Letters From Your Hairdresser 5 Hairstyles Inspired By Your Favorite Disney Princesses Kate Allen

I was seven years old when I went to see Pocahontas in theaters and I very proudly wore my purple t-shirt with my new favorite princess’s face splashed across the front while I watched and marveled at her bravery throughout the movie. That film began my love for all things Disney princess. I loved the way that girls like Ariel, Pocahontas and Mulan took great steps to sacrifice for what they believed in. That courage inspired me as a young impressionable girl dealing with societal pressures. And, of course, I also loved the infamous Disney princess hair.

This list will show you my five favorite Disney princesses and help you take each of their iconic, classic hairstyles and give them a modern, wearable spin. Whether your plans this spring will take you to the beach, the mountains or the city, you’ll love the unique twists of each hairstyle and the way they can be so glamorous and innovative. And what better way to feel like that than to take inspiration form the princesses themselves?

The Sophisticated Mermaid

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Inspired by: Ariel’s soft, movable waves

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Why it works: It’s bouncy and movable just like Ariel’s hair, giving it a feminine and playful quality. At the same time, it mixes in some of the vintage glamour that we all love for a formal event. It’s grown up and flirty all at the same time. And by incorporating the volume in the bangs, this look is quintessentially Ariel. I can almost picture Emma sighing up into her bangs or pulling a dinglehopper out of her purse!

How to recreate: Blowdry the hair with a large round brush to give your hair smoothness and volume. Then take horizontal sections down the head from the part line and curl positively and negatively, meaning you’ll turn the curling iron under at the first turn and then curl the next part of the section out. For each use of the iron, you’ll switch the direction you curl. Make sure to follow the same bends as you move around the head so the curls are uniform. After they have cooled for about ten minutes, comb through with a large comb and spray with hairspray.

Hint: Use a shine spray after finishing for that extra pop of brightness!

The Boho Babe

Inspired by: Pocahontas’ straight, flowing locks

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Why it works: It is simple enough to be boho chic, but formal enough to be paired with the right dress for any occasion. And the way the hair has a great amount of balance perfectly combining volume and an overall straighter texture is very Pocahontas. The finishing touch is the pop of turquoise from the beaded headband completing the entire theme with subtle perfection.

How to recreate: Work with what you have! If your hair is curlier, then smooth it out with your blowdryer just enough so that it has a bit of bend. Since Pocahontas is all about being yourself, I can’t tell you to flat iron it stick straight! But if your hair is straight, then use a large round brush to get volume and finish with a texturing spray to get that free flowing, undone quality on your tresses. And don’t forget to add a hint of turquoise to complete the look!

Hint: Try Oribe’s Dry Texture Spray to add a bit of oomph for this look and grab your turquoise headband from this awesome Etsy shop!

The Modern Geisha

Inspired by: Mulan’s voluminous bun

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Why it works: It’s a modern take on the geisha look which Mulan sports during parts of the movie. It can be taken to an even more dramatic look by adding a flower as Mulan wears. What I love most about it is the slickness of the hair and how it’s pulled up high and tight, giving it a very couture feel. It’s very smooth and polished for any black tie affair but still playful enough for a prom.

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  1. As an Indian and a Muslim, I don’t think the content of this post is racially motivated or ignorant, but the comments are both.

    Perhaps it was naive and inconsiderate of Kate to use mostly white women as examples, but that’s it.

    To take issue with the fact that her Jasmine inspired image shows a woman wearing Indian garb is is pretty insulting since you clearly know very little about India, the Middle East, or even Aladdin. The Disney movie is hardly an accurate depiction of anything in the Middle East. In fact, in the original story, Aladdin is Chinese and the story takes place in China.

    Also, India and the Middle East share a lot of culture. What Jasmine is wearing in that image looks nothing like what you would see in the Middle East and is in fact much more Indian and I’m sure it originated there.

    Kate made no claims that Jasmine inspired look was authentically Indian or “Arabian” (which by the way doesn’t describe any specific cultural group). It seems to me she was only replicating what was in the Disney images.

    It’s like you’re insinuating that these Disney movies are not racist in the first place. That to me, is offensive. Disney movies are pretty much Western culture to begin with. No wonder all the photos are of white women, all the Disney princess have white hair except for Jasmine, who has Indian hair.

  2. Hey guys, I want to respond to these comments in one post because they all seem to say the same thing. First, I want to make clear that I am most certainly not racist and to have that label pulled on me is a bit shocking. If you knew me in my real life, you would know how untrue that statement actually is. My family is hugely diverse in culture and from the time I was a little girl, I’ve been spending time and sharing memories with cousins of every type of background (African-American, Vietnamese, Native American). I’ve always believed in having respect for and love towards those of other backgrounds and origins. I myself have Native American and African American blood running through my veins and anyone that knows me knows how proud I am of that. And here in a couple years, I’ll marry a South Asian man and be joined to a new culture that I love and admire. My point is that you have to look no further than my everyday life and the interactions I have to see that I am clearly not a racist nor did I intend to write any words that could be seen as racist.

    Secondly, I do apologize for the Geisha title. That was poorly titled on my part and I apologize if that offended anyone. Next time I’ll be more careful with that.

    And lastly, I just want to explain the overall idea and concept for this post in an effort to show you what my intent was. I am a hairdresser and I live and breathe beauty. When I wrote this post, I was looking at my five favorite princesses and some of my favorite hairstyles they wore in each movie (why I chose Tiana’s bob and Mulan’s bun) and I wanted to show others how they could recreate these looks with a modern twist. When I was looking at photos showing a recreation, I was looking for photos of hair that I felt represented that exactly. I apologize that me not using your examples of Zoe Saldana or other women to represent Tiana or otherwise was seen as a blatant offensive choice I made and that was certainly not my intent. I was simply looking at hair and what styles I felt completely represented what I was looking for, not to represent the color of skin each princess had. If that is offensive, then I’m truly sorry, but as I said, I’m a hairdresser and was simply looking at the hair.

    Also, me using an Indian bride for the Jasmine inspired hairstyle wasn’t me saying that both cultures are interchangeable. Remember, these princesses were simply inspiration for a new hairstyle that I could see girls my age wearing. And since I’ve been planning an Indian wedding myself, I was really excited to showcase this amazing head jewelry that I love. That was simply it. The link between Jasmine and the Indian bride was just that jewelry based on the way Jasmine wore hers.

    Lastly, I just want to reiterate that I never meant with this post to offend other cultures. I have nothing but respect for and love towards people of other background’s and life experiences and I hope that by me explaining myself a bit, you can clearly see that now. Thank you all for your comments and allowing me to explain myself a bit!

    • I think it’s refreshing and progressive that you’ve actually responded, so I want to thank you for that.

      First of all, I wanna make clear that I wouldn’t dream of speaking on behalf of everyone who had an opinion similar to mine on this post, I simply don’t have the right.

      Secondly, I can appreciate that you chose Mulan’s bun because it was stylistically pleasing, rather than it being typecasting – so I retract my statement about that.

      Thirdly, at least for myself, I wasn’t necessarily calling you a rascist, especially not a rascist in the traditional sense of the word. The “you” referred to in my comment was directed toward a generic non-WOC and that person’s role in the appropriation of WOC. I should have made that clearer, it wasn’t intended as a personal attack. I appreciate that you, Kate Allen the hairdresser, are probably not a rascist. However, I don’t really accept your reasoning behind it. Saying that you’re not a rascist because you have a culturally diverse family and lifestyle is a flawed and incomplete argument. (For example a person can be tolerant toward African people, but not at all tolerant to Chinese people purely based on where these two sets of people are from – still kinda rascist!) But equally, I’m not here to demand that you explain why you’re not a rascist – recognising that there were flaws in this article is enough for me.

      Fourthly, the issue for me has now turned from one of an active discrimination toward WOC, to a passive one. One that I feel is even more dangerous, because it’s a type of discrimination that is so ingrained in society that a person doesn’t consciously think about it anymore. When you looked at these images and these movies and thought of an inspired hairstyle, you applied these hairstyles to one specific type of woman with one specific type of hair, and this resulted in the overwhelming white-washing in this post. It seems like it just didn’t occur to you that another woman with a different hair texture might want to see at least one of these styles in a format they were familiar with. And that, to me, is a problem. I think this problem is then magnified by the fact that the inspiration images for the hairstyles were mostly images of animated WOC (so now it almost reads that in real life WOC just don’t exist).

      By your response it’s clear to see that your intention wasn’t to offend anyone, and any upset caused was due to this passive social attitude toward WOC, rather than an active discrimination by you. Hopefully by my comment you can see that my intention wasn’t to upset anyone, either. Rather, to call attention to an important and problematic part of today’s media in all forms and how it’s important to think about how the world looks at content posted on media platforms, so that together we can reach a point where there are no problematic parts of media at all. In this context, that means that you need to appreciate that your readership is made up of more than one type of woman and make posts that reflect that, or your readership will continue to be upset.

      Thank you for taking the time to explain your position, and hopefully reading my attempt to explain mine.

  3. Wow, I’m glad to see I’m not the only one who found these offensive. A little rudimentary research and a pinch of cultural sensitivity would have gone a long way. Mulan, for starters, takes place in China and geishas are a part of Japanese culture but what’s the difference, right? Ugh. Terrible.

  4. These seem racist. I don’t think it’s appropriate content for this site.

  5. All white women, bar one, to represent hairstyles of WOC, bar one, (infact, that first Ariel/Emma Stone inspiration is the only one that didn’t make me roll my eyes)

    There’s so many things wrong here to me, but to be concise:

    Is not Mulan’s inspired hairstyle the hairstyle that she felt least comfortable in throughout the entire movie? Way to put her back in the mould she tried so hard to break away from.

    Your Arabian Beauty inspiration picture clearly features a woman in traditional Indian garb. The two aren’t interchangeable.

    And, finally – I really can’t understand why you didn’t use a black woman sporting a vintage bob inspired hairstyle for Tiana’s hairstyle (there are so many! from Rihanna to Zoe Saldana. Seriously, you just have to google it!)

    I think the most frustrating thing is that it would have been SO EASY to get this right.

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