Barbie and her war hair.

Barbie's hair has been a decisive part of her success since Mattel discovered the importance that children give to a long hair to comb in their toys, whether it represents person, animal or thing, but in the 90s the Barbie line bet for extra long hair being Hollywood Hair Barbie one of the most emblematic. And the history of her hair is linked ... to the II World War . And it is that the Polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) better known as saran, the fiber from which Barbie Hollywood hair among others is made, has undergone improvements and transformations but it was born in the 30s and by chance when a Dow Chemicals worker found it difficult to clean a material from the laboratory buckets. Chemists turned the material into a kind of green, slimy film that they called eonite at first and later saran. This discovery, which was apparently very foul at first, had many uses and was further refined in the 1940s during the Second World War. Thanks to its resistance to acids, alkalis, sun, water and insects among other things, it was used to spray combat aircraft and car upholstery to protect them from harsh environments but thanks to its ability to form filaments and layers saran was interwoven and used as isolation chambers in military boots for jungle areas. It was possible to extrude it and remove the bad smell to be able to adapt it to other uses such as the preservation of food in the form of a transparent plastic roll such as the "saran wrap" and of course for doll hair. Like Barbie's hair, the saran also evolved. It was used already in the 60s but with a texture a little bit different from the current one, then it went to the background in favor of nylon with the eighties waves and the boom of the "big hair" until it reappeared with the kanekalon in dolls from the end of 80s and the early 90s for long hair and straighter styles. The filaments are lubricated and can be of any color, even thermochromic and luminescent, but they are very stable and have difficult to take shape. It is relatively expensive but with little amount of filaments the doll seems to have a full mane, which is not the case with fibers like the type of kanekalon used in dolls such as Barbie Jewel Hair Mermaid or the successful Barbie Totally Hair, thinner, brittle and with tendency to tangle very easily. In any case, the look provided by saran seems to announce a quality doll. Today saran has changed its composition a bit to be more ecological and sustainable like many other plastic materials that were discovered in the middle of the 20th century that allowed a revolution in the world of toys. After all, Barbie is a daughter of the War.