Competition Hair

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by smidra86, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    So, I've been going to a lot of competitions lately and mostly collegiate comps and some bigger ones and I've noticed how much it really bothers me these days when a competitor doesn't seem to put much effort into looking nice. I'm mostly talking about the ladies and how they style their hair. More often than not I see flyaways, hair falling out of place, simple ponytails with no obvious effort, hair just let down and loose and flying all over the place.

    I know there was a topic earlier discussing how people feel about hair being down for a competition, and well as Larinda put it quite well, if she leaves her hair down, she still puts a lot of time and effort into it looking nice. So I'm mostly wondering, does messy hair (like falling into the eyes or flyaways all over the place or giant strands falling on the back of the neck) also bother other people? And for the judges out there, when you see this how does this affect your judging?
    chuckie1028 likes this.
  2. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    I only care if it's out of the eyes. (Needles to say the "hairstyles" on DWTS drive me nuts.) I don't really care if it's not been flatironed and chemicaled and wrenched into a state of rigidity normally associated with concrete, but nothing on/in the face. Bangs back, pulled off the sides, nothing loose on the forehead or blocking vision.

    That goes for men, too.
    gracie likes this.
  3. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    smooth, polished hair is part of smooth, polished ballroom grooming. one doesn't have to do it, but if one wants to be competitive, one will attend to it. it's all part of the package...
  4. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I think judges see and and take into account, lack of effort....it won't be more important than technique, but-- all other things being reasonably equal-- it will matter...and it might even keep you from getting that initial first glance....for me personally, I find it distracting if it is unkempt around a person's face...and I also know of judges who feel strongly about not being able to see neckline or not respecting the appropriate look...shrug...you rolls the dice, you take your chances...or you decide it isn't worth it...generally speaking, if I am going to try to win the game, I am inclined to wear the uniform...and wear it the way it is expected that I wear it
  5. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    As a collegiate competitor with a fairly low budget, I think it is unfair to expect students to have professional quality hairdo's for comps. More often than not, I'm helping our newcomers with hair, and while I'm decent at it, it is by no means perfect. I think that it is fair to expect competitors to have their hair out of their faces, but to expect a perfectly shiny, intricate hairdo that you would see on a pro-am competitor who usually has spent a small fortune on a competition is unrealistic and unfair. A ponytail or simple bun are perfectly adequate for a newcomer, IMO.
  6. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    sure...as long as it doesn't look like you used a rake instead of a comb to do it...alot can be accomplished with a flat iron, a rubberband, a can of hair spray and 10 bobby pins...so a budget is no excuse...as a pro-ammer who regularly spends a fortune at comps, I don't spend a cent on my hair but maybe once a year if I can get an appointment...anyone can do nice hair on a budget...it just takes committment...
  7. llamasarefuzzy

    llamasarefuzzy Well-Known Member

    Agreed- the said ponytail/bun should definitely be neat- neither styles are that difficult to accomplish, but I think are perfectly reasonable for a syllabus competition :)
  8. bia

    bia Active Member

    I agree as far as intricacy -- as a syllabus-level amateur competitor, I do my own hair and keep it simple. And if a judge thinks it should be fancier, I can't help it (but I doubt they care, at my level). But I do put a lot of effort into making it smooth and wisp-free -- and as someone with fine, naturally wavy/curly/whatever-the-weather-decides hair, if I can do it, anyone can. I have heard plenty in the dance world about the wonders of hairspray, and I have taken it to heart.
  9. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    right..I don't think any judge gives two figs about the intricacy of the design...only that it be done with the same care you should be taking with your dance instruction...ie...not half-assed
  10. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    It bothers me too. I put a lot of effort into making myself look put together but I see a lot of other girls not putting the effort in. What I've started to do is to offer to do their hair for them. It gives me great practice, there isn't a lot of pressure since they weren't doing much anyway, and it is a subtle hint that they need to do better.
  11. bia

    bia Active Member

    Speaking of hair (I hope this is close enough to on-topic), I've been wondering lately about gray hair and ballroom dancing. I'm a number of years past my first gray hair, but my hair is light enough that the grays I've got aren't particularly noticeable. I've always thought that I'd just go gray naturally -- my mother did and always looked great, and I've never been into dyeing. But do you think it hurts the look of a competitive dancer? Particularly when it's on the way, rather than pure shiny silver? There's a woman at our studio with salt and pepper hair, and I notice it at competitions and do actually feel that it would look better colored. But then, she and her husband regularly place better than we do, so clearly it's not as important as all that.
  12. JANATHOME

    JANATHOME Well-Known Member

    Yes, I do think it is important....

    For me I dance comps (in my region) where there is a very very fine line between first and last place. The group is so equally matched that every detail counts. When this close, apperance could be the deciding factor....

    If you are not in this situation all the hair color in the world will not change your placements, but if your competition is close then it matters...

    What I do....One week prior to comp my hair is colored, lecture long time hairdresser that she will not get any color on my skin (she is use to this) because hair will be pulled back away from face.

    Just my 2 cents!!
  13. katherinejh

    katherinejh Member

    Yeah as someone who does hair for my (former) teammates, (including mindputee's!), it isn't a ton of money to do your own hair. Cheap gel, bobby pins, hair net, hairspray. I'd estimate it's about $20 to buy all of the stuff, and it should last a whole comp season. It is practicing until it is actually smooth and immovable that's the problem.
  14. mindputtee

    mindputtee Well-Known Member

    Agreed, and you did a fantastic job :D . It's also a lot easier to do someone else's hair than your own, seeing as you can't see the back of your head and arms don't like to go that way. Perhaps finding a buddy and doing each others hair is a good idea if you don't have someone awesome like Katherine/the money to spend to get it done.
  15. katherinejh

    katherinejh Member

    The only way I figured out how to do comp hair was trial and error on my sometimes willing teammates.
  16. danceronice

    danceronice Well-Known Member

    As far as gray, I think it depends on your age category. I'm sort of torn--I have gray hair, and the harder I pull it back, the more it shows (it's grayest around the temples and whether I have a pony or a bun, it's pulled straight back there) and with dark hair, it stands out. Thing is, I'm dancing in L-A, sometimes A1. I don't know if I should dye it all dark so it's not showing, or leave it and try to give the impression I'm dancing down! I realize it's not an age thing-I've been graying since I was 25. But when you're already the oldest a lot of comps I'm not sure if letting gray show helps or hurts.
  17. little_mouse

    little_mouse Member

    I agree with the OP, messy hair and whipping heads of hair (like Danceronice said ala DWTS of late) all bothers me. I saw at the last comp very many ladies with unkempt hair. No intricate up-dos for me because I can't afford it, but I feel great with neatly pulled back hair and my inexpensive clips from the drugstore and lots of hairspray, looks better than strands flying everywhere.

    Also, maybe I'm old school or plain just don't know what I'm talking about, but it bothers me to see gentlemen dancing smooth/standard with a ponytail.
  18. nikkitta

    nikkitta Well-Known Member

    Hair is not the only issue -- makeup is as well. I am speaking of observations I have made particularly at Pro-Am comps, where ladies are clearly wearing *very* expensive gowns, yet from the neck up they look like they're going grocery shopping. Makes no sense to me. Why drop several grand on a costume and not take the time to make the rest of you look its very best? Yeah, it takes some practice, but it doesn't have to cost a fortune. I would imagine that "simple and well-executed" over "complicated but messy" applies to physical appearance as well as the dance steps.
  19. smidra86

    smidra86 Active Member

    Well, I'm not saying spend a fortune to get your hair done. Keeping you hair healthy should be part of your routine, regardless if you are a competitor or not. So that should already be included in your budget, I feel. As far as doing hair for competitions, I've spent a lot of time on youtube videos looking at how people do their own hair and some fancy, yet simple hairstyles. I've only paid for hair spray, bobby pins, hair ties, hair nets, little things like that, and it is rather inexpensive at CVS especially when it is on sale and you use all those coupons you get from your card.

    My point is, I haven't spent a dime on anyone styling my hair. I have always done it myself and I always make sure there are no wisps or pieces of hair falling out. But at a collegiate comp, I recently saw a girl wearing a rather nice dress (clearly a simple ballroom dress), and her hair was pulled up, and it had pretty large pieces hanging on the back of her neck, which definitely were not there on purpose. And it bothers me that it just looks messy.
  20. syncopationator

    syncopationator Active Member

    When I'm at a comp I only care about two heads of hair, my own and my partner's. As far as I'm concerned, everyone else can do whatever they want.

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