After Sunday's Olympic gymnastics trials, we officially know the 2016 U.S. Olympics gymnastics team members, and if the trials taught us anything, it's that these women are going to be fierce competitors when they get to Rio this summer. But the whole time I was watching the trials on Sunday, I had to wonder one thing. How do gymnasts keep their hair up in the midst of all that flipping and tumbling and vaulting?
Sometimes it seems like when I put my hair up it falls out in two and a half seconds, even if I use a couple hair ties and multiple bobby pins. And that's just me walking down the street and going about my business on a normal day. If I was flipping around on a gymnastics floor or soaring around the uneven bars? There's no chance it would stay in place. But the Olympic team seems to have some secrets that I don't, because their hair manages to stay in place. I had to set out to find out Olympics gymnasts' secrets, and luckily they've shared a few tips over the years.
From ample hairspray to signature hairstyles, each elite gymnast has a different way of keeping her hair in place. Here are some of their secrets.
1. Multiple Hair Ties
In ESPN's 2015 Body Issue, Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman told the magazine that she wears up to 15 hair elastics at a time to keep her hair up. "Sometimes I’ll get headaches because my hair is pulled so tight and so back,” she's said.
2. Hairspray, Hairspray, Hairspray
Brit + Co interviewed Olympic-level gymnasts about their hair tips and tricks, and there was one common denominator — they all carry hairspray in their gym bags. Some, like 2016 Olympic team replacement MyKayla Skinner, stick to a light coating, and others, like 13-year-old gymnast Rachel Gowey use a specific brand — and lots of it. "I usually use TRESemmé as a good go-to," Gowey told Brit + Co.
Want to know how the gymnasts showcase a little bit of their personality while competing? They're all about the signature hair accessory. U.S. team alternate Ashton Locklear always wears a hair ribbon with gold in it, a nod told her goal to one day win Olympic gold. And future Olympian Simone Biles is all about her signature red hair ribbon.
Even after your hair is all pinned back, you need one more item to keep your hair back in style. For Locklear and Biles it's a ribbon, but a scrunchie is a classic Olympic choice that's actually been around for ages. Gymnasts today aren't afraid to use one.
5. Messy Buns
If the 2012 Olympic team taught us anything, it's that even if your bun is messy, you can still win Olympic gold. Their signature half-pulled-through messy buns were the subject of a lot of commentary, but it didn't affect their performance in the games whatsoever.