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4.1 - Wash and condition a pony's hair?
Shampoos for 'normal' or 'dry/chemically treated' human hair are safe to use on MLP hair. Liquid detergents used for laundry are also safe to use on pony manes, bodies and tails. Washing removes built up dust, play dirt and grime as well as any chemical residues from the factory ("smelly box hair") and can help improve its shine.

Tips from MLPTP members

BlitzN writes~ I figure we shouldn't do more than necessary and avoid using any potentially damaging measures unless necessary. Like only use heat if hair's already frizzy and damaged. If not damaged immediately, over time heat will make ends brittle and dry, and can cause permanent changes to hair structure (ie., waviness, straight). Use least amount of moisture necessary, keep aerated/dry, and out of direct light. Don't let ponies touch eachother or other colored items for long periods of time.

Fabric softener, which is formulated for synthetics, is good for detangling and conditioning. I've not rinsed it out sometimes to curtail flyaways and it don't get oily like conditioner does. Softsoap as shampoo. But on new G3s I just use a bit of warm water usually. Wet hair holding ponies sideways and don't squeeze the body while it's wet.

Fantastic Firefly writes~ I do not recommend fabric softener. yelch. You get a sticky slimy mess and it smells. also if you're selling it always makes me wonder if it was an attempt to "hide" cigarette smell. Normally, I'm against conditioner too (unless you really need it)

Normally all I need it a bit of soap, water a couple tools and that's it. I'm pretty picky when I'm buying so most of the stuff I get only has slight surface dirt, and beautiful (albeit a little tangled) hair when it arrives.

I do use further measures when needed though. and conditioner does work on hair that has that "dry" feeling. I'll also use it if the hair is really tangled. So I can comb it without ruining the hair, conditioner provides some great slick to get through those knots.

Firebyrd writes~ I do use fabric softener if I'm trying to defrizz the hair, but I wash it out and condition it again afterwards because of the sliminess.

writes~ I use a mix of Aussie leave in conditioner and a few drops of fabric softener. The only function of the fabric softener is to keep the hair wet while the conditioner and flat iron are working on the frizziness. Otherwise the hair dries out too fast to get the frizz out.

Dava writes~ I've tried so many different brands [of conditioner], and I usually have no luck. It makes the hair easier to comb while it's wet, but that's about it. However, I've had some luck with high-end conditioners that contain a lot of glycerin, like Feria conditioner. So if you ever use a L'Oreal hair color kit, save that conditioner tube! Or buy it in bulk from Sally Beauty Supply.

Star Glow writes~ Shampoo Vs. Soap: I do not use shampoo. It is simply too harsh for fragile pony hair. For ponies who REALLY need their hair to be washed, I use a gentle foaming hand cleanser. I really like the Anti-Bacterial Gentle Foaming Hand Soap from Bath and Body Works. I also consider liquid soap a little too harsh, so stick with foaming cleanser.

Conditioner: I prefer a cream conditioner with high moisturizing properties. Herbal Essences Hello Hydration and Garnier Fructis Fortifying Cream Conditioner for Dry or Damaged Hair are my favorites. I like to saturate pony hair in this conditioner and let it stand for a minute or two before rinsing.

lucky7k writes~ Brush out the pony's hair as much as you can, and wet it down with WARM water. Now, when you condition ponies' hair, condition it very carefully and make sure there is an even amount. Leave the conditioning in the hair for at least a few hours and put the pony in a zip-lock bag. This works REALLY good and leaves the hair soft as silk! Of course, you have to be careful with moisture, so make sure the pony's body is dry and the hair is not too wet either. I've been doing this since I've owned ponies, and I've never had any kinds of problems with it. No mold, rust problems or any of that sort. The hair stays softer than usual for much longer, from what I have noticed.

If you want to do this a little faster, like maybe in an hour, what I have been doing as well is leaving it up in foil for a few hours. That works pretty well too. (Kind of like when you get your hair dyed at the hair salon.)
I'm sure this part is going to sound weird... but don't rinse out the conditioner. Let it dry for 8-12 hours. It'll get really hard, this is normal. Then brush it out thoroughly. After this, I use a low-heat styling method such as straightener or curler (whichever you prefer) and go to work on the pony. Don't worry, ponies and heat can mix if you use a low setting, and it actually works really well. The hair becomes softer, shinier, and the colors become bolder. After brushing and styling, the hair won't be sticky as you might expect, but instead really soft and silky, and fly-aways are non-existant and frizz is a thing of the past. At least, if you did it right. XD I usually fluff it up a little after I am done to restore volume.




[Special care for treating dry ends, tangles, knots and frizzy hair]

Tiegersi writes~ I use conditioner. Usually I use Suave because it's light, but the best to use is a light conditioner that isn't too smelly. Dampen the pony's hair, rub the conditioner into the dry ends, and let it sit for a while (I usually leave it in overnight for extremely dry hair, and an hour for medium). Then just rinse it out and re-style the hair, or air dry then brush.

BabyGoldenAutumn writes~ First, try a good conditioner and wash. If that doesn't do it, THEN:
Wash the pony's hair again with conditioner and rinse it out with warm water and comb it through. With the hair still wet, apply it to a hot curling iron and let it sit, rolled and heated, for a good 5 minutes at least. That should get most of the tangle out. The other thing I have found to work well is to dip the pony's hair in boiling water for about a minute or so and then let it dry naturally. This method does tend to make pony hair *very* straight, so if you have curls you want to protect, do not adopt this method.

Beechan2 writes~ Once dry, I use my metal round brush and hair dryer on it's medium setting and gently give the mane a soft G1-ish factory type curl.

Gummypony writes~ When trying to fix a ratted up mess, try to seperate the hair into thin sections. Maybe even leave some of the conditioner in while working out the snarls. To avoid ripping the hair out, pinch the base or roots of the hair, and work the snarls out starting at the bottom of the section - moving up as you detangle it.

See also: 4.8 - Getting rid of frizz


4.2 - Add curls to a pony's hair?
Curling pony hair is simple to do. Try these techniques and see what works best for you. If you have a recurling tip or trick that isn't mentioned here, submit one!

Was your pony originally sold with curly hair?
A good way to find out is by looking up pictures of your pony mint in package (MIP).
A site that is good for research is MyLittlePonyCollector.com

Bittiebaby writes~ I always shampoo and condition the hair first. While the conditioner is still on, I use a fine tooth comb to comb the hair out. Rinse REALLY well. Wet hair curls better and is easier to work with. :)
I have some wooden dowels(sp?) that I got at the local hardware store and cut them down to about 2 1/2 inch lengths. I then separate the pony's hair into half inch sections. Starting at the bottom of the hair I just roll it up around the dowel and secure it with one of those cheesy little hair "claws". Then I let it dry over night. Perfect curls everytime!

Pacific Blue writes~ If you don't want tight Shirley Temple-esque ringlet curls, then you can just use the plain old fashioned sponge rollers - they cost about a dollar for a dozen. Wet the pony's hair, and then just curl them up using the rollers. Allow them to dry for a few days, and afterwards, you'll get a nice loose curl that'll eventually relax and leave a sort of loose wave. I like to use this method to get that gentle wave back in G3s and G1s whose tails I just want to control better. You can also store ponies with their tails wrapped around one of their hind legs, so that when you display them later, their tails have a similar loose wavy look.

PrincessLuna11706 writes~ Use one of those very small curling irons on damp hair. Use the lowest setting and don't hold it on the hair for too long, or else it will melt! This is how I fix older ponies' curls and give them that "factory curl" look.

Helpful links

Angelus' Curls Tutorial

See also: 4.8 - Get rid of frizz


4.3 - Dye / Refresh / Change the color of pony hair?
[on dyeing loose replacement hair]

Wysteria writes ~ The best dye you can use is called RIT dye. It just comes in a little flat box or a liquid bottle. If you can, I'd dye the hair before you put it on the pony. That way should it drip, it won't touch the pony because it can color the pony fairly easy and if you don't have acetone to wipe it right off right away, it might permently stain her/him.

[on dyeing hair attached to a pony]

MidnightThunder writes~ I have dipped pony hair into dye before. It is a bit tricky to get right up to the roots without getting the ears and neck in as well but it can be done. Although I wouldn't recommend a dark color.

REPINKING

PrincessLuna11706 writes~ To repink a pony's hair, drop a little red food color into vinegar to make the desired pink. soak the pony's hair until the desired color. If it's too pink, rinse in warm water until the right shade. Blow dry to set.

Wysteria writes~ Rose RIT dye? It's a close match, but not quite exact like Dollyhair's new nylon Pussycat Pink. I rehaired my Glow with it, it takes longer, but so worth it! The RIT dye is a nice quick fix too though, but you can tell the difference because the rose is more of a dusty pink and it lacks the bubble gum pink shine.

Kar Red Roses writes ~ A Perfume Puff's hair should be no problem at all to repink! It's unlike the regular G1 pony hair, it's soft and cottony and ought to take the dye well. Rinse it well afterwards, and squeeze paper towels onto it to soak up the excess.


4.4 - Care for Perfume Puff ponies' hair?
Glorfindel writes~ Feel free to wash, shampoo, get it drench wet, condition and then give it a good brush when wet then a good brush when try...use a brush not a comb as you will most likely break the prong of a comb! The end result is lovely soft fluffy hair, just like when they were sold new...dont be afraid to give perfume puffs hair a good brush and wash...I have all of them and all of their hair is clean and gorgeous. If the hair is clean and still smells, try just brushing it, or you may well loose the smell if you wash it.

LARPer Pony writes~ I have found though that a surprising amount of improvement can be done just by patiently brushing out the hair, as it tends to just get kind-of squashed rather than tangled.

Kar Red Roses writes~ The secret to fixing puffer hair is to brush, BRUSH, B-R-U-S-H!
According to Sweet Lily's backcard:
Grooming Tip: Let wet, curly hair dry before combing."
^ I agree 100%. Combing wet hair will damage the cottony fibers. If the hair is dirty or smells you can wash it with mild soap or shampoo, take special care with PINK hair because it fades! Keep it away from sunlight.
After washing, squeeze out excess water with some paper towels and allow it to dry fully before brushing or combing. A pick-style comb works great on them.

Syrus The Clown writes~ I am not a pony customiser but I have styled a LOT of afro hair which is a similar texture to the perfume puff hair. I tend to wash and dry(naturally), then condition and dry (naturally) Then using something like a toothpick or hair comb with the parting end, flick through the hair (as if coming with one tooth) and flick my wrist just a little as I come to the edge of the hair. I also recommend volumising hair cream (sunsilks great)and a paddle brush to give it a 'fluffy' look afterwards.

Lady Rosedust writes~ If the hair looks kinda matted and bunchy at the ends, this is what I do: Wash the pony's hair and then put a TON of conditioner in it. Take the hair into small sections (maybe 10 sections for the whole mane) and use a very fine tooth comb to comb it through. If the hair is really matted, you might try a wider comb at first. Now, alot of loose hairs will comb out into the comb, but dont worry, because when she dries she will be great looking.
Once I comb through the whole main and tail like this, I rinse it all out and then just put in a normal amount of conditioner and let her dry.
You can be pretty rough with their hair and not mess it up, at least in my experience.


4.5 - Fix the crimp on a Rockin' Beat's hair?
Some G1 ponies originally came with kinky, crimped hair: Sweet Notes, Tuneful, the Sundazzle ponies set and the Great Hair ponies from the UK.

Kar Red Roses writes - YES, they still make crimping irons! Conair makes one, so does Belson and a few professional hair styling products companies, such as Jilbere De Paris and Ceramic Tools. You can find cheaper models at Claire's and the better ones through Amazon.com or a professional beauty supply. Viva 80's!


4.6 - Rehair a bald pony / Fix missing plugs / Give a pony a new mane?

ON REMOVING OLD HAIR

Lady Phoenix9 writes~ I've only done this once, so I might have had an easy pony...but I put her near one of the heating vents to get her warm. That loosened both the head glue and the hair glue into flaky chunks. Maybe an afternoon in a hot car would work this time of year.

Baggins Lover writes~ Don't put acetone into the head!! I tried that for the exact same thing once, I ended up with melted hair holes and -still- had toh gluey rubbish still in there!! Seriously, acetone WILL melt pony plastic, and where it is as thin as it is arount the plug holes it will go right through!

Whippetluv writes, re: removing stubborn hair that will not come out easily~ Pour nail polish remover into the head and let it soak about 5/10 minutes.
For non-so-stubborn hair: I just take the needle nose pliers and sorta "scrub" with them...or take my needle and push through the hole from above!

Adrilahan writes~ Last time [old hair was stuck], I cut the hair really short, flush with the neck, and stuck a small nail into it, then tapped it in with a hammer.

Arkseil writes~ I soak the pony head in really hot water to make it soft, then pour Goof-Off into the head and set it in the sink, then use an orange stick (wooden thingy for pushing cuticles back, they're sold at drugstores and cheap) and push at the glob of glue, pushing it towards the snout of the pony... I normally do this while holding the head under really warm to hot running water from a tap, and wear rubber gloves to protect my hands from the heat!
It works really well, and I've had some BAD glue vitcims, let me tell you! the chuck of glue I pulled out of my last pony was a round ball with the same diameter as a quarter! ick! good luck! Your hands will be sore after not matter what you do, I'm afraid... but if you find a way to do it where they dont, please let me know!

Firebyrd writes~ I hammer on the outside of the head with the handle part of my needle-nosed pliers. This usually breaks the hold of the glue on the inside of the head enough to pull it out. If that doesn't work, boil it for a bit, and the head will be very flexible and the glue softened, making it pretty easy to take care of..

Unicornucopia writes, re: stubborn glue~ Yep, boil that head, lol. That's the way I do it. Also, I use a flat-head screwdriver to scrape it out.

Firebyrd writes~ Be careful with the nail polish remover in heads. I had it discolor a white pony recently.

ADDING NEW HAIR

Wysteria writes~ I've recently tried a new method that only involves a little hot glue and a piece of nylon fishing line. Just cut the hair to the length you need and encase the end in hot glue, when it's dry it's not going anywhere! The tie a small loop in the middle of the fishing line. Insert one end into the hole, pull the loop through leaving the other end of the string still coming out the top, insert a plugs worth of hair into the loop, and just pull it back through and repeat! Once you're done, just pull all the pugs to their full length. So for those of you who don't have a tool and are sick of getting poked with a needle, this has worked great for me and shaves a little time! Not to mention fishing line is super strong and won't break easily.

Malinky writes~ Just a quick tip on keeping hair all neat...
When you first buy your hair, take off any ties, wrappings etc carefully and get a firm grip on the hank near to one end but letting about 1/5 extend past the end of your hand. Use a bristle type brush - like Marshall & Pierson (not a wire or vent type) firmly brush the hair away from yourself. Swap ends and brush the bit you missed first time around. Now that the hair is as untangled as you are going to get it, separate off as much as you are going to need for your first plug. You can store the rest of the hair either by draping it over the back of a dining chair, or by holding it at one end again and whipping it (mid air)round till it is all twisty, then put both ends together and let it coil around itself - not to tight or too loose. Put it back in its plastic wrappings. It should stay neat and not get curly this way (I used to braid the hair, but it gets kinky that way).
For more plugs you can separate them from the draped hair easily - brushing again when you notice that its getting all messy again. If you are having to twist it out of reach of mutts and kids you will probably have to brush more often.

Skeen writes~ Well, I remember reading (years and years ago) that each plug on a pony's head has around 14 strands of hair in it, so that's how many I try to put in (i.e. 7 strands of hair, doubled over to make 14, or a few more). I've never actually looked to see if they really have 14 strands though, and I'm not sure if the website I read meant 14 total or 14 when doubled over. When I use a DG/FD fakie baby, I make more plugs because they have so few plugs to begin with. Luckily their plastic is so cheap and thin you can make plugs as you go and make them more "authentic" looking.

Sevenbelles writes~ I use a [Ladydaydreamer's] tool..I tried the needle thread when I first started, lets just say, i gave up real quick! I have bought 3 tools from LDD and have replaced my needles myself like she tells you to. I have never had a problem with it damaging the hair or the holes. I can hair a pony in 20 minutes now with it, and it is very easy to use.

Woosie writes~ I don't use the tool... It's easy to damage plug holes that way and it requires glue. I only use the needle/dental floss method. I do it in a way that doesn't need any glue and is very secure. I can do a G3 mane in about 1/2 hour to an hour (for difficult rehairs w/lots of different colors) and that includes the time it takes to make the plugs.
It's really just a personal preference thing. Try all the methods you can and pick what works best for you.

Diana_Arcuri writes~ I use the 2 methods, the tool and the needle and thread one. Both are very efficient, but also they have their risks.
The needle one is very painful, as I use dental thread, it hurts my fingers and it takes me more than 6 hours to rehair only one g3 pony. It's the most secure method for rehairing because you're not going to damage too much the plug holes of your pony.
The tool is a very good and fast method, but to be sure that you won't damage your pony, you have to choose the right amount of hair for each plug. That's why sometimes the holes get broken. And the size of the needle is very important. The one that is sold on Ebay is a good one, because uses a needle that fits the plug holes of ponies. It takes you less time than the other method, but not because it's an easy way to rehair you're stopping to be careful, as every thing, it has it's risks, but if you do it with care, nothing bad could happen.

Malinky writes~ I don't use the rehairing tool OR the needle and thread method - I use a very long Dolly needle which is great as this way I can regulate the size of the plugs and i dont have to flex the head.

Kar Red Roses writes~ I love tension rooting with the tool for rehairing ponies. I can do a baby with it in about half an hour. You don't need to glue the hair in afterward if you don't want to, but I do anyway, just for that added bit of security. I don't use nylon hair very often, most of my customs use yarn hair!

ImmortalPanda writes~ I've used Dollyhair's rehairing tool, as well as LadyDaydreamer's (she doesn't make them anymore though). Both were crafted very well, and I've only ever had problems with a scalp split on one pony, and that was because I used too much hair in the plugs! I know that Custompony.Com also sells a rehairing tool, and there is a seller on ebay that deals in them as well, but I have not had experience with those tools.
[Re: Hair] Saran or Katsilk hair tends to be a bit thicker than nylon hair, so your plugs should be slightly smaller when using those types of hair. I use Dollyhair pretty much exclusively now. It's incredibly easy to use and it seems to naturally split itself off into the perfect size plugs! Also, if you find that the plug holes in your pony's head have shrunk a little bit, you can always widen the holes a bit with a push pin (if you use Dollyhair's rehair tool; It has the perfect size needle point on the end!) -- It's also important not to force the needle of the rehair tool into a plug if it doesn't want to pop in easily! There could be something like glue blocking the way -- Or again, you might just have a bit too much hair for your plug!

Diamond Dreams writes~ Some hairlines have the holes punched very close together- those are prone to splitting no matter what method is used (I have split the hairline using floss and needle-ugh did that suck!)
I glue the inside plugs no matter what method I use...as long as I use tacky glue and not superglue, I've never had it seep through the holes...the hair blocks the holes sufficiently (I have however, glued the table I was working on...)
A thicker consistency glue should not come through the holes.
I like to give the pony hair good tugs, and can't really trust my knots or the bit of hair on the inside from the tool.

On fixing rooted hair that sticks up

Kar Red Roses writes~ After the head is rooted, I use *very* warm water to wet the hair down flat. I keep it flat by wrapping paper toweling around the head and securing it with elastic bands (ponytail elastics work well). Leave the paper toweling on the head for several days until the hair is completely and totally dry, and this will tame the hair fibers into place. Then you will probably need to trim the new hair a little to even it out and... You're finished!

Helpful links-

Baggins Lover's custom tutorial

CustomPony.com

TicTacToeUK's hair tutorial

DollyHair.com

Aikarin's rehairing tutorial

Lady Minty's rehairing tutorial

Rehairing with a punch tool (large pics)

MyLittleCustoms.com's ebay.co.uk guides : Rerooting rehair manes and tails on a My Little Pony

Strawberry Fair's Rehairing service

Beechan2's Quickie Rehairing Video

JoshsPonyPrincess' alternative rehairing method - photo tutorial


4.7 - Repair / replace a pony's tail?
Sometimes a pony's tail will fall out, requiring a quick fix!

Wysteria writes ~ I usually just coat the end of the hair in hot glue so it won't come out and just use some pliers to pop it in.

llunaln writes ~ I use cage clips from Ace Hardware, and clamp one at the end of the tail and leave about half an inch, and glue the end that will be inside the pony. its pretty similar to the metal clip used in G1s, I don't use a washer though I just glue it. I do it this way because I don't fold the hair in half.
If you look at how a g1 pony's tail is constructed you can see that they've put the metal clip in the middle and folded the hair in half. then threaded the washer with all the hair going through the washer's hole.

Wisp writes~ I use zip ties. I put one in the center of a strip of hair, and glue it in place. And I either pull it through the neck like any other tail, or the easier way, take an exacto and make the tail hole just big enough for the square of the tie. I have to make her little tail hole bigger but its so easy! I HATED fighting with toothpicks and tape! and it made hair frizzy. This way, it stays perfect.

Helpful links-

Baggins Lover's custom tutorial

Sail Away's tutorial

See also: 3.4 - Fix a rattling tail washer?


4.8 - Get rid of frizz?
With a few exceptions, most pony hair is made from nylon fiber, a synthetic material that, when heated or stretched from over brushing, can become damaged, or frizzy.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When styling your ponies' manes and tails, be gentle!

Below is an illustrated tutorial posted to the MLPTP by Whippetluv on how to help make damaged hair look (and feel) like new again. Please respect her work and do not use her images without permission.

Whippetluv writes~ I was supposed to do a tutorial for the MD meet..but we ran out of time. So here it is for all to behold. This idea really works.

Step 1... Frizzy haired pony

Step 2... Boil water

Step 3... Dip hair in boiling water

Step 4...Lay pony on a flat surface and comb out straight. I usually try to put a towel underneath of it to absorb the water. Do step 3 and 4 several times
*if you want truly straight hair you are now done. Just stand pony up and comb hair how you want it to stay forever.

Step 5... Separate a small section of hair and curl around a cut off straw. Use a bobbypin to keep in place (hint..put the crinkled side of the bobbypin inside the straw to avoid a crimped look)

Step 6...Put curlers in all the hair. Go ahead and dip in boiling water every now and again. You want hair to remain hot and steaming while doing this.

Step 7...Leave to dry overnight. Then carefully remove bobbypins and slide out straw from the top.

Step 8...Enjoy your curly haired pony! The heat of the water changes the plastic and the hair will remain curly! No products needed!

Curls I have made in ponies has lasted for years! Frizz be gone!

Oh and I wanted to mention that while straws work... Firemuse sells some really nice wooden curling sticks that she uses with hair clips and they would last forever and be really nice to own. I have always used straws but her method got different sized curls. And the funny part is... She used the same pony to show how the curl works!

a real example

and a tutorial pic.


4.9 - Straighten tinsel?
StrawberryReef writes~ I had a couple extra Sparkleworks ponies with really bad crinkled tinsel so I thought I would experiment (what the heck!) and see if I could figure out how to tame the CLEAR tinsel... I have heard that heat just makes clear tinsel curl... So after a lot of experimentation with products and with HEAT, here is Sparkleworks... I never expected she would come out so good.
Tutorial with photos - Straightening Clear Tinsel


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