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Ballet Talk for Dancers
bruyere

Doing Own Hair...When?

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DanceMumNYC

Thank you all so much! Flipping her hair over still creates a sloppy front with "bumps," but I guess practice makes perfect. We will continue trying this summer. I never sectioned her hair or did the "pin as you go" method, so she doesn't either. I will definitely have her try it, thanks! And I never thought of letting her try a bun before a ponytail. We will try that too until the ponytails become better. :wub:

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AB'sMom

Is she required to have a high bun? My daughter was always very picky about her bun being perfect and the bumps in the front from the high ponytail were the biggest problem. She started doing a low bun “like the big girls” and it was much easier to get the ponytail smooth. She divides her long, somewhat thick, hair into two sections for the bun part and also pins as she goes. She usually does the ponytail at home and the bun in the car. Doing the bun at home let her get too obsessed with perfection. Having a time limit helps her and her buns are still beautiful. When she’s done she uses a cell phone to take a picture of the back of her head to make sure it looks good. And she uses gel to smooth her hair, so I have to keep wet wipes in the car for her hands. She just turned 13, but I think she’s been doing them on her own for two years now. 

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oniceskates

If your DD has thick and slick hair, it is very difficult to get a smooth pony without some help from hair products and good ponytail elastics .  DD has found that the braided elastics work best.  They are strong and can be wound up to three times.  DD flips her head over and brushes into pony, holding pony she then flips her head right-side up and brushes to smooth down bumps, and then wraps the elastics.  As AB'sMom DD, she will need to section it to pin down and pin as you go.  DD uses the corkscrew type pins (4) to anchor the bun, wraps hair net and finishes with u-shaped pins to secure in rest of hair.

Just a warning about slicking hair down for pony, use an product that dries and does not leave the bun damp.  DD used to spray water to slick down her hair for pony.  However, if you have thick hair the water does not dry out completely.  In the more humid months, mildew can grow especially if you use a milder, non-SLS shampoo.

Good luck!

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TinydancersNJ

DD9 (almost 10) prefers me to do her buns mostly because she says she can't get the ponytail tight enough (can't get it wrapped around that extra time) and she likes them to be 'just so' and not move at all while she is dancing.  But our schedule is so tight that she gets dressed for dance in the bathroom at after-care at school before I pick her up then she eats dinner in the car.  As so as we get there I do her hair while she puts her shoes on. She prefers to be in class early to get stretched/warmed up so she hates how rushed we are some days.  I'm hoping that will convince her to practice and get her own buns better so she feels more comfortable in them.  I also told her that she needs to get it by next fall because if she is responsible enough for pointe than she should be able to do her own buns.  I know I will sew her first shoes but I would like to have her in on the process so she can start sewing them as soon as possible, seems important for them to be just how she needs them to be.

Now my sassy 7 year old wants to do everything herself so she wants to do her own pony tail and then will let me pin it into a bun.  So it basically looks like squirrels had a fight on her head but she is in a much lower level class and I don't have the heart (or time) to squash the independence.

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DanceDaddy

At 10, our DD is mainly doing her own. Sure, she might need a little help with a whispy here and there. But, does a good job!

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DanceMumNYC

Thanks everyone for your helpful tips. I am writing this all down in a notepad! 

And ABsMom, to answer your question, yes, a high bun is required. Or at least that’s what it says in the student handbook. Yet I see so many girls (both older and younger) with low buns, no hair nets, etc., for class. But I told dd she should follow the “rules” in the book despite what others are doing. I’m hoping she can use the summer to practice.

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DanceMumNYC

One more question, do your dds have to wear a hair net? It is required in our studio. How does the 'pin as you go' method work with a hair net?! Thanks!

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Ballerinamom2girls

Net is a must for us or flyaways would be a problem unless she used like a whole bottle of hairspray ;)

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dancemaven

DanceMumNYC, the hairnet goes on last.  It is just put over the bun, wound around as many times as needed and secured with a last pin or two.  When you buy them, buy a bunch.  They don’t last particularly long, depending.

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DanceMumNYC

Thank you, dancemaven. I usually put the hair net then pin, so I was unsure how that would work if we tried the other method. And yes, we have lots of hair nets in stock. I learned how easily they’re ruined because when dd was a little younger & let her hair down, she would yank the pins & rip the hair net:rolleyes:

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Momof3darlings

Buy them in bulk online.  

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Justinitforfun

I will second most of what these ladies have said. The whole transition to independent hair care took a fair bit of time. First I would do ponytail and she would do bun (though I would still do it for performances for a while). Then she could do pony and bun for class but I would still have to do the high pony for performances and she could do the bun. Finally, she could do all, including high pony. The high pony is the hardest part, especially with long hair. Along those lines, one thing that put my dd over the line of being able to do her own was letting her cut her hair (gasp! LOL )  It was still long enough for a decent looking bun, but less length, plus the cleaner ends, made it all much more manageable. Maybe since she is asking for her hair to be cut anyway, you could do it right after spring performances, let her practice over the summer, and then it will be growing out by winter/Nut season etc anyway. :)  And yes it is great when they can do it themselves, but I do miss getting to do it for her. Sometimes 😉

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DanceMumNYC

Thank you for all your suggestions! 

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Leigh28

I know it's been a few weeks since this was posted, but I'll add my 2 cents as a gal who has long, thick, heavy hair.

I taught my girls to make a ponytail in two sections.  First pull the top 1/2 of the hair back into a pony tail and secure it with a rubber band where it should be.  Then, brush the bottom 1/2 of the hair into that and using a 2nd rubber band, create ONE ponytail by wrapping the 2nd rubber band around ALL of the hair including the 1st rubber band.   This achieves 2 things.  First, they are working with less hair at a time and second, the two ponytails give more support.  If they want, they can remove the first rubber band, but my girls leave them for the support.


At this juncture dampen the hair and comb or brush with a boars head bristle brush or teasing brush to smoothen the hair. There may...probably WILL be bumps by the ponytail, but they will be covered by the bun.    Then,  create the bun like a cinnamon roll by taking a small section of the ponytail, dampen and twist, securing it into place with a few hairpins.  Continue about 1/2 way around and then start the next small section. My girls do 3-4 sections, working them around the outside of each section. (watching videos of cinnamon roll bun is helpful)  

Lastly, wrap the bun in a hairnet.  At this point, my girls will begin removing some of the hairpins from the bun and using those to secure the hair net.  As they remove the hairpins, they smush the bun into place trying to flatten it. 

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DanceMumNYC

Thanks Leigh! I hadn’t considered letting my dd watch YouTube videos. That’s a great suggestion. 

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