Which styling heads are best?

Styling heads are a lot of fun for kids who love to style their hair or play dress-up. You can find styling heads of all hair colors and textures, from generic to popular characters. Some even come with toy styling tools. A few models even have makeup options that color change with water. If you are looking for a styling head modeled after a princess known for her hair, the Disney Princess Deluxe Rapunzel Styling Head is your top choice.

What to know before you buy a styling head

There are many different options when it comes to finding styling heads. There are generic ones and ones designed to look like famous characters. The main two things to consider are the purpose of the styling head and the recipient’s preference. 


Generic styling heads look like people, but they don’t represent any specific character. These often have actual human hair, making the styling experience as realistic as possible. Aspiring beauticians often use these to practice techniques and come in all kinds of hair colors and textures. If you know an older child or teenager who is serious about pursuing a career in this field, a generic styling head might be a good choice for them.


Barbie styling heads come in many varieties. You can find them with blonde, brown, black or even rainbow-colored hair. Some Barbie styling heads have conventional hairdos, while others feature more whimsical options, such tie dye and glitter.


Disney princess styling heads feature several different princesses and use synthetic hair. Blonde-haired princesses include Elsa, Rapunzel, Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty. If you want one with brown hair, pick either Belle or Elena of Avalor. For red hair, choose from Ariel or Anna. And for black hair, you can decide between Jasmine and Moana. Disney styling heads come with a lot of accessories, so you can recreate the princesses’ classic hairstyles or use your imagination to give them new ones. Some of these styling heads even feature color change makeup.

L.O.L. Surprise 

L.O.L. Surprise styling heads are just larger versions of the classic L.O.L. dolls. They have distinctive bright hair colors, bold styles and some of the hair is stick-on, so you can mix and match styles. These styling heads have a bunch of awesome accessories, allowing you to create hairstyles that are anything but ordinary. And you can make their makeup change color with ice.


Trolls are famous for their flowing rainbow hair, making them perfect for a fun styling head toy. Look for Poppy, the pink troll, from the “Trolls” movies.


If your child is more into animals, find styling heads that feature animal characters with manes and other hair types. Horses are the most common animal used for styling heads. The Barbie Dreamtopia unicorn is a colorful and beautiful example.

What to look for in a quality styling head

Hair texture

Styling dolls have all sorts of hair textures, from straight to curly. You might want to choose one that matches the hairstyle of the recipient or one that allows them to create plenty of different hairstyles. 

Accessories and tools for doll

Most dolls come with accessories like brushes, combs, bows, clips, tiaras, headbands and hair extensions. Some sets also include toy styling tools such as hairdryers, curling irons, hair straighteners, hair crimpers and scissors for aspiring hairdressers.

Accessories for child

One added bonus to styling heads is most children can wear the accessories that come with the set, like bows, clips, headbands and other decorations. 

Color change

If you want a color-changing feature, find a styling head that changes color with water or by simply by flipping the hair over. Many styling heads also allow you to use water to put on pretend makeup. Some come with applicators to do this, and others include stencils or chalk markers to help you make your own designs.  

Dolls with arms and hands

Some styling heads only consist of a bust, and others include arms and hands. You can sometimes change the nail color with water, ice or add stickers for a fun manicure. 

Swiveling heads

Easy styling is important for styling heads, so try to find ones that swivel at the base for easy movement. This allows you to move the base as you style the front and back of the hair. 

How much you can expect to spend on a styling head

Styling heads cost about $20-$45, depending on the brand and how many accessories are included.

Styling head FAQ

Can you wash synthetic doll hair?

A. Yes. Use water and mild shampoo to clean, then rinse out. Next, put some conditioner on the hair, and rinse it completely. Pat the hair dry and allow it to air dry completely. Never use a blow dryer since heat will damage the hair.

Can you use heat styling tools on synthetic doll hair?

A. No. Using a blow dryer, curling iron or hair straightener will damage the doll’s hair.

What’s the best styling head to buy?

Top styling head

Disney Princess Deluxe Rapunzel Styling Head

Disney Princess Deluxe Rapunzel Styling Head

What you need to know: This 13.5-inch Rapunzel styling head features long blonde hair, color-changing makeup and comes with 12 accessories.

What you’ll love: It has plenty of accessories, including a hair styling tool, two hair extension barrettes, a hairbrush, five elastic bands, a pretend nail polish bottle and a claw hair clip in the shape of Pascal, Rapunzel’s pet chameleon. It also comes with a styling guide to help you create hairstyles. 

What you should consider: Some people found that the color-changing feature only worked with ice-cold water.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Top styling head for the money

Barbie Deluxe Styling Head Tie Dye

Barbie Deluxe Styling Head Tie Dye

What you need to know: This 12.75-inch Barbie styling head features black and brown hair with purple streaks. It’s ideal for kids 3 years old and up.

What you’ll love: The extensive set allows you to make tie-dye accessories and comes with a tie-dye spinner, dye and a ribbon and two scrunchies to decorate. It also comes with two customizable barrettes, a multicolor brush, a nail wheel and nail stickers. Kids can wear their personalized accessories in their own hair too.

What you should consider: Although it is washable, the tie-dye can get a bit messy.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

L.O.L. Surprise O.M.G. Styling Head Royal Bee with Stick On Hair

L.O.L. Surprise O.M.G. Styling Head Royal Bee with Stick-On Hair

What you need to know: Unbox 30 surprises with this 12-inch swiveling styling head.

What you’ll love: This features Royal Bee, the L.O.L. girl with all the curls. It has 15 stick-on hairpieces in three different colors and comes with a large barrette, six small barrettes, four hair bands, a headband, a comb and more. Reveal the color change lipstick and eye makeup when you apply ice to the face. The color lasts until you decide to change it back with a warm towel. The base includes a drawer to store all the accessories.

What you should consider: A few people said that the hair did not stick as well after a few uses.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Lorianne Palinkas writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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