hair colors are concerned, plenty of buttery blonde and shiny champagne hues may come to mind, as well as blondes that border on platinum (because, of course). You can also lean into the more literal side of the doll aesthetic by pulling inspiration from dollhouse decor. Yep, we’re talking about painting strands a signature hot pink or adding in a sweet pop of bubblegum. Besides, it’s all about the fantasy, so why not have fun with it?

What are the best dream doll hairstyles?

An arsenal of salon-grade products (all outlined in each look below), teasing combs or brushes, and the right hot tools can help get you one step closer to achieving dream doll Hair.

We love a bouncy blowout, creating full, flirty waves with a curling wand, or using a versatile tool like L'Oréal Professionnel’s Barbie X Steampod Hair Straightener + Curling Iron to procure a smooth and sleek look. Wondering what the Steampod is? This steam-powered flat iron straightens or waves any hair type two times smoother* and two times faster (compared to Steampod without the steam and comb) with high-shine results and 91 percent less breakage (after 15 uses with steam and integrated comb vs. Steampod heating plates alone). From beach waves to pin-straight strands, the Barbie X Steampod allows you to explore various dream doll styles while keeping your hair healthy-looking and free of damage.

If you need inspiration to make your dream doll hair come to life, keep scrolling for three easy creations we love from ambassador Bradley Leake.

3 Dream Doll Hairstyles to Recreate at Home

Loose with a Slick Hair ‘Headband’

Show off your length and put your facial features front and center by pairing a middle-parted hair ‘headband’ with smooth, cascading tresses. Of course, no voluminous dream doll hairstyle would be complete without a bumped-up crown.

Step 1: Apply a heat protectant like Biolage Professional Thermal Active Heat Protectant Spray throughout the hair, then run your flat iron or Barbie X Steampod from the mid-shaft to the ends of the hair to get rid of frizz and flyaways. When you reach the ends of the hair, subtly curl them in toward your face to create some movement.

Step 2: Make a middle part, then use a small teasing brush to sweep back, and then tuck your strands behind your ears, securing them with a bobby pin. Rub a dash of Redken Max Sculpting Gel between your fingers and lightly smooth them over the tucked strands to hold them in place.

Step 3: Finally, tease the crown of hair to add some extra volume to your ‘do. Liberally mist Redken’s Dry Texture Finishing Spray onto the teased section of hair to give it staying power.

Pumped-Up Side Pony

Creating a deep side part gives your face a slimming effect as it sweeps diagonally across your face, while a sassy high ponytail adds volume and helps hide second or third-day hair.

Step 1: Create a deep side part, then apply dry shampoo or a texturizing spray to wavy unwashed hair before pulling it up to the high point of your head. Be sure to leave out a thick face-framing tendril on the heavier side of your part line.

Step 2: Leake has a genius tip to help give the base of your ponytail the appearance of all-day lift. Enter: The hair bungee. Watch the video above to see how it’s done!

Step 3: Lightly tease hair at the base of the ponytail for additional oomph, then lock it in place with some more of your texturizing spray.

Teased Half-Up, Half-Down

Can’t decide between the all-up or all-down looks above? A half-up ponytail with romantic waves is the perfect middle ground to sweep your hair off your face while letting your long locks fly free.

Step 1: Work a bit of Shu Uemura Art of Hair’s Essence Absolue Nourishing Protective Hair Oil through the hair to add instant movement and shine.

Step 2: Carefully part hair horizontally across the crown and slick back hair to create a small half ponytail; tie it with an elastic. Ensure sleekness of your half-up pony by spritzing Matrix Vavoom Triple Free Extra Dry hairspray all over the top of the head.

Step 3: Using your Barbie X Steampod or a large barrel curling iron, curl the ends of the hair and pin them up until they cool. After curls set, shake hair out and enjoy the perfect bouncy texture. Give strands another spray of your Matrix Freezing Spray, if desired.

Our 4 Favorite Dream Doll Hair Colors to Take to the Salon

Good hair day by @hairbysarmad


This is what archetypal blonde dreams are made of! Going ultra blonde once was a long, drawn-out process, but not anymore. Pro-only formulas, such as Matrix’s High Riser Pre-Bonded Lightener, offer up to nine levels of lift while reducing breakage and protecting hair bonds so you can go platinum in one service with less damage. If that’s not enough reason to put down the at-home hair bleach, we don’t know what is.

Loved playing hairstylist on your dolls growing up? Dream doll hair is the adult way to make those looks come to life. Here, iconic pro-inspired looks to try.

Golden Blonde

If you prefer a warmer take on dollhouse blonde, golden blonde is the perfect solution. To get the look, ask your colorist to enhance your blonde strands using Redken Shades EQ Hair Gloss in 010VV Lavender Ice (to neutralize brass) and Crystal Clear. The result: A golden glow with a mirror-like shine.

Good hair day by @rachaelgilleyhair.

Dream House Pink

Viva magenta was 2023’s color of the year, and it fits like a glove into the dream doll hair aesthetic. Preserve its vibrancy long after your salon appointment with a hair care system designed for fast-fading fantasy colors, such as Matrix’s Keep Me Vivid Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner.

Good hair day by @looksbyjem

Bubblegum Color Block

Enjoy the best of both worlds with a bubblegum pink color block, a low-maintenance color technique that gives a nod to the chunky highlights of the ‘90s.

Find more trending hair ideas on, and use our salon locator to book a dream doll hair appointment with a stylist near you.

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