“Stacked” – Revisiting the Bubble Cut hair style

Attention All Vintage Barbie Doll Collectors and Lovers of the Bubble Cut Barbie Doll : Did you know that the bubble cut hair-do can actually be styled in a different way ?!

For those who thought only the rounded style (thus the term “bubble” cut) would do on these lovely gals, I have news for you . I will show you that  THESE:

IMG_9755 copy

Can become THESE ! :collection

Introducing the “Beehive” !

My collector friend Jean and I recently noticed a few dolls on Ebay commanding a higher than normal buying price. Upon closer inspection of said dolls, we discovered their hair styles were not that of the typical “bubble cut” hair do. In fact, these dolls appeared to have hair with significant height and swirl effect as in a beehive or teased hair style. Some with an even more unusual bubble on bubble appearance like the Fashion Queen blonde wig. This prompted further investigation, so Jean and I decided to see if we could figure out just which dolls had this magical feature. Was it in fact ALL bubble cut Barbie dolls, and had we been totally ignorant of how to style their hair correctly all these years?!  Hmm…?



Judging from what we deem the regular style bubble cut, we noticed that these girls seem to have a unique rooting pattern that begins with a very tight swirl off to the side or toward the back of the right side of the dolls’ head .  While the bubble cut dolls’ hair is rooted so that the hair lays a certain way, these particular dolls seem to be rooted in one continuous circle expanding outward around the entire scalp.


In researching these gals and trying to determine which ones have this hidden coiffure we found that production year did not matter, nor did the hair color.  Dolls with the “Beehive” hair style have been found with 1961 markings as well as the later Barbie/Midge markings and each of these hair colors (Blonde, Brunette, and Titian) have been found with “Beehive” hair style as well.

What amuses me most is, that if Mattel’s’ original intent was the high beehive style when the dolls were first produced, their high hair would’ve prevented them from fitting into their original boxes! And this may be why today we occasionally find bubble cut dolls with flat tops to their hair style.

Check out this gal  BEFORE . Looks like the traditional Bubble hair style, right ?   goldbefore

Here she is  AFTER her comb through ! :



These same findings (years/hair colors) seem to exist for what we are calling the “bubble on bubble” hair style also. A real head turner, this doll has a few extra rows of longer hair rooted on the top of her head.  The hair is thick and when combed, appears as if a wig was placed on top of the hair, almost like a hat !

Example – BEFORE Comb out :


AFTER – BOOM ! : bonb3

Who knows how this unique style came into being? As there does not appear to be an abundance of these dolls, was this a manufacturing technique? Or the way a worker held a dolls’ head on the machine while it was being rooted?

Here’s a prime example of the “Bubble on bubble” .  I have since sold her, but now, how I WISH I had kept her !  She looks like she’s wearing a mink hat !



Since every bubble cut does not have this rooting pattern,( and believe me, we’ve tried to get many bubble cuts to do that swish), in order to find these very special gals, you must look carefully for clues and do a lot of combing hair ! A little sleuthing and a little know how and you may be surprised to find a STACKED beauty in your own collection !

Happy Hunting !



Text and photos by : Maryann Roy

Additional text and research : Jean Petrelli

Dolls from my personal collection.

Maryann Roy : welcomehome@maryannroy.com


10 thoughts on ““Stacked” – Revisiting the Bubble Cut hair style

Add yours

  1. OMG, you have just given me reason to revisit my vintage Barbies! Currently in storage, I’m going to be clearing a place for them over the summer, as I recall a few of my Bubblecuts may have this hidden feature. So excited!

  2. Actually, I have two of these. One is a peach lipped titian that is MIB and has hair JUST LIKE the Fashion Queen wig. My other one is a blonde ’64(?) with the same look. I just thought some Mattel employee decided to root dolls just like they had been rooting the Fashion Queen wigs because that’s what they were used to doing. I would upload pics, but both are at the spa right now–with instructions NOT to touch that cool hair!

  3. Really interesting. Thank you for sharing. Just when a person thinks everything has been discovered, something new comes to light.

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