10 Things You Need To Know About Ballroom Dance Hairstyle


Great Ballroom Dance Hairstyle is the key to Great Ballroom Dance Performance!

That moment you get so frustrated, when you are ready to dance at a Ballroom Dance Competition, and your hair is not co-operating! Well, here are 10 things you need to know about, for a great ballroom dance hairstyle.

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How you prepare may determine how you look

  1. Plan, practice and prepare to avoid mistakes before they happen
  • If you are doing your own hair, practice, practice, practice.
  • Also make sure that you pay attention to the top of the head, not just the front, back and sides. Trust me. Check your choreography and you will understand why.
  • If you plan to get your manicure before doing your hair, get thin plastic gloves for your hands to protect your nails from hairspray, or you will lose some shine and polish.
  • If you are going to a professional that you have not worked with before, select a variation of a style that they did for someone else that you like and that suits you. If not, bring pictures of styles you prefer, and make sure you are on the same page before you start.
  • One way or another, you should also consider or bring pictures of your costumes. Your hair should complete your total look and feel.
  1. Prepare your hair one or two days before by leaving it alone
  • Styling is easier when hair is slightly oily. Do not wash your hair for a day or two before you get your style done.
  • Most important however is not to use hairspray, mousse, gel or wax in those one or two days. The hair should have natural oils, not a build-up of stiffening styling products. You can use conditioner that you rinse out. Leave-in conditioner also is OK if your hair is dry. Anything else will make your hair more brittle and dull, which is not a great starting point.
  • If you cannot live without the stiffening products I mentioned, rinse your hair with conditioner and water only, but no shampoo before you have your ballroom style done.
  1. Brush, comb, smooth, spray and the do it again to prepare your hair before you style
  • The foundation of every style is smooth hair that goes in one direction. Use a boar hair brush for shine and then a fine tooth comb.
  • Brush and comb at least 3 times as much as you think is necessary, and use a bit of hairspray or water on your hands to help any fly away hairs to lie flat and stick to the rest.
  • Unless your hair and your hair style is very short, you will then likely need to secure the hair with one or more hair elastics in one or more pony-tail sections. Pull the pony-tail as tight as you can to your scalp, without being uncomfortable.

Make sure every part of your style is clear and distinct

  1. Make every part razor sharp
  • Any parts in your hair need to be clean, clear and sharp. To do this, you need a very fine tooth comb and may need to part your hair a few times to get it clean and clear.
  • Never cheat, even if you think that part will not be seen because of an ornament or another layer of hair. People see and sense more than you think.
  • Zig-zag parts or wavy line parts are difficult to get as clean as they need to be, so they are generally best left to a pro.
  1. Consider clip-in extensions for narrow swirls
  • For narrow swirls, one option is to get clip-in hair extensions. They can come pre-styled or even pre-stoned.
  • For more flexibility, you can get them straight and un-styled at a hairdresser’s supply store, and style them after clipping one or several into your hair. If you do this, spray the extension with hair spray or use setting lotion until it is wet, then shape it and pin it with hair pins that are the same colour as your hair.
  • The advantage of extensions is that you can buy or cut them to any length, so you are not limited to the length of your own hair. You can also get them in highlighting or contrasting hair colours to add some interest.
  1. Use a hair net to help you make big shapes and knot buns
  • For big shapes and knot buns, you can use your own hair or add extensions for more volume. To make big sections of hair easier to work, put a thin hair net around that pony-tailed section.
  • The key is to have a hair net big enough to allow the section to stay as a pony-tail. You can then wrap your hair into a knot bun with clearly defined lines rather than a having a plain round bun, or you can make a big shape.
  • If you use a lot of hair spray or setting lotion you can create the same effect without the hair net, but it will be a bit harder to keep a lot of hair together and clearly defined.
  1. Be extremely precise when making small waves
  • Small waves are very popular now and give a particularly nice feel for Smooth dancers.
  • For this, setting lotion works best as you can shape the waves more easily than with hair spray or gel. The hair should be wet with the lotion, shaped with a comb and fingers, pinned in place and the secured with hair spray when dry.
  • If you have more skill and less time, a curling iron and hair spray can also work. Either way, watch a few how-to videos and experiment first or leave this to a pro. Waves may give a soft look but have to be very precise or they will look very messy.

Hairspray hints

  1. Shine is a must
  • A lot of the shine comes from the all the hairspray that is used. For the level of shine and the staying power you need, you really need to soak the hair.
  • Many brands of hairspray also come in versions that add extra shine. These are good too, but make sure it is a strong hold or freeze hold version, otherwise stay with regular strong or freeze hold hairspray and you will still be fine.
  1. Keep your hair jewelry away from hairspray
  • As much as possible, add jewellery last and after you have sprayed all that you need to.
  • Hairspray will make the jewelry dull over time and may weaken the backing of some types of hair jewelry. For the same reason it is also good to protect your costume from hairspray.
  1. Protect your hair when you wash out all the hairspray and glue
  • You will use hairspray and may also use white school glue or eyelash glue to secure jewelry or sections of hair. To prevent breakage from all the stiffness when you shampoo, make sure you run a lot of warm water over your hair before you touch it too much when you shampoo. If your hair is extremely stiff, use conditioner to soften the hair, then shampoo.

Also take a look at our article on short hairstyles for ballroom dancers!

Author: Miss P [Celebrate DanceSport]