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Here’s why The Little Mermaid’s hair is red

Here’s why The Little Mermaid’s hair is red

We thought it was just because red hair is simply fabulous, but it turns out there was another reason why Princess Ariel’s hair was chosen to be flaming red in Disney’s The Little Mermaid back in 1989.

Five years previous saw the release and huge success of live-action Splash, starring Daryl Hannah as platinum-blonde mermaid Madison. And while creators of The Little Mermaid originally wanted Ariel to have blonde hair to stay in keeping with the fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, Splash’s massive popularity was still too hot to ignore. So, in a bid to stand out from the crowd, an iconic change was given to the underwater princess.

After all, one thing can be said for redheads: they stand out from the crowd.

So, according to Oh My Disney, that’s exactly what Disney did. They ran a glorious bright red rinse through Ariel’s long mermaid-y locks and a ginger star was born. Since then, the world’s obsession with mermaids has intensified even further, and mermaids are now forever associated with red hair. And vice versa, too: all redheads are basically mermaids.

In addition, Princess Ariel’s tail was painted green-turquoise for the film, as it compliments her red hair perfectly. But it wasn’t just any green-turquoise. Oh no. It’s said that Disney specifically mixed the shade in their paint lab just for her, and named it ‘Ariel’ in her honour.

Cue us running a fork through our red hair.

By Emma

Ginger Parrot

Ginger Parrot is ready and raring to report on all things nice and gingerful, and provides an online store too, offering Ginger Parrot merchandise, clothing, hair products, gifts and more for the redhead and redhead lover community.


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