Parents of girls beware. During your Walt Disney World vacation, you may discover that your daughter has a heretofore unknown skill, hair wrap radar: the ability to spot a hair wrap stand from a hundred yards away. Here are some pointers to help you cope with her new found talent.
Um, what’s a “hair wrap”?
It’s an embellishment for your hair. A stylist wraps colorful string (like embroidery floss) around a small section of hair. Usually guests can choose three or four colors from about a dozen choices. Beads may be added for extra flair.
Where are the hair wrap stands located?
Hair wrap stands are poolside at many of the resorts including Wilderness Lodge, Beach Club, Grand Floridian, Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans. There are also wrap stands on the Boardwalk, at Downtown Disney, and in the Animal Kingdom near the entrance to Camp Mickey Minnie. In my experience, these stands come and go with some regularity. You may find these locations temporarily shuttered or that others have popped up in different locations. If you’re trying to find one, stop by the concierge desk at your resort and they can call to confirm locations before you make a special trip somewhere.
Is there an age requirement for hair wrapping?
No. Your child must be able to sit still on a stool while the wrap is being applied, but otherwise there are no age restrictions. This may make it a good alternative treat for guests who are too young or too old for the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. The BBB will only serve guests ages 3-12. My own daughters had this done several times when they were two years old.
How much will it cost me?
Hair wrap pricing is by the inch. Prices can change, but currently the cost is $2.00 per inch of wrap, plus the cost of beads. Beads range in price from about ten cents for a small silver “spacer” to several dollars for an intricate bead with an image on it. A typical price for a child with shoulder-length hair would be about $25. However, with long hair, or a taste for expensive beads, the cost could end up being more than double that. Get an estimate before you begin.
How long will it take?
This depends a bit on the skill of your stylist, but most shoulder length wraps take about 15-20 minutes to complete. The longer the hair, the longer the wrap will take.
My child has short hair. Can she get a hair wrap?
No problem. The stylists can work with almost any length hair. If the guest has shorter hair, the stylist will start the wrap on the actual hair, but continue wrapping string on string, making it look like the hair is longer.
How long will the wrap last?
In my experience, a good stylist can make a wrap that will last for many weeks. My three daughters have all had Disney hair wraps that lasted three weeks and survived many swims and washings. The wraps may last even longer, but my girls have always asked me to removed them at the two or three week mark. I think they start to feel itchy after a while.
How do I get it out?
This has always been a challenge for me. If you don’t want to cut out a chunk of the child’s hair, you have to go very slowly snipping knots with a tiny pair of nail scissors. I have resorted to putting the kids in front of a movie while I slowly snipped and unwound the wrap. If you don’t think that your child will sit still for this, you may want to ask the stylist to make the wrap on an underlayer strand of hair. This way, if you end up having to cut off the wrap, the visual impact will be minimal.
Is there any way to reduce the time spent putting in or taking out the wrap?
If your child wants the hair wrap effect, but doesn’t want to sit still, there are pre-made clip-on wraps available at some of the stands. Pricing varies depending on the size/complexity of the clip wrap.
What happens if I have more than one child that wants a wrap?
Some hair wrap stands, notably the ones at the resort pools, only have one stylist available at a time. If more than one guest wants a wrap, there is usually a sign-in list and guests are served on a first-come, first-served basis. If you sign-in, be aware of potential wait times. For example, if you’ve got three people ahead of you, this could mean an hour long wait.
Also, if you have more than one child who wants a hair wrap, you may need to factor lots of waiting around time into your schedule. A few of the stands, particularly the one at the Animal Kingdom, have more than one stylist on duty at a time. This may reduce waits.
What are the wrap stand hours?
This varies by location and season, but the stands typically only operate during the day. For example, you might encounter a poolside stand with 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. hours. Double check at the concierge desk for the schedule at the time of your visit. Also be aware that since the stands are located outdoors, they may be temporarily shut down during adverse weather conditions.
Will they wrap boys’ hair?
Yep. While not many boys opt to have their hair wrapped, I have seen a few younger boys with these embellishments.
Do I need reservations?
Beyond the daily sign-in sheets mentioned above, reservations are not accepted.
Will the hair wrap stands braid hair?
No. The only places at Walt Disney World that will braid hair are the salons at the deluxe resorts. Call for availability and pricing. Reservations are recommended for hair braiding at the salons.
Am I supposed to tip the stylist?
You can. The hair wrap stylists are subcontractors, not full Disney employees. They are allowed to accept gratuities. A tip of 15-20% would surely be appreciated.
Have you ever had your daughter’s hair wrapped? Or your hair wrapped? Were you satisfied with the results? Did it last as long as you wanted it to? Do you have any advice for saying “no” to the siren song of the colorful beads? Let us know in the comments below.