Yep, hair. Hair is actually a bigger deal to dancers/performers than we give it/them credit for. I mean, sometimes it can be good: hair down can enhance the style and feel routines (Commercial Jazz and Lyrical being a couple of the main ones). EVERYONE loves a bit of hairography 😉 But no matter what you’re doing – there are always hair issues.
The ‘Boring’ Hair Cut:
So this isn’t so much of an issue anymore. Anyone who knows me can probably tell by the state of my mane that being able to control my hair is a thing of the past. I was at the hairdressers the other day, the first time back with my old salon and old stylist in five years. And it reminded me of the countless times I went in for the same boring hair cut. It couldn’t be so long it was out of control. But it couldn’t be too short that it couldn’t – here it is, the big one, are you ready for it? – get it into a ballet bun. I’m sure there are plenty of girls out there, young and old who’ve sat in the chair and had this discussion. If your hairdresser cut your hair too short to fit into a bun…
God help her when your Mum found out.
Escape Artist Hair Grip:
Go on. How many of you dancers out there have been mid dance and felt a grip starting to wriggle it’s way out of your perfectly styled up do. A few seconds later you hear that unmistakable metallic ping as it hits the floor. You spend the rest of the routine trying to guess where it might be so you don’t step on it. And once you finish dancing, spend the next 30 seconds squinting at the floor trying to find it…
The Hair Whip:
It’s happened to us all. Getting whipped in the eye by your ponytail as you pirouette/chainés across the room. And wow does it sting.
You leave the house looking fab. You rock up to rehearsals. You go crazy with the choreo, give it your all, have a great time. All is well. Until you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror or reflection in a window. Wow. Hello frizzy mane. What was the point in doing anything with you? I could’ve walked through a hedge backwards and look better than this…
Sticky Crispy Hair:
Yes. Show hair. Whether you have straight hair or curly hair, you fall victim. If you have straight hair, you add some curls to give it a bit of oomph on stage. If you have curly hair, you need to keep an eye on the oomph so it doesn’t go from ‘nicely volumised’ to ‘crazy frizzy cat lady’ (the latter HAS crept up on me a couple of times in the past…)
And the answer? Hairspray. To hold the curls in the silky smooth straight hair, you need half a can of hairspray. To control the frizz, you need half a can of hairspray. Which is fine. It works. But then you get home and touch your hair…wow. A sticky, matted, crispy mess. Looked great on stage. Not so much in the bathroom mirror.
Then you have the ‘to wash or not to wash’ dilemma. If you wash it, you wash the yuckiness out and are set to go with fresh hair for the next day – until you cover it in hairspray again for the show. If you don’t wash it, it’s already full of product and prepped for the next night (yay!) – but then you have to go through the day with a sticky matted mess on top of your head.
After all these years of shows, I’ve still not come up with a show-week-hair-game-plan. And I’m actually slightly disappointed in myself. I’m organisation Queen. I colour coordinate running orders with costume info, quick change info, timings of each scene and how long between each change. I have separate paper pads at home for different genres of my work. Everything in my life is organised. My DVDs are arranged, in categories, then in alphabetical order for goodness sake. And I still have no system for show hair. Tut tut.
There will always be hair dramas. But for now, I’m leaving it there. You never know, if you’re lucky there might be a #HairIssuesPart2 some time in the future 😉
If you’ve got any hair nightmares you want to share, feel free to drop me a comment below! Until next time…
Stay sassy. And try some hairography. I promise it’ll help warm you up in this cold weather. ❅