Meet season has arrived and the big question is always "How do I do my daughter's hair??"
For gymnastics competitions, we require a gymnasts hair to be neat, pulled back out of the face, and secure enough that it will not have to be redone. We also request that the hair be up off the back (long hair should not touch the floor when doing handstands or cartwheels). This allows the gymnast to focus on the gymnastics, look professional, and stay safe.
We do not require a specific style of hair, however over the years we have come up with a few gymnast preferred styles.
Pig Tail Braids
Pig tail braids are ideal for any gymnast who has a backward roll in their routine (Level 5 and below), as many gymnasts complain that a regular ponytail or bun hurts their head when rolling backwards.
Tips for this style include keeping the hair close to the head while braiding, and pulling small, even sections to keep the braid neat.
Pigtail Braids combined into single, middle braid
This style works well for several reasons. One, it also allows the girls to roll backwards without hurting their head. Two, it keeps the pig tails secure and from flying in front of the gymnasts shoulders and getting in their way during flips or turns.
When doing this style, secure the first braided portion with an elastic while re sectioning into three instead of 6 (this will make sense after watching the video) to prevent the braid from loosening.
The standard bun is a style I only recommend for gymnasts without a backward roll (I truly cannot emphasize that enough! I have had to redo thousands of buns after floor routines due to this exact problem).
I also would refrain from using this style if your child has a lot of thick hair. Buns do not hold well if they are too heavy, but this can be rectified by adding braid in to use up hair (that is a much more complicated style for another time).
My biggest tip for this style would be to invest in a bun maker/donut. This product allows for a better shaped bun and helps keep it more secure. When securing the ends of the bun, use clips instead of bobby pins (bobby pins fall out and when landed on cause major problems...).
In the end, make sure whichever style you choose is secure and will not need to be redone halfway through the competition. Hairspray and gel are a great asset to keeping hair in place, and clips will help keep fly aways at bay. As long as she can flip around without it coming out, you're good!
Good luck to everyone competing this season - the girls have worked hard and we are excited to watch them succeed!