Growin' Pretty Hair Barbie is now with her friends in my collection! I was so excited to win this minty Barbie on eBay for just $95! Isn't she lovely? As a child, the reason I fell in love with Growin’ Pretty Hair Barbie was because I could lengthen or shorten her hair with a little tug! I thought this was ingenious. I also loved my Crissy doll for the same reason – do you remember her?! Growin’ Pretty Hair Barbie #1144 came with cute hairpieces – curls and braids – and accessories to complete her fun look. You could also style her blonde hair yourself with her little hair tools. The 1971 version was blonde with a side part, wore a pink dress and had pink ribbons on her hair accessories. The 1972 Growin' Pretty Hair Barbie wore a peasant / empire dress and the bow on her hairpieces was blue.The latter Barbie is worth more to collectors.
Baby dolls lost their popularity in the early 70s to fashion dolls like Barbie and Dawn. Children loved the hair play options with fashion dolls. Barbie’s retractable ponytail embraced this hair play craze. Aspiring hairstylists loved this Barbie because it provided hours of practice and dozens of hairstyle possibilities. Some children did more than just crimp and curl Barbie’s hair though. Barbie’s life span could be, umm… cut short with a deadly snip of scissors. Uh oh, now a real stylist had to be visited to fix the damage!
It was a great idea for Mattel to sell a Barbie with many hairdo possibilities, rather than the somewhat surrealistic Hair Fair Barbie #4043 issued the same year. Hair Fair wasn’t even a doll! She was a head sold with accompanying wigs and accessories. However, in 1971 Mattel also released Hair Happenin’s Barbie #1174 who had hair options to add to her short, titian (red) hair. This Barbie was different than Barbie with Growin’ Pretty Hair because Hair Happenin’s came with red (titian) mini curls, midi swirls, and a fashion fall. She is considered by collectors as one of the most beautiful , rare and desirable dolls of the Mod Era. She can fetch upwards of $2,000 when Never Removed From Box!
The Best of Barbie: Four Decades of America’s Favorite Doll, Sharon Korbeck (2001)
Barbie: A Rare Beauty, Sandi Holder (2010)
1971 Growin’ Pretty Hair Barbie - Values: $300 - $375 NRFB; $150 - $225 mint/no box
1972 Growin’ Pretty Hair Barbie - Values: $475 - $550 NRFB; $275 - $350 mint/no box
Values from "Vintage Barbie Dolls" by Hillary Shilkitus James (2011)