Like most girls growing up, Barbie colored locks and free flowing Disney Princess hair was something I always wanted. Although my love affair with everything Barbie didn't last too long, my passion for Disney locks kept burning strong. Even at a young age, my quest for royal strands amounted to a neverending bucket list.
To have Ariel's red hot color (tried this!), Pocahontas's windswept mane (still working on it) and Belle's gorgeous updo (kinda sorta?) were #beautygoals I could only dream of. Trust me, if Cinderella's Fairy Godmother did dye jobs, you bet I'd be booking appointments in a heartbeat.
Fast forward twenty something years later, and here I am today, still obsessed with everything princesses. Not only have I soaked in every YouTube beauty tutorial, Pinterest board, and Tumblr, but I truly can't count how many hours in front of my bathroom mirror, trying to get my hair in proper princess fashion. I once wasted five hours and lots of hair spray desperately trying to create Rapunzel's gorgeous flower braid. Let's just say it didn't end well.
Being that mastering jaw dropping hairstyles clearly isn't my forte, I decided to finally see if Disney Princess hair is both attainable and realistic to the everyday beauty lover. Taking Cinderella's classic style out for test drive, here's what I learned from trying out Disney Princess hair for myself.
Lesson One: Prep It Out
Without a doubt, Cinderella has always been my favorite princess. Maybe it's her cheery "dream is a wish" demeanor, or perhaps it's the fact that I've always wanted to steal that damn dress for myself for years. Whatever the case, I figured that Cinderelly's timeless updo wouldn't be too much of a challenge for this hair challenged lady.
Sadly I don't have any fairy godmothers or animal friends to help me out, so it was up to me, myself, and I to create this romantic look. I'm pretty sure Cinderella would totally approve of keeping this look on a budget, especially since homegirl herself once used a sash and beads to get all dolled up.
Your main necessities don't have to cost a fortune, but the little trinkets will add up slightly. At a visit to my local craft store, I found a sturdy blue ribbon (for your hair) and black ribbon (for Cindy's choker) for under $8, so I decided I had to get both. Also taking inspiration from the live action film, I decided to throw in some craft butterflies to capture that magical effect. Luckily this set of butterflies only cost $2, so all together I spent $10, plus tax for all the main goods.
Cinderella also has a bit of a wave when it comes to the updo, so to get my hair wavy, I used leave-in-conditioner and some foam rollers (Amazon has some great options under $10) to get those strands wavy without applying heat. Also, you'll need a brush and a handy hair clip to help section your hair for the curlers, so don't be afraid to grab an old brush or comb you have lying around.
Lesson Two: It Takes Time And Work
After you've completed your prep step, it's really time to whistle while you work. To get your hair in Disney shape, you definitely want to do this on a day when you have lots of time on your hands, because unlike the film, you can't get flawless hair in a wave of a wand.
Rolling up your hair may seem like a challenge at first, so practice a few times before you make your big debut. Slightly dampen your hair with water or conditioner so it'll hold the curl. After your hair is completely saturated with your conditioning product, use your brush to help section and roll up hair into the foam rollers. Applying on a shower cap is optional, but it may help your rollers from moving out of place.
Waiting is the key part to getting that perfect wave, so be prepared to wait a good hour before taking your rollers out. In the meantime, I got a head start on makeup application, cause you know; princesses gotta look good even if they are running errands. Sleeping in them is also an option, of course.
After waiting restlessly after an hour, it was time to take out my curlers. If you want a tighter curl feel free to leave them in all day, but for that loose wave, an hour should really do the trick.
Lesson Three: It Won't Look Like The Movie
I can't do a French twist or a chignon to save my life, so just like I would at the gym, I simply used my hair clip to twist and roll up my hair in the back, leaving two strands free in front. Then, I tied my blue hair ribbon around the crown of my head to get that Cinderella effect. Need some extra Disney inspiration? Feel free to form your black string into an inexpensive choker Cinderella would probably love.
I highly doubt any Disney princess would actually apply tape into their hair, but I found it was the best way to attach these cheap-o butterflies to my strands. Trust me, it may feel feel awkward, but the selfie-ready effect is kind of worth it.
It may be far from perfect, but it's important to remember that your finished result won't be anything like the movies. Unless you're a literal animated heroine, expect not to always get the perfect curl or updo of your dreams, as real life elements and situations can definitely get in the way. Lord, I can only wonder what Cinderella does on all those humid days. Plus, how on earth Aurora deals with bedhead will always be a mystery to me.
Lesson Four: People May Not Get It
Unlike Prince Charming who instantly fell in love with Cinderella's getup, expect everyday people not to quite understand your princess intentions. Not only did my family and friends think the look was a bit much, but even a local trip to my supermarket had people asking me if I was on my way tonight's prom. I'll pretend that being mistaken for a 17-year-old (I'm 26) is a compliment.
Overall, it's fair to say Disney Princess hair creates unrealistic expectations. Yes to have Snow White's on-point bob and Elsa's icy blonde hue would be totally awesome, but chances are it won't be as fabulous as it is in the films. Creating any princess style can take lots of prep, time and work, as even Cinderella's basic updo took my a good few times to get it just right.
Disney-ready looks may force you to shell out some extra money, and people might think you're on the way to the prom, so remember that unless you are attempting to cos-play or heading off to Disneyland, you might want to leave these kind of of looks to your eight year old niece or cousin.
Images: Courtney Leiva; Giphy (2)