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Rapunzel's magic hair plays an extremely important and crucial part in the plot of Disney's Tangled. Rapunzel's hair is what makes her special, glowing bright gold when she sings a special song known as "Healing Incantation." It is known to have the ability to heal the sick and wounded as well as return those who have died to life.
Rapunzel's hair is bright gold, and about seventy feet long. When cut, it turns brown and loses its healing abilities. In the movie, when Rapunzel reaches the kingdom, four little girls braid her hair with flowers.
At the beginning of the film, it is stated that the hair gets its power from a magic golden flower. This magic golden flower is used to heal the sick pregnant Queen of Corona, who gives birth to Rapunzel. Cells from the flower are passed into Rapunzel, making her hair glow and heal the sick just like the flower did. Mother Gothel, an evil old woman, who finds the flower before the queen does, uses it to make herself young and beautiful. According to Flynn Rider, she has been using it for hundreds of years. When the queen uses it, Mother Gothel wants to get it back, so she breaks into the palace and cuts off a lock of Rapunzel's hair to keep for herself. However, the lock turns brown and loses its power. So she kidnaps baby Rapunzel to use the magic hair for herself. She raises Rapunzel as her own, deep with in a forest, in a hidden tower and will not let her leave the tower, for fear they will be seen together.
During Rapunzel's journey with a thief named Flynn Rider, Rapunzel's magical hair is used many times. Rapunzel used her magic hair as lighting to escape from the dark water and sing the "Healing Incantation" to heal Flynn's injury. This surprises Flynn greatly, prompting Rapunzel to explain the functions of her hair to him. At the end of the film, her hair is cut off, leaving it in a dark brown-colored pixie cut and initially unable to heal Flynn in its hair form. However, even in the end, the flower is unwilling to let him die and restores him to life with a tear.
In the TV series, Rapunzel's magic hair grows back to the length and color it was in the film. It grows back when Rapunzel and her handmaid, Cassandra, discover some mystical rocks with magical properties during a secret adventure. In the series, her new hair is revealed to be indestructible and cannot be cut. It's later revealed that Rapunzel's hair no longer possesses its original powers to heal, but is revealed to have acquired a new power, protecting Rapunzel by creating a magical shield. It also appears to respond to her subconscious when she's dreaming, because it was levitating all over her bedroom before she woke up. Rapunzel's hair glows when she approaches the rocks, though it is not yet revealed if there is any magic with it.
In "The Quest for Varian", Rapunzel tried to stop the troops chasing her and pulled down her hair from the tower to touch the rocks. The hair and the rocks triggered a shock wave to stun the troops successfully, but it caused the rapid growth of the rocks towards Rapunzel and consequently destroyed the tower.
At the Disney theme parks, Rapunzel has her hair long and blonde, braided with flowers. Many guests that have watched her movie ask Rapunzel during meet and greets why her hair is long and blonde again after she had cut it in the movie. Rapunzel apparently answers with things like "I had enough magic in my tears to grow my hair nice and long again." She says this because at the end of the film, after her hair is cut, Rapunzel finds that she also has magic tears.
On almost all of Rapunzel dolls, her hair is long and blonde again, not short and brown like it is at the end of the movie. Some dolls have her hair braided with flowers, and other just long and blonde. There are only three dolls that have been seen with short brown hair. In most of promotional arts, Rapunzel's hair is again long and blonde.
In the original story, Rapunzel did have healing powers but they were held in her tears and were used to restore the prince's sight. Disney expanded this myth to give Rapunzel her healing hair.
Rapunzel uses her shining hair to find the path so they could get out of the underwater tunnel