Hairstyles for a gymnast

Written by kristi roddey
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Hairstyles for a gymnast
A gymnasts hair must be secured away from the face. (gumnastics image by Vitaliy Afanasopulo from

Gymnastics is a sport that requires not only strength and agility, but grace and style as well. And you won't get style points if you're constantly brushing your hair out of your face. One guideline regarding hair in the 2009-2010 Rules and Policies of USA Gymnastics is that the athlete's hair must be secured away from the face. Luckily, as a gymnast, you have options when it comes to effective and cute ways to style your hair.

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Perhaps the easiest hairstyle for a gymnast is the basic ponytail. The keys to a successful ponytail are water and hair clips or barrettes. The water makes the hair easy to slick back, and the hair clips or barrettes control any stray pieces. For a little style, instead of holding hair back with a scrunchy, take a piece of hair from underneath to wrap around the ponytail, and pin it in place.

French Braid

French braids provide another alternative for keeping your hair away from your face while you jump, flip and twirl through gymnastics routines. This style provides a bit more elegance than the traditional ponytail. Start with a small, thin ponytail at the top of your head. Braid the hair in small, even sections, gradually adding hair at each level to both sides of the hair. Use larger sections of hair for a thick braid and smaller sections for a thinner braid.

Hairstyles for a gymnast
French braids are an elegant way for gymnasts to style their hair. (braid image by Allyson Ricketts from


Dancers and gymnasts both use the bun hairstyle to keep their hair from distracting them during competitions. Secure your hair into a ponytail, and then twist the hair, tucking it in with hair clips as it goes around. Water or gel can make the hair easier to manage. If the bun is a little boring for your taste, you can add glitter hairspray for style.

Hairstyles for a gymnast
A bun is a low-maintenance style for gymnasts and dancers. (make up and hairstyle image by MAXFX from


Styles that use tiny elastic bands to hold smaller sections of hair and create a pattern are often referred to as "spiderweb" styles. These styles work for gymnasts because they can control short fringe and layered cuts, and they work on all lengths of hair. One type of spiderweb style is the Pineapple. To do it, make a series of small ponytails on the front row. Then split each ponytail into two sections and feed them into the next section.

The creator of Sports Girls Play describes another style, the Modified Pineapple. "Basically you part the hair like you are doing two standard ponytails. Then divide each side into six sections, criss-crossing the entire ponytail into the next section of hair. Secure the back into a ponytail, and curl the ends if desired."

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