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When I was planning my family’s trip to Disney World I asked about “must-have” magical experiences that I should consider. I have no idea when we’ll be able to go again, so just in case, I wanted to get it all in on this trip. I wanted something that would be memorable, and significant.

One of the experiences several people suggested was the Bippity Boppity Boutique. It’s like a makeover salon for little princesses where they can get their hair, nails and makeup done.

Another was the Harmony Barber Shop for a kid’s first hair cut experience. I wasn’t keen on the hair cut idea but as far as memorable first-hair cut options go, it doesn’t get better than that.

But can these places handle curly hair? I’ll tell you our experience.

disney salons vs curly hair showdown bbb review harmony barber shop review

Bippity Boppity Boutique

I did a quick Google search and saw a bunch of cute girls all dolled up with updos and glitter. But none of them looked like my daughter, or had her hair texture.

I love that my daughter is growing up automatically learning to love her curls and I didn’t want a bad experience to change that.

So can Bippity Boppity Boutique Fairy Godmothers handle curly hair? When I called to make an appointment the woman booking my appointment instructed me to make sure my daughter’s hair was clean and brushed before our appointment, and to bring our own brush.

“Can they handle curly hair?” I blurted out, immediately feeling kind of silly. But all this talk of brushing and “clean” hair made me wonder if they expected us to walk in with hair blow dried straight.

The woman on the other end of the line paused for a moment and said that the fairy Godmothers had experience with all hair types and that she’d be fine.

This made me feel better, but I continued to wonder if I should request a special stylist who was experienced with curly hair. But how hard could it be to put her hair in a bun? I thought to myself.

I washed and detangled her hair the day before, but her appointment was at 6pm. She spun on the tea cups, road Dumbo, danced and played with her curls bouncing around her face all day. All of the detangling was for not, and I was a little nervous. She was totally pooped by mid-afternoon and took a nap in the stroller before her appointment.

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I had to wake her up and get her changed into the Rapunzel dress we brought. She is rarely in a bad mood, but waking her up from a nap is one sure way to be greeted with her cranky side.

Lil’ J sat in the chair and started getting excited when she got to pick out her hair style. At first she pointed at a crazy updo with fireworks coming off of her head, and twists going back, but we steered her in the direction of the more tame princess bun. Plus it came with a tiara.

The Fairy Godmother in Training took the wide-tooth comb we brought and started detangling her curls. (Note: DON’T do what I did. Just bring a brush like they ask. It’s way easier to slick it back for the bun styles. Once she ditched the comb and went for a brush things got way better, as you’ll soon see.)

She added some detangling spray, then tried again. Knowing how much water and moisturizer it takes us to get through her curls at night, I knew this wasn’t going to be a successful plan of action.

I looked at my daughter who was trying to be brave but crying silently (the worst kind of crying for a mother). I tried to comfort her, not knowing if I should help the stylist, or help my daughter. Lil’ J eventually couldn’t take it anymore and started wailing. Two more Godmothers in Training swarmed her to do her nails and makeup, while the main one took a break from her hair.

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When she picked it up again to be met with more tears the young woman finally asked me if I cared if it wasn’t totally slicked back into the bun.

“Absolutely not!” I assured her. “I don’t care, it’ll be totally fine!”

She moved to brush (yes, brush! We don’t always do this but in this situation it was just what we needed) the hair back into a ponytail, then she banded it and folded it under itself to make the bun which would have been about 30 times the size of a “normal” princess bun, to be just about twice the size (and even more beautiful if you ask me).

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Lil’ J loved the makeup, the glitter (oh the glitter!) and the stories they read her as she was pampered. When the spun her around and show her herself in the mirror her cute little smile was priceless.

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She got a photo shoot afterwards which was included in our memory maker package (more on that here).

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I just asked her today what her favorite parts of Disney World was and Bippity Boppity Boutique made the list. She does remember it hurting, but says it was still one of her favorite parts.

Harmony Barber Shop

I was DREADING my son’s first hair cut. I loved his long hair so much and so did everyone else. Even Minnie Mouse herself said she loved them as he posed with her at Animal Kingdom.

Nevertheless, my husband convinced me it was time, and I caved under the condition that his first hair cut would be at Disney World.

If you want to make a huge impact on a first haircut experience, this is the way to do it.

The Harmony Barber Shop has a first hair cut package for under $20, which you know is an amazing deal for Disney World. Especially considering it comes with special embroidered Mickey ears, a certificate, and a little keepsake with your child’s lock of hair.

hair cut 1

Again, I was nervous about how the barbers would be able to handle my child’s extremely curly hair. I don’t know how often they get ethnic clients, or clients with extremely curly hair. Plus my son is tender headed. He hates people messing with his head, so I knew it was a disaster waiting to happen, but I had high hopes anyway.

I washed and detangled it the night before, but you know little boys, and Disney World… Not a great recipe for staying that way.

Initially when I called to book the appointment, the shop was going to be closed for renovations. They ended up changing the dates, and as soon as I heard that I called to make an appointment and had my choice of times.

I scheduled the appointment for right after the parade, and we watched the Festival of Fantasy Parade from right in front of the shop, then walked in once it ended.

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Big T was fine sitting in the chair, and happy to play with a little toy his barber gave him, but once she busted out the brush and started brushing it was not pretty.

Oh he screamed and screamed. I cried, and he screamed some more.

She really went to down brushing out his hair. She used a Wet Brush, which I now LOVE using on his curls, but it was a lot more difficult getting through it when it was longer.

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Luckily, like I had asked, they didn’t use the clippers. I only wanted them to take off a couple inches but I gasped as she took off huge chunks.

I wasn’t ready.

Lil’ J has never had a hair cut, so this was a first for me, watching my child go through a transformation.

I cried partly for the loss of his locks, and partly because he was so sad and I wanted to do more to comfort him.

I was a little disappointed that the Dapper Dans weren’t there. They’re a singing quartet usually around Main Street. I thought they hung out at the Harmony Barbershop to serenade people, but they weren’t anywhere to be found during our appointment. However, a fellow customer turned up the magic.

A woman there with her son–Or maybe her grandson, I didn’t ask–Started singing, and by chance, chose my son’s favorite song: The Wheels on the Bus.

After a couple lines the whole room started chiming in and my son was mesmerized. I’ve never seen him calm down so quickly, and I couldn’t believe that he continued to stay calm while his barber finished his hair cut. I took a little video because I wanted to remember this moment just the way it was.

Once the song was over, he did start crying again for a moment, but he was basically done.

Since his curls were brushed out, and then cut, once they bounced back they were WAY shorter than I had really wanted, or expected (this picture below was taken before the picture above so think of it opposite in terms of ending length) but the barber suggested I keep it shorter so the next time he gets a hair cut the barber could use the longest set of clippers. Umm… We’re going to avoid clippers for a bit. But I appreciated her suggestion.

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She took his cape off, put on his hat and showed him himself in the mirror.

I kid you not, that happy face made all of the tears worth it.

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I was still a little bummed about the length. It was much shorter than we wanted (three months later it’s finally grown to about the length I wanted initially), but my husband loved it, and Big T seemed to love it.

I didn’t realize it as much at the time, but the sides and back seem to be shorter than the top. Or maybe his curls are just tighter there. I don’t mind it, it’s a cute style for him.

Harmony Barber Shop Review

Three months later Wheels on the Bus is still his favorite song, and every time we sing it I think of this day. Talk about a magical memory!

Have you been to either salon? If you’re considering taking your curly-headed kiddo, hopefully now you feel a little bit more at ease.

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Lisa says:

What a fun video. I love when strangers jump in to help when needed.

Those are some seriously cute kiddos you have! And so glad both stories ended up with happy endings. 🙂

Josephine Williams says:

Try using a denman brush (real denman brand). I suggest sikkai conditioner and of course plenty of water. This will cut your de tangling time in half.

I have one for my hair! I pulled out a row of teeth, I’ve been wanting to try it on my son, but have been unsure since he’s so tender headed. I’ll try it tonight though, thanks!

Josephine Williams says:

It’s all about using tons of shikai conditioner and water. For bad tangles use hot water instead of cold and the denman. I’m an expert now.

Haha, you sound like it! That’s awesome! I’ve got it down with my daughter, still working out the kinks with my son but we’re almost there. I think your strategy would work well on my son too!

Danielle says:

My niece had a princess makeover at the Bippity Boppity Boutique in Downtown Disney before we went to Magic Kingdom for her 3rd bday. We’re black and her hair is more kinky than your daughter’s but also very thick and she didn’t complain at all. I do recall a little white girl with straight hair crying up a storm in her salon chair. So I don’t think that aspect is wholly tied to hair type. My sister did band her hair and then brush it out with a Denman brush before so I’m sure that helped but our only grievances were with the products and type of brush the “Fairy God Mother” used. Overall, it was an awesome experience! We’re really looking forward to going again in July but this time to the one in Magic Kingdom

That’s so great Danielle! Yes, my daughter is tender headed, and was just up from a nap (which makes her cranky), so that had a lot to do with it for sure. haha. Next time I’m booking exactly 180 days out and trying to get a good time. Live and learn! I’m so with you on the products they used. Not gel or glitter fans here (well, mama isn’t) but it was a part of the experience. So glad you enjoyed it as well and that you’ll get to go to the one in MK! Let us know how it goes!

It has been many years since we took our Princess to BBB. At that time, she still had baby fine curls that made brushing easier. I would be scared to take her now. The combination of thick, long, curly and tender headed is a lethal mix. Glad your Princess had fun.

marie says:

Is there something I don’t know about clippers? My husband has shaved his head forever, and he uses the clippers to cut our mixed kids hair as well.

Camille Wall says:

Oh my heart. Too precious! This is a great review, Jennifer! Curly hair is no joke! 🙂

Kelsey P. says:

Thank you so, so, soooo much for posting this! I’ve been on the fence about making a reservation for my daughter’s first haircut when we visit on her 3rd birthday in August. Her curl texture is about the same as your daughter’s, but her hair seems to be a little on the finer end of the spectrum (still softy-smooth like baby hair). She pulled a little patch of hair out when she was about 18 months, and it’s so uneven in the back. But, I’ve been terrified of getting her first haircut because I don’t trust that anyone can do a good job. I feel like I’ll never trust anyone with those precious locks, so I may as well make it memorable for her and tie it into her 1st Disney trip and 3rd birthday celebration! P.S. Your kiddos are too cute!

kelly z says:

Your children are beautiful! I feel the same way about my mixed kids always feeling proud about their hair and skin. Thanks for asking the tough questions!

kelly z says:

Your children are beautiful! I feel the same way about my mixed kids always feeling proud about their hair and skin. Thanks for asking the tough questions! Mine are a bit older now, but they still have tears when hair equipment comes out.

Moe Foe says:

Thank you so much for the work you do to keep us informed. Your sharing helps me get through the tough days when my daughter is not too pleased to have her hair worked on. The tutorials are super helpful and has made the process so much better for our entire house! Keep up your great fellowship!

Cindy says:

Thank you so much for this review. My daughter has super curly hair and hates having it brushed but we really want her to have her first haircut at WDW and I feel a lot better about it now!

Jeuelle says:

I am so very happy I found this post!! My oldest has been hinting strongly about wanting to go to the boutique but I am very concerned about how the experience will be for her and her expectations… I think I have a pretty good idea of what to expect now 🙂

Your kids are the CUTEST!

hair online says:

i watch this in youtube and it leads me here! this kids ares so adorable!!

Crystal G. says:

Thank you so much for this. My daughter is getting to the age that she will be able to participate in the BB Boutique and I was nervous that they wouldn’t know what to do with her hair!

This has reassured me that it’ll be ok for her ? 🙂

Emily says:

OMGSH thank you for this post! My girls REALLY want this and I was pretty much like NOPE SORRY SWEETIE but your review helped me think maybe we can do it. Would you recommend going in the morning with freshly detangled and moisturized curls or with mostly dry curls detangled and in braids? My girls have long 3C curls. I always do their hair soaking wet with too much moisturizer but I’m worried the stylists won’t be able to handle it….

Jennifer says:

I think either way it would be fine but I’d probably do a little damp/wet since they brush it into a pony and I only brush my daughter’s curls when they’re wet. So glad this post helped you! Have FUN!

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Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget

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I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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