Girl dancers standing with one leg on a beam.

Take Care of Your Ballerina Hair

To keep your ballerina “look” you must take care of your hair!

Pulling your hair into a ballerina bun every day (or many times a week) puts a lot of stress and tension on not only your hair but your scalp too.

How do you take care of you hair – and even maybe pamper it a little – after long dance days? Just think of all of the elements that put stress on your hair: elastic bands, bobby pins, sweat.

The ballerina bun requires that you put tension on your hair in the same place again and again. This can eventually weaken hair and cause it to break.

Leave-in conditioners – especially ones containing quinoa protein – can help to keep hair healthy from the inside out.

Before pulling it up into a bun, water spritz your hair and run the conditioner through with your fingers. When removing tangles, use a paddle brush – not a comb – since the paddle brush is better for you hair and scalp and less likely to rip your hair. Use a soft bristled brush to get a smooth tight bun.

What about damage from sweat?

Even if you don’t shampoo every day, make sure you condition. Rinse hair when you’re showering – even if you aren’t shampooing* – to remove sweat and then apply your conditioner. When you get out of the shower, put in a leave-in conditioner and brush out tangles with your paddle brush.

Hair oils and coconut oil can also be massaged into the scalp to restore moisture. The best time to do this is before bedtime so that you can sleep with a silk scarf or bandana wrapped around your hair and allow the treatment to work all night. Shampoo the oil out in the morning. Remember that your salty sweat dries out the scalp. Applying the oil is another way you can restore the moister that is sapped out by sweat. Coconut oils also help to neutralize the pH if any dry patches have been produced by an imbalance.

How To Do a Coconut Wrap:

  • 5 scoops of organic virgin coconut oil in a bowl.
  • Heat it up in the microwave for about a minute.
  • Apply it to the roots, hair, and tips with your hands.
  • You can use Saran wrap as a shower cap.
  • Leave it on for about an hour, or overnight.

You can use dry shampoo to stretch the time between shampoos. Just make sure to check your dry shampoo’s ingredients and make sure that it doesn’t contain anything questionable.

*Shampooing isn’t necessary every day. It can strip the scalp of necessary oils that keep hair soft and healthy.

What about hair style stress?

Alternating the way you wear your hair will also help to reduce the stress on your ponytail line and potential damage to your hair. What are some alternative ways that a ballerina can pull her hair back from her face other than the bun?

Do a low three strand braid at the nape of the neck. This changes the location of the rubber bands to the ends of the hair rather than the ponytail line. You can still use bobby pins to pin the braid into a low braided bun.


What about damage from bobby pins?

Daily use of bobby pins can cause your hair to break. While there is no way to totally prevent this from happening, you can tremendously reduce its occurrence by doing a few things:

  • Invest in good bobby pins. You can get heavy duty bobby pins from beauty supply stores or beauty supply websites.
  • Never use a bobby pin that is missing the rubber stopper on the end. This will cause hair breakage for sure.
  • Make sure you open the pin widely before sliding the flat end onto the scalp.
  • Always use the bobby pin with the flat side closest to the scalp and the ridged side up, gripping the hair.

How important is a daily regimen? 

Teaching dancers a daily hair care regimen is the best way to make sure their hair stays healthy. It’s easy since it fits right into their regular hygiene routine by simply adding a few steps.

It’s important to use the right products so read your conditioner, leave-in conditioner and hair oil  labels carefully and purchase a paddle and a soft bristled brush.

Taking care of your ballerina hair takes time and effort but is well worth it when you have a smooth hair and a perfect bun for competition and recital seasons!

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