In all my years of watching Disney movies, there’s one thing I’ve never been able to get over.
I can accept that talking animals are just a normal part of everyday life. I can live with the notion that singing is the only way to get through your day. I can even grasp the fact that beautiful, perfect goddesses end up with majorly subpar men—that’s just life.
But you know what I can’t live with? The completely upsetting and unrealistic portrayal of women’s hair.
But you know what, Disney? You’re not fooling me any longer. Keep scrolling for a definitive ranking of Disney princesses, based on the authenticity of their hair.
There’s not a single thing about Ariel’s hair that’s even a little bit authentic. First of all, she lives her life in saltwater. Do you have any idea how drying and damaging that is to your hair? The second she stepped onto dry land she should have been riddled with frizz and split ends galore, but somehow her hair still looks perfect.
Second of all, no one’s hair is naturally that red. I’m all for dyeing your hair whatever color your little heart desires, including firetruck red, but there’s no way your color treatment can withstand being constantly bombarded by saltwater. Plus, how would she even get the dye to stick underneath the ocean? I see you and your fake hair, Ariel. You’re not fooling anyone.
(The Little Mermaid via Walt Disney Pictures)
When it comes to Rapunzel, there’s obviously the issue of her hair being so long, but that’s actually not the part I have a problem with. I prefer to cut my hair, as do most people on earth, so I have no idea if her crazy length would be realistic if someone literally didn’t cut their hair for their entire life.
You know what really set me off? When she goes into the town and interacts with people for once, suddenly her miles-long hair is transformed into a braid that hangs right above the ground. Braids do not shorten your hair that much. They take off maybe a couple inches at most, so there are some severe length variances that I just can’t forgive here. How long is your hair really, Rapunzel? Did you take out your extensions so the braid would work? There’s definitely something they’re not telling us.
(Tangled via Walt Disney Pictures)
11. Snow White
I don’t even know where to put Snow White on this list because I truly have no idea what’s happening with her hair. Is it a bob? Is it a pixie cut? I have no idea, but I do know that I’ve never seen it replicated in the real world. I’m not even sure how you would accomplish this style, so I’m going to make the executive decision that it’s not very realistic.
(Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs via Walt Disney Pictures)
Oh, Mulan. I have so many questions. So right at the beginning of the movie, Mulan chops off her long locks to about shoulder-length. Totally fine—happens every day. But then she spends the rest of the movie with her hair tied up in a bun at the top of her head. How did she manage to pull off even a high pony without the bottom strands of her hair falling out, much less twist it into a full bun?
She didn’t leave enough hair on her head to accomplish this style. Plus, she rarely seems to get flyways or small strands falling out of her bun, despite the fact that she’s participating in rigorous physical activity every day. I don’t know about you, but I’m not buying it.
(Mulan via Walt Disney Pictures)
My hair was very similar to Pocahontas’ growing up—it was dark, stick-straight and very long, making her my ultimate hair goals. So you can imagine how upset I was when I finally realized that my hair would never blow in the wind as perfectly as hers did. Seriously, her hair blows flawlessly away from her face no matter where she’s standing and never seems to get tangled or messy, despite the fact that she doesn’t seem to own a brush.
If my hair gets caught in the windstorm like that in the real world, I spend the next two days trying to comb out the rat’s nest it becomes, which I had to do a lot as a child because I kept standing in the wind, trying to look like Pocahontas. It was a real problem, and I will never forgive Disney for feeding me the lie that hair blowing in the wind is beautiful.
(Pocahontas via Walt Disney Pictures)
Cinderella’s hair isn’t even hair, it’s just a little poof that sits on top of her head. You can’t see any strands or even make out if it’s wavy or straight. Plus, her bangs sit over her forehead instead of resting on her forehead, which is just plain confusing. There’s not a lot of movement to her hair, and she wears this bandana, but half the time you can’t even tell how it’s staying put on her head. It’s all very confusing and highly unrealistic.
(Cinderella via Walt Disney Pictures)
Jasmine is known for her iconic ponytail, but has anyone ever noticed that her hair is literally as thick as the rest of her body? I don’t care what kind of products or treatments you use, no one’s hair is that thick, Jasmine. I do give her a few points for being one of the only Disney princesses who’s shown actually brushing her hair. However, if it was really as thick as the animators would have us believe, there’s no way she’d be able to get a brush through that mess. Having hair that thick is not only unrealistic, it’s completely inconvenient.
(Aladdin via Walt Disney Pictures)
No one’s hair looks this good in a braid. How did she get all that volume at the top? Does she have layers or bangs? It’s all very unclear. Minus those issues, however, Elsa’s hair makes sense. It’s a nice color and looks to be tied with an actual rubber band, which is nearly unheard of in the world of Disney princesses.
(Frozen via Walt Disney Pictures)
Belle’s hair isn’t that crazy. It’s a good length and a nice realistic shade of brown, but there’s one major issue with Belle’s hair choices—she ties it up with a piece of ribbon. Has anyone ever tried tying their hair with just a piece a ribbon? I have, and it never stays. Ribbon is not made to be a hair tie, which was a very upsetting discovery for childhood me.
(Beauty and the Beast via Walt Disney Pictures)
Considering Tiana spends the majority of the movie as a frog, and the rest of it with her hair pulled back, there’s not much hair footage to judge her on. The perfect ringlets hanging from the side of her updo seem a little too good to be true, but other than that I have no complaints about our southern princess’ hair. Besides, she has an entire restaurant and business to worry about—her hair is the least of her concerns.
(The Princess and the Frog via Walk Disney Pictures)
As far as Disney princess hair goes, Aurora’s doesn’t do anything that crazy. The lack of split ends or fly-aways is still annoying, but it’s possible that she just takes really good care of her long locks. After all, she lives in the woods—it’s not like she has anything better to do. She’s got some good waves going on, and her signature style includes a headband, which is actually a pretty realistic way to tame unruly locks. Aurora hasn’t given me too many things to whine about when it comes to her hair.
(Sleeping Beauty via Walt Disney Pictures)
Finally, we’re bringing some realism to the world of Disney princess hair. While Merida’s color definitely came out of a bottle, she’s the first princess to show that hair can be kind of annoying. Her locks are constantly getting in her face and messing with her eyesight, and her curls are perfectly crafted—aka they’re all over the place, rather than uniform little ringlets. Plus, she’s definitely got some fly-aways and frizz going on, which is just too relatable.
(Brave via Walt Disney Pictures)
Moana’s hair is everything. Not only does it have nice waves that look like they could actually exist in the real world, it also has to be managed as she goes on her adventures. It gets in her face, prompting her to pull it back when she’s busy, and it has fly-aways and just a little bit of frizz, which is totally natural when you’re spending all your time in or around the ocean. It’s still too beautiful to be completely real, but it’s the closest Disney has gotten so far, and I can accept that.
(Moana via Walt Disney Pictures)
If you want to know more about what we think about some of the most iconic Disney characters, click HERE for a definitive ranking of Disney princes, based on just how shallow they really are.