Tips for successful Gymnastics competition hair

Competition hair success

Competition hair for gymnastics can be daunting at first. Here are some tips for successful gymnastics competition hair. I appreciated the guidance I gleaned from multiple sources, and hope you will too. For other tips for competition success check out my post here for gymnasts, and here for parents.

Gymnastics is hard, don’t let their hair get in the way!

Handstand in competition

Competition hair can be quite the experience. If your gym requires a style that’s unfamiliar, practice before. For the early compulsory levels, another gym mom taught me to check the bun or high ponytail before finishing the hairdo. Have your gymnast do a backwards roll on a soft surface. A big bun or thick ponytail that’s not high enough can trip them up a little. Tight straight arms and the proper angle will minimize this problem (check back soon for further information). However no one wants to get stuck on their hair as they are learning to compete! Also, if you are dealing with long hair, make sure it’s secured in a way that’s not long enough to get caught under hands, or caught on the bars! A good rule is to make sure hair can’t touch the floor in a handstand. Plan for curls, if used, to relax a little.

Find out gym specific requirements

Our beginning gym hair requirements included a high pony with tight curls. For my fine haired gymnast, I had to include detail braids to help control the wispy hair around the face. To accomplish the tight curls, these curlformers were amazing. These one’s work well for slightly shorter hair. They are flexible, so not too bothersome to sleep on. If you’ve got a lot of hair to curl on a regular basis, these are worth the investment. We use LOTS of this gel with each curler. To dry properly, make bunches of hair smaller than a #2 pencil.

Keep it secure

Wether curls, buns, or braids, a cheer mom pointed me in the direction of this hair spray. I use the hair spray to set everything in place once the do is completed with curlers in place the night before. I do a touch up with hair spray when we take the curlers out right before competition, usually on site.

Tight enough to stay, but beware of headaches

I am the expert at tight hairdos! With my girls fine hair, things have to be pretty tight to stay. But beware of too tight competition hair. I have been guilty of giving Biggs a serious headache with tight competition hair. After the ponytail, bun, or flip bun is positioned and secure, I often need to loosen everything a little bit before proceeding.

Finishing touch for team spirit

When practicing hair, make sure you know if there will be a team hair piece to add to the do. Knowing how it will need to be secured may affect the style choices. Also, ensure it can be secured such that it doesn’t come while the gymnast is doing their flips! Gymnasts are trained to continue as if nothing happened. However, if it’s possible to eliminate a distraction they have to overcome, all the better. Some gyms use a simple matching scrunchie that comes with the leotards. Other teams like ours have parents organize things like matching hair pieces, flip flops, etc. If parents are in charge of making hair bows, make sure to choose a style that will not come apart with rough use. After several years, I have found it easier to work with bows attached to hair elastics rather than a metal clip. If securing multiple ribbons, using tying plus glue secure everything well, such as these I made for the team during Covid. In non Covid times, making team items like these can be a great team building event for gymnasts and parents.

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I hope you have enjoyed these tips for successful gymnastics competition hair! Check back soon for more gymnastics life explanations.

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