I’m not a vain person. In fact, I like to think of myself as rather low-maintenance. As I’ve stated before, I typically don’t even take makeup with me when I travel. But that doesn’t mean that I look sloppy or not-put-together on my travels, either. After all, the only photos that I have of myself are vacation photos. It would be a shame to look terrible in all of them, right?
But in Walt Disney World, there’s one fashion hurdle I just can’t seem to overcome. Blame the rides, the sun, the heat, or the thing I blame most of all–the humidity–but I just can’t seem to find a hairstyle that stands up to park touring. And it’s not for lack of trying.
On my first trip, I went the same route I went in Europe–the ‘let it dry naturally’ approach. At this time, I had naturally curly hair, so if I let it air-dry, it looked like this…
The important thing to note is that this is my hair in a climate controlled home in Pennsylvania. This is not my hair outside in central Florida. That hair looks more like this…
That photo was taken at the Orlando airport while waiting to board my flight home after allowing it to dry naturally and after having spent the morning in the Magic Kingdom. That was the last straw–I vowed to spend more time on my hair during my next trip. And so, despite all of my light packing rules, I brought two different hair-fixing implements with me on my next trip–a hair straightener and two fake hair pieces.
As you can probably imagine, the hair straightener did not do anything very magical. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. My hair looked great…until I walked out the door. It then proceeded to puff and frizz like I didn’t just spent twenty precious Disney minutes trying to tame it.
At this point I’d tried natural–and failed. I’d tried unnatural–and failed. My next step was super-unnatural. Enter–the fake hair scrunchy. For those of you that don’t know, a fake hair scrunchy is exactly what it sounds like–it’s a scrunchy made of fake hair, intended to give the look of having a messy bun for people that don’t have enough hair to make a messy bun. I’m wearing two of them in the photo at the top of this post. And I have to tell you, it was almost a life saver in Disney World. Here’s me on my last trip, utilizing the fake hair approach…
There’s only one small problem with this hairstyle. Those of you with great Disney location identification skills can tell where I’m standing in that shot–I’m right outside the queue area for Expedition Everest. Which means I’m about to get on Expedition Everest, my favorite ride in all four parks. And if you’ve been on Expedition Everest, you know the issue I’m about to have. You see, pig tail buns are not the best thing to wear on a roller coaster. With that much fake hair on the back of your head, you can’t effectively put your head fully back against the head rest. I’d actually go so far as to call this hairstyle dangerous, as it can cause serious neck strain or possibly even whiplash. Right after I snapped this photo, I learned that lesson.
I learned the lesson even more a few days later at Universal’s Islands of Adventure. Let’s just say that the coasters there are significantly more dangerous to fake hair scrunchies and leave it at that. Two scrunchies went on The Hulk, but only one returned. The moral of the story–the fake hair scrunchy is not, in fact, the best park touring hairstyle.
Which brings me to my next trip, which will commence in exactly ten days. Since my last visit to Orlando, I tried a hair smoothing product that turned out to be a really bad idea. I now can no longer revert back to the ‘dry naturally’ approach, as my hair is no longer curly. I know that the straightening iron will do no good, and I don’t want to risk injury by wearing the fake-hair-messy-bun style. So what’s a girl to do? I really don’t want to resort to braided pigtails, but I may just have to!
I know that there are women out there who manage good hair days even in the parks. I’ve seen you. Your hair is beautiful and styled and bouncy and shiny and frizz-free. How do you do it? And how to you manage to make the getting ready process quick and painless? I’d rather be spinning around in the teacups than twirling hair around a curling iron.
So please–offer up any park touring hair tips in the comment section below. I’d be extremely grateful–and my trip photos will thank you, too!